One night, when my father came home drunk after gambling away his paycheck, my mother (usually quiet as a cotton ball), said simply: "You louse!" and hit him over the head, repeatedly, with a small hammer she grabbed from the utility drawer, while he stood there and took it.
When he finally sat on the sofa, dripping blood all over her plastic slipcovers, my mother put a hat on him and drove him to the hospital.
As shaved patches and stitches suddenly appeared, we told everyone, even family, my father was mugged in the parking lot back of Stacey's, after picking up some aspirin for one of my mother's famous migraines. "They got him from behind," we said. "Never knew what hit him." And nobody was the wiser, seeing as how sweet my mother always was.
When a detective came to the house with a small notebook and a big smile, my mother served him coffee in Grandmother's fancy china and a big plate of her Crunchy Nut Delights.
No perpetrators were ever found.
In the Land of the Free