Fine Art of Being Unfaithful"
by R. Fred Arnold
Vol. 1, No. 2, 1957
Being unfaithful, like petit-point or harpooning, is an art that
required great skill and much practice. One does not simply decide to be
unfaithful and then proceed to do it; one must first work, study, plan
and diligently practice.
Any attempt to be unfaithful without sufficient
preparation is doomed to failure. Assume, for one light-hearted moment,
that you are married and working at it. You've never cheated or dilly-dallied
or anything. Suddenly, the blonde at the lunch counter gets very friendly
and you think about it for a few days and sound her out with a few exploratory
remarks and gestures and the whole thing seems like a lead-pipe cinch.
So, you tell your wife at breakfast, out of
the clear blue scrambled eggs, that you're terribly sorry but the boss
want s you to do some extra work at the office and you'll be late. Maybe
even be better if you stayed overnight at the office. And so forth.
You, my friend, have got a fat chance. You
haven't--if you'll pardon the expression--laid the groundwork for your
escapade. You've never worked late at the office before; chances are you've
even told your wife, "If that blankety-blank boss of mine ever asks me
to do a thing extra, I'll tell him to stuff it up his filing cabinet."
Now, all of a sudden, you expect her to smile and say, "That's a good loyal
employee; you stay and work your arms off." Not on you hot little hands,
A wife, like a lawn mover or a deck of cards,
must be broken in. She must be conditioned over the years, so that when
something like a receptive blonde turns up, she's putty in your sly old
The best time to begin preparing for these
eventualities is during the courtship period. Explain your work to her.
Tell her that you have ambition, you want to get somewhere, you don't want
to be an office drudge (or a store drudge or a livery stable drudge
or a factory drudge) all of your life. And, as part of your laudable campaign
to get somewhere, you quite frequently take on extra work in the evenings.
Oh, not too much--not enough so it gets to be a nuisance. Maybe
once or twice a month; just enough so you can show the boss you're in there
And then, all the rest of your married life,
take that night off once in a while. Take it, even though nothing in the
way of a blonde or redhead or brunette shows up. Take it, even though you
just sneak around the back yard and read a book for three hours. Then,
when you really need that night sometimes, there are no questions asked.
Or perhaps you prefer some other story, something
besides working late at the office. Maybe a sick friend--but he'd better
be real sick and he'd better be producible together with a notarized report
from his physician--or a sick parakeet or an uncle that needs being read
to every third Thursday. Or some successful unfaithfuls use the "After
you, my dear Gwendolyn" routine. This works on the premise that the wife
in the case likes a night off once in a while, too. So every third Thursday
you say, "Gwendolyn, you're looking a wee bit peaked. The bloom on your
cheeks is getting moldy. What you need is a night away from me and the
house. Why don't you go over to your mother's (or your sister's or your
Aunt Mabel's) for the night? Do you a world of good." She will jump at
the chance and you'll be free for the night.
But it cannot be emphasized too strongly--do
this on a regular basis, and start early in life, even when you think
you'll never feel like cheating. It's just like insurance or a savings
account--you may never have to use it, but it's nice to know it's there.
So you prepare you alibi years before you have to use it; thus, when the
time comes, your night-out excuse is ready made. It's a comforting feeling.
However, suppose you're stuck. No excuse.
No habit, built over many years of painstaking trouble, of a night off
once in a while. Yet here's this panting blonde at the lunch counter. Should
you just skip the whole thing?
By no means. It isn't easy and you must decide
in your own mind if it's worth the trouble. If it is, here's a simplified,
1. Develop a sudden illness. Yellow Jaundice
is good, and required merely equal parts of mustard, corn starch and mashed
bananas, plus the juice of three lemons and the white of an egg. Apply
liberally to face and exposed portions of the body. Or there is another
variety called Orange Jaundice, with orange juice instead of lemon juice.
2. Wake up one morning with this malady. Tell
your wife you are ill. But no doctor. You say, simply, "I know what this
is. I got it during the war. Doctors can't do anything. It'll go away by
itself in two days."
3. Stay home all day. Moan and groan regularly.
4. Around 8 P.M. (assuming your date is for
9) suddenly sit up in bed and scream. And tell your wife you must go out
and walk this off. "That's what we did during the war. Walk around for
five, six hours in the night air. It's the only thing that brings relief.
Night air and walking."
5. Get up, get dressed, go out. Act feverish.
6. Come home, say around midnight, all cured.
(Be sure to throw the yellow-jaundiced-soaked handkerchief in the incinerator.)
7. Act a little weak the next day. This will
probably come easy.
That is one quick and easy method for getting
out. Another that has also been time-tested and works like a charm is the
1. You are eating supper with your wife. Suddenly
let a cry of anguish escape from your lips and clap your hands to your
breast. "I has a sudden pain, like a very deep pin prick," you say. "But
it's all gone now. My, that was strange!"
2. In a minute or so, the same thing. Only
this time in your leg. Then, one right after another, the same thing occurs
again and again in other parts of your body.
3. Gradually, you seem to become numb. Your
frantic wife tells you to lie down but it doesn't help. You bounce up and
down as these sharp pains occur.
4. Then it becomes clear to you. "I know--ouch--what
it is," you say. "It's voodoo--ooooh--that's what it is. Eeek! I made enemies
with a--ouch--voodoo high priest when I was in the Navy--gasp--and he said
he'd get even. I bet he's--wow--made a doll and he's voodooing me."
5. Quite suddenly you jump up and rush to
get your hat and coat.
6. "Where are you going?" your wife says.
7. "I'm going to get relief. I just--ouch--remembered.
The only thing to do when you're cursed like this is to go out to the ocean
and throw three--gasp--dead rats and a thimble full of spider dust into
the water. I have to go get some rats and spider duct."
8. Ten minutes later, you telephone home.
"Got the rats," you say, "but they're all out of--eek--spider dust. I'll
have to go to the factory. I should be home by--wow--midnight. Don't wait
9. Midnight you come home, all cured.
All the foregoing has been about getting out
of the house. There is more to infidelity than that.
The mental attitude AFTERWARDS is vital. SOme
of the true geniuses in the field insist, indeed, that your actions afterwards
are even more important than those before. Never, under any circumstances,
come back with a gift for your wife. There is nothing that is so sure to
give you away, unless it be some lipstick on the tip of your nose.
The best thing to do is to come home surly.
Snap at your wife. Bark at the kids. Growl at the pussy-cat. When you're
so mean and miserable, nobody would ever think that you've been having
yourself a ball. It's only when you're happy and sweet that perhaps your
wife may suspect something's amiss, or amistress.
Equally important is the fine art of disguise.
Bartenders and movie ushers and waitresses and suchlike are very fond of
coming up and saying, "Good evening, Mr. Smith, how's your wife?" Don't
let anybody tell you that bartenders are good listeners; they talk too
So one has to make sure one is unobserved.
The best laid plans--the perfect excuse and prepared exit--will come to
naught if your wife's best friend sees you hand-in-hand with another woman.
Perhaps the perfect disguise is not to be
seen. Take a bus--never drive your own car--and sit in the back behind
a newspaper. When you get off, walk in the shadows. Go up a back way, or
go in a window, or climb down a chimney--but never get involved with doormen
or elevator operators or boarding house owners. And, if possible, don't
go out again--bring your own booze and glasses and ice cubes (in a fiberglass-insulated
pocket of your suit; see what we mean by preparation?) and cold cuts and
mustard. Stay there, if you can get away with it.
If the blonde insists on stepping out, take
the train to another city. Or go by cab to some nightspot far away from
your own section of town. If you know a guy with a rocket to the moon,
When you get there, tell the headwaiter ($5
will do) that you want a quiet little table about half-way between the
bass drum and Spokane, Wash. Sit with your back to the most people. Order
one, maybe two drinks. Do not get plastered because everybody notices a
drunk. And there's bound to be somebody there you know, or somebody who
knows you. Dance as little as possible, and , when you do dance, don't
show off your terrific mambo. Stay in the center of the floor, camouflaged
Don't tip too little or too much. Don't make
a scene. Don't order anything fancy or anything too plain. Be an average
guy. Average guys never get anywhere in the world, but they never get noticed
When you leave, don't pinch the hatcheck girl.
Save that for another day.
Don't make a pass at another girl, or get
in a fight, or wreck the car, or spill a drink down the chick's dress to
see if the ice cubes melt, or argue about the check, or forget your wallet--don't
do anything at all that's out of the ordinary.
Just be an average, run-of-the-mill, unfaithful
husband. Then you've merely one among thousands and you'll have no trouble.
Live it up.