So President Obama has announced that Osama Bin Laden is dead; making all westerners rejoice, and bringing despair to those websites that sell “America’s Most Wanted” playing cards because they’re going to have to get a whole new set printed.
It also brings to an end the longest game of Hide and Seek ever recorded. Nine years, seven months and twenty days is quite an impressive amount of time to be hiding behind the sofa, I’m sure you’ll agree. I bet Lord Lucan is kicking himself that he didn’t think to fill out the forms for Guinness before he did similar, though.
This concludes what I am calling (just because it sounds catchy) the Osama-Obama Ding Dong, and the cynic in me can’t help but wonder about the timing of it all – eclipsing as it does all that irritating discussion about whether Obama is really a US citizen and so allowed to be president.
But anyway … as a rule, I shy away from serious political comment, always preferring to prattle on about the inane and the trivial. So, back to my main point on today’s agenda:
Bin Laden believed he possessed a slip of paper promising to pay the bearer on demand the sum of “72 virgins and a mansion in Paradise”. This voucher is signed by the Chief Cashier himself and depicts the likeness of the Prophet Mohammed on the front and Burt from Sesame Street on the back. I hope Osama checked the small-print and had filled-out all the other bits and pieces (warranty card, three months of bank statements, a utility bill with his address on it, and references from at least two previous landlords), otherwise there’s going to be some angry shouting at reception and angry letters written to the Paradise Complaints Department.
But I wonder: is 72 virgins really such a Good Thing to retire on?
That’s 72 Ann Widdecombes. Or Mother Theresas. Or (scandal notwithstanding) the last few Popes. And I don’t know about you, but I have never managed to find the idea of owning a single sexually inexperienced Pope particularly alluring, let alone 72 of them.
And even assuming that the virgins you get are more heterosexually acceptable – say, a busload of teenage girls fresh out of art college – there’s still all the emotional baggage to consider. The persistent checking of their mobile phones, inane conversations about The X Factor, saying “like” all the time, their every little complaint (about you) broadcast on Facebook, and their needy insistence on cuddling after you finally get them into the bedroom of your heavenly mansion.
Best to steer clear of the virgins, I think. Instead, when you sign up for the Martyrdom Retirement Package, ask what you need to do to qualify for 72 chubby-but-bouncy office receptionists who look innocent, but become absolutely filthy after two Bacardi Breezers and a bag of chips.