Tuesday, April 23, 2024

THE LOWDOWN – Caught in the slips


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When I fell ill in February, a dutiful daughter loaned me a teeny TV. Recently the wife and I have been taking in an occasional CBC show or part thereof as we enjoy our midnight pints of Horlicks and goat’s milk.
I can’t believe it. Our young people are killing without remorse. Neither young nor very old victims are escaping horrendous deaths at the hands of perpetrators who know that, under some misguided statute of 1994 or thereabouts, they cannot be charged with murder unless they swear beforehand to three judges and the Pope as to their intent to commit such an act.
And, ’midst all this, our national station shows brutal homicides night after night.
Oh well, I figured, the Crop Over feature Festival Stage will bring an end to all the CBC violence. Boy, was I wrong! For imagine who they brought on last Monday night: Haye versus Klitschko!
Not literally, but two equally mismatched opponents – Admiral and Gabby! And the same scenario: Admiral, like Haye, probing Gabby about their previous encounter, taunting him for replies, while Gabby tried to keep his cool: “Admiral, I really didn’t come here to discuss that.”
Admiral didn’t even have the sense to wear an old torn-up shirt in case the rematch resulted in a repeat. I turned off and fled for bed, fully expecting to see the TV in a pool of blood next morning from the carnage. Please don’t tell me how it ended.
Last week, however, CBC varied the menu. With the Strauss-Kahn infidelity fresh in our minds, there was a film about a wife who took that “forsaking all others” marriage vow way too literally. For, after finding out about her husband’s various affairs, she kept him chained in their soundproof basement while reporting him missing to the police.
Eventually he gets away and chains her, then gets himself killed in a car accident. Finally the smart detective fellow finds her in the basement and they declare their love for each other.
Whereupon she chains him so he’ll never roam. . . .
Meanwhile my wife is going: “Yessss!” and avidly digesting all the techniques. Lord, help us!
Methinks, CBC needs to highlight current thoughts on marital liberality rather than encourage dangerous wifely pastimes.
Following Mia’s advice on taking horns, for instance, we have seen Hilary Clinton and now Anne Strauss-Kahn support their husbands and move on. Mme Strauss-Kahn says she’s proud of her husband’s sexual reputation.
The Muslims are going further. In some countries men are being given a grant or rebate, I forget which, to take on extra wives. One wife told the BBC she was in full agreement:
“I’m a doctor. Many nights I have to work [probably at a hospital]. What is my husband to do if he wants . . .? Men are not like women . . . .”
At last! The recognition, and from a medical source, that men need consideration far in excess of what today’s busy business wives can provide. And some acceptable solution must be found if the married couple is to remain the basic unit of society.
I’m not in favour of multiple wives, however. As someone has pointed out, four wives means four mothers-in-law. Lord have mercy! Nor of risking outside liaisons.
At least, not since the wife watched that movie about the fellow imprisoned in his basement, bo’! Nowadays  I jump ten feet every time a chain rattles.
Besides, you may have noticed that far too many of these columns are ending with tributes to departed colleagues. I may soon need my energy for those virgins on the other side.
I started writing for the Nation in April 1989. I soon found myself way out of my depth and in September of that year submitted my final effort with the words: “As my brief excursion into the newspaper columns comes to a close . . . .”
My editor Tony Vanterpool would have none of it. With a few words of encouragement and a “Richard, you got to keep writing till you dead”, he persuaded me to persist.
Blame him, if you like. Farewell, big guy!


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