San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

The descent of man in a women’s world

“Listen to me, ye’re jest a binch o’ knukleheads.” Casey, having just put away a round dozen of Whitbread’s Best, was not just eloquent, but combatively so. The argument was about the State of Man in an increasingly feminine world, and opinion was almost equally divided as to what, if anything, we should do about it.

Jack O’Brien

Jack O’Brien

The new composition of the Commons had just been announced, showing a substantial increase in the proportion of women, and every pub in the queendom was afire. There were, of course, no women present, as it was the custom in the U.K. to relegate women to the Lounge Bar while the men debated important questions in the inaptly-named Public Bar, an arrangement which, oddly enough, had been instituted by anxious wedded women solicitous of the moral well-being of their husbands.

The fight started when Gomer Davis made a speech welcoming the new dispensation, pointing out that it was about time for a change, since men had been in charge for several million years, and had made a right cock-up of it. Gomer was subsequently carted out with a concussion, but his words lingered.

 “I’m tellin’ yer, there’s a time to fight and a time to flee, and this ain’t the time to argue ‘bout it. There’s not a one on yer can bear a babe, an’ every cell in thy’sis powered by a engin that thy Ma put there, not thy Dad.” He was, of course, referring to the Mitochondria, which breaks down ATP to the di-phosphate, thereby releasing energy to keep you going.

It is not an argument that appeals to men, as it can be used to demonstrate that, contrary to Genesis, females came on the scene long before men were invented to jazz up the live-birth figures. It has also been employed to bolster the age-old female complaint that men have taken advantage of the necessarily accepting nature of females, since they have to put up with an essentially foreign body inside theirs in order to fulfill the old promise of eternal life. So every language ties women to the stove and the sink: Housewife, Chatelaine, Hausfrau, Ama de Casa etc., and precedent must be respected.

So here we are, in a drunken brawl, arguing the toss as to whether we should give them a chance, when the die has already been cast. Men are here solely to initiate conception, which can now be done with the prick of a needle or an electrical jolt, so that they are as relevant as a spare bride at a wedding.

So Men, have a care what you wish for, as it might come hideously true, and an all-women planet could be a lot worse than half-n-half.

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