Now, see: I can tell what you are thinking already, and that's just not where I'm going here.
For those who saw Monty Python's "Life of Brian", the Biggus Dickus scene was one of the classic set pieces, often recited in full at high speed by geeks like certain philosophy professors.
There was this one scene....you know the one. Remember this, with Pilate saying Roman names and the guard trying not to laugh?
Here is an excerpt from the script (scene 12):
PILATE: So, your father was a Woman. Who was he?
BRIAN: He was a centurion in the Jerusalem Garrisons.
PILATE: Weally? What was his name? BRIAN: 'Nortius Maximus'.
CENTURION: Ahh, ha ha!
PILATE: Centuwion, do we have anyone of that name in the gawwison?
CENTURION: Well, no, sir.
PILATE: Well, you sound vewy sure. Have you checked?
CENTURION: Well, no, sir. Umm, I think it's a joke, sir,... like, uh, 'Sillius Soddus' or... 'Biggus Dickus', sir. GUARD #4: [chuckling]
PILATE: What's so... funny about 'Biggus Dickus'?
CENTURION: Well, it's a joke name, sir.
PILATE: I have a vewy gweat fwiend in Wome called 'Biggus Dickus'.
GUARD #4: [chuckling]
PILATE: Silence! What is all this insolence? You will find yourself in gladiator school vewy quickly with wotten behaviour like that.
The fact is, situations like this happen all the time in marriage. Your wife is Pilate (if you don't understand that, you have BIGGUS PROBLEMUS). And you are Guard #4. You must not laugh, or reveal by facial expression that...well, consider two recent examples at the Munger house. (These are both verbatim truth, by the way).
1. My wife: "I saw Eric Clapton is going to be at the RBC Center in October. Do you think the boys (our sons) would like to go? I don't know if they know who Eric Clapton is."
Me: "Well, they like that 'Cream' album a lot. They listen to that all the time."
My wife: "Oh, is Cream playing too?"
Fortunately, I was driving, so I had an excuse to check the left mirror. For about 30 seconds. But you can't just leave the question hanging. "Well, Clapton played with Cream, and sang some."
The point is that, when you are about to burst out laughing, inappropriately, since it would result in you becoming abstinent for a week or more, just say to yourself, "BIGGUSDICKUSBIGGUSDICKUSBIGGUSDICKUS!!", and you will avoiding having to go to gladiator school.
2. All right, so there's the primary threat averted. But you have to be aware that you aren't out of the woods yet. You have to be on the lookout for the DEADLY TOPPER! Consider what Pilate said next, in the same scene:
PILATE: What about you? Do you find it... wisible... when I say the name...
GUARD #1 and GUARD #2: [chuckling]
PILATE: He has a wife, you know. You know what she's called? She's called... 'Incontinentia'. 'Incontinentia Buttocks'.
GUARDS: [laughing] (SENT TO GLADIATOR SCHOOL! DOOMED! DON'T LAUGH!)
So, let's illustrate the deadly topper. Another incident (also reported verbatim). Let's see how YOU do.
My wife comes downstairs in the morning, looking tired. Fortunately, I have made the tea. She gets some tea, and sighs, obviously upset. "I hardly slept. I had the worst dream." She looks at me, expectantly.
"I'm sorry; that's tough when you have a scary dream. It's so hard to go back to sleep," I say, smoothly, giving up on reading the paper.
Wife: "Well, I dreamed that I kept going from room to room, looking, looking. I looked in all my closets." (NOTE: not a dream, entirely. She does have three closets in our house.)
"What was wrong?" I asked.
Nearly crying, she said, "I couldn't find that cute little black top I like so much. I kept looking and looking, but I couldn't find it. How could I sleep after a dream like that?"
(BIGGUSDICKUS!BIGGUSDICKUS!BIGGUSDICKUS!STUDY THE PAPER!)
But, again, you have to respond. I am barely under control, but I keep it together.
"That's a bad dream, when you can't find something. It is upsetting. I'm sorry, dear."
She is studying my face intently, fully aware of her Pilatian power in this case. Then, the topper (and I am NOT making this up): "Well, I was also distracted, because I was being chased by a wild boar. I think it killed me."
WAH! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I lose it. And, of course, staying sympathetic through the "I couldn't find the cute black top" tragedy gets you no credit, BECAUSE YOU LAUGHED AT THE "I was killed by wild boar" topper. WATCH OUT FOR THE TOPPER.
And, for the next week, move over nice dog. A mean old dog is moving in.