Dolly and Benny

It always worries me when eminent humans vanish from public life. Two that currently seem to be dodging the media spotlight are Dolly Parton and the Pope. Gone are the days when they dominated the airwaves, scattering seeds of enlightenment to the voracious peckers of intemperance and folly. Their respective fan clubs assure me that they are alive, healthy and eating plenty of fruit, but that doesn’t begin to ease my disquiet. Even the great and good have inner demons that must be wrestled to the floor or subjected to the full nelson. They might also be suffering from corns, which can distract and bewilder the finest of minds.

Miss Parton has long been an idol to gorillas. We hail her as the Queen of country music and the Fairy Godmother of faithful wives. Unlike Tammy Wynette, she really did stand by her man, even when she couldn’t stand him. And through it all, she scaled the lofty peak of excellence as composer, philosopher and mistress of the bon mot.

“If I have one more facelift I’ll have a beard!” she quipped to Oprah Winfrey, the heavyweight hostess, herself immune to all levitation, facial or otherwise.

Of course, Miss Parton has had her fair share of mockers, particularly in respect of her knockers. I was chairing a seminar about her at the annual simian convention when a smirking baboon declared that she possessed “the vastest tits in the West”. It was obviously a line he’d heard in a movie – baboons are incapable of spontaneous wit and Miss Parton is from the South, not the West.

“You insolent monkey!” I cried. “It is not the vast tits that matter but the woman attached to them! You may discuss Miss Parton’s stupendous melons when you have won seven Grammy Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! In the meantime shut your termite-hole!”

My rebuke was greeted with thunderous applause from the assembled delegates.

As for the Pope, do you remember how popular he was when he was crowned High Pontiff? It was all “Pope Benny this and Pope Benny that and what will the new Pope’s policy be on the colour of nuns’ knickers in Santo Domingo.” Yet now he seems quite isolated, mumbling away in Latin while the world looks the other way. If you ask me, he needs a woman in his life – preferably a lady who likes to wear the trousers, given his own penchant for frocks. I said as much to an Irishman at the safari camp, suggesting that K D Lang, the Canadian chanteuse, would make an excellent papal bride.

“Der Holy Farder can’t be marryin’ Miss Lang!” he exclaimed. “She’d be a Protestant, she would!”

“There’s nothing wrong with mixed marriages in this day-and-age,” I retorted. “Have you not heard of the Sudanese man who married a goat?”

The Irishman said that he hadn’t and bit his lip. The goat has now sadly passed away, her obituary published by the BBC. Yet she and her husband surely found contentment in their fleeting union, sharing intimacies while tickling each other’s beards. Their example will doubtless inspire other couples contemplating wedlock across an abyss of mismatched race or creed. If a man can marry a goat, he can certainly marry a Protestant.

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