What’s in a name, Michael?

Fascinating culture, the white one. I’ve always been in awe – white culture rocks.

Look at this – the best thing about white culture are the names – they are interchangeable. You meet a guy called Elliot Cook in the morning, and then meet a guy called Cook Elliot in the evening. Although I would advise not to cook him. And the funny thing is, these two people would be separate and distinct, with no trace of kinship save for Adam as the common denominator. It’s insane.

I am part-way through the movie "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World". In the cast is a girl by the name of Alison Pill. Hahaha. This girl is a tablet. I can imagine when Miss Pill goes on the pill, isn’t that a form of cannibalism? I have yet to meet a person with first name "Pill" though, that would be sick. lol, sick *chuckle chuckle*.

There is hope that such a person exists though. I could swear there have been sightings. I mean, if Michael Jackson’s son is (or was) called Blanket, why would there not be a Pill? Heaven knows the latter would be more useful. As for Blanket, of course he’s relevant in this topic even if he isn’t totally white. His mother is white. Or looks white, like Mike. Dear lawd, we are living in the last days, where science and technology can erode a break-dancer’s nose and bleach the man to his very genes.

One wonders, though, whether an unfair generalization is being made here. I mean, "white" is rather vast. "White culture" must surely include Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Imagine a guy walking around with a first name of Schwarzenegger. Hehehe. You meat a guy named Schwarzenegger Cook in the morning and then meat a guy called Cook Schwarzenegger in the evening! That savoury result may in due course lead to your termination. When it’s back.

Black culture doesn’t generally have such nice name interchangeability. For example, in the SADC region we generally have surnames of animal names. Ndebeles and Zulus will have Thulani Dube and Jeffrey Ndlovu ("Dube" = "Zebra" while "Ndlovu" = "Elephant"). Hardly shall you find a guy walking around as Ndlovu Dube or Dube Thulani. That would be nonsensical.

Ok you do get the Sotho/Pedi/Tswana guys with names like Kwena Tlou (Kwena = Crocodile and Tlou = Elephant). These guys are the exception rather than the norm, and frankly, they are strange. Oh they know they are strange, but they will maintain with this weird practice because "it’s my culture" and you know how people get when their culture is under criticism. Look at people dying by the hundreds in the Eastern Cape due to botched circumcisions, and yet still the young men run to the mountains to get a taste of that blunt rusty razor on their junk. I have often wondered – is it nice? Maybe I am missing an experience here, but ok.

I digress. Let’s get back on-topic and see the advantage of white culture in the names domain. Why, it offers an unlimited number of options for a name-seeker. Anything can work. The moment some lady migrates into the country bearing some curious surname, I can appropriate such surname and give it to my newborn son. Hell, I can appropriate her whole name to make a double-barreled mouthful that will keep my little boy busy through the early grades. If she is Laura Shannon, I can name little man Shannon-Laura. If her husband is Frazer Churchill, I can name my boy Churchill-Frazer. Or Shannon Frazer. Or Frazer Laura. Can you see the permutations and combinations here? Can you see the list of possibilities? Is it me, or is the white naming culture an exercise of infinite possibilities?

As for Blacks, we easily ran out. I mean, all names were used up – we had a dire need of names. Names were in shortage. When I was in high-school I used to be share my name with three other candidates. When my mother sent a registered parcel, she had to write my name, grade, class and seat number, else the parcel would traverse through three other pairs of hands before finally reaching mine at a much, much lighter weight than the original.

Clearly, this situation was untenable.

However, Black people are clever too. Yes we are. When we saw the imminent dearth of names, we sat down under the great Tree of Kuvuki and had an Indaba. The elders were called to brainstorm. It took a wise Sage by the name of Xaba to save us. He devised a cunning plan, as follows:

You see, all Black names, as long as they are in the mother tongue, have a specific meaning. For example, I mentioned Thulani Dube earlier. Thulani has a specific meaning. It means, "Be Silent". The plan by Xaba (Xaba means "Blanket made from animal skin") was that we would convert all our names directly to their English counterparts.

Simple! Deviously hatched!

This opened up a world of possibilities for us. All verbs, nouns, adjectives, past participles, present future tenses, what-have-you, the whole lot – that became our garden of Eden, whence we could pluck a name of choice, weight it, interpret it, translate it and apply it to a child as soon as he/she popped out of the womb. Eureka.

And that is how we got our Promises (Themba), our Remembers (Khumbulani) and our Surprises (Smangaliso). We had no mercy. Like labourers bearing scythes in a field densely-populated with thin dry grass, we harvested ruthlessly.

And that is how we gained power over the white naming culture.

And that is how the Blackness of one Michael Jackson finally came out after years of being successfully repressed behind that plastic surgery. He thought we would not expose him. He did not rely on Black intuition uncovering his crafty exercise.

He named his youngest son "Blanket".

Meaning "Xaba".

Wicked ne?

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Forever Young

I saw him yester-night.

Just as he was when we first met in 1998, I saw him.

A rosy-cheeked lad of 14, baby fat on its way out as adolescence took over. A timid little man with an angelic, somewhat rounded face – closer to feminine than masculine at this stage. The look would at some later point change to a dark, broodingly handsome configuration. At this point though, this was him. A beautiful little male child. This is how he was in January 1998.

And this is how I saw him yester-night.

He became my first best friend at that school. Eager to please. Almost always looking up to me, a youth 2 years his junior but already bigger and taller than he was. He brought me stuff. Cooked mealies, mostly. He could easily get them because he was a day scholar, free to roam the communal land after school hours, while I was a boarder, trapped all term long behind that high fence and kept in check by the militant, fiery boarding Master.

We played a lot. That is how he and my other friend (who would, in due time, become one of my best friends at a different institution) unwittingly assisted me in my poor academic performance during the second term of that year. The first year of secondary school. 1998. He and the friend did really well, compared to me. My grades halved, while theirs rose significantly.

But I saw him, yester-night.

I asked him, are you not supposed to be dead?

He said, yes I am. He was smiling. I am just a spirit, he said. I am just a spirit, said he, and he sang for me. He sang really well. I could see the pride in his childish face, as he sang a song that, to him, I did not know. I wanted to tell him, I know that song. But I held myself. I did not want to not see that proud look. He was singing for his friend. That lovely lad of 14 was singing for me. I felt 12 again. I was 12 again.

And he was not the only one there.

Fortune Ndebele was there. That dark, aggressive and sometimes ridiculously funny youth, prone to starting a fight at the slightest provocation. Clinton Mhlanga was there. That slim, handsome, bespectacled athlete with a perennial smile and an enviable female-drawing aura. There was even mention of Ngqabutho (Ncube, I think?). The chubby mapantsula, an avid historian and no doubt, a future academic.

I saw these men. As they were, in 1998. As the boys they were in 1998 I saw them, and I was glad.

Aiden Demadema. My yellow-bone friend. Demz. Fortune Ndebele. Known as “Ndebele”, “Monox”. Clinton Mhlanga, whom we affectionately called Birry. Ngqabutho Ncube, a.k.a Ngqaza a.k.a MaTanka.

May your dear souls rest in peace.

Still good

So there it is. She is pregnant at 16, and there is the end to it.

Baby daddy? A 21 year old loafer.

Status of both parties – quite poor.

Her own dad is a 39 year old filing clerk who, in my humble estimation, would be lucky to earn more than 5 grand. Her own mom is not working.

Another story of toil then, for the Dad, because now he must provide nappies, formula, doctor’s and medical fees, not to mention food and abode for the new (uninvited) arrival. This is an arrival – it is not a guest. It will be a permanent fixture in an already crowded 1 bedroom cottage. You see, she has two other siblings – including a male one at that, and as it is, they share the living room as a bedroom. How will it be then when the new addition arrives? How now, Malvolio?

He told me today of this story. He is trying to be strong, but one can see the strain.

”Black man, you’re on your own? Nuh,” laughs he with real mirth. “I ain’t alone. God knows that the idea is desirable, but I ain’t alone. I have a family which is already defying the odds in the game, you know, surviving on a few rand after rent and meals.

Now, I shall be Grandpa.”

He sobers up at the thought. He lifts his head and looks at me, dead in the eyes.

“Wow brother. I shall be a 39 year old grandfather. Isn’t that a record or something?”

It’s not. Not at all.

His point though is well-made. For him there probably shall be no studying next year. For him, that dream of strengthening his marketing skills through academics is even more elusive. As a granddad, he needs to go H.A.M on that medication aptly named “Man-the-fuck-Up”.

"So is it done then for you brother," I ask. "Is this the epilogue of your story – does it end on this note?"

He laughs in genuine mirth. Again. A freak of nature, dancing at his own lynching.

“End? Nuh, it won’t end like this my friend. I will probably get another three grandchildren in the next five years – these lighties don’t play like that.”

He balls his calloused hands into fists.

“But look at us man. We still strong. We still standing. We still surviving bruh. Hell, we good.”

He shambles off to collect my files. I can see him dusting the metaphorical dust off himself as he carries on, continuing his life’s journey. He’s still smiling to himself.

“We good,” he mutters under his breath. “We are good”.

EPL: MANCHESTER UNITED TRANSFER SPECULATIONS – TAKE HEED, FOR MY WORDS TEND TO BE PROPHETIC

I am an Arsenal fan. I am not a Manchester United fan. But something interesting is happening at United. You see, these guys are said to be in contention for Sergio Ramos.

Odd’s fish?

Not really. The only defender currently worth his salt in a United jersey, according to yours truly, is Chris Smalling. Bringing in Ramos would go a long way in boosting that defence – Ramos’s presence in a game of football, is as ubiquitous as air. Plus, he is a renowned goal-scorer. A man of the hour. A riser to occasions. A game-changer. A world-class player. One could go on. Suffice it to say that compared to Jones and Evans (is the latter still at United?), Ramos would be an invaluable addition.

When United got Angel di Maria, the world stood on its toes. United already had Wayne Rooney shining as the sole polished gem in a pool of brass figurines. Lets forget Juan Mata for a moment – he was “adapting”.

A speculating fan of the sport such as myself visualised Rooney creating space with those runs just outside the penalty box, then sliding a sideways through-pass to di Maria. Di Maria would curl one of those Angelic crosses that only he can craft, and Robin van Persie would, as expected, be the man to latch on to the ball in lightning fashion. Goal.

The forward line was sorted. On paper.

But of course, what one does on the left, one must likewise do on the right. Which I meantersay, that what RVP did at Arsenal, RVP replicated at United. One brilliant season is all he gave. The rest of the times, injuries.

Di Maria also did not have such a lovely time. He tried his best to adapt and did transmit some crosses, but his audience and recipient was the lifeless Radamel Falcao. The less said on this “world-class” subject, the better. Suffice it (again) to say that United was boasting of four world class players (Angel, Wayne, Robin and Radamel), but had to fight tooth and nail for results. Ok, five if we include the keeper, one David de Gea.

Also, the midfield was dead. Michael Carrick isn’t exactly the best midfielder in the world, or close to it. Daley Blind was injured for some time, I believe. Fellaini was towering everywhere, trying to settle his personal score with United fans, and ended up being (somewhat successfully, depending on your definition of success) shifted forward to replace the stingy RVP and the unconscious Falcao. Juan Mata was there to act as playmaker when Rooney had to undertake his share of striking duty. Life was tough at United. Forgive me if I err in the assignment of positions for these awesome figurines –this is majorly a political article. I therefore command that strict technicalities be excused.

Enter transfer window – LVG gets himself some Bastian Schweinsteiger sauce (I’m sorry, the name does sound like something I spread onto my steak). He gets himself some Memphis Depay. He rids himself of some Falcao and RVP blues.

Suddenly, things are looking up. Suddenly, there is a pattern of notes here, a tune is forming. Suddenly, the keeper is world class, controlling midfielder is world class, the playmaker Juan Mata is world class on a fine day, and the new striker is well on his way to world class, if Eredivisie stats are anything to go by.

Whoa…..

Suddenly this team commands its fair share of respect. Defence is still an issue, but consider this: with de Gea (if he doesn’t get snapped up by Real Madrid) behind you and Schweinie adjacent to you, as a Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones or Daley Blind, you would find yourself pulling up those socks right up to your crotch without even feeling their pinch on your vitals. Would you not?

Now, imagine if to this mix was added said Sergio Ramos. Goodness gracious!, saith the Victorian lady. The thought is too stimulating to bear, even for an Arsenal fan such as myself. By the way, Wenger, what happened to Vidal????

And then the rumours start… Cristiano Ronaldo is said to be at odds with Rafael Benitez – and United are said to be sniffing.

Bwahahaha, we scoff. We have heard that ode before. CR7 is going nowhere, because he loves Madrid. At Madrid, he gets to compete directly with his nemesis, a particular individual by the revered name of Lionel. Why go to the EPL and compete against (and I say this with the utmost respect) David Milners and Mario Balotellis when you can pull a win against Andres Iniesta and Neymar? This a shameful ode, lacking of prose and totally devoid of rhyme.

And then you start to think – Madrid has not been kind to Ronaldo and his magnificent status, of late. See them taking away Mesut Ozil – hear Ronaldo protest. See them sending away di Maria – hear Ronaldo cry. See them bring in Gareth Bale as the most expensive player on earth – hear Ronaldo wail. Now, imagine them taking subtracting Ramos from the ranks… you can almost hear Ronaldo’s hysterical scream, can you not? You can almost see him quitting, can you not?

I can.

Methinks that Perez and Rafa must dig deep to keep Ramos. Methinks that the melody of United, if they manage to capture Ramos, would be a tune too lovely to resist.

Say what you say, a change looks appetizing for Ronaldo. If that change is conceptualised by a United boasting of old chums in Ramos and Angel, plus the scintillating thought of playing alongside the legendary German sauce embodied in one Bastian Schweinsteiger, and re-uniting with Wayne Rooney, why…goodness gracious me!, saith the Victorian lady.

I suspect that this will probably be a dream transfer window for all you United fans. Bigger than Schweinie’s capture.

You are advised to stand patiently by, and observe.

On Friendship

Most of the times we do not see it in ourselves, although we may talk about it.

We may talk about the concept of cowardice, recognise it in other people, but never in ourselves. We may talk of weakness, and see it in the colleague, but never in ourselves. There are two sayings to describe this phenomenon in my mother tongue:

“Iqaqa alizizwa ukunuka” (“The skunk cannot smell himself).

“Inyanga ayizelaphi” (A healer cannot heal herself).

How accurate and true.

What is the role of a friend? A person who shows you the way. A person who strengthens you when you are weak. A person who gives a break from the drudgery of the daily routine of survival. A person who can point out the flaws in your argument, and argue with you not merely for the sake of a victory, but so that you reason yourself out and establish a firm view. So that when you walk out and present that thesis, it is well-founded, well-argued and well-put. Any one of these, or a combination of them – that is the role of a friend.

Sometimes we are weak and we need this friend to point out the weakness, because we cannot see it in ourselves. We cannot smell ourselves. Sometimes we are deficient in some of those essential metaphysical qualities like patience, compassion, confidence or humility. That is when the friend comes in – to point this deficiency out and cure it. We cannot heal ourselves.

It’s a continuous process. It does not usually follow a well-structured sequence like tit for tat for tit for tat for tit…recurring to infinity. Rather, it just goes on randomly. One friend finds himself forever giving and giving, seemingly without end. Tit tit tit tit tit. Had he not been a friend, he would have just quit. But he gives, because that is what friends are – givers. Then one day the other friend gives back something so small as to be mistaken for triviality. Suddenly there has been a “tat”. A tat that may be looked at and mistaken for a trifling. But a tat that will influence a recipient’s life and his happiness.

The concept of friendship sounds unrealistically ideal. But isn’t it supposed to be ideal, in any event? It is one of the few ideal things that I can point out in the realm of reality, where imperfection characterises almost man’s every attempt. It is ideal, whether it be laced with conflict, or whether it be garnished with harmony.

The less the conflict the more the comfort, but maybe the converse also applies, as iron sharpeneth iron? As for the harmony, it is meat for the spirit.

What then shall we say? The Shakespearean Duke of Illyria, being overtaken by the deep throes of lust, and mistaking this desire, for love, once said of the latter:

‘If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.’

He had his reasons.

But like love, friendship is a feeling, and food for the well-being of the soul.

If that be, then may the appetite never sicken; may it never die.

what people really deserve

[Note to the reader: The story related in the
case study is based on true events. The lady in question is a rabid
nymphomaniac, whose only saving graces are her affinity to the author, her
extremely posh looks and her love of the aesthetic segment of horticulture.]

Definition: deserve

to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation:

Case Study (…and a questioned asked of the reader)

Ms T plants yellow rose bushes in her garden. She tends to them, prunes them, and waters them. Research shows that they need a certain type of nutrient. She buys a fertiliser containing that nutrient. She feeds those roses, and daily she daydreams of the day when they shall bloom, setting her garden alight in a glorious yellow flame…

But instead of the fiery bloom, she gets an ashen petal with dark brown blotches.

Does she deserve this result? Is she meriting, qualified for or equipped with a claim to blotched leaves, after all her afforts?

Options(…and a choice of answers presented to the reader)

Reasoning 1: One would say, not. She does not deserve this. Why? Because her actions were diligent and her qualities exemplary exhibits of passion. Behold, a disappointed, honest labourer.

Reasoning 2: Another would say, of course she deserves it. She trusted her own powers of judgement in an area wherein she bore no expertise. She rushed to the flower store and emerged with a pack of cuttings and a bag of god-alone-knows-what fertilizer, probably recommended by the store-keeper, that shining beacon of expertise in the art/science of yellow rose bush cultivation.

A deserving mentality (…and an elaboration thereon)

What do we really deserve in this world? Employers pay us a stipend, wage, allowance or salary. We look at it and feel we deserve more, because we bill billions of Rand per month and get remunerated every month-end with a few thousands out of those billions. A healthy fraction indeed to compensate for our daily toil.

But do we deserve more? If our efforts are so valuable, how come we are not using them in our own personal enterprises? Oh yes, I can hear the protests already – “Not everyone can own a business mos, your suggestion is not practicable”. Nywe nywe nywe, who said anything about everyone? I just meant you, Mr Complainer who deserves more. You think you deserve more than the 4.5% increase on your R6,733 salary of last month; why don’t you give yourself that increase? Yes you plonker, why do you not work for your bloody self?

The Attitude (…and a proposed stance when dealing with blotched rose petals)

Tell you what – your reaction to the above question will decide the matter.

Taking the above case study:

If Miss T uses reasoning 1, she is damning herself to a life without yellow roses. She is modelling herself upon the mould of the proverbial “victim of circumstances”. She is bound to resign herself to the assumed fact that she does not have the talent. The evidence would even be right in front of her – all this work, passion and dedication, with so little result! Let’s face it, she is not cut out for this.

If, however, she uses reasoning 2, then chances are that she will take responsibility. She will see herself for the fool, and vow that next time, she will consult the right people. She will try again. That’s my point. She will accept her deficiencies and say that next time, my research shall be proper and my implementation shall be well supervised. Thereby, she gives herself a chance.

Application of the Attitude (…and an itsy bitsy pinch of political black pepper)

Applying this to you, slave of employment –

If you use reasoning 1, you will first expect more than what the employer is giving you. What you may fail to understand is that your hard work means zilch. It is a mere fulfilment of a contractual obligation. You signed to execute the will of the employer, and like a genie you must grant the lamp-holder his three wishes. To borrow the politicians’ favourite phrase – “you are mandated”. Your efforts will be rewarded in meagre bonuses, and you will lose heart. You will take it as proof that hard work pays not.

If you use reasoning 2, then you accept that you do not deserve the increase anyways, because you are supposed to be giving the increase, or commanding the percentage of the increase, rather than receiving it. Then you are driven to try and do better. Better can be getting a better-paying job. Better can be establishing a personal enterprise of your own. Better can be establishing yourself as a hard-to-replace pajrt of the company – a cornerstone. An essential cog in the employer’s money-making machine. Then you can walk in and tell your employer, “I deserve a 20% increase”, and by Jove, you shall be granted 15%! (because let’s face it, employers never give you what you ask for – douche-baggery is a critical part of Employer’s Ethics 101)

Action (…and the fiery temper of the heroine, who frustrates the author’s well-crafted argument)

Going back to Miss T: she tried using reasoning 1. In that did she fail terribly. Then she tried using reasoning 2. In that also did she perform badly. By the time she finished trying, her temper had grown exceedingly hot. She then applied reasoning 3.

She plucked a bunch of roses, drove into town, went straight to the office of the manager who had sold her the rose stem cuttings, and threw them onto his desk. Lower lip trembling, she stared him down. The manager’s mouth opened in an attempt to bullshit, then slowly closed as he realised the folly of attempting civilized discourse with a raging Amazon. Slowly, he reached for his cheque-book and started writing. He stopped at two zeroes, and looked up. Miss T was still raging. Sighing, he wrote put two more zeroes and signed the cheque. As he handed it to Miss T, he saw the sweetest smile shining inocently at him.

“Thank you for your business, Sir”, purred the pacified Amazon.

The manager did not reply. As she turned and strutted out, the manager let out a hugh sigh of relief. Bitch, he muttered. He knew this lady. She had a reputation. As at reputable lawyer, she would have sued his breeches off.

Author’s reward (…and the reader’s opportunity to show benevolence)

And that brings you to option three –

Do not philosophize the problem. If you want it, just go out and get it. Use your brain, use your authority, use your body – hell, be a cowboy, draw it to yourself with a rope. Do you deserve it? Maybe. Maybe not. But you want it? Hell yeah. And that’s the deciding factor.

And what do I deserve for writing this article? I deserve a bloody drink at four-thirsty, after I knock off. God knows I have worked hard today. Lord knows I am meriting of, qualified for AND equipped with a claim to that ice-cold Windhoek draught.

Is it wrong to check your partner’s text messages, emails etc?

Is it wrong to check your partner’s text messages, emails etc?

Don’t know if there is a right or wrong answer to this question. You can pretty much do what you want, depending on your take on what’s ok and what’s weird.

I am from that old boys club that says, don’t. Don’t do it. Not like I have ever sat down and had a deep meditating session on the subject. Not that I have ever made a table comparing advantages and disadvantages on the matter. Just a gut feeling, rather. It does not feel like a manly thing to do.

I suppose that if I were to think about it, I would compile the table as follows:

Advantages Disadvantages
1. You can nip a courtship in the bud. It makes you look bad.
2. You can see who has been tapping that. It calls attention to insecurities.
3. You can obtain certainty on his/her loyalty. You will probably feel like a pussy afterwards.
4. You can identify his/her circle of friends and thereby know him/her better. You need to react to suspicious activity or damning evidence.

The average person that I have met consists of two sides. The first side may be shown by astounding bravery in the most physically trying of situations (the “grrr” side). The second side may be, for example, hopeless cowardice in emotional matters (the “wimp” side).

For example, on a good day you would probably get into a street fight if someone threatened your partner or your parent, no matter how beastly the “someone” looks. Even where there is clear evidence that you cannot win that bout, you may just go grrr, regardless. However, you may be an emotional wimp. You may wear your heart on your sleeve, fall deeply in love at a glance, or have compassion to the point of postponing a break-up just because your soon-to-be ex would be heartbroken if you left them.

So, going through your partner’s phone – is that grrr or wimp? Let’s analyse:

If you go to Iraq you may find Talibans there. Talibans have a reputation – they kill. So, will you go to Iraq for a holiday? Probably not. The risk is too great. Ok, say you do go to Iraq and indeed meet a Taliban there. Say Taliban is menacing. Now you must react. Options are: subdue him, negotiate with him to spare you in exchange for something of value to him, or just run and hope he is a slow Taliban who left his weapons at home that day. Either way, you must take a positive step. You cannot just do nothing.

This takes us back to the first viewpoint: to rather leave Iraq the fuck alone.

With that in mind, look at disadvantage #4 above. Then imagine this: you pry into your partner Y’s phone and find a message from “honey”. Now you must act. You love Y and are probably one step away from the altar. But now you must address this “honey” issue. So, you interrogate Y about “honey”, and Y explains it nicely – “Ncoo baby, maar wena so. Don’t mind that one hey, it’s just my ex-colleague X. X calls everybody like that; we evencall X like that too. Do you want me to tell X to stop?”

Eish…

Here is evidence of e-kisses, e-hugs, “I love you”s, rendezvous for lunches, and thank you’s for “wonderful” times spent together. But Y, whose phone is in your hand, has just explained the situation in one tiny paragraph, and threw back the ball into your damn court!

Hell. If you continue to make a fuss, you are being unreasonable and you don’t have enough trust for your partner. What kind of mentality is that to take into a marriage? Now you risk losing the love of your life. However, easing on the issue may amount to allowing an affair to go by unaddressed, and what if dear partner then takes you for wimp who cannot stand up for your imminent conjugal rights!

You are caught between a pillar and a post – damned if you do and damned if you don’t. It’s your personal problem now. Surely you cannot end the relationship on this? But still, surely you cannot just continue?

So, day and night afterwards, until your wedding day with the self-same Y, you obsess over this “X”. You see X taking your partner’s top off. This romantic X who has had lunch with your partner in places that you have never even taken your partner to. This adventurous X with a dominant personality, and an omnipresent effect on people’s relationships.

And then its wedding day, and you finally meet this X.

If you are a man, imagine that you meet this X and he is absolutely Alpha-male. Tall, strong, broad-shouldered, greyhound belly, flashing smile, athletic to boot, ebony smooth, drop-top Mercedes (last year’s version), great personality and is probably blessed where it counts too.

If you are a woman, you meet this X and she is an olive-skinned stunner with the sweetest demeanour, phenomenally intelligent, natural hair braided onto a model scalp, ending in long, soft locks; tiny waist ballooning into a spherical rear of perfect proportions, two perky soldiers at rapt attention on a translucent chest, with breath as gracious and regal as a cat’s purr, exuding myrrh and frankincense.

And now you have a hawk’s eye on Y, and you see from Y’s gaze that X clearly is adored.

***

And to think that it all started from a raid into your partner’s phone, without a warrant being issued by the Judge, authorising such raid. To think that you could have been blissfully unaware of X’s excellence, happily drunk on champagne on the best day of your life, anticipating a night of rigorous enforcement of divinely-approved conjugal rights.

Now you bristle, because you know that you have been had. You can feel, taste, hear, smell, see and 6th sense it – you have been had, goddamnit! Grrr. Grrr.

Hahaha.

So, my opinion? Just keep away. Leave Iraq to the Talibans, if you want to enjoy your holiday. Cowardly advice, but it’s the best I have for now. Why? ‘Cause some of us are wimps – we would rather not know, and be happy J