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Getting branded a fool

If you are a man who has ever dated a woman, you have most likely, at one time or another, been plagued by the fear that the woman youre with might be a psycho. (In all fairness, men are typically much more likely to be psychos; we just dont hide it as well as women. And, truth be told, women are usually only psychotic in the first place because men drive them to it.) This phobia, while often irrational and unfounded, is perfectly understandable, having been ingrained in the male consciousness through myth and lore for centuries.The earliest recorded example of the female as psycho would have to be Medea, wife of the Greek hero Jason. According to legend, Jason left Medea to marry another woman, and Medea became so incensed that she not only killed the other woman and the other womans father, but also her own two sons, just to ensure that Jasons bloodline wouldnt continue.Then, of course, theres the biblical tale of Samson and Delilah, which, though not as bloody as Medeas story, is nevertheless disturbing. One can only imagine what Samson thought when he awoke one morning with a crew cut and saw his beloved Delilah standing over him with scissors in hand and a wicked sneer on her face. Id wager the word psycho, or at least its Aramaic equivalent, probably snuck into the conversation.More recently, the psycho-woman archetype has manifested itself in the person of such spooky femmes fatales as the rabbit-stewing Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction and the infamous Lorena Bobbitt of Manassas, Va., who, as you may recall, cut off her husbands penis while he slept and then drove around the neighborhood with it for a while before tossing it out the window.The aforementioned women were wonderful psychos, to be sure, but I think they may have all been outdone by a young woman from New York by the name of Kristina Caban.Just last week Caban, 23, was sentenced to five years in prison for a crime that New York Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus called not remotely justifiable. The crime in question? Caban branded a mans body with a scalding piece of metal because he never called her after they had sex.The story goes something like this: In 2004, Caban met and had sexual relations with a man named Samir Sammy Sara. After their brief tryst, Sara never called Caban again, presumably because he sensed that she had a few screws loose an intuition that ultimately proved correct.Caban, as one might expect, took exception to being spurned by Sara and held the mother of all grudges against him for a full two years before finally seeking revenge. In October 2006 she lured Sara to a hotel room, where her new boyfriend, Robert Testagrossa, and another man used a Taser to immobilize Sara while Caban laughed in his face and kicked him.Then Caban delivered the coup de grce: branding Saras torso with a red-hot piece of wire fashioned into the letter R, leaving him with a permanent and very painful reminder of their ill-fated relationship.For his part in the assault, Testagrossa was also sentenced to five years in prison. The other accomplice, however, remains at large, and Caban has to date stayed mum on what exactly the R stood for.That Caban and Testagrossa would commit such a heinous crime is what many people consider the most shocking aspect of this case, given their respective backgrounds. Cabans father is a retired corrections department captain, and Testagrossas father is the executive assistant district attorney in Queens. I, on the other hand, have a different take on what makes this case so disturbing.Robert Testagrossa is, by all accounts, a man, and, like most men, hes probably wondered at some point if the woman hes with might be a psycho. Well, Robert, heres a pretty accurate way to judge for yourself: If the woman youre with brands the guy she had a one-night stand with for not calling her, you can safely assume that when you break up with her, youre going to end up in a great deal of pain. Im not saying shes necessarily a psycho, but the facts would seem to speak for themselves.Oh, and the R she branded on Saras torso? If I was in your shoes, Robert, I know what that would stand for: Run.

Todd Hartley would like to unequivocally apologizeto every woman hes ever not called. His column runs every Friday. E-mail him your comments at toddmhartley@gmail.com


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