The lions mate tonight Wednesday Ramblings
Stabroek News
February 26, 2003

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"...Lions have very high copulation rates. The female may mate every 15 minutes when she is in heat for three days and nights without sleeping, and sometimes with five different males. This often leads to physical exhaustion of males when only one or two are involved. The penis of a lion, like all felines, has backward pointing barbs. In lions, copulation is often accompanied by snarling, biting, growling, and threats, and sometimes the female turns and swats the male during dismount (most likely as a result of the pain invoked by a barbed penis)."

The mating habits of lions came to mind last week as we contemplated the long awaited return of the PNCR to Parliament. This was truly a marathon mating session made all the more fervent by the parties not having met for over a year.

In other countries where parliaments meet every week they tend to have quickies. But these two engaged each other at the romantic hideaway of the Ocean View International Hotel for ten whole hours, only dragging themselves from the parliamentary chamber to grab a quick snack and go at it again.

For the PNCR this was one last fling to see if the old girl was really as difficult as he remembered. She had never been quick to engage, unwilling to compromise on positions, always wanting to be on top. Perhaps the PNCR thought she had mellowed, realising in her old age that she needed someone to settle down with.

After all the two were inseparable in the 1950's. Perhaps the union could be re-ignited after years of squabbling, active non-co-operation and incidents of domestic violence.

For the PPP she had begged for her fickle companion to come back. The chamber was empty without him even if they did fight half the time.

Legislating on her own felt almost sinful.

She promised him all sort of things - new committees, lights for rural communities, new chairmanships. So she was all a-twitter when he finally called and wanted to meet immediately. They fixed a date. She threw on her best clothes and rushed to the hotel. And how well it started when first they faced...How well they knew the early moves. The nation watched on, excited like single-parent children hoping for a stable home. There was a tremendous amount of intercourse. Ministers stood up and down, went in and out. But sadly in the end they could not come together on a number of resolutions and an unsatisfied and exhausted PNCR slunk out of the chamber.

The morning after, the remorse was evident. He held a press conference calling it a waste of time and saying he would never return. She said it wasn't that bad. The path of true love never ran smooth.

Thick as turtle skin

Following last week's column, many people have written asking for turtle recipes which goes to show the potential of the market for such meat. We are still waiting on a response from Go-Invest on our project and at least they could have the courtesy of acknowledging our proposal. But the Reform component of the PNCR has got in touch and says it has US$1B lined up in financing just waiting for the go-ahead.

In the meantime may we suggest a recipe for pageant contestants?

What was interesting was to follow the reaction of the chattering classes to the turtle controversy and the other contestants' lame showing in the Miss Guyana interview segment. It all started well with deserved ridicule. But a few days later people were starting to feel guilty and the letters became remorseful, blaming everyone but the contestants.

This is part of the odious philosophy that we are victims of society and have no free will to decide on such important questions as whether we should or should not enter beauty pageants. Some suggested many boys would have fared worse, failing to recognise that they are way too smart to enter a beauty pageant and generally don't look good in bikinis.

Columnists tried to find a deeper meaning if only to write about something other than GPL or the political impasse.

This included the unmentionable newspaper's Crusty Columnist Walter Jordan who provides a health-warning to his articles advising people not to be offended. Actually most readers are irritated and bored.

Wooden grammar lessons are hardly entertaining and the discussions centre around such tired issues as the correct way to pronounce schedule which in the scheme of things amounts to zero.

Anyway Jordan's supposedly learned column on the pageant was a bucketful of meaningless worn out clichés.

As he presumed to speak for the nation he blamed everyone for the contestants' poor showing: "Why are we deceiving ourselves, laughing at those unfortunate young ladies? They have not failed us short it is we, rather, who have failed them." Nothing could be further from the truth. The 'unfortunate' girls had many weeks to read up on their platforms, to practise their answers, to read Jordan's advice on grammar.

Their failure to research basic information available to any primary school child deserves derision. To make excuses for them is to encourage their continued denial of their failure.

And this was underscored later last week when the contestants in an interview with Stabroek News showed no contrition. Instead of saying "Look I can't do this; I will embarrass my country if I win and have to go abroad. Let me bow out and go back to writing my book on Ebini, opening a beauty salon or frying turtle eggs," they said they were stronger because of the criticism and were still confident of walking away with the crown. In short their skins were thicker than turtles. How exactly is it the fault of the whole nation?

Our contestant Rev Ol Ting who was disqualified for her candour, would have beaten them all.

Sadly for some of the girls their evening gowns did them no favours so maybe we can blame the designers of these two monstrosities although some may blame these on the nation also.

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