Thursday, January 08, 2009


I see most of today’s newspapers are trying to outdo themselves over the fact that French Justice Minister, Rachida Dati, is now back at work five days after giving birth to a baby girl. “Looking astonishingly glamorous, she appeared at the Elysée Palace yesterday for a weekly Cabinet meeting,” gushes The Daily Mail.

So fucking what? I say.

The thing is, when I was a child, I kept rabbits. As is their nature, they reproduced rather rapidly, and I often watched them giving birth. They didn't roll around in histrionics, screaming for an epidural, as they did so. I didn't have to dial 999 and call for an animal ambulance to whisk them away to a special bunny maternity unit to be waited on, expensively, by half a dozen ante-natal vets. No: they just got on with it. Producing not just one, mind you, like Rachida Dati, but sometimes five or six at a time. Then, five minutes later – not five days, five minutes - they were back to munching rabbit food, business as usual. Reuters and AP didn’t bother sending a photographer round, either.

This proves conclusively that giving birth is just a normal bodily function, no more profound or complicated than eating, drinking, or sleeping. What is amazing about Rachida Dati, therefore, isn’t that she’s returned to work so soon, but that it took her so fucking long to get off her lazy arse and back to her job. What was the Hell was she doing in the meantime?

Then again, perhaps I’m being a little unfair to her. It's possible that Dati's domestic and dietary arrangements weren't as they should have been. Had she been kept in an outdoors hutch and fed a proper diet of carrots and crushed vegetable pellets, like my rabbits, maybe she’d also have been a lot more efficient in the reproduction department, reducing her gestation period to just 28 days and her post-natal recovery period to mere minutes, too. I suppose the disadvantage with this is that male cabinet members would all then feel a primordial urge to jump her, simultaneously, and impregnate her with their seed whenever she was in heat.

If this situation were to repeat itself exponentially, the staff of the Elysée Palace might increase to about 10,000 in just 12 months, no doubt provoking governments of other nations into similar acts of fecundity. I can’t imagine, for example, Putin or Obama being satisfied with only three offspring apiece if Sarkozy, alone, were able to produce 300+ over a single weekend. Thus we’d see the advent, not of an arms race, but of an arms, legs, head, and all the rest of the body race. Condom machines would be regarded in the same vein as Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” anti-ballistic missile initiative, factored into international treaties, and subject to inspection by (probably) Vatican observers. Regional wars would be fought by proxy armies to secure Viagra supply lines.

Whatever, at least Dati hasn’t demanded maternity leave. What is that crap all about, anyway? My rabbits didn’t demand a three year paid holiday after they’d given birth (which is probably just as well, given that domestic rabbits only have a four to five year lifespan). If women are allowed maternity leave, I think men should be allowed conception leave. In other words, if we ever get a hard-on while we're in the office, we should alert our manager to the fact, and then take a three year paid sabbatical to go out and get our end away.

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