Sunday 14 July 2013


Lauren Sandler has a new book out: One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child. She defends limiting the number of kids because more women are breadwinners today and fully engaged with their jobs. They don’t want to spread themselves too thin, she says. Plus, they want to have more fun than parenting can offer. Wrong, and wrong again, Lauren. Listen to me:

First of all, mothers can be breadwinners AND have babies. I mean, look at Angelina Jolie. She earned 4 million Dollars for photo shots of daughter Shiloh in 2006, and 14 million for her twins in 2008.  I don’t call that spreading yourself thin. Oh, but she is a celebrity, you say. Well, then what about Jamie Lynn Spears: 1 million for her baby daughter in 2008. You think I made a mistake – I meant Britney Spears? No, I’m talking about Jamie Lynn “Nobody has heard of since” (Globe, 12 July). So, don’t believe a word of One and Only. First of all, dropping babies is a fully engaging and well paid job. And, secondly, it hurts. Yes, you heard me right. That’s a big plus. Hurting is IN, or why do you think women wear stilettos?

But you’ll be glad to hear that gainful suffering isn’t just for women. Daniel Merriweather, an Australian song-writer, has jumped the gender gap. He is set to collect a lot of royalties from his song, Water and Flame, which has been picked up by Celine Dion. And you know why? Because that song has every ounce of his heartache and pain in it (TO Star, 7 July). You see a cultural meme taking shaping here: the economics of masochism. Hurt and get paid!

But just as in other financial transactions, you can hurt now and get paid later. Metabolite blood tests are here, people. They can determine your life expectancy, give or take a few years. The possibilities of hurting right now are limitless: Cry yourself to sleep pondering your best before date. Write a tentative obituary. Design your coffin and flower arrangements. Just don’t do your planning while crossing a busy street. Getting hit by a car isn’t covered by metabolite tests.

A new bar in the New York Hilton on 6th Ave also offers equal opportunity pain, if you dislike winter as much as I do, that is (Metro, 10 July). Called, Minus Five, because the temperature is kept at -5 degrees Celsius (22 Fahrenheit), the bar offers ice walls and ice benches, allowing patrons to wear gloves, boots, parkas and other ungainly articles of clothing that hurt your image. Naturally you will want to drink your vodka straight up – I mean, standing up to keep your butt from freezing. Unless you understand the economics of masochism and plan on selling images of your blue butt online.

Bonus points if you are Canadian! You can hurt and still feel patriotically good – because the ice around you is guaranteed 100 per cent Canadian.

They must be running short of the stuff in Alaska. If so, I hope the Feds slap an export tax on the Canadian winter.


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