1. Double kayaks are tricky things to manoeuvre. If they can get through the afternoon without getting so frustrated that they want to rip each other’s heads off, then they have a healthy relationship. If not, more work needs to be done.

  2. Pretty sure Stan’s got it, but it seems one would have to have ridden in a double kayak to get the joke. That’s a pretty risky assumption on the part of the artist.

  3. I’ve never been in any kind of a kayak, but my experience renting a canoe for a two-hour trip with my wife (over twenty years ago) confirms that this would be a pretty good acid test for any relationship. (We’re still together, but we’ve never gone canoeing since then.)

  4. Funny, my wife has been telling me she wants to get Kayaks.

    It’s a trick.

    Of course, one each, not a double kayak.

  5. A friend once told me that wallpapering a room was a true test; Hubby and I had just purchased our first home and were doing that. That was in 1986, and we’re still together, altho we never do any wallpapering anymore. That – and painting – is what professionals are for.

  6. Okay, from what you all are saying, this is quite plausibly something the counsellor might suggest. … Then what is the joke?

  7. This was an instant LOL for me, and I’ve been happily married for almost 35 years. A former CEO once told me that the true test of a marriage was to wallpaper a room together. Same concept!

  8. Speaking of relationship counsellors, is anyone else following the series “State of the Union”? This is a series of ten 10-minute episodes (per series), I think originally just on the web but then picked up for TV. Written by Nick Hornby. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8708280/reference/

    A married couple going for counselling meet at a cafe across the square from the counsellor’s office shortly ahead of their weekly appointment. The show is their conversation and interactions at the cafe in the 10 minutes before heading over for the appointment. In the second series it’s the same general setup, though the cafe is now a somewhat fancy coffee house, and the counsellors are two people, upstairs (an internal staircase) from the coffee house — so the barista points out the stairs for clients going to see “Tim & Cindy”.

    I enjoyed the first series, which aired in spring of 2019, and starred Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd. The second series was released last month (oh, on the 14th Feb.) — all episodes are out, but I have just seen the first two. The couple are Patricia Clarkson and Brendan Gleeson. I think they are laying it on very thick how old-fashioned and hidebound the husband is supposed to be this time. Chris O’Dowd’s character in the first series was given more of a modern touch.

  9. Oh darn, I forgot to make the joke! LAST WEEK for some reason it was hard to search the streaming services for this show “State of the Union”!

  10. “Okay, from what you all are saying, this is quite plausibly something the counsellor might suggest. … Then what is the joke?”

    I think the joke is that a counsellor wouldn’t really suggest this. Putting a couple in a frustrating situation like this (or putting up wallpaper or painting) wouldn’t really be helpful as it would almost certainly lead to a fight or at least bickering. However, as larK suggested, it is definitely a true test of just how much you can take of your partner. Anyone in a relationship has been there. I thought it was funny.

  11. It would be even more dangerous if the couple were to get all “hot” for each other in the middle of the trip. They’d soon learn that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

    (Pun admittedly stolen from a much longer version on MY WORD.)

  12. Thanks Mitch for the original recommendation of State of the Union, we enjoyed it very much. I look forward to watching the second series.

  13. I’ve never removed or hung wallpaper, but I get the joke about a marriage surviving doing either one toigether. You don’tt have to be a white water rafter to get this.

  14. Isn’t the standard version of this these days putting together flat-pack furniture? That would also have the benefit of being something the counselor could observe. Although, I’ve never understood the people who say they can’t figure out the instructions. But then, I was always able to program my VCR too.

  15. In 2020, with nothing else to do, we got a season membership at Charles River Canoe & Kayak. Being heavier, I took rear. Good times on the Charles, Mystic, & lake. I just had to be tolerant of getting splashed during headwinds. Amazing numbers & variety of birds.

  16. DemetriosX: And you probably like airline food, too! You’re a comic’s worst nightmare! Get out of here! And take your wife, too!

  17. Similarly, among cyclists, there’s a saying: Wherever your relationship is going, it will get there faster on a tandem bicycle.

    My history with this: in 1979, I bought a used tandem. My wife said she didn’t want to cycle with me because I was faster, so I thought this was worth a try. In a few months it became clear that whether I was in front, or she was in front, this was not going to work. The experiment was abandoned. But I kept the tandem. My daughters got about tall enough at age 8 to start riding it with me, and it was a way to ask Dad questions without the risk that I’d give them “the look”. Last summer I had my first rides with my grandson.

  18. Didn’t know there was an S2 of “State Of The Union”.

    Loved the first one.

    Best memory of S1 (not verbatim), Louise was asking Tom where he was living.

    “I was staying with Phil, but it wasn’t working so I had to move out”

    “Phil? Ketamine Phil?”


    “You were staying with Ketamine Phil and it didn’t work out? Who’d have thought it.”

  19. To me – If a couple survives the preparing for their wedding and the wedding itself – they have it made.

    Of course in our case we were dealing with being from 2 different religions and having families who did/do not have the same thoughts on matters related to values, marriage and life – such as women being the equal of men and continuing to work and such.

    He agrees that he really should have listened when I wanted to just go and get married and not have the big wedding that he and our mothers wanted. We would have not spent several years after the wedding getting the 2 sides back together again. Though none of our friends won the bet being made at the reception as to how many DAYS the marriage would last.

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