5 Wives, 25 Kids Equal One Big Headache

HARTFORD COURANT

I can't stop thinking about that polygamy guy who was convicted.

Obviously, this boy's family tree never forked. Now, I'm not a lawyer or anything, but five wives and 25 children? What, they don't have an insanity defense in Utah?

That said, it's not the legal but the practical aspects of the arrangement that I am spending way too much time wondering about. Like, say, in the morning. How does the polygamy guy get into the bathroom? I got one kid at home and three bathrooms, and I'm always pounding on doors.

Then there's the multiple-wife thing. A lot of people see this as a good deal for the polygamy guy but a bad deal for his wives. I think just the opposite. I mean, he has:

Five wives telling him to pick up after himself.

Five wives inquiring about feelings.

Five wives asking him to repeat what they just said.

Five wives wanting to share the remote.

Of course, if you have five wives, that means you also have five mothers-in-law. And having five mothers-in-law is like having a 24-hour cable channel dedicated to whom your wife should have married.

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Then there is the constant pressure of special occasions. As studies have shown, having to remember one wife's birthday and one wedding anniversary is a leading cause of burnout among married men. Keeping track of five birthdays, five anniversaries, five previous gifts, five sizes and five favorite colors--not to mention getting all the changing ages and romantic highlights straight--is, well, kind of like asking the male brain to climb Mt. Everest without oxygen. The only thing I can figure is the polygamy guy must have a staff.

Without question, what I wonder most about the polygamists is how they coordinate the marital relations thing. From what I've read, the wives range in age from 24 to 31, which places all of them at their sexual peak. Now, one man and five women at their sexual peak might work--if the man were, say 14, or had been governor of Arkansas. But the polygamy guy is 52.

Still, given that he has 25 kids, you have to assume there is activity. My theory is they use a system similar to the standard Major League Baseball pitching rotation, which means each wife would get the call, so to speak, once every five days. The problem with this type of schedule, though, is that with four days between starts, the wives are going to be fully rested, as opposed to the polygamy guy, who is likely going to be in full arrest.

Right now, the polygamy guy is facing up to 25 years in prison if his conviction stands--and, as far as I can see, the death penalty if it doesn't.

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