Serbian love supper

A Serbian mayor has invited single women from across the country to a love supper with the town’s resident bachelors. In his eagerness to nurture romance, he has offered budding couples free holidays in Greece, there being no better place to excite the amorous passions. Let’s hope the girls won’t dump their new boyfriends for the first bushy-eyebrowed Stavros who ogles them on the beach. 

Much as I approve of a mayor playing the pander, I can’t think of a species less suitable for group pair-bonding exercises than homo sapiens. Everyone knows that humans vary enormously in their attractiveness to the opposite sex, often for utterly trivial reasons such as the shape of the chin or the size of the nose. If you put single humans together in groups, the ugly ones get shunned because they’re ugly and the beautiful ones get shunned because no one will risk getting rejected by them. 

My preferred method of pairing humans off would be to draw lots. That way everyone has an equal chance of getting a sugarplum or a lemon. The unlucky ones would obviously be disappointed, but at least they’d begin their married life with low expectations. Humans are mysterious creatures, and what initially appears to be the booby prize may turn out to be a serviceable household appliance. There might also be fewer recriminations about adultery, given that cheaters could use the line “I didn’t ask to be married to you” to mitigate their infidelities. 

When I mentioned this item of news to the manager of the safari camp, he grinned like an alligator:

“That mayor is a crafty old vulture!” he chortled. “I bet he’ll be offering consolation prizes to the girls who don’t find their dream-boy at the love supper!” 

Much as I abhor his cynicism, it’s possible that he’s right. The mayor looks like a burly ex-wrestler who could knock out a grizzly bear’s teeth with his bald head. Men like that are renowned for their prodigious sexual appetites. Maybe he'll go to the love supper himself, making toasts and acting like the star of the show, while his aides invite the best-looking fillies to a slumber party at the mayoral mansion. There’s no shortage of women who’d rather be the concubine of the bulldog than the wife of the poodle. 

Even if the mayor is entirely on the level, there’s something not quite right about bribing nubile women to come to a dinner party. Men who want to get hitched should do the chasing themselves rather than being spoon-fed with bussed-in totty. If I saw one of those lovelorn bachelors moping around, I would give him a stern lecture: 

“Young man,” I would say, “if you want to find a bride, saddle up your horse and ride out of town with a lasso in hand. A worthy suitor takes what he wants rather than waiting for the world to come to him.” 

As a fan of the western, I’m assuming that being carried off on horseback would quicken the pulse of any eligible spinster. Am I wrong?

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