*Widely quoted, and most often attributed to John Wayne, in the 1949 film She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, written by Frank S. Nugent and Laurence Stallings. The line is spoken by The Duke and the exact quote is "Never apologize and never explain--it's a sign of weakness." But there are many others who have used the line, and its original source remains debatable. Being the anal-retentive pedant that we ARE, we just had to get that out of the way right up front. But, like Lucy when confronted by Ricky, I feel a lil bit o' "splainin" is in order about Saturday's post. There will be no apologizing, however.
First: It was a lil over three and a half years ago when I went on the record with this statement:
"The Second Mrs. Pennington almost literally saved my life. I was headed down a bad road when I met this woman; she turned me around and is, in large part, responsible for who I became and who I am today."
That's a true fact. Those anecdotes of mine in Saturday's post that illustrated blatantly illegal and/or immoral behavior (immoral in the Judeo-Christian sense, more about which below) happened before I committed to TSMP, for the most part… the one glaring exception being The Great European Divorce Tour of 1999. The Divorce Tour seemed like a good ideer at the time (like most foolhardy adventures) and it was… in large part. I wasn't in anything like my right mind after all that crap went down and it was good to get away… "clear the mind," "lose yourself," all that psychobabble stuff. It was, however, arguably bad judgment to think I could re-live some of the seamier aspects of my misspent youth.
The foregoing does NOT include hanging out in A-Dam's coffee shops, by the way. That was as enjoyable as it ever was, but only for the conversation that was in it, yanno? (tongue, meet cheek... cheek, tongue) The other salient fact is that most of life is spent in the vertical rather than the horizontal plane. And I had never seen Prague before… or drank a Budvar. Make that many Budvars, and other interesting brews. The Czechs know beer. And now I do, too... as well as knowing many other things about that lovely city.
Second: About that Judeo-Christian morality thing, or more specifically the Judeo-Christian sexual mores we Americans… and to a much lesser extent, other Western cultures… live under and much more specifically, the practice of contracting for sexual services. I'm not going to do a deep-dive here as I'm basically a shallow person* and this sorta thing just ain't my style… unless it's over a few beers and/or single-malts, where there can be an extended and frank exchange of opinion… but most certainly not on a blog. Suffice it to say other cultures have radically different views on this subject.
Just as an example, there were reputedly over 400 brothels in Chiang Mai, Thailand when I went TDY there back in the mid-'70s. This, in a town of approximately 100,000 people at the time… and Chiang Mai wasn't a "sex tourism" destination. Speaking of "tourism," I don't think anyone has even attempted to count the number of whorehouses in Bangkok. Or Taipei. Or Manila. OTOH, I'm sure the Dutch authorities know exactly how many houses of ill repute there are in Amsterdam, given such establishments are licensed by the gub'mint there… and inspected, too. Not a bad idea… that inspection thing (Can you say "Nevada?").
My basic point is the old "when in Rome" argument, with only one caveat: all activities would be between consenting adults… with acute and forceful emphasis on the last two words.
So much for the splainin'.
* my favorite Woody Allen movie quote, evah. It's become a watch-phrase for life in these parts.