Columns 3.8.2018 08:15 am

A knight in shining armour, or Don Quixote?

Don Quixote. Picture: iStock

Don Quixote. Picture: iStock

Actions have, as we all know, consequences, and in this instance I was the most unpleasant consequence.

This past week was particularly difficult for me because I had to face an uncomfortable truth: I am little more than a modern Don Quixote.

To summarise what happened: the lovely Snapdragon has a friend who interpreted her endearing friendliness as a declaration that she is one half of an open marriage and heaped a series of unmentionable suggestions upon her.

Actions have, as we all know, consequences, and in this instance I was the most unpleasant consequence.

I mounted my dapple grey stallion (which many would call a roaring silver Ford) and embarked on a quest to undo wrongs, bring justice to the world and revive the chivalric code by defending the honour of my unsuspecting Dulcinea.

I’m still not sure if I was her knight in shining armour or an idiot on a limping old nag, but things turned out okay. Okay for me, for her and even for her windmill, who escaped with little more injury than a dented ego.

But the somewhat embarassing episode presented me with some precious life lessons:

  • There is very little honour in the fine art of manliness. A crude glorification of violence is one of the most important building blocks of this overrated and often undeservedly applauded craft. But we, as men, are the simpler gender and we are sadly forced to embrace this false art.
  • A man’s home is his Castle Lager. As a mere man, I don’t understand the complexities of the modern world. I am a Viking at high tea, a werewolf in a zoo. I’m captured in a mad world where idiots rule and fidget spinners are embraced. My family is my asprin against the drudgery of bonds and traffic and reruns on TV. Hands off!
  • If the road to hell is paved with unbought stuffed dogs, as I love to quote Hemingway, the road to heaven is paved with renewed appreciation for my dear Snapdragon.

This week, I have seen the wonder of that beautiful and delightfully mad woman. The wonders of her as a mother and the queen of her home, but also the astonishing miracle that is my wife and best friend.

I may be a fool and a ridiculous old dreamer who wishes the world to be different from what it is, but for her I won’t hesitate to mount my old war-horse Rocinante.

Windmills beware!

Dirk Lotriet. Picture: Alaister Russell

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