Every night after dinner, Merle took off for the local watering hole. He would spend the whole evening there and always arrive home, quite inebriated, around midnight each night.
He usually had trouble getting his key to fit the keyhole and couldn't get the door open. And every time this happened, his wife would go to the door and let him in. Then she would proceed to yell and scream at him, for his constant nights out and always coming home in a drunken state. But Merle just continued his nightly routine.
One day, the wife was talking to a friend about her husband's behavior and was particularly distraught by it all.
The friend listened and said, "Why don't you treat him a little differently when he comes home? Instead of berating him, why don't you give him some loving words and welcome him home with a kiss? Then he might change his ways."
The wife thought that this might be a good idea.
That night, Merle took off again after dinner. And at about midnight, he arrived home in his usual condition.
His wife heard him at the door. She quickly opened it and let Merle in.
Instead of berating him as she had always done, this time she took his arm and led him into the living room. She sat Merle down in an easy chair, put his feet up on the ottoman and took his shoes off. Then she went behind him and started to cuddle him a little. After a little while, she said to Merle, "It's pretty late, dear. I think we had better go upstairs to bed now, don't you think?"
At that, in his inebriated state he replied, "I guess we might as well. I'll get in trouble when I get home anyway!"