Monday, September 28, 2009
Deal or no deal?
There are some strange people out there, readers, I’m sure you’ll agree. On Saturday I was minding my own business, out for a walk in the park when I saw a person walking towards me. I don’t say it was a man or a woman, because the lines were blurred, shall we say. So how should I refer to the person who was walking towards me? I can’t keep calling them “the person who was walking towards me”, can I. But “it” sounds a little bit harsh.
My judgement is to refer to the person as “she” because she was clearly dressed as a woman. That said, she was a bloke. You’d have to have been blind not to spot that. But that’s not the point, is it. Massive hands and a big Adam’s apple she may have had but, if she wants to be seen as a woman, then she should be allowed.
If Ray Davies can show this kind of tolerance in his classic song Lola, then I can show it too. I’ve always thought that Ray missed a trick by not employing the rhyme “Tombola” for that song. After all, “Tombola” is one of those quintessentially British quirks that the Kinks usually love sticking in their songs. I’ve thought of writing to him about it in the past, but he’s known to be mad, so I’ve let it slide.
Anyway, back to the matter in hand. It’s topical stuff, isn’t it, what with the scandal surrounding South African athlete Caster Semenya, who recently won gold in the 800m at the World Athletics Championships, in the women’s event. She’s a well built lass, is Caster, no two ways about that. She ripples with muscle – if I had a physique like that I’d be proud, and I’d probably be able to beat a bunch of girls in a foot race, too.
Unfortunately for Caster she was forced to submit to a number of unspecified “gender tests” that sounded very sinister indeed. Surely there’s only really one that matters, and that’s to have a good scout around to see if you can find a cock and balls. If there’s no cock and balls there but there is, by contrast, a lady’s opening, then job’s a good-un. She might be no oil painting, but she’s a lass, and a pretty nippy one, at that. Well done Caster!
Of course they didn’t go into details about the tests, so we don’t know if they demanded to look in the athlete’s undies. If they did it to Caster, though, they'd have to do it to all of them. Perhaps it would be like a weigh-in ahead of a big title fight, with all the press watching.
“Right, now, miss, if you could just hop up on this rostrum and show us your monkey, we’ll be on our way.”
It would never happen. Imagine, just imagine, if they tried to do that to Paula Radcliffe. There’s be an outcry. She’s a national treasure. Mind you, she’ll happily cack in the street when she feels the need, so perhaps she wouldn’t be averse to flashing her bits at the camera. By the way, am I the only one who thinks her relationship with her trainer/husband is a bit bleak? He shouts at her when she doesn’t win. And I bet he’s got the key that undoes the padlock on their kitchen cupboard, the one where the chocolate digestives are kept. It’s a real worry.
She’s often held up as an inspiration to young girls because of her high achievement in the sporting world. But if she wasn’t good at running, then she’d be held up as an example to girls of what they shouldn’t be trying to look like. She’s very thin after all. It’s a tricky line to walk, isn’t it. Those super-skinny models that only eat lettuce and chewing gum and then throw it up again get a bad press. But if they did the Great North Run with a smile and a wave, they’d be lauded. It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, as Mad Ray once wrote.
But I was telling you about the woman I saw in the park. She was walking towards me, and making eye contact. When she got closer she said:
“Yeah but spunkin’ up in my face wasn’t part of the deal, was it?”
I walked by with my eyes turned to the floor, as she took a seat on a bench. I think she was on one of those hands-free mobile phones, and talking to somebody else who, presumably, had breached the terms of a contract they had both entered into. I wondered what that contract could have been for.
Had the man on the other end of the phone engaged this person to, I don’t know, sell his flat? To clean for him? To visit his cats every other day and sit with them for an hour for a two-week period while he was on holiday? To fit a new coil and thermostat to a faulty hot water tank in his bathroom? To deliver a box of fresh, organically grown, locally sourced seasonal vegetables to his house once a week? To do some freelance marketing work for his small business? To manage the funeral arrangements for his recently deceased, dear old dad? To provide legal counsel in a case of corporate fraud? To cut his lawn, or his hair? To supply him with a banned substance of some kind?
If it were any of these things, then I should imagine that the person in the park had a legitimate grievance, because I can’t see how spunking up in her face would be part of any of them. No, my guess is that it was some kind of sex-for-money arrangement and he hadn’t ticked the ‘Bukake’ box on the booking form.
You do have to be careful when making commercial arrangements with people – whatever it may be for – and it’s best to keep a record of what’s been agreed. Then, at least you can settle the matter calmly, and not unnerve peaceful pedestrians by shouting about people spunking over your face while they’re out for a walk, trying to clear their heads and think about life.