Gambling can save your marriage!

A columnist in the St. Augustine Record has a prescription for women who are dreading the return of football season: gambling!

You can bridge this gap with one of the greatest relationship problem solvers I know: gambling.

Thats right. A few interesting wagers can easily return your family from football fan and widow to weekend playmates.

Heres one: Each of you pick five games a week. College, pro, whatever. Five games, five winners. Doesnt even have to be the same games. Whoever picks the most winners each week is the champ.

Ive seen couples do this and make all kinds of wild bets. Some bet chores. Guys, wouldnt it be awesome to have a beer and watch your wife mow the lawn? Some bets get a little more creative. Girls, how nice does a foot rub from your man sound? Some even involve the bedroom. Use your imagination — this is a family column, people.

The great thing about football is that even the dorkiest expert cant accurately predict every game. So even if you dont know Peyton Manning from the Publix checkout dude, you really still have a shot.

So take heart, football widows, you have hope. Summer might be drawing nigh, but you dont have to be the big loser. In fact, this year you might even come out a few foot rubs and dinners ahead.

via staugustine.com: the oldest city’s home on the Net.

I like that this considers gambling in a broader cultural context. I wonder, though, if the NFL will try to penalize people wagering foot rubs and dinners on the outcome of games. After all, the league has taken a firm stance against betting on games.

The funny thing is that if you consider the foot rubs a service, then technically this is illegal in most states: you are exchanging something of value. Otherwise, you could avoid prosecution for bookmaking by switching from a cash to a barter system. It doesn’t seem practical to me, but I’m sure there’s some financial whiz who could make it work.

Book Review: Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid

Howard J. Morris and Jenny Lee. Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid: The Simple Truth to a Complicated Relationship. New York: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2009. 240 pages.

Relationship books are always popular, and since a flood of books by purported experts hasn’t stopped couples from breaking up, why not a book by a boyfriend/girlfriend pair of comedy writers? This book’s basic premise is its title: women are crazy, but men are stupid. Put less bluntly, women can act irrationally, while men are often incapable of seeing more than the latest sports highlights.

It’s not a novel, or nuanced, view, but Morris and Lee put a new spin on it with their he said/she said style–each chapter by Morris is followed by a rebuttal from Lee. Both writers have some genuinely funny material that you could easily see turning up on a sit-com, as well as some insightful thoughts, like Lee’s epiphany, which came while watching a New England Patriots football game on Morris’s high-end television, that romance is “those moments in life that are in HD.” That’s certainly a language that Morris, and any other empathy-challenged, TV-loving male should be able to understand.

In the book, Morris and Lee tackle many of the major issues in relationships, including the difficulty of maintaining romance and the crippling effect of “grating expectations.” One of the most interesting chapters revolves around Morris’s brave decision to sit though the extended-version DVD of the Sex in the City movie with Lee, in an effort to prove his commitment and willingness to learn.

The tension and interplay between Morris and Lee is the best part of the book, particularly when they both share their perspective on the same incident. In a book like this, the characterizations are pretty broad: any author who reduces an entire gender to a single, over-riding quality (and a negative one at that) isn’t writing a psychology dissertation. Humor is inherently idiosyncratic, so not everyone may find this to their liking. The low point for me might have been Lee’s 12-page monologue about buying a pair of boots. This just didn’t work for me, although your mileage may vary.

On the whole, however, Morris and Lee come across as a likable couple. The reader wants them to be happy, and as we follow them through the conception and writing of the book, we really hope they work out the kinks in their relationship and find a happy medium. For couple who want a humorous way to start a serious discussion about how to make their relationship work better, this is a fun, provocative read.