Young love, awwwww.......
For all the Aussies out there reading this blog, you will know that Adelaide has been home to one of Saddam Hussein's bodyguards in some kind of 'oversight' by the Dept of Immigration.
It would be an entirely different blog than this little one that would trouble itself to point out all of the other 'oversights' by this department - that poor wheelchair woman sent back to the Philippines; placing pregnant women and children behind bars; leaving some poor soul on his own at Easter Island for a seven year long incarceration - so I'm only going to focus on our young friend Mr Oday Adnan Al Tekriti, or Oday for short.
Oday babes is 37 years old and married one of our ex-Liberal MPs, Dr Bernice Pfitzner, in 2003. All fine and dandy. Dr B first met Oday at the Woomera Detention Centre in 2000 when he was three days into a hunger strike and she was one of the treating doctors. A noble profession and very decent of her to work under such trying conditions. On her very first day of work she managed to convince him to give up the hunger strike - what a goddess - and continued to see him every couple of days until he was released on a bridging visa in 2002.
She 'sponsored' him (is that what they call shagging these days) and organised some accommodation for him in Adelaide. How very generous of her. Over the next few months, they rang each other often, culminating in marriage in 2003. Still with me? Good. All of the above information is valid, but it was the second sentence on the front page that made me cough out my meusli: "Dr Pftizner, 67, said the 30-year age difference was not important. Their friendship grew into understanding then love." Of course it did.
It left a rather unsavoury taste in my mouth and that wasn't the yoghurt. Thirty years difference? A sixty seven year old ex-MP and medical doctor (ker-ching!!) married to a 37 year old man who could only stay in this country with a permanent visa?
Who is using whom? Is Oday prostituting himself for freedom (and hoping she'll either cark it soon or he'll divorce her) and is she loving the fact that she's landed herself a young buck to (deep breath) 'service' her every physical need? Perhaps if they're both aware of the arrangement and can stomach it, it can be seen as a good working partnership. However I bet most of us merely see a deluded old bag who is vain enough to believe that a man young enough to be her son would be interested in her. Would she dare even think of whether he'd still be interested in her if he wasn't in detention or on a temporary visa? Their marriage would have about as much chance of lasting as Britney's post-baby singing career or a packet of Haigh's chocolate frogs within my hand's reach. Besides, he's now in 'hiding' somewhere and not even living with her - I bet he's relieved about that 'setback'.
You may think I'm being very hard and scornful but I've certainly criticised enough rich old men taking on new wives half their age and I believe that the reversal is just as sickening.
Seventy-something Joan Collins married a bloke 35 years younger than her. He's called the rather unfortunate name of Percy and looks about as manly as the bloke from 'Are you being served'. About forty years ago (before her husband was even born) she inspired the infamous joke: "What does Joan Collins put behind her ears to attract men?" Answer - her ankles. These days old Joanie's a rare visitor to the photo pages of gossip magazines but when she does make it in, it's normally to poke fun at her pancaked transvestite make-up and overly-corseted dress that's attempting to reverse gravity. From what I remember reading about them in Women's Weekly a few years ago, young Percy's a struggling playwright and she's struggling with ageing and reality, so maybe they do have a partnership in heaven. She funds his plays and he turns out the lights at night when she beckons.
There is also the equally sad and pathetic phenomenon of fifty-something British divorcees holidaying in poor African coastal countries, on the look out for young, studly Masai-tribe guys to take home as the ultimate souvenir. For so many of them, it's been very easy to be chatted up by a local stud-muffin and to fly them back to Scunthorpe or wherever to a quick marriage to cement their love. They'll tell you that age does not make a difference if you're young at heart -yet the reporter following their sagas tracks them down a few months later to discover the old slappers' husbands have shot through, having gained the coveted visa. How desperate would you have to be to honestly believe that a 19 year old African boy was going to live with you, a 58 year old fish wife?
Back to young Oday and Dr/Mrs Bernice. She's from Singapore and resides in Australia and he's from Iraq and worked very closely with Saddam. What on earth do they find to talk about? The Singaporean death penalty? The planned assassinations in Baghdad? Whether Kate should have won Australian Idol or how many children they planned to have together?
I'll bet half my arse that if any one of those May-December / Young Stud-Old Bag relationships stands the test of time, it will only have been because she died.