"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Picky, Picky, Picky– A Woman’s Pound Of Flesh And The Marital Travails And Crimes Of An Ordinary Man

Brent Biggers was an only child, and one who had been born only after many failed pregnancies, fertility treatments, and prayers.  He was a modest boy – of modest intelligence, looks, and ability – and his mother, aware of these failings wanted to do her best to compensate for his ordinariness.

To give her credit, few mothers would have admitted their son’s mediocrity, but Helen Biggers was one to face facts.  Unless one dealt with life head on, there would always be wasteful detours.  Deviations from the truth were never profitable.  Take for example her husband, Fermin, who she knew from the very start was a man with many challenges; but, like many women before and after her, she was quite happy with a  malleable, directable, and faithful one.  It was far better to know where your husband was, than to worry about his irrelevancy.

As far as she herself was concerned, she also pulled no punches.  She was of modest physical allure – if in fact her full figure, wide-set eyes, unmanageable hair, and thick ankles could indeed  never be called alluring – of higher than average intelligence, and almost completely devoid of talent.  What separated her from the herd – especially from her catty, hen party, suburban girlfriends – was her absolute honesty.  Whenever she spoke, her friends fidgeted a bit, waiting for the poison dart or the de-veiling of the cute, flirtatious personae they wore with the dark, Rudolph Valentino-esque, beautiful Romanian waiters; and they were never disappointed.  Helen, while honest, could be cruel.

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She could have been far more de-manning with her husband than she was.  She loosed the poisoned arrows in her quiver only when he needed and deserved them.  Otherwise she was treacly complaisant, a marvelously melodramatic dutiful and loving wife. 

Poor Brent Biggers, her only son who from birth had been pigeonholed as mediocre and unremarkable, who unlike his friends had no fawning parents who ignored any and every foible and insignificance.  He knew from the start that he would never amount to very much, but at the same time a sense of duty, propriety, and love and respect for women had been forged by his mother. Ordinariness is no sin, his mother averred, only overreaching above and beyond that impossible limit. 

True to form – or, if one is on the nurture side of the nature-nurture argument, molded to form – Brent performed adequately at every stage of his life.  He could correctly respond to Catechetical questions (‘Where is God…Who made you? etc.), had all S’s (Satisfactory) on his report cards, and got Honorable Mention for Honor Camper at Camp Aniweta. As far as his mother was concerned, Brent was on his way.  He would never make waves, would never be recognized for superior achievement, but would make his  way more easily and successfully in life than his more talented and ambitious classmates.

He did well enough in his middle-tier, Midwestern college to qualify for the World Bank’s Junior Executive program.  The Bank was looking for the likes of Brent – someone of modest intelligence, who conformed well to institutional structure, who took orders in stride, was collegial and complaisant.  The Bank, like most social institutions wanted bus drivers – men of enough intelligence to keep the bus on the straight and narrow up I-95, but not so much to be distracted (this for years has been the recruiting principle of the Peace Corps) – and were delighted to find Brent’s application in their in-box.

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Brent passed through his probationary period well – not with flying colors, for that would have been out of character – and he went on to full employment.  He became a hard-working, dutiful, and faithful lieutenant of the organization.

His love life was bit more complicated because the women he met took more for granted from a World Bank imprimatur than any savvy female hustler should have.  Simply stated, they took his position as a surrogate for ability; and Brent, not unlike most men, smart or dull, took advantage of this delusion.  Yet because of his mother’s disciplined rectitude, he could never take undue advantage of the Washington working class groupies that sidled up to him at the Mayflower Grill.  After not too long, he settled on an unassuming, personable, and pretty girl from Gaithersburg.  They courted, she met his mother – who of course was as pleased as punch at the equilibrium of the match – and married soon after.

The marriage was in a church – once again not an august church like St. Matthew’s Cathedral where John F Kennedy was blessed but at the Church of the Holy Redeemer, too high up on Massachusetts Avenue to be of any political or social significance, but hierarchically acceptable.  The couple honeymooned in the Virgin Islands and settled in to a maturing relationship in an apartment in the Brighton, the home of Washington dowagers and High Church widows on an attractive corner of near-downtown Washington.

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The problems began when Emma, Brent’s new wife, began to take exception to his domestic habits.  Both she and Brent were unexceptional people, both brought up properly and unexceptionally; but genetics always rears its head sooner or later.  She, a totally unremarkable woman, schooled in the most bourgeois traditions of cleanliness, godliness and propriety, and as inflexible as they come, the child of Methodist ministers, took exception to his flagrantly objectionable habits – whiskers in the sink, toilet seat up, pee on the floor, mud on the carpet – all of which were so predictable and trite that they were laughable  but which she took bloody seriously.  She prickled him, nettled him, poked, and prodded him about these transgressions until he had had enough.  As much as his mother had trained him into a peaceful complaisance, she underestimated his father’s genes.  The man had been a regular Lothario in his day, a transversal hippy who slanted right when left was in order and vice-versa, a fuck-all product of the Sixties with enough anti-social sentiment to last through ten marriages. 

Unfortunately this weird marital combination of Brent’s parents – a strictly uninteresting,  lace curtain, prudently Catholic mother; and a libertine father – took its toll on Brent.  His mother who, for all intents and purposes raised him according to her own imperiously practical tenets, had set his secular agenda.  His father, via his DNA, had produced a child of ineffable sexuality and sexual defiance.  Poor Brent, betwixt and between, appreciating his wife’s practicality and good sense, but acting by his father’s genetic rules.   Obeisance to be paid to his wife, but fuck all and fuck her from her father-in-law.

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Brent should not be faulted or condemned for his reaction to his wife’s ‘pound of flesh’, ‘death by a thousand cuts’ view of marriage.  Toilet seat this, puddle of pee that, stove left on, back door not locked, silence at dinner, listening  but not hearing, indifference about in-laws and distant relatives….It was no wonder that Brent’s father’s genes kicked in; but surprisingly so.  Not only did Brent give her a dismissive fuck-off, and a trip to the Caribbean with Marge from Accounting, but strychnine in her tea, a crude, Agatha Christie end-all to a bad marriage, but a traceable one.

The jury was unsympathetic.  After all this was 100 years after suffrage, 40 years after the pussy-first women’s movement, and a scant few after the identity-first, women-take-all progressivism of the 2020’s.  There was only one holdout in the jury, a man who said that his wife deserved it.  She was Desdemona, Emma Bovary, Lady Chatterley, and a thousand other castrating women who were more to blame for men’s ‘divergences’ than anything.  The hung jury was told to go back to deliberations, and the 10 feminist jurors badgered, hectored, and pounded the dissenter just like Helen had flailed and enraged her husband.

The lone holdout, although he in the end capitulated, told the press that his initial vote was for men in general – men who, despite their oft-cited dominance and pre-eminence, were in reality slaves to reproductivity.  Only women could be sure as to the parentage of their offspring; and like Laura, the main character in Strindberg’s Miss Julie, she take advantage of this knowledge and intimidates, threatens, and then destroys her husband.  A not-guilty vote, he and his lawyers argued. was not only a vote for legal exoneration, but for a restitution of male rights – a re-equilibrium of the gender equation.

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Brent was found guilty but his sentence was reduced because of circumstance and the presiding judge’s own bad marriage.  Judge Clarence E Turner was married to a far more petty, vixenous woman than Emma Biggers; and even though the liberal, feminist jury voted for conviction, Judge Turner could not see to impose severe penalty.  If the truth be known, he was always ready to throttle his dumb, co-opting, pissy wife.

So Brent got the minimum, served five years in a minimum security prison in Danbury, CT, spent his probation working as an adjunct pubic defender in civil court, never re-married, and became active in the ‘Vixens, Harridans, and Succubuses’ anti- feminist movement. Who better than he to argue against the feminist onslaught?

Within the male underground, he was a hero.  Not only had he gotten rid of his pompous, arrogant, and defiant wife; he had set the country on a more appropriate,  gender-respectful course.

The last anyone had heard of Brent Biggers was that he was back in the Idaho Panhandle, living free and with a woman who adored him. Who said that viperous women would not get their comeuppance? and that it was only men who would have to pay for gender transgressions? 

Unrepentant, without a scintilla of guilt, and a hero to the Oppressed Majority, Brent quickly left prison far behind.  What could be bad, he said, feeling a tugging of his ancestral roots? And so he became an advocate not only for male rights but for ‘European Recognition’, a movement which championed Western European civilization and revered its philosophy, ethos, and practices.

No one can predict the way a marriage will turn out; so let the buyer beware.  For all the quiet, unassuming, pedestrian marriages in the world, there are those at the avant garde, the ones that challenge received wisdom and loss, but which may end up in murder.

All this was academic to Brent Biggers who suffered until his precipitous, untoward aggression, languished in prison, but emerged as a minor counter-cultural hero.  Recalling the wonder years of Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry, Brent’s post-prison meme was, “The bitch set me up”.  Unrepentant and Othello-like, he told his male judges that he had done them a favor – women would always be untrustworthy, duplicitous, and picky and deserved whatever they got.

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Of course he never meant murder, and was indeed sorrowful and deeply repentant for his crime; but he never relinquished the male mantle of grievance and righteousness. He even made reference to St. Paul who said that those who were married would have to suffer, given the sacrament under whose authority they tied the knot; but those were not married should stay away at all costs.

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