Fri | Nov 22, 2019

Gordon Robinson | Haemorrhoid breaks out

Published:Tuesday | September 17, 2019 | 12:07 AM

The domino game became contentious.

The Beast was becoming frustrated and, in a rare move for such a mild-mannered person, he raised his voice at the Dunce.

“What’s the matter with you? ” The Beast asked in as testy a voice as he could summon. “You’ve cut every card I’ve played since we sat down! Don’t you know the first rule of domino?”

The Dunce’s retort was reasoned and rational as always: “If a macca, mek it jook yu!” Haemorrhoid, kibitzing as usual, literally fell off his chair laughing. After he wiped away the tears, Gene Autry asked, “What’s so funny?” Haemorrhoid replied, “It’s as if they’re married. I remembered the story of Harry and Sally.”

By now, regular readers know Haemorrhoid well. Ernest H. Flower was a lazy, articled clerk who complained persistently about the “piles and piles” of files on his desk and was forever lamenting about the work he did in conveyancing: “All I want is a clean sale!” His non-existent work ethic, together with his middle initial, earned him that colourful nickname. He wasn’t any good at dominoes (thought six-trey was “a nine”) but, as a world-class raconteur with hilarious shaggy-dog tales always handy, he was a welcome companion at our domino sessions.

With a sigh, Gene played Dean Martin to Haemorrhoid’s Jerry Lewis’ Harry and Sally?

So the SS Haemorrhoid was launched with the following tall tale on board:

Harry was in a bar that night buying drinks for everybody. Those who knew him well weren’t only surprised at his generosity, but that he’d been allowed out in the first place.

You see, for 20 years, Harry, married to Sally, had been the quintessential henpecked husband. Sally made the rules. All Harry had to do was obey. One of Sally’s most strict rules was that Harry wasn’t allowed out at night alone or in the company of what Sally considered to be ‘bad influences’, which included all Harry’s male friends. As to female friends, let’s not go there. Sally considered the phrase an oxymoron. Harry wasn’t allowed female friends.

But, since Harry was buying, his pals were reluctant to enquire too deeply for fear it would cause a blockage in the alcohol flow. Finally, one drinker approaching catatonia blurted, “Harry, how come you disobey yu wife? Shouldn’t you be home washing the dishes?” to gales of laughter.

Harry replied solemnly, “It’s not the first time today I’ve disobeyed my wife. She shouted at me this morning for not opening the car door for her. I would have, but I was too busy swimming to the surface!”

I remembered Haemorrhoid’s story when sections of the media made a federal case out of the recent enforcement of school rules regarding the length of students’ skirts. Frankly, I don’t care whether a school requires skirts to be two inches above or below anything, but I’m all for discipline in schools, which leads to an orderly society when students become adults.

I recall vividly, about 25 years ago, Wolmer’s Boys’ School’s headmaster promulgated a new rule that all students must wear black shoes. Students, wanting to wear the latest name-brand sneakers, were incensed. Parents who couldn’t afford new shoes found a way to buy them anyway, and life went on. I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that none of those boys forced to uniformly wear black shoes are today driving Coaster buses across pedestrian crossings.

We can’t complain about a disintegrating society that has become accustomed to random violence if we’re not prepared to inculcate discipline in young minds from their formative years. If school rules can be ignored or breached with impunity because they’re inconvenient or expensive, we should also be able to evade taxes; disrespect our women on the streets; or arbitrarily disobey road traffic laws. Why? Because it suits us! Or maybe to obey would be inconvenient. Or expensive!

Peace and love.

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.