Scenes from a (Straight) Marriage Scenes from a (Straight) Marriage Our columnist imagines what will happen to a typical heterosexual union if *** marriages are legalized WEB EXCLUSIVE By Gersh Kuntzman Newsweek Column: American Beat Updated: 3:42 p.m. ET Feb. 14, 2004 Feb. 14 - The recent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in favor of *** marriage has prompted many American couples to ponder the future of marriage in this country. Many commentators have openly worried that heterosexual marriage may not survive as an institution. If they're right, our columnist believes that we can expect lots of scenes like this in homes all across the nation. HENRY and ANN are in bed. Henry's wife LESLIE comes home. LESLIE, walking upstairs towards the bedroom: Honey, are you home? LESLIE enters the bedroom. LESLIE,aghast: Henry! What's going on here? HENRY: I'm having an affair. LESLIE: How could you do this to me? To us?! HENRY: Hey, don't blame me. Blame Steve and Ted for moving in next door. LESLIE: Steve and Ted? But they're...they're...they're just...roommates! ANN,laughing: Just roommates! Would ya listen to this broad? Still lying to herself! HENRY,calmly: They're not just roommates, Leslie. They're ***. They're a *** couple. They're a *** married couple. Get it? Married gays! According to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, gays are now entitled to the same basic marital rights as we are. LESLIE: You mean they can file their federal taxes jointly, they can visit each other in the hospital, they can get a mortgage, they can rent a car together without having to get that ridiculous "second-driver" charge, and they can register at a hotel without having to lie to the clerk that they need two beds? HENRY: Yep. It's the beginning of the end. Plus, these gays are going to save a lot on travel expenses. LESLIE,understanding: I see. So, I guess we never had a chance. Damn activist judges. HENRY: You can say that again! After Steve and Ted officially tied the knot, I picked her up (indicating ANN). I figured, why the hell not? If gays can get married, what chance did our normal, heterosexual marriage have? Indeed, what does the word "marriage" mean anyway if two people of the same sex can do it? ANN,snuggling up to HENRY: The marriage vow means nothing to *** people! My husband and I were just discussing that yesterday! LESLIE: To be honest, I felt my matrimonial bond to you weakening ever since Steve and Ted moved in. But I just attributed it to all the extra hours you've been putting in at the office. Now I can see that the very fabric of our marriage was being undermined by those married gays. HENRY: I know. When Steve and Ted registered as "domestic partners" at City Hall last year, I'll admit, I started having a bit of the roaming eye, but I was never unfaithful to you. OK, I made out with a woman in Cleveland, but that was right after they registered and I felt a vague (making air quotes) "malaise" in our marriage. LESLIE,frustrated: Why aren't "civil unions" and "domestic partnerships" enough for these people! They confer exactly the same rights, but give all the politicians a fig leaf to hide behind! No, they want the word "marriage"! These married gays won't be content until they destroy everything we have, will they? HENRY: It's already happening. Once Steve and Ted went to Toronto and actually got married, well, I realized that the institution of marriage was such a joke that I've had one affair after another. That woman in Chicago. The TV writer in LA. Those two runaway teenagers in Vegas. It was easy. All I said was, "Hi, my name is Henry and a married *** couple just moved in next door." LESLIE: That's a pretty good opener, I admit. HENRY: You have no idea. *** marriage has been the best thing that ever happened to me. LESLIE: And our marriage...? HENRY, matter-of-factly: Oh, it's over, baby. LESLIE: Oh, woe is me. I can't believe that my perfectly normal heterosexual marriage is going to end in divorce! Just like Ben and Jane, Tom and Janet, Carl and Evelyn, Albert and Nicole, Len and Maureen, Gary and Yolanda... HENRY: ...Paul and Regina, David and Helene, Bruce and Ilene... ANN: ...Juan and Sophia, Ricardo and Vicki, Martin and Ophelia... LESLIE: I bet none of them ever would've gotten divorced were it not for this *** onslaught! HENRY: It's too late, honey. The very existence of *** marriage makes it impossible for me to be married to you anymore. If two *** people can make a contract to spend the rest of their lives together, we heterosexuals can look forward to nothing but an endless series of meaningless affairs that lead towards no lifelong commitment. Certainly you understand? (beat) So, um, don't you have somewhere to be right now? LESLIE: What? (Looking at ANN) Oh, yeah, right. I'll see you later. Damn married gays. LESLIE exits. HENRY and ANN begin cuddling again. Gersh Kuntzman is also Brooklyn Bureau Chief for The New York Post. His website is at http://www.gersh.tv ? 2004 Newsweek, Inc. Another tongue-in-cheek look at the phenom.