It's difficult writing a column with the leadtime of almost a week for some of you, and more for the rest of you.
Anything can happen in that length of time. I could write a column about what a wonderful world this is and how everything seems to be looking up and how even Randy Simms seems optimistic about Muskrat Falls.
One week later, the world could come to an end and everyone in it be gone. You people would then think of me as an idiot par excellence and stop reading this column altogether. Not like it couldn't happen, you know. I heard a radio pastor from my part of the world declaring a few days ago that we are living in the last days. Now there's an original thought.
Anyway, my problem is to write columns that are as relevant when you read them as when I write them. It is true that satire and humour are never outdated, especially when their targets are living dynamic human beings. But I could be having fun with Jerome Kennedy this week and next week people be asking, "Jerome who?"
It would be pointless to say, "You know, the fellow who could sing with The Chipmunks — if he wanted to."
Second clue: he's portrayed as being extremely tough, but we'll see how tough he is when he mixes with the likes of Dwight Ball. Everybody, as the old song used to say, has to meet his Waterloo.
The situation that has prompted this concern about being out of date is well known to us all this week. It has to do with a proposal to set up a massage parlour on New Gower Street. By the time my column makes it through the week and into your blessed homes, that idea may be deader than a Newfoundlander's love for Stephen Harper.
Yes I know, Labrador, you love him, too.
Dennis O'Keefe may in a week's time have declared massage parlours to be a danger to the health and morals of the population of the Greater St. John's Metropolitan Area. Mayor Randy Simms might call him an arsehole and war could rage in the general vicinity of Donovan's Park. Mayor Harvey Tizzard could have called Open Line to Invite the massage parlour to Springdale stating that having Ed Smith living there has pretty much destroyed their reputation, anyway.
I'm telling you, anything at all can happen in a week.
Many people seem to have a problem with this idea. Personally, I don't understand it. New Gower Street seems as good a place as any to me.
Besides, try setting up a massage parlor on McCallum Street or Road Deluxe and see what happens.
"Not in my backyard!" I can hear the cries of protest rising from one end of those streets to the other. So, if not New Gower Street, where else? Bell Island? Rose Blanche? Somebody will be glad to get it.
One has to admit that the brochures being distributed around Memorial University are intriguing. I know you've heard about it. In fact by now they may have taken over the third floor of Atlantic Place, but I doubt it very much. They're going about it all wrong.
For one thing, this is supposed to be an exclusive place for well-to-do older men only. How many well-to-do older man are there?
Fact is, we are a dying breed. There is a widespread myth that those of us who are "older" are also raving sex addicts. Not true. Most of us are content to lie back on a Sunday afternoon in our rockers reading from Revelations. That's as much excitement as our hearts can take. Relying on us, therefore, as a group large enough and interested enough to get a small business off the ground is quite iffy.
The only saving grace here is that the information brochure doesn't say how old is "older." Thirty is older than 29, 35 is older than 33 and so on. Anyone at all can make use of the services offered by claiming that they are older. I think this should be encouraged so that more people can avail themselves of the product.
When you get right down to it, what is there about a massage parlour that would lure a man of any age away from hearth and home? A few comely maidens in various stages of undress rubbing their hands all over the bodies of these elderly gentlemen. What do you think these gentlemen have been doing the last 70 years? They've had more hands on them than exists in Poker Net. Creative hands, tender hands, loving hands — hands that have learned how to please him through thousands of hours of marital bliss.
How is a poor little university student going to do to compete with that?
There is also something called "50 Shades of Gray." I know many "older" couples who are reading that thing to each other and then acting it out. Most of them tell me it's boring. Can a massage parlour compete with that?
I did have a random thought. Perhaps if the organizers of this project had distributed their brochures to retirement centres, they'd have a much better chance of making it a success. Old men, after all, are used to old women. They're more comfortable with that age group. They don't necessarily want younger women, they just want different women, more variety.
Think, too, what a marvelous source of income that would be for retirement centres.
Other things they could do to boost interest would be to offer Tim Hortons cards, gift certificates (holy Santa) and seniors discounts. My other thought is to make the whole thing co-ed; have a cover charge and call it an orgy.
It would beat the heck out of bingo.
Ed Smith is an author who lives in Springdale. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.