SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
A wedding ring has been getting a lot of attention this week. TheCheeky.com has begun to sell what they call an anti-cheating ring. It appears to be a plain wedding band made of titanium, engraved with big, block letters on the inside that will imprin "I'm married" around your finger. TheCheeky.com, which lists the ring for $550, says with Arnold, Tiger and two-timing IMF guy in mind, we have created this ring for people intent on cheating. So should someone go on the road, nip into a bar, slip off their wedding ring, and try to present themselves as single, bold letters pressed into their longing-to-philander ring finger will proclaim that they're married.
TheCheeky has drawn a lot of public outrage for selling the ring. I'm merely skeptical. Any couple who feels they have to have their marital status branded on their flesh like Texas longhorns, to guarantee good behavior should probably ask themselves if they really ought to get married. Besides, I wonder if this branding ring just wouldn't have the reverse effect. Reille Hunter has written a book - sort of - in which she says that when they first got involved, John Edwards told her he already had three mistresses stationed in Illinois, California and Florida. His claim to having multiple mistresses in states with a plentitude of electoral votes may be merely pre-pillow talk. But the fact that John Edwards owned up to having a three-ring circus in his personal life while he was already married to one of the most admired women in America, apparently didn't deter him - or Reille Hunter - from philandering.
Has it ever? Let's review a little history. In fact, let's just review history. Did Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor really think one another single and unattached? For that matter, did the real Cleopatra think Julius Caesar was a footloose Roman bachelor? Did Anne Boleyn ever bellow at Henry VIII: Married? You never told me you were married. Did Monica Lewinsky think President Clinton lived in the White House just with Socks and Buddy, his cat and dog? Did the Prince of Wales ever tell Camilla Parker-Bowles while they dallied, oh, that indentation around my ring finger? It's from my polo mallet.
We could go on. For some people, wedding rings are merely bells that ring out, yoo-hoo. Now, I don't know if many people will actually order this wedding ring, whatever publicity it receives. Several people have said to me this week: If you're looking for an iron ring to discourage straying, there are better places to put it than a finger.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RAWHIDE")
FRANKIE LANE: (Singing) Yeah, Yeah. Keep moving, moving, moving, though they're disapproving, keep them doggies moving, Rawhide. Don't try to understand them, just rope them through and brand them. Soon, we'll be living high and wide. My heart's calculatin', my true love will be waitin'...
SIMON: Yee-haw. The great Frankie Lane. You're listening to NPR News.