Recap from last week’s column — aspiring rock star Bob marries cousin Sandy and she’s dreadfully distressed about young women throwing themselves at her husband. Funny, I know some wives who would cry, “Take him, if you can put up with his crap.” In fairness, some husbands would claim the same about their wives. I ask you, where is that irresistible guy or gal you married?

Out of Bob’s love and devotion to his wife and oh yes, her constant nagging for him to decide between her or his singing career, he opts for his marriage. I’ve often wondered, is it fair for any spouse to issue an ultimatum about anything? I mean, if it doesn’t come willingly, what good is it? No good, judging from this sad singer’s saga.

“If I can’t sing I’ll sew,” decided Bob, and he went into the upholstery business.

So at family gatherings Bob would sing to us, but I guess it wasn’t gratifying enough and thus, began the gradual decline of his health. He turned to greasy pork rinds, chicken wings and Italian sausage and eventually finds himself on the operating table with an unsympathetic cardiologist who pledges not to “murder a man who’s committing suicide.”

“Gotta try and undo your stupidity,” the disgusted surgeon sighed, “but listen, to help relax our patients we play music in the operating room. ... what’s your pleasure, pal?”

“The Fifties favorites, if you don’t mind, Doc. Hey, it won’t ... it won’t distract you, will it?” stuttered Bob.

“You mean will I be swingin’ and swayin’ to the oldies? Get one thing straight, pal, a bomb could be blasting this place and I’d be oblivious to it while operating.”

“The bomb is right here in my chest, Doc.”

“Damn right it is, so the next time you reach for fried foods just ask yourself — is this worth dying for? And the same applies to cigarettes and alcohol.”

“Sex, too,?” gasped Bob.

“You mean there’s sex after marriage?” And for the first time the doctor let down his firm façade and flashed a wide grin. Oh no, thought Bob, was that a piece of chicken wing caught between the surgeon’s teeth and nicotine stains on the enamel? What, the professional preaches one thing and does another?

After the 12-hour operation, which at one point, Bob’s heart was actually removed and placed onto a table, Bob started coming to. Just as he was opening his eyes he uttered, “Wait, WAIT!”

“WHAT?! WHAT?!” demanded the anxious doctor.

“That song, it’s one of my all-time favorites!”

“Why you SOB,” snapped the doctor, “you scared the hell out of me! But I’ve got to admit, “When a Man Loves A Woman” is a beauty, a real heart stopper.”

“HEART STOPPER?!!” panicked the patient.

“Shut up!” ordered the doctor. “This operation didn’t kill you, but all this blabbering sure as hell might!”

I didn’t get this incident second-hand. Nope, straight from Bob’s mouth, but when we recently kissed hello, was that pork rind, Italian sausage, chicken wings and cigarette smoke I smelled? “Never murder a man who’s committing suicide.” I’m wondering, is 68 too young to become a rock star? Is 68 too old to still dream?

Karen White-Walker is a Wilson resident. Her column appears every Tuesday.

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