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There’s nothing sadder, or indeed, more pathetic than an old clown. Particularly one who dons the proverbial red nose and cracks out the hackneyed one-liners out of necessity, rather than freewill.
Weekly declarations of undying love for a different girl, swiftly followed by sudden disinterest for no apparent reason other than her hair being too long, her laughter being slightly on the squeaky side, or other equally serious make-or-break factors are all part and parcel of being a teenage boy.
There comes a time, however, when the boy is expected to mature into a man and no longer allow his hormones to rule his heart – or his head.
But apparently this is one crucial lecture on life that funnyman John Cleese missed during his formative years.
Yup, at the ripe old age of 72, the chap best known to us as Basil Fawlty has done it again and affirmed his ever-lasting… for the fourth time.
Yes, okay, perhaps the fellow is simply a die-hard romantic who, despite all his previous epic marital failures, still chooses to look on the rainbows and unicorns side of love.
But while he cannot be criticised for buying into the whole “heart-shaped candy boxes and overstuffed white teddy bears” schmaltz as many others do, doing so with his eyes wide shut is downright dumb.
This, after all, is the same Cleese who was forced to take to the world stage (South Africa included) again after effectively hanging up his hat some years ago, in a bid to raise the $20 million (R164m) he was ordered to pay his third wife.
That the settlement (which would be more aptly described as all-out annihilation) saw the ex walk away with all the monies Cleese had amassed over the decades – and then some! – should have taught him a thing or two about protecting his own interests.
But nay, so enamoured is dear Basil with his jewellery designer spouse numero quarto, he steadfastly refused to put pen to prenup paper ahead of his nuptials.
“It’s not romantic.”
Ja, no well fine. Neither is losing your entire fortune and being forced out of retirement to make ends meet!
As luck (or, more accurately, Monte Carlo’s legal system) would have it, however, “Jenny’s (the new missus) lawyer said she was not properly looked after under Monaco law, where we now live, without a prenup. So I said: ‘Fine, in that case we’ll have one’.”
All hail the rule of reason!
Still, as much as his steadfast refusal to be smart about all things relating to relationships is enough to make you want to burst his little love bubble, there is an itty bitty part of us that probably can’t help admiring his unwavering faith in the m-word.
As he puts it: “I never felt there was anything wrong with the institution of marriage – the only thing wrong was my ability to choose the right person!”
LARA DE MATOS