The shape of the world a generation from now will be influenced far more by how we communicate the values of our society to others than by military or diplomatic superiority. William Fulbright, 1964

Sunday, August 02, 2015


By the way: Making a clean breast of it

This column is about to reveal a bosom truth, so intimate it may be wise to hide the newspaper from the children and other impressionable members of your household.

On mature reflection just smudge the words – it would be unfair to deny readers the chance to be informed about the more acceptable doings of the world that feature on the inside pages.  Like events in Syria.

Enough.  You have been warned.  You read, your risk.  Now here’s the uncensored exclusive:

Western women have breasts.

Half the Indonesian population understands this because they assume their overseas sisters have been made in the same mould and need these organs to suckle babes.

But those of us who rely on television for imported news and entertainment know that foreign females are significantly different.

Large numbers have black skin, many have slit eyes, and some have frizzy hair. But the ones we are studying have a little cloud, or puff of smoke attached to their chests.

As it’s illegal to show people inhaling nicotine on television, though not to be seen enjoying glamorous and exciting lives from consuming the drug, let’s assume the actresses are not having a quiet drag off-camera and exhaling once back on set.

How the clouds get there is a great mystery; in nature they usually form when heat rises after being generated at lower levels. Consequently it can be assumed that a similar phenomenon is taking place.

Sadly Indonesian chest clouds don’t enhance the delightful curves normally associated with the female form. Nor do they have the beauty of the cotton-wool cumulus that float across our skies.

Instead they have ragged edges and a grubby look, like a soiled undergarment – a real meteorological disturbance presaging dirty weather.  As this column promotes serious discourse and prohibits puns we’ll not suggest a storm in a C cup.

Emission or appendage, the clouds have a life of their own, strangely not always moving at the same pace as their owner.

Should the lady lean over while wearing a low-cut top the cloud puffs and expands.  However it disappears altogether when she stands upright, provided her profile is not too prominent.

Should her blouse swell to the point where buttons seem ready to pop, the cloud magically reappears.

Indonesians who travel overseas should be warned that the climate elsewhere is different, and that chest clouds can’t be seen.   In other latitudes women have plump, flesh and blood hemispheres that they are often proud to reveal.

They believe that what the Deity has created can’t be a matter for shame.

Your correspondent once encountered 30 academics from a famous East Java university on a short language course overseas; despite their education some were unaware that New Zealand women’s chests are cloudless.

This was during the summer when Kiwi lasses, who have spent the chill winter months embedded deep in multiple layers of wool, start to moult.

The lecturers and professors, upright family men radiating power and prestige in their homeland, found the cloud-free environment so titillating they often skipped lectures to conduct their own research.

Some of their female colleagues reckoned this behavior threatened to create cleavage in the group.  However most reasoned that because learning is an uplifting experience, the men needed the photos to remember the trip.

Thanks for the mammories.

My wife, who’s a woman so thinks she knows better, previewed this BTW and made an outrageous statement:  She said the chest clouds are not natural but digital graffiti driven by bureaucratic prudery.

She also reminded that it wasn’t so long ago that Victorians in England dressed their table legs with skirts lest the sight of naked timber arouse diners’ lust.

Nonsense. This is 2015 and we’ve just turned 70.  We’re grown ups in the midst of a Mental Revolution; we’re modern folk who keep abreast of the times.

 Public servants have better things to do than watch hours of B-grade Hollywood movies just to spot and blot a few centimetres of the fairer sex’s anatomical superstructure.

They’re far too busy ensuring taxpayers’ funds are spent wisely on confronting corruption, improving efficiency and repairing the nation’s infrastructure.  Duncan Graham

(First published in The Jakarta Post on Sunday 2 August 2015)


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