CREDOS : Obstinate couple — III

Allan B Chinen

But because the husband’s beard really did need trimming, the barber went ahead and trimmed his beard. Then the barber motioned for money. The husband was silent. The barber became angry and said, “If you don’t pay me, I’ll shave off your beard and cut your hair so you look like a woman.” The husband still did not speak or offer money. So the barber shaved off the husband’s beard and cut his hair like a woman’s. Then he left in a huff. The husband was furious. He thought about all the different ways he would punish his wife. He vowed that he was going to win their bet no matter what. A little while later, an old woman came up, selling cosmetics and beauty treatments. She was nearsighted and mistook the husband for a woman. So she hurried up and said, “Dear lady, what are you doing sitting outside without a veil? Have you no father or husband to take care of you?” The husband thought his wife must be very desperate to try all these tricks.

The old woman repeated her question, then decided that the woman must be a deaf-mute. “My goodness, how sad,” she thought. “A deaf-mute and so ugly, too. Well, at least I know how to make women beautiful.” She took out rouge, lipstick, and powder and put it on the husband’s face. Then she motioned for money. But the husband still refused to say anything. So the old woman reached into his pockets, took all the money he had, and left.

While the husband sat there, thinking of how he would punish his wife for these tricks, a thief came by. He thought it strange that a young woman should be sitting in public without a veil, especially an ugly woman. —