ASSAULT  7'?m5f Assault with a deadly weapon: the tongue

HUSBAND -- (enters) ...because, I told you, I don't like to 
barbecue. The smoke gets in my eyes.

WIFE -- (follows) But other husbands barbeque for their wives.

HUSBAND -- I'm sorry. I'm not like other husbands.

WIFE -- If you loved me, you would buy me a barbeque.

HUSBAND -- (holds hand to heart) Honey!

COP -- (enters briskly, approaches Wife) Alright, hold it right 
there. You're under arrest. 

WIFE -- (complies) Why? What did I do? 

COP -- (cuffs her) You have a right to remain silent. If you 
give up that right, anything you say may be used against you in 
a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot 
afford one, an attorney will be appointed for you free of 
charge. Do you understands those rights as I have stated them to 

WIFE -- I guess so.

COP -- Good. (shouts offstage) Bring in the machine.

HUSBAND -- What machine? What crime are you accusing my wife of?

COP -- Multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

HUSBAND -- Assault with a deadly weapon?!

WIFE -- When was I suppose to have committed this crime?

DOC -- (enters wearing white lab coat, carrying a imposing 
looking instrument with sensing device attached by curly wire) 

COP -- (pulls out pad of paper, flips) According to our 
surveillance the last attack was... (looks at watch) About one 
minute ago.

WIFE -- One minute ago?

HUSBAND -- That's impossible! One minute ago, my wife was with 

DOC -- May I examine the victim?

COP -- Yeah, go ahead.

DOC -- (places sensing device over Husband's heart, reads dial)

HUSBAND -- I'm the victim?!

WIFE -- I never did anything to him!

COP -- That's what they all say. Well, what about it, Doc?

DOC -- Oh, oh!

HUSBAND -- What's the matter?

DOC -- Extensive heart damage.

COP -- Lady, you're going away for a long long time!

HUSBAND -- (pushes Doc's hand away) Wait a minute! There's 
nothing wrong with my heart! I'm in perfect health!

COP -- Listen, Mister... (looks at pad) Anderson, as the spouse 
of the suspect, you cannot be compelled to testify against your 
own wife. Do you give up your immunity?

HUSBAND -- Well, of course I do. She's done nothing wrong!

DOC -- Denial is often associated with victims of assault. 
(positions sensing device over Husbands heart)

HUSBAND -- (pushes Doc's hand away) Will you stop saying that!? 
She did not assault me!

DOC -- What did I tell you?

COP -- Mr Anderson, did not your wife compare you with others 
husbands just a moment ago? Let me quote: (imitating) "But other 
husbands barbeque for their wives."

HUSBANDS -- Well, yes, but what does that...

DOC -- Heartless woman...

COP -- ...And did not your wife imply that if you didn't buy a 
barbeque for her, that you didn't really lover her?

HUSBAND -- Oh, that...

DOC -- (puts sensing device over Husband's heart, adjusts knob)

COP -- Would you like me to read the exact quote?

HUSBAND -- That won't be necessary.

WIFE -- That's not assault. 

DOC -- On the contrary, my instrument shows serious heart 
damage here.

HUSBAND -- (pushes Doc's hand away) What damage!?

WIFE -- I'm not guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. And I 
can't help it if my husband is a tight wad.

DOC -- There she goes again. Heartless woman. (Places sensor 
over Husband's heart)

COP -- The human tongue does more damage than all the guns 
in the world combined.

DOC -- Extensive heart damage. They have no idea.

LAWYER -- (enters briskly, carrying briefcase) Officer, you 
should know better than to interrogate my client before she has 
legal counsel present. Anything she has said up to this moment 
is not admissible as evidence in court. (to Liz) You didn't 
admit to anything, did you?

WIFE -- Well, I...

HUSBAND -- Who called our lawyer?

LAWYER -- (digging in briefcase) ...I suppose this officer told 
you that you were going to spend eternity in hell.

COP -- I didn't say anything of the kind. You lawyers make me 

LAWYER -- (pulls out thick, folded, white document, covered in 
blue paper) It doesn't matter, my client is immune from 
prosecution. (slaps document into Cop's hand)

COP -- (examining document) I had her dead to rights. You 
lawyers make me sick. (turns to exit) Come on, Doc. They got us 
this time.

DOC -- (positions sensing device over Husband's heart) No. I need 
to stay. The heart damage is severe.

HUSBAND -- (pushes Doc's hand away) Heart Damage?! I feel fine!

DOC -- You may feel fine. But heart damage from assaults of the 
tongue have subtle symptoms.

HUSBAND -- Like what?

DOC -- Like closing down emotionally. Like distancing yourself 
from your wife to avoid further attacks.

WIFE -- (approaches) Oh, Honey, I had no idea.

DOC -- (intercepts Wife, puts sensing device over her heart) Just 
a moment.

HUSBAND -- Why are you examining HER heart. I'm the victim.

LAWYER -- Even a lawyer can answer that question. An attack of 
the tongue is not like a gun shot. It's more like a bomb.

WIFE -- What do you mean?

DOC -- Shshshsh. Quiet. I detect some heart damage here too.

LAWYER -- When an attack of the tongue occurs, everyone in the 
room is affected by the emotional shrapnel. After an attack, the 
perpetrator either has to admit he's wrong or try to justify his 

DOC -- (imitating) Like calling your husband a tight wad.

WIFE -- Oh. I see. Honey, I'm sorry.

LAWYER -- The problem is, even your kids are wounded by the 
emotional shrapnel. 

DOC -- (exiting) I should probably check THEIR hearts too.

WIFE -- Oh, no, Katie and Liz? How did I hurt them?

LAWYER -- When they see you attacking their Dad that way, they 
either have to choose up sides or withdraw from you for fear of 
similar attacks on them.

WIFE -- Oh. And I do attack them too. I think I have to make 
judgements about everything they do. No wonder they avoid 
confrontations with me. Do you think they'll ever forgive me?

HUSBAND -- Speaking of that? What was that document you gave to 
the policeman?

LAWYER -- That was a copy of your wife's entry into the Book of 

WIFE -- Book of Life? You mean because I'm a Christian...

LAWYER -- Yes, Jesus already paid the penalty for your crimes.

WIFE -- Thank God!

LAWYER -- But his forgiveness just gets you into Heaven. It 
doesn't repair the damage you've done to people's hearts.

WIFE -- I am so sorry. I... I don't know what to do.

LAWYER -- You've got to make it right. You need to have a family 
meeting and apologize to all of them and start the healing 

WIFE -- And I have to promise never to do it again.

LAWYER -- Unfortunately, assault with a deadly tongue is a 
habitual crime. You'll need help in order to stop the bad habit. 
You need to give your loved ones permission to yell "ouch" when 
you set off one of your bombs.

WIFE -- You're right. (exiting arm-in-arm with husband) Come on, 
Honey, let's round up the girls and make things right.

HUSBAND -- Who called our lawyer?

LAWYER -- (follows pointing up and smiling)

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