A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster
Originally this column was to be a two-hour lecture on the suffragette movement of the early 1900s. I planned to explain my theory that Emily Pankhurst was not after the right to vote at all when she chained herself to a lamppost outside the British Parliament buildings but merely wanted her husband to give her a hand cleaning the toilet now and then.
Throughout history, men have always been given all the glory. Sometimes it was justified (the guy actually did something), but most of the time some woman discovered something, or invented a machine for picking fly poop out of pepper and her husband showed up at the awards dinner while she stayed home with the kids.
Occasionally though a woman is revered for her work, but not often.
Joan of Arc is one such woman. Joan almost single-handedly roused the French troops to repel the English invaders way back in 1429. Repel is rather a delicate way of saying she beat the crap out of them. Strangled over a hundred all by herself from what the Pope told me.
I believe that battle marked the first time in history that a woman’s PMS rage was used to an advantage. If I had been the English commander, I would have checked her calendar before I even got off the boat. He probably wasn’t married. What an idiot!
But the Frenchmen being Frenchmen sold poor Joanie to the English and in a fine example of the British justice system the Brits burned her at the stake for heresy.
But, and this is important, realizing that a mistake had been made, France rehabilitated her in 1456, which I’m sure made her ashes feel much better. That’s like giving a guy a comb after all his hair falls out.
We students of psychiatry have since come to the conclusion that Joan was either a religious fanatic or a homicidal maniac. Nevertheless, she is considered one of the world’s great heroines. St. Joan was canonized in 1920. Her acceptance speech was highly amusing, a laugh a minute apparently if you spoke French. Which of course no one did since her ordination was in Rome and everyone there speaks Latin.
Helen of Troy is another woman who has been singled out as one of the greatest women of her time.
While her husband was at a lodge meeting, Helen, the little tramp, took off with Paris. Paris was a Trojan, although he refused to wear one. Safe sex back then was when her folks were out for the evening and there was a 90 percent chance they wouldn’t be home before midnight.
That little affair started a war that lasted 10 years and only ended when a dozen Greeks hid inside a horse’s bum. From there the story gets a little confusing. As a matter of fact, the thought of it so soon after dinner makes me feel a little nauseated. I’ve often wondered what the horse thought.
No one seems to know what happened to Helen. I later heard she couldn’t get Paris to make a commitment. He kept saying, “What do we need a piece of paper for? You know I love you.”
Then one night she knifed him after he came home drunk wearing Venus de Milo’s underpants. Venus was probably innocent enough. If he wanted her pants all he had to do was pull them down. She didn’t have any arms. I don’t know how she got them on in the first place.
Cleopatra was another great woman of history. She had a torrid affair with both Julius Caesar and one of his generals, Marc Antony, and I believe at the same time. Quite a remarkable feat considering it happened 2100 years before computerized scheduling. There is some confusion about Cleopatra’s death. Some scrolls say she was bitten by an asp – while others report she was bitten on the ass, quite a difference I’d say.
But as you can see, these women were honoured centuries ago. Very few modern women have been given the fame and glory they deserve since then, and it’s just unfair.
So many brilliant women have been overlooked in our society.
Not many people are aware that Alexander Graham Bell’s wife, Agnes, also worked with her husband and his assistant, Watson. The history books never tell you that.
In fact, it is not generally known that Bell’s famous phone call saying, “Watson, I need you.” was not the first telephone call ever made. Alec made another before that, but all he got was a busy signal.
Some ugly, he walked back to the laboratory and said to Watson, “What’s wrong with the damn phone?”, and Watson said, “Nothing! Agnes has been talking to her mother for a flippin’ hour.”
Was Mrs. Einstein as smart as her husband Albert? We’ll never know I guess. Both passed away years ago. There was a show about her one night on A & E’s Biography, but I couldn’t watch it because Julia Roberts was on another channel. I’ve watched every movie she’s ever made since she played a hooker in Pretty Woman. I guess Julia and Richard Gere got married at the end of that movie – you remember the knight in shining armour on the fire escape bit. It was probably a good marriage until he caught her with the pool boy. It was Richard’s fault. Julia said, ‘What should I tip the pool boy?’ and Richard said, ‘Screw the pool boy!’
But I don’t doubt that Einstein’s E = MC2 business was stolen from his missus. From what I’ve read, the only formula Albert ever came up that was any good was one for homemade beer. Even that was a hardly a success since half of Germany got the runs from the stuff and the rest went blind.
Hopefully things are better for women now. Now that we are 22 years into another millennium, I have great hope for the Feminist Movement today and in the future. We’ve come a long way from the days when we marched proudly down the streets of San Francisco burning our bras. Well, I didn’t burn my bra per se, but I was there on the front lines, a fire hose in one hand and a tube of Ozonol in the other, ready to rub it on at a moment’s notice in case one of the ladies forgot to take her bra off first.