By the left ...
December 31, 2006

The 14 Things That You Will Never Hear Your Spouse Say

The Family Law and Divorce Sub-Committee of the Canadian Bar Association has produced recommendations for amendments to the Divorce Act, suggesting an expansion of the grounds for dissolution of marriage. It seems that an increasing large number of spouses of pipers and drummers has expressed deep disenchantment with spousal partners, but the cause of their misery does not fall within any of the recognized grounds for divorce – adultery, cruelty, etc.

The proposal would expand the grounds to include excessive participation in piping and drumming, such as to render continued cohabitation intolerable. The difficulty appears to be striking appropriate definitions of “excessive” and “intolerable.”

The Sub-Committee sought input from one of its members who happens also to play in a pipe band. Unfortunately, it appears that this person has not taken the assignment as seriously had been hoped, and below is the rather flippant, if not cynical response received.

The 14 Things That You Will Never Hear Your Spouse Say

  1. God, I love it when you practice in the living room.
  2. Honey, why don’t you take an extra $50 for the pub after band practice?
  3. No, of course I won’t mind having some of the band members stay with us for the summer.
  4. I sure miss the old days. Can’t you go back to sheepskin and that lovely smelling seasoning? It was so much fun when you’d jump on the bag and the corks would pop loose sending jets of the stuff all over the walls and ceiling. What a laugh.
  5. Not at all sweetheart. Why would I think that 2 a.m. is a bit late to come home from band practice?
  6. When you’re writing the drum scores, could you actually play on the drum and not the pad? I can’t pick up the subtleties even though you play the thing several hundred times.
  7. You’re right – your music is a part of who you are and I knew it when we got married.
  8. I’m sure the kids don’t mind you being away every Sunday, and every weekend all summer – I know I don’t.
  9. It’s wonderful how all the kids have taken up pipes and drums – it adds so much fun to our home.
  10. I find it so soothing when you practice taorluaths for 15 minutes straight – who needs melody when you’ve got that?
  11. Don’t be silly – what’s a couple of hundred bucks in gas a month to get to practice. We’ll just tighten up on food and other stuff.
  12. You know about this pibroch thing? I don’t find it boring at all – it’s hypnotizing.
  13. Sweetie, it’s okay to sulk and pout for days when your band loses. It’s not just a hobby after all.
  14. I love you just the way you are – especially your instrument.


Having experienced a variety of piping diseases in his time, Bill Livingstone’s ongoing affliction is his Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band. A lawyer who often misrepresents himself through complete silliness, he stresses that none of the above applies to him.




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