Sick issues

Dear Readers. Sorry. I couldn't show up today. I've got my period. And now – for real life, which, in the 21 century means that women might have what Mr. Thompson so coyly referred to as 'sick issues' but they go to work because it's less of an issue than the bottle of Jack Daniels the young blokes had after the rugby last night, which they are now calling 'food poisoning' and so have called in sick. It is also much less of an issue than not having been born officially brain damaged and yet inclined to say incredibly stupid things without the benefit of anyone being able to feel any empathy.

Strangely I didn't find the interview with him to be at all offensive. In order to be offended one would have to take him seriously and it just couldn't be done. He looked like the smiling tin monkeys with the little hats on that you used to be able to wind up and then let them play their drums – he just kept going in that horribly funny way like watching a plane stall and everyone's giggling nervously until it actually starts diving. The tension was excruciating. What was even funnier than Mr. Thompson trying not to have a brain leak and let the world know what he really thought on TV, (women are obviously morons and should go back to making pikelets) were his efforts at apology. I wondered if perhaps he was gay as he had obviously never had a close relationship with a woman before. Surely any bloke would know that if you wish to fly an emotional kamikaze mission you should always follow the words 'I'm sorry' with the words 'but it's true.'

I wondered at this point if Mr. Thompson had a personal public relations assistant who had to constantly walk around behind the cameras with an enormous sign which would read 'OK Alasdair Shut the $##@$@ up now!' Just so that she could minimise the hours she had to spend on damage control. Obviously she had her period last week and didn't make it. Pity.

One wondered what in fact the bigger issue would be to an employer A) A woman who was really good at her job and actually did take a day off every month or B) someone like Mr. Thompson who managed to be a complete plonker and a liability every day of the week? Hard to say. Mr. Thompson is also right. We all know that blokes if they had periods would roll their own tampons in some menstrual Marlboro moment and go and log pine trees to prove how macho it all was and then give themselves a monthly bonus cheque. We get it. What we'd really like however is pay equity rather than these silly distractions but that's just a matter of allowing the old dinosaurs time to die off or quietly retire to a rest home in Orewa. It is also true that women probably do have a few more days in the year off especially if they're working Mums. This is because despite blokes not having periods they still manage to get off quite a lot of the stuff that women do. Things like: looking after sick kids, local charity fund raisers, school trips, organising the family get togethers/presents/baptisms/funerals and often food for all of the above, statistically still most of the house work, the present for the guy who's leaving work this week, the family holiday, the parent/teacher interview and piano concert and remembering to get the cat neutered as well as taking a cake to the old guy who lives alone. It's what chicks do. It's called being part of a family and a community. Here's a test: for every duty listed above that Mr. Thompson hasn't done this week he should get a 10% pay cut and a further 5% reduction for every day he showed up at work and said something dumb. And that should be the last we hear from him. Period.

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