Posted in Guest Contributor, Humor, Views

Triple-Secret Probation

The other day on the radio, the DJs asked listeners to share the dumbest things their spouses had done. I didn’t call in – no need to. Really. *Cough* But I’m glad others did, because it was pretty funny. One lady went out to run errands, leaving her husband in charge of their toddler. While she was gone, the toddler had a blowout diaper disaster. The husband cleaned it all up and everything was under control. *Cough* Only problem was, there were no baby wipes in the house. That’s one of the items she went out to buy. In his world, though, the husband had found wipes, conveniently located on top of the toilet tank. “Those were Clorox. Disinfecting. Wipes,” the wife said. A woman would see the big letters on the container and know that:

Bleach wipesClorox = bleach

Bleach on skin = bad

Bleach on toddler’s skin = really, really stupid thing to do

   But what to do in a situation like that, dear reader? You could scream and holler. Or invoke the Silent Treatment. But guys have this sneaky ability to ignore both of these, and make us think they’re listening. Instead of expending all that energy, I suggest a fresh alternative:

 Put him on Triple-Secret Probation.

  Uncle Sam TSP Think of it as invisible jail. Mentally hiss “You, buddy, are on Triple-Secret Probation.”  And don’t tell him he’s on TSP. Don’t tell him when he’s been released, either. That way, you can keep him on TSP for as long as needed. If he feebly attempts a good act, or 10, you can think about releasing him. Maybe. Take Clorox Dad. Putting him on Triple-Secret Probation means that nothing he can do, for at least a month or two, will fix this. Only his wife’s spontaneous good graces can release him from TSP. In order for TSP to be effective, there are certain guidelines. Putting a man on TSP for leaving his socks lying around the house doesn’t pay. Waste of TSP, because this one’s not going away. Pick your battles, ladies. To help, I give you several times when TSP is deserved:

  1. When he’s left his socks lying around the house. Yes, I know I just said not to bother with this one. But really – it’s never going to stop unless you DO something. TSP to the rescue.
  2. When you send him to the store with a written list, and he comes home with something so ridiculously unclose to the list that it makes your head spin. Automatic, immediate TSP.
  3. When he eats the last piece of cake and leaves an empty, crumb-filled container sitting there along with a forest of crumbs scattered across the countertop. In fact, the dishwasher is so close it could snap his arm in half if the door closed on it. This one deserves a lengthy TSP.
  4. When he leaves used dental floss lying around the house, like my friend’s husband. Dental FlossTheirs is the house of Eternal Dental Christmas, with floss hanging like tinsel from the doorknobs. You’d think Matt would use one of the many decorative trash receptacles Kari has thoughtfully set out, but I guess they’re too close to the floor and skip his radar. Bad, bad, bad.

To be fair, we should talk about times when TSP is utterly useless. This depends on your man and the situation.

  1. When you’re out of GPS range, hopelessly lost in a neighborhood where you swear you heard gunshots, and your man still refuses to ask for directions. He won’t. Ever. That’s because he’s convinced that you’re only minutes away from your destination. Even if it’s two states away.
  2. Man Sick
  3. 2. When he’s sick. TSP is a complete waste here, because when men are sick, they can’t think about anything else except being sick. Or whining about being sick. Or speculating about what got them sick in the first place. Hack. Hack.

Ladies, Triple-Secret Probation is your weapon in this war. Use it as often as needed to keep your sanity and your voice, and keep your man wondering what he did wrong. He’ll never guess, and you can have the smug satisfaction of knowing you nipped this sucker in the bud without wasting an ounce of effort.


14 thoughts on “Triple-Secret Probation

  1. My wife is going to be upset with you. I have the feeling that TSP becomes less effective upon discovery by the victim.

    I was recently placed on TSP for leaving a damp washcloth in the kitchen sink. Then I was forced to employ reverse-TSP countermeasures upon discovery of spilled prescription meds on the floor that were accessible by our cats. Pro tip: Feline side effects aren’t a lot of fun.

    We’re deep in the TSP meta-game now.


    1. That’s what makes this so tricky! TSP loses its effectiveness as soon as you guys find out. Sigh.

      But reverse-TSP countermeasures??! This sounds like a mild form of espionage! Could there be such a thing as Quadruple-Secret Probation? Keep me posted…(And squeeze out the washcloth and hang it up, for Pete’s sake!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I must rush in here in defense of Mr. Shout. Where else would one PUT a damp washcloth but in the sink? This sounds like a bad TSP call. I’d ask for an official review of the replay.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Did Shout get TSPd because the washcloth was in a damp, stinky heap at the bottom of the sink? Or did he at least attempt to place it nicely over the thingy that divides the sink? (After using his manly muscles to squeeze out any remaining moisture, of course…) Which is it, Shout?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. My problem is my hubby wouldn’t even notice he was on it. Maybe I’ve been doing this, without naming it, too much already. Overuse may dim the effectiveness as a behavior control tool, hmm?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, that does happen. My friend’s hubby is like this – he could spend months, nay, years, on TSP and be completely unaware of it. You might need to be a little more obvious about your Behavior Control Modifications. Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Is there another level when your man does not one of the above but all four? Because I may need help. Or a good divorce lawyer.

    Kidding. I think. Hmmm…

    Nice guest post. You’re welcome here any time. *big grin*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, there are infinite layers of TSP. Isn’t there some new kind of math that doesn’t even use numbers? I think we can pick a TSP-related term from there and really crank this thing up!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that TSP may have been misdiagnosed by scores of men over the years. Since there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it, and until this morning, it’s been top secret, many of us knuckle-dragging, imbecilic penis owners have been calling it MWIBAB.
    On a side note, if one of you brilliant women could just teach the vibrator to mow the lawn, us guys would be extinct.
    I tease of course, life in a home with one of you beautiful, mysterious creatures is pure bliss, regardless of your penchant for cryptic punishments and sending us grocery shopping with intentionally vague lists.
    “Oh! you meant smoked paprika, and I bought the Hungarian kind?! I swear honey, I don’t know why you put up with me!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, our punishments certainly must seem random and cryptic at times. But since I let the cat out of the bag with this post, I only hope it helps you. Don’t forget – there’s also Hungarian Half-Sharp and California Sweet paprika, so try to keep it straight, buster… 😉


  5. I sent my husband for lettuce once and he returned with cabbage. I sent him for cucumbers and he returned with zucchni. Which I promptly turned into the most delicious zucchini brownies/ Which I ate in front of him. TSP, I love you.

    Liked by 2 people

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