Wed | Jun 16, 2021

There's a hole in their reasoning

Published:Tuesday | March 20, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Gordon Robinson

by Gordon Robinson

Notice how the 'relationship experts' on United States TV never analyse their own relationships? None tell you 'relationships' are complicated; no one relationship can replicate another ('every hoe have it stick a bush'); no two people are identical, so this two becoming one idea is ridiculous; and persons without 'relationship issues' haven't been in a relationship for long.

There's always a catchphrase to cure your relationship struggles. Nobody's better at it than Dr Phil McGraw. Phil seized the opportunity offered by Oprah to escape his reality into the fantasy world of a TV 'Relationship and Life Strategy Expert'.

Some of Phil's realities included plagiarism of former partner Thelma Box's ('Pathways Seminars') concepts both in his TV persona and his best-selling book. An unauthorised biography (The Making of Dr Phil by Sophia Dembling, a Dallas Morning News reporter, and Lisa Gutierrez, a Kansas City Star reporter) alleged that McGraw used unethical business practices in an early gym business; and was abusive to his first wife, and to his staff.

Phil's professional career needed rescue from 1988 when, based on a complaint from a former patient, the Texas State Board of Examiners concluded:

"The therapeutic and business relationships which developed between the licensee and the complainant was an inappropriate dual relationship constituting ... a violation of the board's code of ethics ... ."

For me, the simple truth is that men and women are fundamentally different. Here's Harry Belafonte's version (with Odetta):

Him: There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza

There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole

Her: Go fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry

Go fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

Him: With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza?With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, with what?

Her: With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry

With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a straw."

Techno freaks, calm down. Drinking straws, which didn't exist before 1937, were unavailable to common folk. It's 'straw' as in 'straw hat'.

Him: But the straw is too long, dear Liza, dear Liza

The straw is too long, dear Liza, too long

Her: Cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry

Cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, cut it

Him: With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza?

With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, with what?

Her (wifely sarcasm tinged with the fantasy of alternative use):

With an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry

With an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry, with an axe

Him: The axe is too dull, dear Liza, dear Liza"

The axe is too dull, dear Liza, too dull.

Gender differences aren't 'solvable'. They just are. Men only require functionality; women insist on aesthetics. Any wife wanting to know who her husband really is must meet Onslow (Geoffrey Hughes) from British sitcom 'Keeping Up Appearances'. That we don't all outwardly resemble him is because of wives' relentless instruction.

Her: Sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry

Sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, hone it

Him: On what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, dear Liza?

On what shall I hone it, dear Liza, on what?

Her: On a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry

On a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a stone.

Him (getting somewhere):

But the stone is too dry, dear Liza, dear Liza

The stone is too dry, dear Liza, too dry.

For men, 'work' is a four letter word. For women, 'work' is convincing men to improve themselves.

Her (exasperated): Well, wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry.

Well, wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, wet it.

Him (almost there): With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, dear Liza?

With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, with what?

Her (the patience of Job's wife turns sarcasm into bitter irony):

Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry

Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry, use water.

Him (Rook to the seventh rank; bone in the throat):

In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, dear Liza?

In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, in what?

Her (oblivious): In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry

In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, in a bucket

Him (triumphant): There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza

There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole."

Cunning, bred by laziness, always triumphs over industry. Ask any politician.

Peace and love.

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