Monday, December 12, 2005
Diamonds are forever?
Economics is one of the hardest human sciences for an ape to master. Dr Whipsnade once showed me a diamond he had bought as an investment – he said it would probably end up on the ring finger of a princess. Although it was very pretty and quite dazzling when held up to the light, I have to admit that the novelty wore off after a minute or two. I couldn’t understand why high-ranking human females would be so keen to acquire a trinket like that and show it off on their finger. You can see much prettier patterns by looking through a children’s kaleidoscope.
Apparently it’s all to do with economics. The high-quality diamond is rare, which makes it very valuable, which means that you can exchange it for vast quantities of goods. Dr Whispnade estimated that the diamond he showed me could buy a million bananas, which is a lot of bananas. His explanation seemed satisfactory at the time, but on further reflection I began to have my doubts. It’s all very well saying that a diamond could be exchanged for a lot of bananas, but has anyone actually done so? Is there a documented case of such a trade? After an exhaustive search, I could find no such example, which led to me suspect that deeper forces are at work.
My belief is that women who are given diamonds have no intention of exchanging them for bananas – or anything else for that matter. Their wish is to display them as status symbols and otherwise keep them safely locked away. It is very important to the woman that everyone knows that the diamond was a gift from her mate – buying your own gem is apparently cheating. So what the diamond signifies is the opportunity cost that the male has been willing to accept in order to please the female. Its value is the bananas that the male has forsaken, rather than the bananas that the female could acquire.
Using a diamond in this way may be a well-established human convention, but it seems rather shallow to an ape. It may, in fact, indicate a rich husband rather than a particularly devoted one. Is the man who buys a diamond for his mate more likely to protect her from a crazed baboon or pick the nits from her fur? My suspicion is that the reverse is true – i.e. he hopes that the gift of the gem will absolve him of any obligation to provide her with dangerous or time-consuming services. But if this is so, how many women realise that their diamond is actually a compensatory down-payment for an inattentive husband? Misunderstandings such as this may explain why so many human partnerships end in acrimony and divorce.
From a gorilla’s perspective, the human male should stop fobbing off his females with sparkling stones and adopt more practical methods of showing devotion. The first activity I would suggest is petting. Although most women lack sufficient body hair to be given a good stroking, a foot massage may be an adequate substitute. If a man can regularly press a woman’s feet without getting bored, it probably means he will be a good mate to her. The other activity I would strongly recommend is killing a dangerous beast on her behalf. All primate females have a deep psychological need to be protected by their mate, and this element of courtship is an essential component of many romantic movies. Ideally, the creature killed would be a crocodile (see Crocodile Dundee), but for the less courageous man a big, hairy spider may be an acceptable substitute (see Annie Hall).
Besides which, if they are real, what happens when the inevitable $9k diamond slips down the garbage disposal? Whoopps!! There goes a house downpayment/half of a new vehicle/ vacation to France.
Naahh, give me the foot massage and money spent elsewhere (like that vacation) any day.
And I always give Ms Cat credit for her honesty ~ whatever fatmammy is or isn't, she is always ( that I have seen, anyway) very open and direct. Which I like in a person (kudos to you fatmammycat!).
Tarzan, apropos the gold digger remark- I don't know if you know who Mrs Merton is or not, but she was a talk show host character created by Caroline Ahern, and on one of her shows she was interviewing a certain glamour puss Debbie McGee, wife of magician and bald ugly coot, Paul Daniels. Her opening line...
"So Debbie McGee, what first attracted you to millionaire Paul?"
Necklace! Oh shite.
Incidently, GB is right about women liking it when men deal with spiders. I never used to kill them, though, just put them in an empty coffee jar and throw them outside. Afterwards, my wife always liked it when I gave her a good tickling. Those were the days.
I find your attempts to approach such a difficult human subject touching, ape. Most endearing.
Let me help you to understand:
diamonds represent various things to humanity, rarity being only the most superficial--and ultimately artificial--property that diamonds possess.
Redhead is right to value the foot massage, but the diamond represents more that devotion. As she said, there is the extraction and the middlecreatures between its birth and you. Ultimately a diamong is a tiny, little piece of death mounted on your finger.
We mortals, ape or otherwise, have yet to master death.
But diamonds are awash in blood, and a high quality diamond represents at least 0.02% of a human death, with some of them as high as 210% of a human death.
The woman, whose loins are astir with passion when put into close proximity to the gemstone, is attracted to the fact that many people she doesn't know or care about are dead now. It makes her feel more alive in comparison, and life begets life through sex.
"When you are 92 and only have diamonds to caress your neck"
You are a yank, for christ's sake!
Sell them on ebay and hire all the foot-rubbers you need!
Jaysus! Is America losing it?
FMC is Right! There is no correlation between manners and courtesy in men towards women and a lack of status for women. That noseringed harpie was an unimaginative twerp.
Docy, how in the name of sheba have you eaten croc? I though you only ate neeps and tatties and deep fried mars bars? OH and broth...you mean all those stories are false?
Personally, I'm thrilled when I get that book or CD I mentioned once in passing (more than the object itself, it means he's listening) and some help around the house. I guess it takes all kinds.
I'm a simple soul.
Opening doors for people (regardless of sex) is common courtesy. That angry woman needs a few life lessons. She'll get them.
No offence to them, but they didn't do neeps, mince, tatties, broth, shortbread, haggis, scruttocks, farggies, or mars bar truffles with fresh raspberry coulee.
Did finally find some jeans. Went with the Levi's 505 for men, and had them tapered by the local stitch shop. The jeans are cheap enough, that it justifies the extra expense of alterations.