President Sarkozy has vowed to become a monk if he is voted out of office in May. I hope this is a subtle way of confirming that Carla Bruni will remain the first lady of France if he loses the election. A woman of her regal beauty clearly belongs in the Élysée Palace as much as the Louis XVI four-poster bed, whose sheets she could earnestly keep warm for the next incumbent.
Of course, it’s pretty arrogant of Sarko to assume he can just walk into a monastery and become a monk. What makes him think he’s got the required aptitude? If I were the abbot, I’d tell him to check into his local YMCA wearing nothing but a goat-hair robe and a pair of sandals. If he can survive for six weeks without agitating the other residents or scratching beneath the habit, he might be suitable for the monkish way of life.
You notice that I haven’t mentioned sexual abstinence. This is because I’ve never been sure that monks were celibate after seeing The Name of the Rose. The movie has a scene where an apprentice monk played by Christian Slater loses his virginity to an incredibly sensual peasant girl who wears no underwear. It’s not clear what she was doing in the monastery, but she was never made to feel unwelcome until the Inquisition turned up and denounced her as a witch. There’s always a party pooper who wants to spoil the fun.
I’m not saying all monks are as corrupt as those medieval ones. There was absolutely no hanky panky in the Shaolin temple that Kwai Chang Caine learnt his Kung Fu techniques. This didn't mean he was doomed to a life of meditation and spanking the monkey. Before Caine set off on his quest, he had the following memorable exchange with Master Kan:
Caine: And what of women, Master? It is permitted for one of our temple to love a woman and feel the warmth of her body?
Master Kan: We allow no women inside our temple, for flesh that is indulged will not be trained, and minds that are bewitched will not be disciplined. Yet the monk who makes his way in the world cannot shut his ears to the music of birdsong, nor close his mouth to the taste of wild honey.
Caine took this to mean that once he left the temple he was free to fraternise with females who chirped at him and stick his tongue into their honey pots. I think he got laid in the first episode of Kung Fu, after a woman he shacked up with said he must have “other needs” apart from “food and a place to sleep”. It has since been acknowledged that telling a woman you only need food and a place to sleep is a brilliant seduction technique. Women love to fuck men who don’t want to fuck them.
It doesn’t work with female gorillas, though. Any male who tells them he wants nothing but food and a place to sleep is treated as a pathetic loser whose balls have stopped functioning.
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