Ezekel Alan

This blog is about: cotton candy, cold milo, midgets, mangoes, sex, aged rum – everything but writing my next book

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Why do (Jamaican) men cheat?

Photograph showing box of condoms from UK

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These are the facts as I know them:

  • All kinds of men and women cheat. Cheaters are of every race, every nationality, every country, every religion. Men and women cheat. Rich people and poor people cheat. Overall, approximately 25-30% of men say they have cheated at some time.
  • Men cheat more than women. Younger men cheat more than older ones. Black men cheat more than white men. Men from southern sections of Africa cheat the most.
  • Men married to gorgeous women are equally like to cheat.

Would you cheat on her? (Public domain image)

  • Nigerian women are the most unfaithful. For men, the Thais hold the title. (However, there is nothing to indicate that Thai men are cheating with Nigerian women.)
Cassava processing, a source of employment to ...

Nigerian women (Photo credit: IITA Image Library)

(The data on Thai and Nigerian cheaters is based on research done by Durex condoms. See the report here. There is another very interesting article on which countries have the highest rates of infidelity, you can access it here.)

We also know that ninety-two percent of men said that the reason they cheated wasn’t because of a need for sex. Instead, the majority said it was because they felt an emotional disconnection from their partner (wife/girlfriend), and felt ‘under-appreciated’. Essentially, their partners weren’t making enough gestures to make them feel, well, like men. (You can read the article on the main reasons men say they cheat here.)

This is all the data I have seen in scholarly publications.

Some things I know:

I know a man, a German, a good man, who only loves the smell of hibiscus flowers. He’s an incorruptible man – doesn’t sway towards the passing scent of a young, fresh rose, nor swoon at the wild orchids as they blossom, nor drool at a wet Lily as it delicately opens and sheds its petals. His soul is engulfed by the smell of hibiscus. It consumes him, and leaves no room for anything else.

I also know a man, a Portuguese, decent chap, who goes home every night to question God and launch vitriolic attacks at the devil. (He would also curse God if it weren’t for the fact that he grew up Catholic and some of the things he heard in church have left a deep fear of God inside him.) He is a bitter man, has no wife because she left him, and has no kids because she took with her that possibility as well. She didn’t leave him because he is Portuguese or bitter. But because he cheated. He told me he did it only once, and deeply regretted it. It happened at a time when he had just started going back to the gym, was earning well, and felt good about himself. It was with a girl in the gym. (There is an interesting article you can read about the testosterone effect on cheating: The Moral Molecule: Why Men Cheat.)

What do these two things have to do with why men cheat? This:

I have been doing my own survey for over 20 years. Most of the subjects weren’t aware that they were part of a study. The interviews and focus group discussions mainly took the form of bar talk at clubs, rum bars, parties, restaurants, and on patios. Very often alcohol was involved.

Over the course of these years conducting my research I found few examples of men who were like my German friend, and who were completely committed to their partners. This does not mean that there aren’t many such men, only that in the dozens of conversations I’ve had few seemed willing to profess their devotion.

Many were like my Portuguese friend – did it once or twice, but not always with regret.

About 80% of men I have spoken with were comfortable talking about it or the possibility of it. About a third had done it. Another third seemed interested in doing it but were either fearful or uncertain – “Where would I take her?” “What if I got caught?” “Maybe it’s better to do it when you travel, so you don’t piss where you sleep.”

The most interesting conversations were with Jamaican men. I found many loved the adventure of it, the quest, the thrill, the conquest. They often joked loudly about it, spoke proudly about how many times they had done it, and how they camouflaged what they were doing. One group of friends said they pooled and rented an apartment – that way they had a discreet place to take a girl, and they didn’t have to shell out too much money from their salary which could bring questions.

Some of these men had kids their partners weren’t aware of, one or two had another entire family. (Some of these stories are told in my novel Disposable People.)

What struck me most overall from the various conversations is how my North American and European male associates often seemed more cautious, curious, and discrete while talking about cheating, while my Jamaican associates often seemed loud and proud.

People say that it was born in Africa and is in our gene pool. Some researchers say that slavery reinforced it, and poverty cemented it. Often times social commentators lament that our music celebrates it. I am not a psychologist and can offer no new insights into why men do the things they do. What I can say is that wives and girlfriends often don’t seem to know exactly what their partners have been up to, or what they are thinking.

I would love to hear your thoughts.


Take this twice per day and get some rest, and I guarantee you will live long

I am now officially a medical doctor. If by doctor we mean folks who change their minds about what is good or bad for you every few months, I believe I am certified and competent.

English: Robert H. Habenicht. First SDA Medica...

Dr. Robert H. Habenicht. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (He is NOT my doctor)

When I was growing up I was told that the coconut oil my mama used in her cooking was slowly lining the walls of my arteries with fat and getting me ready for a nice, big, massive heart attack. Years later new research said that coconut oil is one of the few that’s actually good for you.

English: Coconut oil in solid state

Coconut oil in solid state (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I also just read a NY times article (Salt, we misjudged you)  debunking years of orthodox belief that salt is bad for you.

Recently there was another article cautioning against the dangers of too much exercise, and one on How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body. I have been told at one point that egg yolk was bad, then later that there ain’t nothing wrong with egg yolk. I was also told that eating egg white is fine to control my cholesterol intake, then later that egg white is scarcely better than egg yolk. Then came the eat high protein meat diet, followed by the “Hell no!” meat is what causes cancer and heart disease and all studies show that the groups of people who live longest eat less meat.

Far from being confused I now feel confident. I am a doctor. And I would recommend the following as good for your health (until new research indicates otherwise):

  • Jump from a tall building at least once every 3 to 4 months. The adrenaline rush has been proven to stimulate healthy heart functioning. If you don’t find time for regular exercise, an enormous, sudden acceleration of heart palpitations once every few months has been shown to carry the same benefits as consistent exercise. Please try to land on something soft to ensure that your heart will continue beating.
  • Break a part of your body once per year. It is scientifically proven that the chemicals that the body produces to help repair broken limbs have wider effects on the entire body. Initial studies have also confirmed that the hormones produced for physical recuperation can assist with mental problems as well.
  • Have unprotected sex with prostitutes once or twice every 8 to 10 months, but be sure not to exceed three encounters in any 12 month spell. Research shows that people who take risks live longer.
  • At the outset of a cold or flu, prepare a small potion of rat soup (recipes can be found on Jamaican websites) and drink 2 to 3 teaspoons of the broth twice per day for 1 week, preferably with a meal. Science has shown that there is no negative effects from drinking rat soup (which I also drank often as a child for other medical conditions). This is therefore safer than taking other medications whose negative side effects have been well documented.
  • For effective weight loss, eat street food in Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Indonesia etc or drink tap water in Mexico, Guatemala, etc. The amount of weight lost is often significant and can be permanent. Additionally, most intestinal parasites can be cured and hence there are no long-term harm. Moreover, if you have health insurance then hospitalization is normally covered at 100% so your weight loss regime can be completely free. Allow the body 7-8 months to recover between infections.
  • Instead of an apple a day eat mangoes. Research shows that while apples are good for weight control and their antioxidants, most people do not genuinely enjoy eating apples and therefore miss out on other potential benefits. People who eat sweet mangoes are shown statistically to be significantly happier, which reduces overall stress and enhances longevity.
Apple fruit

Apple fruit (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

  •  Marry young and marry often. Science shows that married people are happier and live longer, and early research is suggesting that the more often you fall in love the happier the long-term effect. It may be best to fall in love with your next partner while you are married so as to reduce the length of the transition process and ensure that you are not single for any extended period of time. This will also help you to take advantage of the dual benefits of being married and falling in love at the same time.
  • Study as little as you possibly can. Again research indicates that better educated people earn more but higher earning people are less happy. As long as you can avoid extreme poverty you will likely live longer and enjoy life more by not exerting yourself too much.
  • Once every few months randomly bite a stranger you see on the road, or squeeze some part of their body in an inquisitive and non-threatening manner. Variety and spontaneity are the very sparks of life, and doing things that are different and unexpected can boost adrenaline and happiness hormones. Be sure not to do this in a Western society.
To your good health!

I am coming out – afterall, we are who we are, and what will be will be

I have a family member whose name is…well let us call him Brian. At any rate, this is the name I have given him in all my stories.

There are two things about him that I would like to talk about before I get to me.

  • Brian loved playing football

Everyday that the good Lord gave him, all Brian wanted to do was play football. There were days when I wasn’t sure whether he ate, fetched water, bathed, helped his mother to cook or do anything, or if he simply got up in the morning, grabbed the football, and went outside his house to stand and wait on us to come and play with him.

In the evenings when my brother and I came home from primary school it would be the same – he would either be standing there waiting on us or playing with some other kids. No, he himself didn’t go to school. No, that wasn’t unusual, and it’s not because his parents were worthless or poor (both of which is true), but because in the village where we grew up going to school and expecting something to come out of it was like pooing and looking to see if you had laid a golden egg.

So this bwoy, Brian, loved football. And every day he wanted somebody to play with him. He’d see you eating your mango and…heresy!… the bwoy would want you to hurry up with the mango and come play with him! Or he’d see you chatting up a girl, trying to get somewhere over the rainbow  and…blasphemy!…would want you to give up on those prospects and go kick a home-made football in the boiling hot mid-day sun with him.

"Somewhere, over the-" (Rainbow)

“Somewhere, over the-” (Rainbow) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bwoy would drag a baby off his mama’s nipples to go and play with him.

I rarely played with him and the other kids. I was always the type that prefered to watch and write. Not all of us are athletic. And, believe it or not, at 12 years old, I much preferred watching other kids playing and enjoying their short lives, than being a part of it.

Anyway, Brian was addicted to football. He was a real fool.

The bwoy was also a bitch of a thief.

  • Brian was also a thief

theft (Photo credit: wallstalking.org)

No matter how often he got caught stealing, and no matter how often his parents beat the living daylights out of him, he would return to stealing. I remember one day my old lady gave him some money and asked him to go buy some kerosene oil for us, and the bwoy stole the money and sold the container for the kerosene. He didn’t show up for about 5 days. When he eventually came back home his pappa beat him rural-farmer style, which is to say, mercilessly. Three days after that the bwoy was back to stealing marbles, chickens, virginity, dreams, any damn thing he could get his hands on.

I mention these things about Brian to make the point that some people are just made a certain way. It is who they are. There would be days when no one would want to play with Brian, days when his father or some stranger he stole from, beat him ’till it seemed like every bone in his body was broken, days when the police beat the crap out of him, and still Brian kept playing football and kept stealing.

This is who he was.

As for me…

I have long come to the realization that who I am is a writer. I am in love with words. I interpret the world through words. To me, there is nothing better than having some alone time to think, and an immaculately clean, white piece of paper to welcome my ideas. I want to play around with words, giggle with them, touch them, squeeze them, flirt with them, take them with me to bed, wake up with them, shower with them, love them.


Words (Photo credit: Southernpixel Alby)

When I die I want to be cremated, and I want my ash to be taken to the top of a high mountain and thrown towards the sky. Somehow I can see my ash forming words that the breath of the wind will whisper into stories for people around the world.

This is who I am and who I will always be. I am Ezekel, and I am in love with words.

(P.s., Brian stopped playing football and stealing people’s things rather abruptly at the age of 16. But that’s another story for another time. The full and true story is in Disposable People.)

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