Some time not too long ago a row broke out between friends. It was not just heated but mind numbing and extremely entertaining . It has always been my contention that the principle purpose of alcohol is the loosening if not the total annihilation of inhibition. Taken in moderation alcohol is responsible for a lot of stimulating banter.
There is a proverb where I hail from that insinuates that palm wine loosens the tongue and frees the mind or something to that effect. This proverb is often the chief defense of a drunken fellow who has found his foot inexplicably stuck in his mouth . Usually there is the very real threat of another foot coming up from the opposite direction.
My friends had indulged in a dangerous past time for social drinkers the world over. They had gotten themselves into a moral debate on the so called oldest profession. The result was the escalation from jovial and good natured discourse to the spewing of a profusion of expletives that my editor refuses to publish . Rightly so I might add. Parts of the ensuing diatribe were lurid enough to make a courtesan blush .
The first chap, lets call him John, maintained that he saw no reason to pay for a service that he could get freely by way of his eloquence and pleasant demeanor. His pal ,lets call him Thomas, doubted his assertion that it was indeed free. Thomas intimated that economics dictated as its first lesson “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Hence there was a cost to everything. These two gentlemen parried and thrust amiably for a while and whilst the rest of us found their debate delightful we left them to their devices. We shouldn’t have.
The folly of the exuberance of youth is pride. Instead of these two gentlemen agreeing to disagree John took great offense to Thomas lack of faith in women in general. He asked Thomas if he was suggesting that all women, his girlfriend ,mother and sisters included were party to the twilight trade. Need I say that at this point we all knew that an intervention was necessary? At this rate the cleaners would be sweeping teeth off the floor in the iridescent pre dawn of the next day.
Those sober enough at the time managed to quash the altercation and after forcing the two to shake hands sent them both packing. The grounds for their early and disgraceful exit was behavior unbecoming of an inebriated gentleman. Inevitably the topic of conversation after that was the debate they had began. I quietly slunk away from the bar to commune in peace and quite with my thoughts.
With a cancer stick drooping lazily from the corner of my mouth i plunked my puny posterior with great ceremony and aplomb on my toilet seat. I set about clearing both the contents of my bowels and my cluttered thoughts . This is my sanctum sanctorum . Where i set about contemplating matters of great importance to myself and indeed all mankind.
Was there any truth to the assertion Thomas made? That even when we assume we are getting it for free we are in reality being bled dry? Has there ever been anything free in the purest sense of the word? Is not the air we breathe a gracious loan from our respective deity until he calls in your books and brings you to account? Are the inane little romantic gestures we offer a form of payment for the affections we so ardently seek?
These thoughts set my mind spinning and the alcohol i had partaken made me swoon precariously on my preferred pondering perch. Ignoring the logical path taken by Thomas i convinced myself that it was indeed a question of morality as had been so eloquently pleaded by john and headed off to bed. But when I awoke the next day i couldn’t help but wonder……….. Damn you Thomas !