San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Falling Out for a Change

Obverse, who is pushing 80, came rushing up to me in the MicroSuper last week, wearing a long face.

“Jackson, I’ve got to see you urgently,” he whispered in my ear.

Obverse has a bad case of halitosis, so I stepped smartly aside, saying, “Obverse, you know my principles; if it’s a case of life or death, I can give you five minutes in my surgery at 4 p.m. tomorrow. Otherwise, make a proper appointment with my receptionist.” And I fled the scene, without even making a purchase.

Obverse appeared at 3:45, but I am a kindly man, and let him in myself. He wasted no time.

“Jackson, “ he exploded, “I’m desperate; I’ve stopped falling in love!” Here, I should tell you that Obverse has been falling in love at least once every year since he was 14. You may smile, but actually it is a serious condition, deserving careful treatment, as the sufferer can neither eat nor sleep until his longing is satisfied, following which he returns to his previous occupation, which in Obverse’s case is counting his money, until the next attack.

It also bears mentioning that Obverse was married six times prior to his 50th birthday, but having dissipated half his fortune in separation payments, he now enters any new relationship on the strict understanding that it will not continue for more than one year.

The surprising thing is that any number of women happily agree to this absurd proposition, presumably in the belief that he will withdraw it once he has experienced the strength of their passion. Of course, it has never yet worked out, but at least they get a luxurious life for a year and a generous payment at the end, so, like I say, there is no end of candidates.

Even more surprising is that anyone could fall for such a repulsive individual. Obverse is ugly as sin, utterly self-centered, demanding and old.Moreover, I can tell you in confidence that he is no longer fertile.

Well, your guess is as good as mine. So I said, “Obverse, there is nothing wrong with you except a sharp falloff in your supply of testosterone. After all you’ve been through, I think you should thank your Maker that you are cured at last.”

“Jackson,” he snarled, “you don’t understand; I want to fall in love again, but I can’t. I have finally met the true love of my life, but I am stricken to find that I have no feeling for her at all. Help me, please!

Well, I am a sympathetic man, so I said, “Obverse, you are finally cured of a grave affliction, and any other man your age would be delighted to be in your shoes. Henceforth, you can marry for money, or social position, or just companionship, whatever, and forget this ridiculous notion of marrying for love. Now, I have given you sound advice and more than the five minutes I promised, so good day to you!” And I pushed him out the door. I can’t abide bad breath.


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