Loyalty, Rivalry, Love, Betrayal and Sports. What more could you want?
|The groundskeeper at Peace Valley Final Rest shook his head at the familiar sight. The same two women at the same gravesite, each grasping an end of a colorful flag in a desperate tug of war. When would these women let the dead rest in peace?
It is sometimes said of two people who are very much alike in temperament and interests but who nevertheless find themselves involved in a feud, that, but for the dispute, they might have been the best of friends.
No one ever said that about Marjorie and Margaret Hunnicutt and no one ever will. And they were the most alike two people you will ever encounter.
They were about the same height, about the same weight, and about the same age. They both had about the same number of grey hairs running through their straight hair which was about the same shade of chestnut brown and about the same medium, shoulder length. They were both passionate about gardening and gourmet cooking and small, yippy dogs. They both looked for the same qualities in a man and, in fact, they both married the same man and he called them both “Marge”.
There was no “first Marge” or “second Marge” as you might expect in a case of divorce and remarriage, for both Marges were married to John Hunnicutt at exactly the same time. It was a clear case of bigamy but not one in which anyone had been able to identify which marriage had occurred first. Both marriages took place in the same city - one at a busy registry office, the other at the private home of a Justice of the Peace. The marriage certificates noted only the date of the ceremonies, and neither Marge would reveal the time of day as each expected the other to claim that her marriage was solemnized just a little bit earlier.
Therefore, both Marges were equally the legal wife and next of kin to John Hunnicutt and both were equally considered to be in a bigamous relationship. At least, that was the decision of Judge Horner, who gave them equal rights to claim the estate that John Hunnicutt had left in his will “To my wife”.
And that is why they each insisted on control over John’s gravesite. Yes, John had done the safest thing he could and died before the Marges could discover each other. And if you thought that nothing could cause more acrimony between two women than the realization that they were both married to the same man, you would be discounting the great emotional investment and loyalty that surpasses even that of matrimonial vows - baseball.
Yes, the horrible truth is that one Marge was a Red Sox fan and the other Marge supported the Yankees. Each Marge insisted that the deceased was a true fan of her chosen team and that only the flag of that team should flutter in the air by his headstone. The flags of one Marge were regularly stolen and replaced, set on fire and cut up into strips by the other Marge. And so the rivalry went on and on with no resolution in sight, since John Hunnicutt provided no hint of preference for either team in his will.
Little did the two Marges know that something was about to happen that would end their feud forever and bind them together in a heretofore unthinkable alliance. They were so busy fighting over one of their team flags, they didn’t even notice the figure in black approach and it took the groundskeeper and the security guard to pry them apart and get their attention. It was only then that they saw the very official-looking man in his well-pressed suit who accompanied a tall, thin woman wearing a long, black dress, black gloves and a black hat with a black veil that concealed the features of her face. Despite the lacy obstruction, each of the Marges was thinking that this woman looked slightly familiar.
“Hello. I am Loudon Snipely of the law firm Hedges, Ditches and Snipely,” the man in the suit said as he held out some very official-looking papers. At least one of the Marges recognized the seal of the court at the bottom and Judge Horner’s signature.
“This is my client, Madame Margery-Marie Hunnicutt, the first and only legal wife of the late John Hunnicutt. Here you will find proof that their marriage preceded both of your marriages.”
“Enchantè,” the woman in black said. She spoke with a heavy accent as she extended a gloved hand. “Monsieur ‘unnicutt was my poor ‘usband. S’il vous plait, call me Marzhe, mon cher Zhohn always did.”
Perhaps they were just in shock, or perhaps they had long grown used to sharing their deceased husband, but in any case, and to their credit, the two Marges seemed to take this news in stride, while never letting go of the disputed flag between them. Neither, however, took the offered hand.
Their composure was destroyed a moment later as the new Marge produced a piece of fabric from her handbag and gave it to the groundskeeper.
“Mon cher Zhohn did not like baseball,” she said. “Oh non, non, non! He loved ze ice hockey.”
When the two Marges saw the big “C” for the Montreal Canadiens on the flag as it unfurled, they looked each other in the eye with true understanding and shared sense of purpose for the very first time.
“Get her!” they both shouted.
Word Count: 912