Paul Durcan

1944 / Dublin

Wife Who Smashed Television Gets Jail

'She came home, my Lord, and smashed in the television;
Me and the kids were peaceably watching Kojak
When she marched into the living room and declared
That if I didn't turn off the television immediately
She'd put her boot through the screen;
I didn't turn it off, so instead she turned it off -
I remember the moment exactly because Kojak
After shooting a dame with the same name as my wife
Snarled at the corpse - Goodnight, Queen Maeve -
And then she took off her boots and smashed in the television;
I had to bring the kids round to my mother's place;
We got there just before the finish of Kojak;
(My mother has a fondness for Kojak, my Lord):
When I returned home my wife had deposited
What was left of the television into the dustbin,
Saying - I didn't get married to a television
And I don't see why my kids or anybody else's kids
Should have a television for a father or mother,
We'd be much better off all down in the pub talking
Or playing bar-billiards -
Whereupon she disappeared off back down again to the pub.'
Justice O'BrĂ¡daigh said wives who preferred bar-billiards to
family television
Were a threat to the family which was the basic unit of society
As indeed the television itself could be said to be a basic unit of
the family
And when as in this case wives expressed their preference in
forms of violence
Jail was the only place for them. Leave to appeal was refused.
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