My wife and I live four blocks away from my mother. I have a little bit of experience balancing one’s mother and one’s wife and not getting crushed by a domestic pincer attack of disastrous consequences.
As any good husband-son will tell you, the best policy is to stay far, far away from any skirmishes between your wife and your mother. Never underestimate the power of “selective deafness.” My wife and my mother can be having a conversation right in front of me, and if I hear something that could lead to conflict, I can “un-hear” statements before they make it to my hippocampus. All I hear is “First-and-ten on the Dallas 40. Manning drops back … incomplete.”
Later I can agree with my wife’s interpretation and my mother’s interpretation with perfect honesty. What do I know? I wasn’t even there!
Of course, such familial gymnastics might not be possible if my wife were a public person. For instance, my mother-in-law lives thousands of miles away. I like that. On the public forum of this blog, all you’ll ever hear me say is “my mother-in-law is the bestest most awesomest person ever! It only took her a decade to learn how to pronounce my name!”
New York comedian Sunda Croonquist apparently doesn’t have my skill for tact. Her act, which has been featured on Comedy Central, apparently contains a number of jokes made at her mother-in-law’s expense.
Is she hoping to get a sitcom? Probably. But instead she’s earned a defamation lawsuit — filed by her mother-in-law.
Ruth Zafrin is the litigious mother-in-law. According to the New York Post:
Ruth Zafrin, of Midwood, claims her son’s wife, veteran comic Sunda Croonquist, has spread defamatory and racist lies about her with the “Take my mother-in-law, please!” jokes that are a staple of her routine….
Zafrin’s daughter, Shelley, and son-in-law, Neil Edelman, who live in Morganville, NJ, are co-plaintiffs.
Furious at being Croonquist’s perpetual punch lines, they seek unspecified damages and want the court to make the comedian remove offensive statements from her Web site, routines and recordings.
I think I’d rather go to Thanksgiving dinner with Colonel Frank Slade than break bread with the Zafrins this year.
Meanwhile, you have to feel terrible for the poor husband, Mark Zafrin. But — as any guy worth his briefs will tell you — when forced to make a call, you side with your wife all the time. No exceptions, no debates, no equivocation. Mark Zafrin is a lawyer, and he apparently got the memo. He works at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger, LLP and is bringing the full weight of that employment to his wife’s defense:
Croonquist — who is being represented by her husband’s New York law firm — has said she will drop offensive language, but won’t pay a settlement.
Yep. Sounds about right. Especially if your wife is as hot as Sunda Croonquist. Your mom brought you into this world, but your wife can take you out.
MOTHER-IN-LAW IN ‘GAG’ ORDER [New York Post]