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Fast Fiction: Straying

Would you expect the wife of a brute of an ex-boxer to “stray’’? And if she did, what would be the consequences?

Richard Mallinson tells a wayward tale.

'It's hard to believe,' said Dettle, 'that she's been married to that brute of an ex-boxer for more than ten years and has never strayed.’

'Well,' I said, 'we can't be sure about that, can we?'

'Oh, yes, I think we can,' he said, as if he really knew.

'Do they have children?' I asked.

'No, no children .. . it's perhaps just as well.'

'Just as well?'

'Yes, given the life they lead . . . too hectic for comfort.'

'Perhaps having children would calm them down a bit,' I suggested.

'No . . . they'd just leave them with nannies.'


A few weeks later I happened to meet Dettle again.

'I've been proved wrong,' he chortled as we strolled.

'Wrong about what?'

'About you know who. She has strayed - indeed she is straying - but only with one person.'

He spoke confidently and, I thought, smugly.

'How do you know?' I asked.

'Ah, sorry . . . can't reveal my sources.'


'He's a violent bastard,' said Dettle when I visited him in hospital. 'Who is?'

'Can't you guess?'

The ex-boxer? Good lord . .. have you told the police?'

'No, I told them I was beaten up by muggers.'


When I got to know her, I mentioned Dettle.
'Oh,' she said, 'you mean that old pest who got mugged, do you?'


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