Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Connubial Bliss X 70

America can usually be counted on to enliven the world with its domestic happenings, and now a certain Mr. Warren Jeffs goes on trial there to contribute his mite to the entertainment business.

Europe, in its old fuddy-duddy way, has the odd mass wife murderer, but Mr. Jeffs is apparently on trial, among a few other accusations, for mass matrimony. As the leader of a breakaway branch of the Mormon Church, The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Mr. Jeffs has acquired for himself some seventy odd wives. The actual number is uncertain but, given a wife or two, is not disputed and he seems to have collected them much as some collect stamps, figuratively pasting them into his album in Hilldale, Utah.

The regular Mormon Church gave up on polygamy some years ago, realising that expecting man to handle more than one wife at a time would be cruel and inhuman punishment, a sort of matrimonial Guantanamo Bay.

Often, when I was lying in my Marriott Hotel room, having forgotten to buy a copy of Penthouse or Hustler, I would turn to the book in my bedside table for consolation and read of the adventures of Joseph Smith and the angel, Moroni.

Based upon my own personal experience, I found it difficult to believe that he had run into an angel in Upper New York State. The nearest I had come to such a meeting was with a girl I met at a bar in Poughkeepsie one night. And she had no gold plates with her. In fact, I got the distinct impression that she was looking for some.

I’m not sure of the details concerning Mr. Jeffs and his mis-demeanours, but it seems to me that any man who can handle seventy wives should be in line for the Congressional Medal of Honour or a seat in The Pentagon at the very least, for courage if for nothing else.

He did look rather emaciated in the pictures I saw of him but that was, I suppose, to be expected. No doubt some solitary time in a penitentiary will buck him up no end and put weight on him.

Here in Europe, we have some very sensible rules about this marriage thing. Wisely, it has been decided that one at a time is the way to go, although there is no stipulation on the supply of mistresses. Just as well, as they have been a perk of politicians throughout history and it does take their mind off the job, making the world turn rather more smoothly as a result. The British Prime Minister, Lloyd George, demonstrated his expertise in diplomacy by installing both his wife and mistress under the same roof, without any untoward ill effects. But not many of us can manage a trick like that

For most of us married men, more than one wife at a time would prove to be a broad too far, I think. And you need a bit of a breathing space in between, if you’re into the multiple wedding business.

Mistresses are generally an expensive ongoing luxury but, unless you have picked a vindictive one, can usually be dumped without too much ceremony. For wives, there are a few legal difficulties that might be encountered and a possible long term ongoing expense. How Mr. Jeffs and his followers dealt with that, I can’t imagine.

And then there’s the practical side of things. Buying a Christmas present for one is traumatic enough. Consider Mr. Jeff’s situation. He would have to practically live in Macys all year round to be able to get the job done. And did they all get the same? If not, who got what? And don’t tell me none of them bitched about it. Women are just not like that.

Even doing dishes would pose a serious logistical problem. You can’t get seventy women even into a decent sized kitchen to load the dishwasher.

The question of a possible rota system for the sleeping arrangements is equally mind boggling. With 365 days in the average year, this gave each of Mr. Jeff’s wives access to his connubial services for 5.214 days per year, plus a bit extra on Leap Years. Seems to me there might have been some dissatisfaction among the ranks, although his careworn look possibly indicates that he was trying to fulfill his obligations and satisfy the demand for his services.

Now it seems likely that Mr. Jeffs will be spending some time as a guest of the US Government, and that means that there will be some seventy plus wives surplus to requirements in Hilldale, Utah.

E-Bay would be a possible solution for them, I suppose, although I’m not sure which category they would be listed under. Unwanted used goods?


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