The Dear Wife, Mrs. Silliman, received one of those Alan Alda in a Box dolls for Christmas. The talking doll, also known as Mr. Wonderful, has short legs, cute cuddly arms, a jutting jaw and a trainload of sayings women appear to like.
When she quizzed the lady who gave her the gift about giving her a doll, the gift giver replied “You’ll love it. It’ll get you through the bowl season.”
Apparently, the gift giver knows my wife’s husband, and also knows this year has offered the biggest bowl package of all time—thirteen jillion bowl games. Every team that’s ever played football, including Chicago University and NYU—two teams who gave up the game three decades ago—are playing in the bowls.
If you’ve got a team that knows how to lace up their shoe strings, you’ve qualified for a bowl. If you’ve got fans who want “one more game,” you’ve qualified for a bowl. If you can spell bowl… you get the idea.
So while I’m watching the Kellogg’s Cereal Bowl I hear a masculine voice coming from the other room “That dress doesn’t make you look fat. How could anything make you look fat?” I mute the TV, go in where my wife is trying on a dress with the doll leaning against the headboard.
"You going out," I say, "You’ll want to make it back before the Prego’s Spaghetti Bowl starts." Right about then she picks up the doll, presses his arm and he says “Going shopping by yourself? Why don’t you let me tag along and I’ll carry your bags.”
Sure, I’m thinking, that doll could carry a lot of bags. But, as long as he’s doing the carrying, I can be watching even more bowl games. Like the Spritzer’s Spritz Bowl or the Manischewitz Wine Long Island Tea Bowl.
I hear the door, I yell out “You back, Hiiuoney? The Spaghetti Bowl is about ready…”
“You cooked?” She asks. ”That’s so…” Then I tell her it’s another bowl game. Before she can answer I hear Mr. Wonderful saying to her “Let’s go to the mall. Don’t you need some new shoes?”
That Mr. Wonderful is mall happy, I’m thinking. I’m wondering if there are wives from all over converging on the mall carrying their little Mr. Wonderfuls with them. If some of the wives get lost they can press his arm and he’ll say “I don’t think I know where we are, I’ll pull in here and ask directions.”
When she gets back, the Prego Spaghetti Bowl is half over. She turns on the TV in the other room and, sure enough, Mr. Wonderful has a comment “Why don’t you hold the remote. As long as I’m with you I don’t care what we watch.”
I’m wondering if dollicide is a crime. Nah, that wouldn’t be right. But then I hear the doll saying “This game isn’t important. I’d rather spend time with you.”