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Sunday, 6 May 2012

Menopause, Poetry and Potatoes.

My Beloved asked me to do something really outrageous .

No, no, don't worry, I'm not going to give details of our intimate relations, probably because:
  1. It's a purely private matter between my Beloved and myself
  2. A gentleman never kisses and tells
  3. There's not that much going on in that area any more.

She asked me to accompany her to a musical.

I was all for it.

Knowing that such acceptance would increase my brownie point tally to a healthy balance, and that the alternative was going swimming in the public pool in Upper Hutt.  I really don't like swimming in the late Autumn and Winter, especially in a public pool, but my Beloved insists.  She tells me it is nice to do things together.

I don't see how going to the pool is doing things together.  We can't really have a cosy and intimate chat while gasping for air and trying not to drown.  AND I swim a lot faster than she does, so we're never really together.  Except at the end when she likes to sit in the jacuzzi for 15 minutes.  I've never really seen the attraction of sitting in a large vat of people soup, being coated with secreted oils (more importantly, other people's secreted oils) and skin debris.

However, I said I'd be happy to go to the musical. 

The last time we went to a musical entertainment in Upper Hutt, it was an amateur dramatics show of such unspeakable awfulness that I still feel a bit nauseous (see here), but anything was better than swimming.

I was told the show started at 6pm, so I had to make the extra effort to get finished quickly at Nuova Lazio High School to get home in time.

As we pulled into the car park I could see plenty of people making their way towards the theatre, but strangely, most of them were ladies.

My goodness, they're all ladies


Then as we walked into the reception area, ALL I could see were women.  No.  Wait.  I saw about 4 blokes huddled together near the bar, obviously for self-protection.

Then I saw the title of the show.


Oh Dear God, what the hell was I letting myself in for.

We got to our seats just before the lights went down, but as far as I could see, I was the only bloke in the first 5 rows.

I began to get a really bad feeling about this.

I was right to be afraid.

Very afraid.

The show consisted of 4 women of a certain age singing about The Change.

They used pop hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s with re-written lyrics, commenting on the problems faced by women, with most of the problems being of an intimate nature.  They were using this musical medium to get the message across that it was OK to discuss the problems the menopause caused.

They covered Hot Flushes, night sweats, irrational emotional states, hot flushes again, the use of tranquilisers, HRT and the lack of care and attention by their MEN.

My Beloved and the hundreds of ladies in the auditorium went into hoots of laughter at all of the jokes, but I didn't see it as being that amusing.  Neither did the other 4 blokes from what I could see.

Then they got started on me.

EVERY time they alluded to a failure of their male partners to understand or support them in their hormonal anguish, they all looked at me.  The entire f*cking audience looked at me.
They were all staring at me

It was MY fault that their blokes disappeared into their sheds, garages and gardens.  It was MY fault that their blokes preferred to watch sports and work on the roof rather than help and discuss the hormonal/emotional problems now enveloping the ladies.

AND worst of all, it was obviously MY fault that their blokes were no longer satisfying their *blush* sexual needs.

This was when they began singing "Good Vibrations".

They sang "Good Vibrations" with pink condoms over their radio microphones, which they thrust in A VERY SUGGESTIVE MANNER, as they also did with their chests and pelvises (pelvi?)

Like these, but much, much worse

Dear Lord, I'd heard of pelvic thrusts, but this was a bit much.

Then the blonde performer (who was playing the character of an ageing soap TV show star with an unsavoury reputation as a bit of a cougar) began to sing directly to me.

She came right up to the edge of the stage, looked straight into my eyes, and began to sing the most filthy lyrics of the evening.  TO ME.

Good taste dictates that I cannot give the lyrics verbatim (just as well, because my own inner Operating System has already blanked most of them out), but let me just say that she sang a rhyming verse, the last words of which were "You Silver Fox".

When the torture was over and the cast began to leave, the blonde was still thrusting suggestively, and made the universal symbol for "Call Me" as she left.

I was severely traumatised. 

My Beloved thought it was all good fun.

Ha   Ha.

As we left, the ushers on duty reminded us to fill in the questionnaires enclosed in our programmes, so we could enter a prize draw.  I didn't have a pen on me (unusually, because as a teacher I normally have at least 5 on my person at any time, two of them with red ink) and the usher mentioned that there was a box of complimentary pens lying beside the back row of seats back in the auditorium.  As I pushed my way back into the auditorium to get the pens, one of the 4 blokes was exiting.

I thought he might give me "we're all blokes in the sh*t together" look, but what he said was "Going to get her number mate?"

I ask you.

Male solidarity?
All Blokes in it together?
Mutual defense against the horde of womanhood?


I must go soon.   The show has put my beloved in an odd state of mind.  I'm sure she thinks that the entire female audience were lusting after me, and I think she's out to prove some point or other.

Oh-oh, she wants something

Pray for me.


Homer gave me a good slagging off (as his is intrinsic right as a thinking cognitive human being, even if he's wrong) about my obvious disdain for looby's liking for Slovene Poetry (I'm never quite sure if it's Slovene poetry he's after or Slovene women)

Hello lovely Slovak girl. Do you know any good poetry?
The problem I have is in the translation. What does it really say?
Here are some examples.

In Slovak.

Zem je plná matkinom krvi,
Kvety v Dunaja bahna
Moja krajina je rozdelená ako sekerou v lese,
Pracujem tak tvrdo, ako len môžem pre spoločné dobro.

Literal translation. (Bless you Google)

The earth is full of mother's blood
Flowers in the Danube mud
My country is divided like an ax in the forest
I work as hard as I can for the common good.

Poetic Translation.

The earth is full of my mother’s blood,
The flowers grow in the Danube’s mud
My country is split like an axe in the wood,
I slave all day for the common good.

Official Slovak Government translation(Carnations are the Slovak National Flower)
Our ground is so fertile my Dear,

Carnations will grow quickly I fear,

The divide can be great,

But we all pray for a crate

Of our great Slovak beer.


I lied about the potatoes.


  1. You poor suffering bastard.... Is your woman secretly trying to drive you away do you think? (Nah, that cant be it)
    I've been to some horrible womens nights (I cant talk about it...too traumatic) but I do know that when they tear strips off some poor bugger in the audience all the other (few) blokes are just bloody grateful that it's not them getting it..

  2. I don't think so Tempo, we've been together now for 35 years (strange, that reminds me of the Beatles somehow)

    I feel for your wasn't a Chippendale party was it?
    My Goodness, I hope not. That's more than a bloke can really bare. (Bare...get it???)

    I think you're right however, the other blokes were just sitting there thinking, "I'm so bloody glad it isn't me"


    1. In a previous life I was a DJ for pub parties, weddings etc. One of my chores was to do several womens only parties every year for various womens groups (shudder)

    2. That could have been a very frightening experience. There's nothing worse that a bunch of drunken women, especially when they start to hunt in packs.

    3. AH, yeah! (ugly dreams...very ugly dreams)Oh how I suffered, and me being easily embarrassed.

    4. Yeah. Having read many of your posts, I can see what a delicate flower you are. But I bet the nightmares were real.
      Imagine the bras being thrown.
      imagine the panties being twanged.
      Imagine the corsets bursting.

      Worst of all, imagine the varicose vein stockings being wrapped temptingly around your neck.

  3. Evening Richard. Computer problems fixed?

  4. Well done TSB. You have an uncanny knack for telling it like it is.
    I, like most other males of my age have vicariously experienced menopause and all of its manifold and bizarre manifestations.
    The loss of libido situation has intrigued me most. So it's my fault that she needs more time nowadays! Now, I have always thought that foreplay shouldn't be rushed and when accompanied by say a John Coltrane or Mile Davis recording is adequate time but the whole of Wagner's bloody Ring Cycle!

    1. Thank you TC. I'm not sure if it's a gift or a curse. Blokes suffer in peace, it's what we do, and the women do go through some odd mental configurations.

      Of course it's your fault.
      I'm surprised you've forgotten the basic rule.
      It's ALWAYS the bloke's fault.

      HAHAHAHA "the whole of Wagner's bloody Ring Cycle!" epic

  5. Women are from Venus, men are from Mars. I think the discussion should be left at that.

    As for Zlaty Bazant, I was in Slovakia a few years back on a skiing holiday and drank my fair share, cold and refreshing. As for Slovakians, I remember them as quite tall and grey devoid of humour. They are fairly new to tourism so given time I am sure they will adapt and view tourists as welcome guests and not creatures with two heads is how we felt most of the time. The skiing was great at about £4 per day!

    1. There are differences, I will agree to that. Vive la difference!

      I've been in the Czech Replublic but not Slovakia, so it's all news to me, but as the beer was so good in Prague, I thought that the Slovak stuff would also be good. And cheap.

      You're lucky to have been able to see the country before crass commercialism ruins it.

  6. In Chaka Khan's immortal words... I feel for you. Is it some sort of revenge thing, where they feel all talk of sex is dominated by men (which isn't true any more anyway) and they want to turn the tables on men for once? Is it because middle aged women come from a culture or generation which finds it difficult to talk about the change so they over-compensate by shouting about it in musicals? It would have been good if you could have called the singer's bluff by going back stage and asking for her number.

    Now, as to Slovenian poetry:
    1) Homer is not a man.
    2) What poem is this?
    3) You're getting Slovak and Slovene confused. They are entirely different languages; ok they're both Southern Slavic, but they're not at all mutually comprehensible and Slovene doesn't have the acute accent.
    4) Google Translate doesn't really cope very well with anything beyond the essentials of the modern traveller (i.e., "Two beers please" and "Where are the toilets?").
    5) Agata Troja's poetry was translated by a British based university lecturer in Slavic and East European Studies, who is an old friend of Agata's from the same area of Slovenia and has a deep affinity for her imagery and dialect, as well as a near mother-tongue ability in English.
    6) The final stanza however, where you find your own voice, is excellent--even if it does unfortunately continue the Slovakia/Slovenia confusion--and could easily find a place within the Bratislava Tractor Factory #68 Progressive Workers' Poetry Annual. I would give you the editor's name but she hasn't yet re-emerged from Zyzynagrynja Police Station where she went voluntarily in March 1996 to be questioned about her journal's ideological stance on beetroot.

    1. I thnk you've hit the point about the middle aged women from a different culture. All of the ladies in the audience seemed to be able to fight their way through their blushes (and hot flushes)using the music and the comedy as a medium of expression. By the looks on their faces i would say it verged from the cathartic to the orgasmic.
      I may be silly, but I'm not daft. If my Beloved had truly thought I was after the singer's phone number, I'd be typing in a castrato voice.

      1. Homer is not a man?
      He was when I was at school. My word, the wonders of modern medical science.
      2. I made the poem up.(Surprise)
      3. I know *blushes in embarrassment*
      4. I know *blushes in deeper embarrassment*
      5. Sorry
      6. Thank you.

      I was going to leave the whole poetry thing here, as you may have gathered it's not really my scene, but I got so emotionally involved by that poor editor's sacrifice for the ideologicaly confused beetroot, that I know, deep down, that I'll have to carry on.
      If nothing else, for the sake of the beetroot.

  7. I was wondering how you were going to work the potatoes in. Sounds like a dreadful evening.

    1. The potatoes were a mistake. I actually had a reasonably funny anecdote based on the humble tuber, but between starting writing this blog and reaching the final section, I found I'd forgotten it.
      The blessings of old age just sort of creep up on one.

      I must admit, it wasn't that pleasant.

  8. Musical theater is fraught apparently.

    1. You are correct.
      I felt really flat afterwards, but it did leave a sharp impression.

  9. As much as I love a night of good theater, it's a rare trip to a musical. Most are tedious and the ak-tors are insufferably sincere. MENOPAUSE has been kicking around the circuit for a few years now. I feel for you, brother. What's next? The Vagina Monologues? Ha! Let me know if you liked it!

    What will you ask for payback?

    1. The last musical I saw was Hairspray when we spent a week in Melbourne, and it wasn't too bad, but the most disappointing show we saw was Cats. Some nice songs but bugger-all else.

      The Vagina Monologues?

      OMG. Just checked out a clip on YouTube. NEVER.

      I'd rather kiss Ringo.

      As for asking for payback, I'm afraid that you may be a tad naive.

      It's obviously my fault for agreeing to go to the bloody thing, therefore there will be no payback.
      Haven't you figured out the female logic of life yet?
      Poor boy.

    2. Well you could always take Mrs T to the the show "Puppetry of the Penis" if it ever comes back on tour. That would be a good tit-for-tat I reckon. Then watch her blush.

    3. "Puppetry of the Penis"?

      This post is degenerating from the ridiculous to the completely off the bloody planet.

      Please remember that this is a family blog, and such references to the male genatalia are discouraged.

      Tit-for-tat and blush are unfortunate descriptors in this context.

  10. I'd have filed for divorce - I mean we have conversations like ... "Oh look Chicago is on soon locally... you won't want to come will you?" I get asked but in a way I can politely say - very nice of you dear but no I can't that night... when is it? Similar to her declining standing for 9 hours in the pouring rain as me and my son watch cars/bikes slither around Brands Hatch in the name of motorsport.

    I'll not comment on the poetry lest another international incident ensue

    1. You're very lucky to have such a lovely and undemanding partner. To be fair, it was partly my fault as my Beloved yold me later that she had informed me what the musical was all about, but that I, as usual, wasn't listening.

      9 hours in the rain? I admire your dedication, if not your common sense. Ever thought about watching it on TV?

      The poetry.

      To misquote Francis Urquhart
      "You may say that listening to poetry in a foreign language is like having a chili oil enema, but I couldn't possibly comment"

  11. I hate musicals even the professional ones. But this sounded a bit of a blast (sorry) and huge compliment that your wife asked you along. Does this make you one of the gels?

    1. Thanks ALW, I don't think I'll be able to take many more complements like this, not without resorting to some sort of anaesthesia. Like whisky.
      The only musicals I've ever enjoyed are West Side Story and Hair, and as for Opera; I think I'd rather have my hemorrhoids removed with anaesthetic than go through that again.

      Make me one of the gels? I should say not. Even though I've been married for 35 years, I'm still (just) a proper bloke.


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