Lucas is a man after my own heart

Mechanic proposes ditching marriage to end deadbeats problem

In Summary

• Sight of single mum of four with three ex-husbands sparks brainstorming

Silhouette of a family
Silhouette of a family


Do you, like me, sometimes wonder why you are friends with someone? What made you bond in the first place? It’s a question that arises as the fire of friendship peters out. Today at the garage, as my friend Lucas was changing the oil in my car, I relearned why he and I have become such good buddies.

It all starts after his last customer leaves, a beautiful young woman with four kids and no husband.

“Now, that’s just a shame, isn’t it?” Lucas says.

“She seems to be doing okay,” I opine.

“She’s only one of the lucky ones. She has a good job and an unmatchable gung-ho attitude. It’s not easy to raise four kids on your own.”

“What happened to her husband?”

“Three husbands, to be precise. All alive, all of them deadbeats.”

I take offence at what I think Lucas is insinuating. “Are you saying us men are to blame?”

He slides out and peeks at me from under the car. “Are you saying we’re not? Way I see it, there are three solutions to the family conundrums we face. One is a time machine. If a woman discovers her man is a loser, she can turn back the clock and get another one.”

Chuckling, I say, “That’s not going to happen any time soon. What’s the next?”

“Genetic engineering.”

“You mean make some men not reproduce?”

“I mean lock both men and women until they are ready. There would be a test, like KCPE, you know? If you pass, you get your goods unlocked and you can be a parent.”

“I have to give it you, man. It’s not half as ridiculous as it sounds. But that kind of DNA coding still belongs in the movies.”

Enthused, Lucas slides all the way out and gets on his feet. “The third solution is very feasible.”

“Let me guess. Neutering all the deadbeats.”

He cocks his head. “Are you speaking as a doctor or simply mocking me?”

“I’m sorry. Go on. What’s the third?”

“No marriages and no love.”

Now he has my attention. “Go on.”

“Men and women live in separate camps. Women stay with the children. Breasts and mother’s instincts and all that. But that’s all they do – rear the children. All other jobs are left to men, and everything they earn is distributed to all the women and kids. Pro rata.”

“Wait. How do these children get born?”

“When a woman is ready for a child, she picks a name from a bucket of eligible people. No marriage, no love.”

Now he’s lost me again. “How about sex and intimacy and companionship?”

“Come on, Tom. You’re a smart guy. You know you can’t light a fire without cutting down a few trees. Those very things you mention are the reason we’re here in the first place.”

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