John Thomas was one of the most unfortunate men on the swank and trendy block between 3rd and 4th street in Northern California. In his unsuspecting and callow young age, he allowed himself to move into a small two level apartment with his girl, Betty. She truly was a devil; mean, vapid, and an awful person to live with. She did not have an iota of respect or care for her long term boyfriend who tried so hard to please her, yet he never got more back than contemptuous disbelief and a loud “This is it? No, this can’t be all you bought me. I’m high class, and this is where you brought me? I’m gonna strike low, just like my momma taught me, you’re a low life, you’re lucky that you got me,” in return for his efforts.
Despite the domestic tension, John Thomas still kept an affectation of peace around his neighbors and friends when he happened to meet them fortuitously in the supermarket or in an equally transient manner. His parents were aware of some unhappiness; they were very punctilious people that could sense something wrong from a mile away, who gently reproved John Thomas, telling him that he needed to leave her, but John Thomas protested, saying he would rather continue to try and ingratiate himself with his girl than leave.
That was in the beginning.
Now, two months later, Betty’s negativity and ingratitude had permeated John Thomas down to the core. The will to leave was growing stronger; he had bit his tongue for so long, he couldn’t hold back any longer. She was yelling at him in a conversation. She shouted at him in the privacy of her home about just how much she hated the date he had planned, calling him no good, lazy, and worthless. John Thomas was numb to the insults, until she topped it all off with “You’re a dead beat, I feel sorry for your mother! If I had time, I’d trade you for another!”
In an unwrought explosion of pain and hurt, John Thomas finally snapped. Using her own poison against her, he shut her up with “STOP. STOP IT NOW. I’m done with you. You’re a two-faced ruthless instigator, you’re a low down, trifling masquerader, you’re a jaded, controlling conversator, this is too much, I’m out I’ll see ya later.” The mood in the living room completely ground to a halt, even the furniture held its breath, waiting for the next move,
John Thomas left. She didn’t like that, but he got his life back. He went back home.
*Cage The Elephant. “Back Stabbin’ Betty”. Melophobia. RCA Records, 2013. CD.