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Handguns as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie

April 15, 2008|By TIM ROWLAND

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A 28-year-old woman in Orange County stabbed her husband during a fight that sparked over having hot dogs for dinner, according to a sheriff's office report.

Officers said the woman apparently had prepared a dinner for her husband that consisted of hot dogs. At some point, the man snatched the plate of hot dogs from his wife's hands, the report said.

The action prompted the woman to stab her husband in the shoulder with a steak knife, according to authorities. The husband then allegedly grabbed a handgun and pointed it at the woman's head and said he was going to kill her.

Where to start?

It's a wonderful little vignette of Americana, hot dogs and handguns needing only baseball and apple pie to complete the scene. Just livin' the dream, I suppose. I don't know where the knife comes in. If you're such a poor cook that you need a steak knife to cut a hot dog, this might explain the husband's dissatisfaction.

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If that's the case, it's a good thing they weren't actually having steak, because the chain saw necessary to cut that would have heightened the drama considerably.

I like to assign blame in a case such as this, but unfortunately the news story leaves open too many holes. For example, was this the eighth consecutive night of a hot dog meal?

Were they just boiled and served dry on a bun, the plate clattering to the table as the wife haphazardly tossed it at her beloved?

"What's for supper?"

"Hot dogs and mustard."

"But I don't like hot dogs."

"Oh. Well then help yourself to the mustard."

On the other hand, one has an inkling that the wife may not be totally to blame. For example, I would be curious to know the husband's employment status. If he's coming home from a long day at the gravel quarry and the wife's been home all day watching soaps with a bottle of schnapps, that's one thing.

Of course in this day and age, any woman who cooks her husband anything for dinner is likely to receive multiple marriage offers, whether she pulls a knife for dessert or not.

And this couple may be under stresses we don't know about: The declining value of their stock portfolio, possible foreclosure of their summer home in the Hamptons, uncertainty about their kid's application to Yale.

"Honey, I'm really concerned about the escalating violence in Zimbabwe, and ... what's this? Hot dogs? HOT DOGS? I'll hot dog you."

Frankly, so to speak, I don't know where they go from here. We've all had dust-ups with our significant others, but once it's reached the point that you stab someone or pull a gun, it has to change the dynamic a bit.

Yes, there's counseling, but isn't that for stuff like feelings of inadequacy and stuff? How do you psychoanalyze a Smith and Wesson?

Or who knows, maybe this is just a little something that will blow over and that will seem funny as they're sitting around the dinner table in their golden years: "Yeah, remember that time you served me hot dogs and you stabbed me in the shoulder and I aimed a pistol at your head? Ha ha, those were some good times. Pass the Vienna sausages, would you?"

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324 or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. You can listen to his podcast, The Rowland Rant, on www.antpod.com.

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