I know it looks bad. It is bad. This woman is unmistakably not my girlfriend, but yours, and the same can be said of this bed and, indeed, this house. The evidence, I’ll concede, is quite damning, so I’ll spare you any lame excuse. But before you deliver the beating I’m almost certainly due, I urge you to stop, think, and consider some important questions.
Do you really want your girlfriend to see this?
I doubt your little angel enjoys savage acts of violence. So please, think of her. It’s obvious you love her very much. We often remark how sweet and trusting those texts you send her are, and rarely have I enjoyed chocolates as fine as the ones you bought her on your anniversary. Besides, you’ve clearly been going through a bit of a rough patch—do you think this is the time to be going around, beating random people up in front of her? I don’t. I really don’t.
How do you know this isn’t a test?
You have to admit this is a little too perfect—cliché, even. Walking in on a man, right when he’s in bed with your woman, even though he knows your work schedule by heart—why it’s something out of the movies. I could very well be an eccentric tycoon, looking for a good man to give his millions, or some puckish TV personality, trying to catch you at your worst. You may not see a camera, but any decent film crew knows how to hide one. Besides, God’s always watching. Remember him? God? I’m pretty sure he’d be real disappointed if you gave it to me right now, not mention it would put you right out of the running for my millions.
Can you be certain I don’t know kung fu?
You cannot. Do I appear vaguely Asian? I do. Before you begin beating me, consider that I may know some kind of martial art, whether it be kung fu or another fighting style from the Far East with an equally dangerous sounding name. Ever hear of jeet kune do, muay thai, or lo mein? Maybe you have, maybe I’m making these up. Whatever the case, it is entirely possible that I freak out with some killer moves that are very “woah.” We’ve both seen Jackie Chan; I may even use a broom. So ask yourself, angry as you are, “Am I ready to get hit with a broom?”
Could I be a foreigner of diplomatic importance?
If I were, a beating would be in poor form, very poor form indeed. And is that the kind of guy you are, going around trying to make America look bad? I certainly hope not. I know I’ll go out trying to make the country I may or may not come from look good. As unfashionable as it is, I consider myself a patriot, and if that means letting a guy slide every now and then for the greater good, so be it: I love Wherever. I guess the question is ideological: What’s more important to you, beating me, or America?
What if I’m traveling through time?
If I am, such a beating could be tragic, cataclysmic even. What if it turns out I’m that guy who cured polio, what’s-his-name, Salk? Roughing me up would result in a lot of sick kids, and I know you don’t want to hurt anybody—other than me, of course. And if I’m your granddad or something, things might get really heavy. Not only would fighting me produce some troubling paradoxes, it could turn real embarrassing if the stuff I said about kung fu is true. “There he goes,” they’ll say, “the guy who broke causality just to get beat up by an old man.” Think that one over, really think about it, and tell me if it’s still worth it to you. Do be quick, though: I really must be going.