One of the most bizarre incidents to have surfaced in this place we call home reared its ugly head last week. It did when a story titled “Angry wife pours boiling water on sleeping husband” was published on the front page of your Samoa Observer last Wednesday.
Naturally it attracted a lot of attention. Which was hardly a surprise.
You see we read about this stuff happening in other countries all the time and we’d never imagine that it could happen in peaceful Samoa, let alone in the Christian state that we have become.
And over the years, especially in this age of wonderful technology, we’ve seen some crazy stuff happen between husbands and wives overseas, including instances where women have gone as far as to forcefully remove their husband’s private parts. Ouch.
The reasons vary but it almost inevitably comes back to an unfaithful husband who has been caught one too many times by an enraged wife or partner.
Let’s be absolutely clear here. There are no excuses for violence of any sort, whether it’s committed by men or women. We believe that violence does not solve anything; it only leads to more hurt and sadness.
But sometimes men and boys would do very well to put themselves in the shoes of women who are abused and cheated upon. Being humiliated, betrayed and lied to hurts and it cuts quite deeply until it reaches the point where they are forced to do the unthinkable.
But it’s not just unfaithfulness that leads to such violence.
We’ve seen cases where women have had absolutely enough of being abused physically and emotionally. There are cases where she and her children have been tormented beyond measure, which has left them on the verge of breaking point. It is when they reach such extremes that they would react.
Which is an important point for men to note.
A new generation of women is rising in this country – and elsewhere. They are the types who will not tolerate the abuse, violence and being cheated upon. They are the types who will not put up with being tormented and having her children put under duress and threatened. She is the type who will be strong enough to speak her mind and if you push her hard enough, she is not afraid to retaliate.
Violence, unfortunately, is one of her options.
Getting back to the case in question, we don’t know what exactly happened.
On the front page of the newspaper you are reading is a picture and the story of Otto Felise Wulf who is mighty grateful to be alive. A mechanic by profession, he said what happened was totally unexpected. All he remembers is that he was drunk.
“I got home and jokingly told my wife to ‘boil some hot water to make some noodles for the chief’,” he said. “The next thing I fell asleep while sitting. Then I felt this sharp sensational pain on my scalp. When I jumped up, I found that the hot water had been poured on my head and it spilled on to my face, chest and on my stomach.”
He spent several days fighting for his life at the hospital. The Police are investigating and as they say the rest of the story is history.
Otto, however, has admitted that the incident is a wake up call.
“The near death experience, while an unpleasant experience, is a wake up call to say the least,” he said. “What I mean is, don’t take life for granted, you never know what tomorrow may bring.”
We are interested to know what the “wake up call” was for.
The good thing is that he said what had happened has allowed him “to put a lot of things in perspective with my life and especially for my children.
“So now, all I am focusing on is getting my strength and working even harder to care for my children and I am not bothered with what the rest of the world say. I am just thankful to be alive today.”
We are thankful too that Otto’s life has been spared so that there is a positive spin to a rather bizarre incident.
And what is that positive, you might ask?
Well the mere fact he has admitted that his perspective about life has changed for the better is a good start. Some lessons can only be learnt the hard way. And while not many of us – or perhaps none of us at all - will know what it feels like to have boiling water on your skull after a few beers, we are pretty sure such a painful experience will change our perspective of life quite quickly.
It is a known fact that women and girls are victims of abuse and domestic violence in most cases – probably 99 percent of cases. This is a tragedy.
Here today, we repeat, we do not promote or tolerate violence as a solution to our problems. What happened to Otto should never be allowed to happened to anyone else, man or woman.
But there is a lesson in everything. For this one, men might want to remember a famous phrase coined by William Congreve, in the play The Mourning Bride. He said: “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” So be careful boys, you have been warned.
Have a wonderful Tuesday, God bless!