By G.D. Maxwell
Sick as a dog wouldnt adequately describe my current state of unwell being. The only times Zippy the Dog has been sick it just seems to involve horking up great bowls of twig soup or bits of half digested plastic. This is much worse.
I didnt know how sick I was until I read the start to this weeks column. This is what I wrote.
"With so much killin going on in what was once called the Holy Land, Ive been wondering perhaps my tribute to Easter exactly what Jesus would make of things if he were to come again, as has been prophesized every year since his first premature departure. Chances are hed either be cut down by some overzealous Israeli tank jockey or blown to smithereens by a Palestinian suicide bomber before he got a chance to preach his message of peace and brotherly love."
"Would Jesus Jr. take a good look around, throw up his hands, shake his head and say something like Yo, Pops. Beam me back up. No sign of intelligent life down here. Or would the Second Coming be smart enough and powerful enough to craft some kind of wild solution to what seems an insoluble problem?"
"If I were Jesus: The Sequel and whos to say Im not this is what Id do."
This is when I knew I was really, really delusional and probably shouldnt go any further. But for the morbidly curious, heres what came next.
"What Id do is mutter some magic words and make all the clothes on Earth, well, at least all the clothes in the Middle East, disappear. Alakazam! Nothin but nekkid Jews and Muslims wandering the wilderness."
"Now, Ive never actually been to a nudist camp, being a modest kind of guy who never, ever wants to experience second degree sunburn on his lower cheeks and who doesnt even like to consider how excruciating a sunburn on Little Max might be. But I hear the whole experience is very levelling, in a social stature sort of way. You know, the clothes make the man syndrome. So I figure why not give it a try? Maybe it would have the same impact on religious/tribal differences. Nothing else seems to have much effect."
"I cant contemplate waging war in the altogether. Just look at the consternation it caused when the Canadian soldiers sent to Afghanistan showed up wearing the wrong colour uniforms. Imagine the reaction if theyd shown up wearing nothing at all. The taunts. The derision. This is my rifle, this is my gun. This ones for killin, this ones for fun."
It just got worse.
"Suppose you were a Palestinian street thug, not yet old enough for glorious Martyrdom but old enough and stupid enough to throw stones at guys with rifles. There you are, on the streets of Ramallah, swinging your sling very David and Goliath like, and poof nekkid. What would you do? Drop your sling pretty fast, Id reckon."
"Or an Israeli soldier going wall-to-wall through the houses of the refugee camp looking for dangerous terrorists. Poof! Nekkid! No flak jacket, no camouflage fatigues, no helmet, just a rifle and your dangling manhood. What would you do?"
"And in a land where women are draped and upholstered to keep the animal passions of men in check, what would happen if, after years of never having to grapple with the nasty forces of daily, unintended passion, all the men were suddenly surrounded by a sea of nekkid women? Welcome to Woodyville, boys and girls. The men would probably just explode; Im not sure they could handle that kind of tsunami of lust coupled with a smorgasbord of availability."
I probably should have quit right there. It was painfully obvious I was in no condition to be writing anything more than a birthday card. But having a clear and higher calling to fill the Piques back page every week, I marched on through my pseudoephedrine fog.
"Aside from the shock value, there would be lasting benefits to universal nekkidness. The whole, insane, suicide bomber thing would be neutralized. Suicide bombers depend on two things: dynamite and loose fitting clothes. Picking a suicide bomber out of a crowd of shrouded people is, as recent facts have proven, damn near impossible. But spotting a suicide bomber in a crowd of buck nekkid people? Hell, even a blind man could see that dude coming."
"And then there would be the crisis of leadership to contend with. One of the current barriers to even beginning to solve the standoff between the Israelis and Palestinians is the deep-rooted, historical animosity between Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat. These boys have serious Do not play well together problems going back to 1967 and beyond. And lets be honest, both men have outlived their usefulness. Theyre codgers clogging up the hierarchy of power. Neither one has had an original thought for at least two decades. Theyre the embodiment of Yesterdays Men."
"The disappearing clothes trick would get rid of both of them. Can anyone imagine taking either Ariel or Yasser seriously if they were nekkid? Ariel would look like a beached, bleached Beluga whale and Yasser would lets not even go there. There are some things too grim to even let into a guys imagination. Neither one could possibly govern in the absence of clothes."
There was more. Oh Lord was there more. Forgive me, for I am one sick puppy.
Had I not been comatose in a patent medicine hallucination, Id have gone to Tuesday nights council meeting and been able to provide probing commentary on questions of importance to you, dear readers. Id have been able to shed some light on how a decision that absolutely, positively couldnt be put off beyond the beginning of April has now been put off to the last week of April.
I could have reported on how none of the councillors can continue to support inviting the World Economic Forum in the face of such overwhelming popular opposition.
I could have reported on the absurdly inconsistent, scaremongering rantings of two of our local notables, both of whom have world class helpings of self interest in seeing the WEF come to town and, more importantly, in seeing that $15 million of tax money materialize to rebuild the conference centre.
But that will have to wait until next week. Its enough to report that no decision was taken on the WEF affair and none will be taken for another three weeks. So keep those cards and letters coming, folks. The fight aint over til hey, I wonder how our local government would work nekkid? Oh, help me.