Not So Much A Kept Woman…

As a preserved one.

I am not sure I have ever met a kept woman. At least none have ever admitted to the fact – and there have certainly been no receipts or account books on the table. Yet, I suspect that there may have been a few cases…

And not just kept women – kept men as well. I’m darned sure I know a couple of those. And fine fellows they are. I should welcome the chance to join their ranks, if the rest of my family would sign off on approval.

The concept of keeping someone is as old as the sexual urge. That’s what it amounts to in the end, and any nonsense about meetings of the minds and artistic muses can be blown up the chimney as so much smoke. There is a quid pro quo and if this involves fishnet stockings and champagne suppers so much the better. In some cases the ladies can wear the stockings…

Is it legal? Sometimes…if the transaction is adequately reported to the taxation department and no attempt made to disguise the cost of the stockings as a work-related expense.

Is it moral? Yes, of course. Everything is moral if you look at it the right way. Just turn your head sideways and squint.

Is it safe? Sometimes…relationships that are entered into loosely can be exited in the same way and sometimes they are more of an intersection or exchange station than a fixed establishment. Beware those arrangements that are so open as to permit anyone to enter.

Is it aesthetic? Well, that depends upon the parties involved. There have been more instances of frog princes than toad princesses, but it so much depends upon where the money is at any one time. It is rare for a frog prince to be kissed by a frog princess, and when it happens all you ever get are pollywogs.

Is it fun? We are led to believe it is, if we read the literature. But reading further may uncover the exploitative nature. This can be seen from both sides; I recommend reading Zola’s novel ” Nana ” for  a view of the thing. It has a weak ending, but a powerful mid-piece.

Can anyone join in? Well, considering that you need money or beauty, not everyone is free to participate. You may have neither, in which case you are better off finding true love or at least a consuming hobby. If you have both, you are in the cat-bird seat to command others. If you have one or the other, it can be sold advantageously.

What if true love intervenes? Well, then all bets are off. Cupid and Venus are the most fickle of influences and they can spoil lives as well as plots. ” Beware ” sounds trite, but beware…

Final advice. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, followed by Anita Loos’ books. A man’s best friend is a dog and a gun, provided it is duck season. Couple if you must, with or without commerce, but reserve some time for rest and recuperation. And never put anything down in writing.

The Key To Happiness Is…

What? You expect me to tell you? How the hell should I know what your key to happiness is? I’m not you.

My happiness? Toy airplanes and rum toddies and pinup girls. Hardly do for you…I don’t think you could build a toy airplane if your life depended upon it. You need entirely different keys. The only thing I can help you with is to tell you where to look for them.

Where you left them, dummy. They will be where they were before you went off and started scrabbling for a living. While you still had it all before you to do, the things that you loved to do were your key. Now that you have been doing the no-fun stuff for years the old keys may seem rusty or inadequate…but they still fit the lock. Time to polish them up and give it a try.

Were you an explorer and traveller as a kid? If you were and hated it, stay home and be happy. If you loved it, go out the door and don’t come back in until way after dark. When the world opens again, stay away overnight…then the weekend. Then go anywhere and you’ll be happy.

Did you love to read? You can join multiple ending libraries, haunt bookstores, build your own library. You can write your own books – journals if you are shy, or novels if you are not. Remember that you can tell lies as well as truth when you write so take yourself seriously.

If you wanted to paint, go buy the fanciest and most useless box set of paints in Jacksons and burn canvas. Or go sketch live models at a class. Or get a camera and take pictures…I promise you it will seem easy until you try to get better.

Nearly every division of human endeavour can be done to some extent, and there can be happiness found within the boundaries of that pursuit. And you can tailor the key to suit the lock perfectly.

Succession In The Non-Royal Family

Royal and Imperial families with multiple children sometimes have a great deal of difficulty sorting out who gets to control which asset and who gets to participate in which scandal – but in the end there is usually some iron-bound law that will line up the necks upon which the monarch may step.

We in the common herd have very little of this – there are laws that divide up property after the death of the head of the family, but they are chiefly economic provisions for the welfare of the spouse and any dependent children. There is no provision whatsoever that demands public love, respect, or obedience from one descendent to another. Those not willed money or assets don’t have or get to do anything else, social or civil.

The hope of inheritance makes scions more polite, helpful, and respectful – at least until the lid slams shut. The wise ancestor would do well to remember this and to make sure that the kiddies know it. The even wiser ancestor fees a trusted law firm to make sure that no-one opens the purse too early. The wisest of all makes sure that all the cash and property is gone and the only thing left is a mountain of debt.

Which they can distribute in the will – so much to be paid off by this one, so much by that one. It is a twofold legacy; both the descendant and the debtor are distressed. If you can roll both into one and have someone struggling to pay themselves off, you become the stuff of legend.

 

Don’t Mind If I Do…

That’s a persistent buzz phrase and meme that we use whenever we luck into something. We discover a free feed or booze-up – a discount or special price – or a chance to have a good time. It’s a cheerful event, and we’re celebrating it.

But what if other people mind if you do? Even if it is none of their concern, your good fortune is a canker to some folks. While they might not go out of their way to be mean to you, the sight of you having a good time is and unpleasant reminder that they’re not.

We may never know of their distaste. It’s not something that they bray about, unless within the safety of their own computer they can be snarky and anonymous at the same time. If we never see their feed, we may go through life not realising their enmity. The best thing to do is to be philosophical about it…as the late Eugene V. Debs admitted – ” You can’t displease all of the people all of the time. “. Accept the fact that there are secret haters out there that you’ll never get to know about and just be grateful for the sound of teeth grinding in the dark.

Note: When Fate, Heaven, and serendipity combine to supply you with a Boston Cream Pie just when you are hungry and you find a fork ready to hand, you would be a churl to refuse the treat. Accept that good things can happen to bad people like you and just eat the pie. Or throw it, if you get half a chance.

The Dating Site

I do not concern myself with dating sites. I am married and have been for 47 years. And 47 years’ll date you, I can tell you now…

But I am acquainted with people who have participated in this sort of electronic crown and anchor wheel. They are the equivalent of optimistic gamblers, right up to the point when they get thrown out into the car park. They bring much the same attitude to the dating site.

Of course this sort of thing is not new – mail order brides and husbands have existed ever since people learned to write lying letters. And in the old days, the process was dead serious. Both parties knew that the business of acquaintance, courtship, love, and marriage was likely to be written in a Sears catalogue – not a romantic novel. They both invested everything they had in whatever they got.

Now it seems a lot lighter in tone – and a lot more automated. I am told there are dating apps for your mobile phone and you peruse a menu or a womenu and take your pick. At the same time, the pick is looking at your picture and trying to see around the Instagram filter to find out if you have both ears on one side of your head. You are allowed to swipe right or left. Presumably the thing is not so advanced that you put coins in and the loved one drops out of a slot on the phone, but designers are always at work…

Is it romantic? In a way, yes…because the amount of footling and distortion that goes on with internet images means that anything you see is about 146% fantasy. You are mooning over pixels.

Is it practical? Possibly…if you advertise the desire for a stinker of a mate, I’ll bet you’ll get one. Can’t complain about the service there.

Is it safe? No. If you wanted safety you could sit at home and read a book about it.

Is it fun? I don’t know. Fun may have changed somewhat in 47 years and I might be using a very old operating system. Don’t ask me to update it.

Sex And the SIngle Maniac

Enough has already been written about sex and marriage, before, during, instead of, and despite. Also love, which has more variations still – and some of them far less appetising. All these stories have been put out as healthy exercises for normal people – it is nowtime to formulate a workable sex code for maniacs.

The very words ” Sex Maniac ” have gotten a bad name of late, as Hollywood producers and religious figures are hosed off and hauled off to the slammer. In most cases this results in money for lawyers, which suggests that sin is gold that can be hydraulicked off the prominent like gravel off a hillside. I wonder if there are robbers who rifle legal sluice boxes…? And how do the rightful owners of the proceeds of public virtue know when to pull up the cleats and pan the results?

But back to the subject. To be a maniac you must be manic – a word that apparently means wild and frantically busy. As we are always being urged to get busy at work or school and to hurry up with everything we do, it’s hard to see how this suddenly becomes wrong. Perhaps it is the sex part that sours it. Perhaps the critics are really trying to make us slow down…which begs the question why. For their enjoyment…or to let them get a closer look…or to give time for the lawyers to arrive?

Would we do better to substitute other words for “sex” ? Not euphemisms like ” rumpy pumpy” or ” relations ” or any of that verbal footling. No, I mean substitute things like ” tennis” or ” woodworking ” for ” sex “. The thought of a tennis maniac or a woodworking maniac is actually pretty terrifying; one armed with a racket and the other with a set of sharp wood chisels. The poor old sex maniac is just hobbling along with their pants down around their knees while the other two are wading through a crowd striking right and left.

Of course one could always do the clever thing and change the word “maniac ” to “addict “, then call in the therapists and talk-show hosts. Far easier to travel the publicity round and appear in the supermarket tabloids as an addict than a maniac. And as soon as you beat the rap you can go for rest cures in resorts.

Who knows, you might meet someone nice…

Do We Know Who Our Enemies Are?

And I am not talking about political enemies, class enemies, or national enemies…You can leave those to the government to deal with. They’ll make ’em for you and then arrange for you to meet them when it is most inconvenient.

I’m not even including hostile institutions or businesses – the organisations or groups that plot your destruction during secret meetings in dark caverns. These are a normal facet of life.

I’m thinking about personal enemies – private individuals who hate you. People who would get at you if they only could. They come in different varieties:

a. Someone whom you have wronged. Stolen their treasure, perhaps, or murdered their father in a duel. Seduced their wife/husband/partner/lawnmower man. These are persons who contemplate a blood feud but cannot decide yet which of your veins to open.

b. Someone whom you have done a favour or service for. This can be a potent source of enmity, particularly if the good deed was observed by others and required an equally good deed in return…that was never done. Your enemy is enclosed in a guilt-edged cage.

c. Someone of whom you have been contemptuous. Even if this is no more than a word or a glance, you can be sure that it is the deepest poisoned cut of all. If you have made your contempt amply plain in public, expect no abatement of their anger.

d. An ugly person, if you are beautiful, or a beautiful person, if you are ugly. Whatever a mirror might reveal, your enemy can see themselves in you, and they hate what they see.

Now, what do you do about enemies?

If you cannot think of one, leave it go at that. They’ll still be there, but if you don’t see them, it’s like having mice in the wainscotting.

If you suspect someone is an enemy, go to them and ask them if they are. If they aren’t, they’ll say ” No ” and if they are, they’ll say ” No”. Then they’ll ask you why you asked…and you can tell them that you were worried about it. Then they’ll have to start being overly friendly to defuse the awkward situation. Make them pay for coffee.

If you have proof positive that someone is an enemy, treasure this. An enemy is a very valuable person. They will always be interested in you and the best ones will know where you are at all times. You can ring them up and they’ll always answer – try this at 3:00 AM and see how true it is. Remember that as you are their enemy they worry about you far more than anyone else does.

Sort of touching, in a way.

Are You Sorry You Never…?

Yes. and no. When I consider the possibilities of what I might have done…or had done to me…I figure it is about a draw. I have never been as happy or as miserable as I might have been. Not that I did not try.

We can all remember chances we could have taken that would have resulted in vast wealth, fabulous sex, and untold acclaim.  The land we could have bought for a song, the partner we could have bedded, the position we could have stood for and won. But we have to be honest – if we pass the same period of time through our memory we can also list junk bonds and properties that we passed by, people who have turned out really rotten, and ventures that have proven to be toxic to all concerned. If we missed some, we at least avoided the others.

It’s been a constant meme that the saddest phrase is ” If Only…” but this is a crock. The wise person remembers the mixture of events and benefits greatly from the warm glow – in some cases of nostalgia and in the other of burning wrecks. In both cases you benefit from being far away and long after. Just remember the dumb thing and do the smarter thing next time.

But, but, but…what if there is no next time? What if you fetch up on the wrong side of 70 and all the bikini girls are 18? And what if there is no more land in Dalkeith for 5 Pounds? And you have retired from the Association Of Veeblefetzers long before you could become president and reap the bribes? How can you stop the gnaw of regret? Easy. Remember then, if you wish, and then look at now realistically.

Talk to an 18 year-old. If you can get them out of their iPhone long enough. Ask them about music or the movies. Be prepared to grit your teeth and/or other parts of your anatomy at some of the answers. Let’s face it – you’ll be lucky to resist the urge to order the kid off your lawn!

Fabulous land bargains? They come with fabulous land taxes and/or dealing with contractors to develop the dirt. They are the start of decades of worry, culminating in the fear of capital gains tax. You’ll get a six-foot plot of land soon enough…

Position and power? Over whom? The sort of people who have meetings, seminars, and workshops? The committees and subcommittees? The Annual General Meeting? You could wash out stale yoghurt containers and have more fun than occupy most powerful executive positions.

So do not regret. Leave that to others. If you enter into the thing at all, opt for being the person who makes them sorry for it all.

 

 

 

” I’m Not Happy…”

Once upon a time my father put a set of plans for his new house in to the local shire for approval. It was a good design and quite legal – though it was an unusual configuration for the time. The clerk behind the desk shook his head and said he wasn’t happy about the ideas he saw on paper.

My father wasn’t offended. He asked the clerk to show him the local building statute that referred to the clerk’s happiness…There was a the sound of growling and rubber stamping and the house is standing and serving me 44 years later. I cannot say what the state of mind of the clerk is – perhaps he cheered up in retirement.

Similarly, I have noted that many people behind counters are not happy. Some, because they are there, and some because I am there. I have learned to do my best to alleviate their gloom by smiling and making whatever request I have small and easy to accomplish. This works well in delis and banks – a simple request for a pie and sauce in the one or a small note demanding cash for the other is all that’s needed. And keep your finger pointed in your coat pocket when you ask.

If you are not happy at home, the onus is generally on you to remedy this. The way you do that can be manyfold – study, work, singing, hobbies, thinking – they’ll all serve to lift your gloom. If your unhappiness is due to another, simply remove them from the home and have the locks changed. If all else fails paint them a bright colour and decorate their edges with chrome trim.

The Fast Life In The Slow Lane

I try to hit all the stops. And then I really do stop.

Like last Sunday – I was jerked bolt upright at 8:30 AM by the realisation that I did not have to go to work in the cotton fields. Of course we don’t live in Mississippi and I’m retired anyway, but there was still that feeling. And once up, you can’t go back to sleep. The cat will make sure of that.

Then it was off to the shower, the shaver, and the sh….umm..let’s change the subject.

Breakfast. They say we must start the day with a substantial breakfast. Toast is substantial. So is oatmeal. So is rum and motor oil, for that matter. Don’t get near me when I burp.

Out to the Little Workshop. On with the radio. Olde Tyme Wireless from Wireless Hill. So you can avoid the horrid music of millenials by listening to equally vacuous stuff from  baby boomers. And it is true that we pluggers can identify a piece of music from the first two notes – if it is one of the only three that the station owns and plays repeatedly. Anyone fancy a Walk In The Black Forest?

Lunch? Don’t mind if I do. The chicken and celery soup is attractive, seeing as it is left over and doesn’t need any effort to heat up. No-one else in the family will eat it, so I get as much as I want.

Shall I work or shall I nap?

And dinner. I must prepare dinner. Fortunately there is an electric oven and as long as you let things cook over a slow heat they will be fine. Too many people think that an fan-forced oven run at welding temperature will be more efficient, but they are eaters for efficiency, and are welcome to it. I cook for flavour, and if this takes 3 hours rather than a blowtorch, so be it.

And the dinner need not be hurried when it is ready. It’s Sunday night and the family is home and there is nothing more important to do than the roast and three veggies. And the glass of red wine. And of course one must not drive or operate machinery after this. Safety in all things.