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THE LOWDOWN: Lackadoobie


Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: Lackadoobie

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ACCORDING to Patrick Bethell, a doctor once advised Dr Huey’s father to take it easy after an illness. Whereupon he did nothing for the next 40 years.
This writer is similarly tempted to milk this malady for all it’s worth. What outpourings of love and prayers! Reassuring messages such as “You don’t have much time!” and “You may regard yourself as being in the departure lounge. However, we are reliably informed that your name has been posted at the reception desk at both destinations!”
And, as if that didn’t scare me enough, brother-in-law Paddy in Canada emailed detailed close-ups of a dangerous “hairy spider” which can “sting you and take your home, car, credit cards, wallet, money and dignity in less than ten minutes”. Paddy advises: “This one comes in different colours or in some cases is bald. Be afraid, be very afraid!” Now I jump ten feet whenever anything brushes against my leg in the bed.
And there were material benefits as well. Last Friday afternoon a former NATION employee, whom I had once pulled out at the beach, brought me a bottle of vodka. And as I was contemplating what to do with it, having never tasted vodka in my life, up came the answer.
Another car arrived with a “special delivery” from THE NATION’S Editorial Department. And there in the passenger’s seat was, I assumed, the package: a nubile young female who, as I approached, lifted her shapely legs seductively into the lotus position. This is true.
No doubt THE NATION’S Editorial Department had been advised as to my preferences by Dawn Morgan or self-confessed former porn king Al Gilkes, who admits selling views of the Playboy centrefold at “a penny a peep”. The super-fit young lady was obviously going to give me a full-body massage. And the Swedish vodka (40 per cent alcohol) would provide the necessary lubrication.
By the way, while I can confirm Al’s early entrepreneurial talents and flourishing enterprise, I must regretfully deny being one of his customers. And for good reason. My khaki pants were woefully short; my father never bought us underpants until after we left school; and I have always suffered from what Bajans call “sweet-water passion”.
This being the case, one glance at Al’s penny-a-peep centrefold would have speedily given rise to a disastrously embarrassing emergence and probably stuck me with an unflattering nickname for life.
Sad to relate, however, the lotus-limbed young lady wasn’t THE NATION’S Editorial offering.
What they sent me was a splendid and most welcome gift basket, replete with exotic fruits, unaffordable nuts, salubrious snacks. Never have I felt more loved. Thanks NATION. Eat your heart out, B.C.!
Alas, it seems whenever Richard Hoad hits a brief plane of happiness, it is snatched from him in a trice. My beloved sister-in-law, who leaves no stones unturned – except apparently those which wouldn’t in the least mind being turned by her – sent down a blood pressure monitor.
This diabolical device has become the author of all apprehensions, the father of all fears. Should I unwittingly stretch forth an arm while we’re relaxing around the kitchen table, sundry daughters will whip it on in a flash and comment helpfully on my reading.
I even awoke a few mornings ago to find the wife had fitted it onto what Al Gilkes euphemistically terms my “quarter to seven”. Nearly squeezed the daylights out.
No longer do we do THE NATION crossword as a family to test our skills. No, we check blood pressures and compare results with no prize for the highest – always me.
Rumour has it the sister-in-law has now procured an old CAT scan machine which is soon to be sent down. God help us all!
Enough is enough. Worry is now my worst enemy. The only good news I’ve seen is a 2002 study showing weekly doobie-doobie is good for the blood pressure. As Dr Ian Banks, president of the Men’s Health Forum, told BBC News Online: “If you have regular sex and regular exercise, despite the fact your blood pressure does go up during that time, your basal blood pressure level is lowered.”
At least we now know the source of, and cure for, this problem. Watch out for hairy spiders, though.

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