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Suffer the little children ……..

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It reflects rather poorly upon me that in more than five hundred blog stories I have failed to present a single literary bouquet of love and gratitude to the children of the world:  the fruit of our collective loins without whom Homo sapiens would become extinct.
(I have a plausible argument in favour of that possibility too, but let’s deal with one catastrophe at a time.)

Human offspring are annoying and ingratiating little people with disgusting habits and unsavoury bodily functions.  Additionally, the antiquated birthing process is a ghastly atrocity which should no longer be necessary in these modern days of genetic engineering and medical manipulation.
Let’s face it, to a large extent we’ve cleaned up the unpalatable mechanics leading up to conception by using bright and shiny autoclaved in-vitro flasks and sterile shrink-wrapped turkey basters but parturition remains an extremely ugly, unpleasant and (I’m told) painful business.

A few years ago some obsequious male came up with the idea of ‘sympathy pain’ as a last-ditch attempt to ease the copulative guilt of his gender.   Good try, but it’s absurd.

The entire reproductive shambles needs to be overhauled.  Anyone would think we are just animals.

The Bucket is honored to be called upon for technical guidance;
1. Reproduction from the year 2035 onwards will be done exclusively by genetically and surgically created self-inseminating hermaphrodites. 
Why the need for change?
Surely it is the height of insensitivity and bad manners to inflict upon another person the disruptive emotional roller-coaster of pregnancy, and an unconscionable abuse of friendship expecting an innocent life-partner to witness the horrendous collateral damage concomitant with childbirth.

Michael, a ruminative local lad, concluded that watching the trauma of his wife giving birth to their first child was “like watching my favourite pub burn down.”  Michael may well require counseling for the remainder of his life. Indeed it is entirely possible that he may never enter another hotel during the term of his natural life in fear of the appalling consequences.

Next comes the vexed question of what to do with (please forgive my use of the agricultural livestock terminology with which I am most familiar) the progeny once they are on the ground.

Well fortunately The Bucket’s Legislative Drafting Service has come to our rescue. Please feel free to suggest any minor changes that you think might be required before we send it off to the Secretary-General for presentation to the General Assembly of the U.N.

2.  In compliance with United Nations Laws of Reproductive Procedures 2035 (Section 23, subsection 4b)  all children will be sent to the Global Obedience Factory at Tombouctou in Mali to be raised by an International corps of wet nurses and benevolent disciplinarian educators.  Neither breast nor rod shall be spared.  At the age of 30, when they might finally begin to exhibit a modicum of maturity, usefulness and responsibility they will be evaluated for possible release and re-introduction into civilised adult society.


William Wordsworth wrote in 1807;  “Dear child of Nature, let them rail.”

Indeed Bill.  Let them rail ……and ship and truck and fly…. to Tombouctou.



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(With apologies to Elaine, …. and all the devoted midwives everywhere, …Oh yes, and then there’s the mothers of the world too, and…..Oh shit, I think I just did something really bad here.)

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Unto GOF a grandchild is born.

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There are occasions when even the most obstinate deeply-rooted cynic can be moved.

In more ways than one.

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1. The Bucket is littered with my thankfulness for having been born in a developed, functional and democratic country.

2. From personal involvement at the time, and much retrospective evaluation since, I believe that Australia’s benevolent colonial administration of Papua New Guinea was exemplary.
It literally brought stone-age people into the modern jet age within just a few decades.

One legacy of this focussed development effort was the provision of world-class hospitals in all major provincial towns.

Papua New Guinea became an Independent Nation in 1975.
It was a vibrant functional country with the potential to become the jewel amongst South Pacific nations.

The ineptitude and corruption of politicians and administrative leaders since Independence has resulted in PNG being reduced to a dysfunctional lawless State in 2012.

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The story;

Two weeks ago my daughter-in-law gave birth to little GOG (grandson of GOF) in PNG’s capital city, Port Moresby.

The public health system had failed to identify that the cause of her agonizing enduring pain was the 4 kg unborn child which was 4-weeks-post-term.  In desperation my son took her to a private doctor, who, just 45 minutes later performed an emergency caesarian to deliver GOG.

The distressed infant, having ingested amniotic fluid, was unable to breathe unassisted and had to be sent back to the crowded public hospital premature-baby ward for ‘care’.

During the following 5 days the hospital  ‘ran out’ of oxygen on several occasions leaving GOG blue and at potential risk of brain damage and death.

Fortunately my son’s employer, a large influential company, had health insurance for it’s management staff, and a medivac Lear Jet was dispatched on a 6-hour return flight from Brisbane to Port Moresby, complete with a doctor and 2 nurses.

Little GOG is now being pampered at one of Australia’s best children’s hospitals. He is in an isolation intensive-care room hooked up to all manner of machines and monitors and attended 24 hours each day by a nurse. Every minute of every day there is a nurse watching over him. In effect his own private nurse.

I have just returned from spending 3 days with the little bugger at his bedside along with his Mum and Dad.

This old cynic has been deeply moved by the experience.

I watched as GOG’s oxygen dependency gradually reduced from 80% machine-supplied to 27% at which point the intrusive and painful tubes were removed (along with morphine dosage) and within an hour he changed from purple to normal baby-colour.

One day later, he gurgled and smiled and began to chat about how lucky he was to be alive.  He should also be proud that at the age of 6 days he had his own passport, complete with photograph showing all of the tubes stuck down his nose and throat.

GOG is still not out of the woods and will require weeks of hospitalisation and further tests for brain functionality.

I am gobsmacked by the capabilities, efficiency and competence of Australia’s health-care system.

Never in my life have I witnessed the sort of selfless commitment, compassion and devotion shown by the nurses who patiently work 12-hour shifts just to ensure one little human’s chance at life is not extinguished.

I am in awe of my daughter-in-law who, just days after a major operation, waddled across the tarmac to get onto a commercial flight to join her baby in Brisbane, and never once complained (at least not to me) about her own pain and discomfort.
One day she might even forgive me for being a link in the GOF-family genetic chain which caused GOG to be born ‘hairy with gangly legs and long toes.”

I also have a son who will obviously be a much better Dad to his children than I ever was.

It is a time for counting blessings, and this week I have many.

But it is also appropriate for me to spare some thought for all the parents in PNG and around the world who will never have access to Lear Jets and medical care for their sick babies.

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P.S.  If the medical information and terminology above does not make any sense, it may well be because I haven’t the slightest clue what I am talking about.