Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not Tonight Dear...I Have Malaria...

In an effort to teach my kids that life exists beyond their technology-ridden, middle-class, midwest lifestyle, we've been watching the Travel Channel's program: Tribal Life - Meet the Namale. The Namale tribe lives on the island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. The men wear only a penis sheath made of grass (called a nambas - if you're interested) attached to a g-string. The women are topless and wear grass skirts. And they live in - you guessed it - grass huts. They live off the land and the kids actually do consider sticks and frogs interactive toys (see last post) and they refuse to adopt a modern lifestyle.

My kids are fascinated with the show and I like it too. But I've learned that some things are universal. See the young man in the photo above? Well, he's married and for the first time, he and his bride were going to attend a all-tribal bash where the women and men dance (jumping up and down in itchy, grass skirts and penis sheaths). They spend seven years getting ready for this party. The groom was really excited to go. Unfortunately, his young bride had a bad headache. (No, this isn't the universal part yet.)

So, he went without her - expecting her to catch up later (I know it sounds familiar, but not yet...wait for it...). Unfortunately for the young woman, she developed a fever and had to be evacuated to a hospital where it turned out she had malaria.

Cut back to the party, where her husband has a sad face and he says, "My wife didn't get to see me dance. I wanted her to watch me dance." (This is it. Go ahead and say 'I knew it!')

Yup. That's right. His wife has #$#$%&*! MALARIA and all he can think about is that he won't be able to strut in front of her. Malaria! Unless I'm wrong - she'll suffer bouts of this illness on and off for the rest of her life! But no, our proud peacock of a husband cares only that she didn't have the chance to gaze at him in all his glory.

I think this is something that starts in men very young. My seven-year-old son, since he could talk, has said nothing but "look at me!" over and over and over and over...well, you get the idea. Either I have to watch him do the same sommersault in the living room twenty times, watch him swim in the pool ad nauseum, admire his video gaming skills or watch him to see how much he eats - it drives me nuts. My daughter isn't the same way. But for some reason, boys insist on being watched all the time, and unfortunately turn into husbands who insist on being watched all the time. What the hell is up with that?

And while it was good to know it happens everywhere, from the jungles of isolated islands to industrial nations - it isn't any less annoying. The only difference here, is that it's too damn cold to wear a grass penis sheath. And I think that's a good thing.

"The Assassin"


Leah said...

OMG, Leslie, you never fail to crack me up. In a good way. ;-)

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I'll bet if he were the one with malaria, he'd have expected her to stay home with him too!!!


Tori Lennox said...

Men! They're all alike. *g*

Estella said...

Men! Gotta love em.

Gemma Halliday said...

I am laughing way too hard to type. Freakin hilarious, Leslie!


Leslie Langtry said...

Truer words were never spoken Jenyfer, Tori and Estella!

Leah - I live to crack you a good way ;)


Wendy said...

I agree with Jenyfer - men!

Christie Craig said...

Thanks for the real belly laugh, Leslie.

Wonder where I could buy a penis sheath?

Crime Scene Christie

catslady said...

Yeah you can't live with them and you can't live with them roflmao.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I suffer from a similar debilitating disease. I'm male.
Unfortunately you are imposing your cultural bias on the Namale.
"They spend seven years getting ready for this party." I suspect it was a very important event for both the bride and the groom. Is it possible she was disappointed too?

Dru said...


Men, no matter what part of the world they live are the same. What are we to do with them?

Leslie Langtry said...


You're right - it was important to her too. She was just as disappointed. He just didn't seem to be concerned about how she might feel.

And I should also say that my husband thought it was a smidge sexist - until I pointed out the fuss he wanted me to make over him when he organized the garage ;)


Wendy Roberts said...

I just can't get over the itchy scratchy grass penis sheath and skirts. Yanno, if someone introduced those people to the feel of an extra soft jersey knit around their privates it would probably change their worlds forever.

Anonymous said...

"until I pointed out the fuss he wanted me to make over him when he organized the garage ;)"

And why should you fuss?

Did it take him seven years?