Black Widow Chronicles

No-one could make me laugh like Bronnie

Bronson Hart Fargo Jr
Bronson Hart Fargo Jr. 11 June 1957 - 15 January 2010

On paper Bronnie and I didn’t work, but on terra firma we did, and one of the main things we had when together was quick wit and repartee. Lightening quick.

And compared to me, Bronnie was not quick to anger (although when he did get angry, even I knew not to take the piss that day), but even in the middle of an argument a switch could be turned on as quickly as ‘that’ and the tension lit away.

What do you mean I’m getting on your nerves, Bronnie? I’m getting on my own bloody nerves.

You been drinking bleach again, Mel?

A funny guy.

Another of the things which added to Bronson’s comic genius was his ability to keep the straightest of faces when spinning some nonsense or other. Once we were at a stuffy dinner party and no attempts to lighten the atmosphere would knock the stuffiness out of it until someone was foolish enough to ask the innocuous question of “So, how did you two meet?”

Me: Bronnie’s family owned my family, so when it came time I was handed down to him.

Bronnie: That’s right. Melinda, bend over and show them your ownership number.

That was Bronnie. Without missing a beat he could follow my lead, no matter how surprising or what curved ball I threw out. That’s baseball speak in America. I think.

Anyway, we were perverse that way and, again perversely, Bronnie always called me ‘Melinda’ and only ‘Mel’ when he was annoyed with me. Funny how I’ve just remembered that.

Oh, and another time, Bronnie and I were taking an enormous sofa up two flights of stairs (he always took full advantage of my can-do 5ft frame) and the inevitable happened.

Me: Bronson, I need to become one of those soft wives who can’t do a damned thing.

Him: Why, honey?

Me: Because sure as hell they wouldn’t be hauling a sofa as big as my arse up two flights of stairs.

Bronnie: Sweetheart, if this thing was as big as your arse I’d have to get the Lifeboat Boys in.

The inevitable laughter ensues, the sofa crashes part-way down the stairs, and we’re trapped not able to move up, down, left or right…and still laughing.

Happy times.

By no stretch of anyone’s imagination were Bronnie and I the poster couple, but we were a couple who did enjoy each other’s company and is the reason we rarely went away with other people.

So, that’s what I’m remembering this third 15th of January. The day Bronnie’s laughter stopped.