Like so many others who play matrimonial roulette, my first spin of the wheel saw me nigh on bankrupted, drunk for a year and cursing the marriage vows to hell and back. Nothing new there, I hear all you veterans of matrimonial discord confirm, but before I go any further allow me to offer some humble advice – when your marriage hits the skids, get a new bed-mate in tow fast, works wonders believe me, even if you are drunk most of the time.
So, what’s all this ‘fastest Divorce on record’ all about then?
Well now, as I say my first journey into the twistable bliss called marriage ended up in the County Court, as indeed many of them do. Now you would think that at forty-one, I would have had some mature idea of the risks and pitfalls of such a loving committment – not so, like everyone else who embarks upon this ‘must do’ insanity, I was a daft bugger who sincerely believed that I had met the ‘one’, or God forbid my ‘soul mate’ (the Guardian still uses these two supremely idiotic words of doom, but I suppose they are better than a red and pink explosion from a Clinton Card shop, albeit that both are equally as nauseating).
The above notwithstanding I still choked my ‘I do’- tearfully and full of love I stress! – whilst deluding myself that from that day on life would be a loving merry-go-round of lip to lip breakfasts, clasped hands along exotic shorelines and imaginative exercises with a bar of soap in some four-legged, claw footed Victorian tub.
Now don’t worry, I’m not going to do a ‘self-esteemed’ pitifully ’empathetic’ bleat on you, neither am I going to enter into a pathetic rant about how horrible the missus was etc etc. You see, two years after sharing a bed together we decided (by mutual consent I hasten to add) that we really didn’t like each other very much after all and that was that. If I remember correctly my nighttime flatulence was the straw that finally broke the matrimonial camel’s back but there we are, old habits die-hard and by this time I was forty-three after all. That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it.
So there I was. In the local County Court office demanding a Divorce Petition. All pretty straight forward stuff you will agree, until you take into account the fact that I had consumed a bottle of whisky that morning, smoked a couple of packets of good ‘ole Marlborough’s and tried to find out where the nearest gunsmith’s was located so that I could go and buy a shotgun to shoot the erstwhile Mrs Ruck.
Well, the Court office Clerk observed my swaying, judiciously noted my blow torch breath and quite rightly advised that I seek legal advice. Well, ha ha to that, I knew only too well how much thieving legal bandits cost, so to hell with those pearls of wisdom, the fellow meant well but I wasn’t having any of it.
‘Give me a Petition, please.’ I slurred, ‘and by the way how much does Her Majesty’s Postmaster General cost these days to file it? Worse than bloody lawyers!’
The poor fellow was by this time in a state of flux. I was plastered but still in control – just– and seemed to know what I was going on about. Well, he looked me up and down for about the fifth time and obviously decided that discretion be the better part of valour – I was well dressed, well spoken (again ‘just’) and polite in a shambling sort of way.
The Petition was duly handed over. I withdrew my fountain pen from my inside pocket; Divorce Petitions tend to demand the refined elegance of black ink and the occasional calligraphic swirl, in my view anyway, damn they cost enough!
I opened the Petition and started to fill it in.
19 minutes and 23 seconds it took to complete. I handed it back to the now utterly bemused Clerk (together with Marriage Certificate etc), who took it, checked it over a couple of times in between looking at me with dare I say it, a degree of grudging admiration.
‘Well sir,’ says he. ‘It’s all in order, that will be £150.00 please.’
‘Cheaper than the wedding I suppose.’ I remarked before handing over a cheque, turning tail and walking out in search of that bloody gunsmith’s again – oh and an Off License!
See what I mean about ‘The fastest Divorce on record’?
It’s true too.
PS And do you know what? I’ve gone and done it again! Getting married that is, although I have to say that the present Mrs Ruck is always sneaking off to see a Divorce lawyer, sensible woman. I suspect it’s the nocturnal flatulence again. We never learn do we?