Have you ever helped a fugitive from justice? Smacker Ramrod’s old chum from veterinary school, Barry Bullman, flew in from New York last week. As well as having a lucrative private practice in the Big Apple, a local radio station had hired him to present a show called “Your pets and their sex lives”. It was this foray into the field of broadcasting that led to his downfall.
Before you get the wrong idea, there was nothing remotely amiss in the advice he gave over the airwaves. Middle-aged ladies would phone in to ask whether they should worry about little Poochy trying to hump the coffee table, and Barry would reassure them that it was perfectly normal for small dogs to hump coffee tables. The pet-owning burghers of New York City loved his British accent, and he quickly attracted a sizeable audience who sent him plenty of fan mail. Then he received the following letter from a female admirer:
Dear Dr Bullman
I love your radio show even though we don’t presently share our home with an animal. I know you’re a vet but could you advise me about my own sex life? I have never had an orgasm in five years of marriage. My husband has tried everything but nothing seems to work. You sound very knowledgeable so is there anything you could suggest? I have enclosed a photograph of us on our wedding day.
Mrs Irma V Schwartz
Now strictly speaking this query was beyond Barry’s competence, but like most vets he was not shy of tackling any problem with an anatomical aspect. Furthermore, he had recently acquired a Puerto Rican girlfriend whom he was able to consult on the matter, and she had made a very practical suggestion, or so it seemed to him. Thus he mailed the following reply to the frustrated Irma S:
Dear Mrs Schwartz
Frankly I’m not surprised you can’t have an orgasm with your husband. Whatever possessed you to marry that bow-legged chipmunk? I enclose the business card of my girlfriend’s younger brother, Umberto, who is a male escort. He normally works with women quite a bit older than yourself, so he’ll probably give you a 20% discount. (If you’ve lost a couple of stone since your wedding day he might go as high as 50%). Discretion is assured and I can vouch for his good character.
This well-intentioned advice resulted in a letter from a legal firm representing Schwartz and Schwartz, threatening to sue Barry for inflicting emotional distress by means of a malicious communication. As if that wasn’t enough, the police arrested him for soliciting acts of prostitution. He fled the country when he was bailed and is now seeking to shelter within the protective embrace of my hairy tribe.
My inclination is to offer him refuge. We gorillas have a “sticks and stones” philosophy to personal insults and rarely make a legal issue of them. Rather than press for damages we would turn the other cheek, albeit that the cheek in question might be located on the rump. As for the soliciting charge, forwarding a gigolo’s business card is precisely the kind of activity that oils the wheels of commerce in an economic downturn. He must have been charged under some ancient Puritan law that the State of New York forgot to repeal.
I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I would offer sanctuary to any miscreant who darkened our door. Bottom pinchers, exhibitionists and peeping toms are certainly not welcome in our neck of the jungle. If you have any sins of that nature on your conscience, you should throw yourself on the mercy of your local religious pastor, and accept his penance through gritted teeth. Checking thy body may amend thy soul.
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