I am sure you’ve seen it in movies and television shows from America. A husband or wife is questioned over the actions of their spouse who has been accused of murder, manslaughter, theft or fraud, or sometimes all of them at once. The lawyer for the defendant, or the lawyer for the spouse – possibly the same person – shuts down the interview straight away and states that their client or the client’s spouse will not be testifying as they are invoking the Spousal Privilege.
I would do that. I would keep my mouth shut and not testify against my wife should she ever me charged with a serious crime. Well at least I would had it been the case that Spousal Privilege was law in this country.
In Australian law, both the common law privilege of confidentiality between married people and the privilege of spouses not to testify against each other were assumed to have continued with the “reception” of English law. On 30 November 2011, the High Court of Australia decided that neither privilege existed in common law. – Source Wikipedia
Well that is a shame. Looks like I’ll have to spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, come clean with the goods. squeal, be a stool-pigeon, spill my guts, sing like a canary, blow the gaff or whatever other idiom you could apply to this situation. Yes, when she’s dragged before a jury of our peers, or even a lowly high court judge, I’m going to have to swear the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…
And with all the laws she’s breaking, it is only a matter of time before I am called to testify…
Broken Law #1: Illegal Use of Heavy Machinery Without a License
When you buy new electrical items it clearly states on the box, the packaging seal or the instructions themselves “read the instructions before use.” I know she didn’t read the instructions for our toaster. She just plugged it it, added the bread and pulled down the handle to make toast. Look, it worked out fine. But I’m sure there are plenty of unlicensed people on the road that are better drivers than those who carry a license. That might be the case, but it doesn’t make it right…
Broken Law #2: Illegal Use of Heavy Machinery
I am sure you’ve seen the symbol on those (mostly plastic) items that state they can be washed in a dishwasher providing they are placed on the top rack only. I am the one who packs the dishwasher each night in our house. I’m a little anal about the way it needs to be done. Last night I was out helping our local community and didn’t get in until 9pm and sitting on the lounge with my wife was our 2-year-old toddler protesting that he wouldn’t go to sleep unless Daddy put him to bed.
I felt the love, I really did. But seeing that I woke at 4am and I was really drained from a busy day at work I told my wife that I would be putting him to sleep with me in our bed, and if I drifted off I’m not going to wake up this time just to come down and pack the dishwasher so she would have to do it. And she did, and I am grateful. But when I opened the dishwasher door to get out my favourite coffee mug, much to my horror there was a Tupperware measuring jug on the bottom rack. Tupperware on the bottom rack? Well I never… Okay, maybe once or twice…
Broken Law #3: Tampering With Packaging
The same toddler mentioned above loves to have some milk before bedtime. Unfortunately as he is dairy intolerant – and I can’t say that I’m happy with these intolerances in our house, learn to love everyone and everything I say – and as a result he has goat’s milk. Unlike the milk that I have in my tea and coffee – good old cow’s milk – which we buy in the 2-litre bottles, his goat’s milk only comes in those 1-litre cartons.
Those waxed cardboard cartons can be quite difficult to open. This I understand. And because of this, the good people in the packaging industry clearly label one side with Push Flaps – OPEN – Right Back and on the other side they simply write OPEN OTHER SIDE, and in capitals just like that. This week we are fine. Last week was the same but the week prior, for some unknown reason, my wife opened the carton on that side that says OPEN OTHER SIDE. Why? What would make a perfectly sane woman* – I’m sure she can’t plead insanity on this – break this law?
Broken Law #4: Illegal Dumping of Toxic Waste
No matter whether it is the carton from the goat’s milk, the plastic bottle from my cow’s milk, or the various cartons from the oat milk, soy, milk, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk or the millions of other milk varieties we have in this house, we are BIG recyclers. Although my wife doesn’t seem to notice that little symbol on our Tupperware that states top rack only, she has a very keen eye for all of those triangular symbols on packaging that state these are meant to be recycled. Well, that is most of them.
Occasionally we get some items that have the DO NOT RECYCLE symbol on them. We also have some plastic bags that are not marked but match those that are on the sticker on the recycling bin that says “do not recycle these.” But they are plastic. And she thinks ALL plastic can be recycled. I support her in her efforts to recycle as much as we possibly can; I will put even the smallest corner of paper in the recycling bin even if the all-waste bin is closer. But there are things I know that shouldn’t make it into our yellow recycling bin. And no matter how many times I try to convince her, wooden ice-cream sticks are not recyclable, but in they go…
Broken Law #5: Illegal Storing of (Other) Toxic Wastes
As I mentioned above, in our house we have millions of alternative milk varieties. It is fine for the milk provided by animals, the cow’s milk and the goat’s milk don’t need it, but with all the other varieties they are clearly marked with Shake Well Before Use. Because these “milks” are mostly water that has been used to wash the products (yes, many of these milks are basically by-products of the processing of their “key” ingredient) and then some have sugar added, there is a separation or sedimentation of the heavier particles and they build up on the bottom of the carton.
For some unknown reason my wife doesn’t shake well before use. This also applies to certain fruit juices, especially those that contain pulp. What happens is, once we are more than half way through the item, at the end there is either a build up of the “milk” solids that stick to the bottom of the carton and can’t be used, or we get a overly chunky drink of 80% pulp in the last glass. It is fine for her in many respects as she waters down her juice; you know how you often ask for drinks without ice so they don’t get watered down on a hot summer’s day? Yep, that’s not for her…
Broken Law #6: Illegal Use of Toxic Wastes
Somewhere on each food item lives a use by date. That’s use by; sometimes referred to as best before (yes I know there is a difference). So she is nowhere in the league of her mother who has items that expired in the nineties in her pantry circa 2009 – before I got in there and did a big clean out – but I have seen her use and tasted the effects of the milk that said “use by the 18th” and my coffee was made on the 19th. I appreciate my coffee being made, but I think she might be trying to kill me…
Broken Law #7: Failure to Follow Instructions
Much like the task of packing the dishwasher, sorting the washing and putting it in the washing machine is mostly my job. But there are occasions when my wife will do it. To her credit, we both share in the delight of bringing it in with a 50/50 split there, but she’s the main folder and “putter-awayer.” Like those kitchen items with the top rack only and the food grade packaging with Do Not Recycle symbols on them, there are plenty of little symbols and statements on clothing.
Cold wash only, wash with like colours, wash before use, hang in the shade; the list goes on. All of the items have something on them but I wonder how many of these are adhered to. I think there are plenty that are overlooked.
Broken Law #8: Facilitating Criminal Activity
So it is time that I turn myself in. I am living with a law breaker, harbouring a criminal, aiding and abetting. I bought the toaster. I installed the dishwasher and washing machine. I but the milks (often). When it comes down to it, yes, I am facilitating criminal activity. I wonder if I can plead insanity…
*Whilst I claimed my wife is perfectly sane, her mother never had her tested so it’s a case for the courts.
What “laws” get broken in your house?