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Editorial: Rocks On, Rocks Off (with apologies to Mr. Miyagi)
Above: For columnist Avrum Moishe, looking for love is like trying to catch a fly with a pair of chopsticks

I think that I finally hit rock bottom this morning.

Last night, I returned home and retrieved a phone message from my Aunt Betty. She had just returned from an eleven-day visit to Russia, and I had been dreading this call since the day that she left. Now don't get me wrong: There is no sound in the world lonelier than the impersonal tone of "You have no new messages" on your answering service. It's just that I'd rather not have the service if it meant not having to hear the sound of my aunt's voice via a recording.

Anyway, I initially ignored my aunt's message, but upon waking the next morning at around 8:00 a.m., I realized that I had better return her call. Otherwise, I would surely be the victim of an endless barrage of worried calls from her. I'm not rich enough to have one of those "super-fantastique" call display models (at least not yet).

Picture the scene: It's 8:05 a.m., I still have last night's sleep in my eyes, and there's morning wood to dispose of. I pick up the receiver and dread what I'll hear on the other end. My aunt's message sounded surprisingly chipper, considering the poor state she had been in prior to her departure. I had no idea of the bombshell that she was about to drop on me.

"Hi Aunt Betty," I said. "I'm just phoning to tell you I'm glad you had a good time on your trip. I'm still really quite depressed, and I hope you don't mind but I don't feel like talking to anyone right now."

"Oh Avery, I feel so good," she declared. "I had a really good time on my trip. I'm in a sexual relationship with a man, and it is wonderful!"

After I finished cleaning the vomit off my shirt that resulted from my aunt's shocking sexual candour, I quickly got off the phone and began to ponder this revelation. Last summer, my aunt and her husband Leslie separated after 48 years of marital hell, and I am fairly certain that he was the only man she had ever been with. I actually lived with this couple for approximately eight months, until about a year ago. During that time, let's just say that I learned far more than I cared to know about their sexual relations, or lack thereof, at their relatively advanced ages. To make matters even more melodramatic, my aunt underwent surgery for breast cancer last year, and although she's now in remission, she still has the figurative and literal scars that go along with it.

Maybe I should be happy that she found herself a little bit of happiness at a time when she needed it most, but I am just not that nice or that selfless. One childhood trauma I was fortunate enough to avoid was that old sitcom cliché of catching the folks in the act. Years later, my father was oh-so-kind to present me with some of the golden details, but at least I didn't have the visuals to go along with them. Somehow, I was able to get over the concept that my parents had sex more times than it took to produce my brother and I. Already, I am seeing signs that my aunt's good fortune and her need to share it with me are going to have long-lasting effects.

As I alluded to earlier, when I decided to call my aunt, I had not yet taken care of my own sexual needs. I knew this would require extra-strength reinforcements; I mean, what with the ringing of my aunt's words still in my ears. I went into my porn armoury to select the morning's conquest, but alas it was to no avail. Try as I might, I could not perform, and for the first time in recent memory, I let Mary and the Palm sisters down. I was in unfamiliar territory, and I didn't like it at all.

My aunt cannot take back her words any more than I can take back hearing them. A couple of hours later, I tried again, but still it was to no avail. I just thank Allah that it is only me and the brotherhood of the palms, and that I have no over-sexed hard-to-please girlfriend on my hands.

WHO THE HELL AM I KIDDING? Right now, I would settle for an under-sexed, easy-to-please octogenarian, just as long as it's not my aunt. That just wouldn't be right.

As the great cinematic action hero Marion Cobretti said in the classic 1986 film Cobra, "Crime is a disease, and I'm the cure!" Well, the same goes for me, but in my case it's nymphomania. However, that's a story for another day.

Above: Marion Cobretti would be Avrum Moishe's ideal role model, if only he were a little taller.
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