How to keep your Babushka happy, on an infinite budget

Mega Man 4 (1992)

So the question is this: where is Mega Man from? In-universe, I’m talking about now. We know he lives in the future, because proper numbers no longer exist and the calendar eventually tells us it’s the year 200X, although I haven’t a notion how you’d pronounce that.

Mega Man does look like a distinctly Japanese creation, with his big wide anime eyes. And yet the American box arts make him look like something out of a Fallout game, if it were set in the 1980s. So is he American or Japanese, or miscellaneous? Do these countries even exist anymore, in Mega Man’s world? What about France, the UK, Russia?

Well, if this type of thing was keeping you up at night then you need worry no more: fresh from communism, and the fall of the Iron Curtain, and Rocky IV coming out in the cinema and all sorts of other geo-political events of less magnitude, it turns out that Russia exists in the heady world of Mega Man 4 for NES. And wouldn’t you know it, it also turns out that your garden variety Russian mail order bride is an awful lot like Mega Man 4.

No, I’m serious this time. It may be a lot more openly transactional in nature, but an arrangement with a mail order bride is simply just another process that you go through, same as a relationship with any other woman, paid for or not. The rules of play remain simple, though expensive: shut up, pay up and look happy.

Does that sound like a hassle? Well, fear not – we’re lucky that, for your mega trip through Russia, the eight brand new Robot Masters of Mega Man 4 are here to help you get everything together for your big day, and your happily ever after.

First thing you’ll need for your missus is a ring, and that’s where Ring Man can help you. No need for you to spend three months of your hard-earned salary here either, just because some glossy magazine or feminist online puff piece your fiancé read said that you have to. You’re a man, aren’t you? A mega man, at that.

Yes, I know you’d rather not bother with any kind of ring, given the nature of your arrangement. After all, you’re already down a healthy chunk of money from paying for this woman in the first place. But she’s top shelf, you know? Anyway, there’s no point going middle of the road with the ring, as Ring Man will advise you.

You should either get a cheapo ring, so you won’t be too much out of pocket if it all goes belly up. Or bite the bullet and get a rather expensive one, which might cost you a bit of financial pain now, but could save your life if you later need to pawn it in a hurry.

She’ll be needing a honeymoon as well, and where better to take her than Egypt? Actually, without slowing down I could think of hundreds of better locations to take her than Egypt. But Pharaoh Man is on hand here to do you a deal, my friend, and bring you to his home country. So how can you say no?

Arrive in Sharm El-Sheikh to 40 degree temperatures, where she’ll tan an awful lot better than you. You’ll be sweating your proverbials off all day, in fact. At night, you can watch her take a zillion selfies of herself with a shisha pipe, and if you get her bad side then you’ll know all about it.

You must try not to wonder why she’s leaving you out of all these photos, and why many other Arabian gentlemen seem to recognise her. Just stand there holding the camera, on the beach or in the bars or on the yacht, and take those photos of her for someone else to enjoy. That’s what you’re there for, and you mustn’t forget that.

Once you’re back home, you’ll need somewhere to live, but now you really are cleaned out. The only places you could possibly afford are what Dive Man offers you, and the clue is in his name. How does two grand a month for a pillbox in the city centre grab you? Not so much? Well tough, because the only alternative for the two of you is a one horse town out in the middle of the bog.

Actually, there is another grim choice, and that’s to go back to whatever Soviet oblast your black widow wife originally came from. Best of luck presenting that one to her, though. She’ll hit you with one of those withering looks, like you’d just badmouthed glorious Stalin.

No, go for the crappy accommodation here, where hopefully you can work from home and save some money, because she’ll be racking up some pretty high bills herself on top of the rent. She may even pick up some nasty debtors for you to pay off.

Chores have to be done around the house too, you know, and she’s far too glamorous to do any of that. This is the 21st century, which means now the man can shape up and do it – that’s you. If you think she’ll reciprocate by cooking you up some top-notch Russian grub, you can forget that and all.

If you earn enough money… what am I saying? Of course you don’t, even if you’re on top whack (and you’ll have to be, the prices these mail order companies charge, what a racket), this Ferrari of a wife of yours will be costing you an absolute fortune, for not much practical use.

But if you did somehow manage to have a bit of disposable in your pocket, you could try hiring in some help around the house. Try bringing in Dust Man to take care of the foul dust and cobwebs that will cover so many unloved corners of your house. Sadly, while the top of his head may look like a laundry chute, he ain’t gonna do your clothes. And your wife’s gonna be changing three times a day for her socials, so keep that in mind as well.

And if something needs doing or mending, then don’t even think about getting up there on that extending ladder and breaking your neck by attempting it yourself. You might just find that the ladder collapses when you’re on the top step, while your bride does her best to look surprised.

Get Drill Man in to do any DIY work for you. He’s a good skin, so he might even throw in a free Russian-style throne, with matching Matryoshka dolls, if you ensure that there’s a good drink in it for him. He only takes cash, but he doesn’t accept Russian roubles.

The futures Bright, Man. Or so you think. After the honeymoon itself, you’ll have another honeymoon period for your marriage, when things seem so rosy and you’re all loved up. You’ll actually believe it when she tells you she loves you.

But then it won’t be too long before she’s looking over her shoulder at someone else, while you’re out breaking your back trying to bring home a crust. Unless you somehow manage to strike it very rich very quick, you can be guaranteed that she’ll eventually find her Toad Man.

You know, someone just toady and snide enough to come round and give this bored bit of crumpet what for, or whatever way you’d translate that into Russian. Some lucky Dmitri, maybe even someone you thought was a friend, will be around in your house, in your bed and in your wife, filling his boots.

When you eventually discover your wife’s infidelity, as if you somehow expected loyalty from a price tag, then there’s gonna be trouble. Heads may very well roll, or skulls might be cracked. Skull Man could help you with that, although he can’t do much for you if you get put behind bars after assaulting your wife’s lover.

That’ll be you, the victim of the whole piece, getting carted off to jail. And you won’t be able to bust outta there as easily as Dr. Wily always does either, you can be assured on that.

While all this is going on, your faux blushing bride has the temerity to divorce you, and she’ll somehow get a good deal on it too. This will leave her free to move on to as many men as she wants, perhaps to be found in the sadly inevitable Mega Man 5.

For you, boy in blue, this was an endeavour that really didn’t need to happen. You’ve already had a few marriages, after all. The first one was difficult.  The second was sweet, the third one was pretty good too. But you will need to learn when you have had enough for yourself, comrade.

15 January 2021

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