Wednesday, May 11

MARK STEYN ON POLYGAMIST OWEN ALLRED

How times have changed. I'm not sure even balladeer Bob Dylan could have forseen this societal aberration. Even King Henry VIII had the good sense to be married to only one of his eight wives at a time. Not so with the ex-communicated Mormon, Owen Allred, who preferred simultaneous marriage to eight wives.

According to the inimitable Mark Steyn, Utah has a "don't ask, don't tell policy on polygamy." But apparently there is no parallel there with Las Vegas' new marketing slogan. Turns out what happens in Utah doesn't stay in Utah:

The activists get all huffy about being compared to some stump-toothed backwoods wives-beater. And that might suffice if it were just a matter of Owen Allred and his ilk. But last summer Le Monde leaked a government report revealing that polygamy was routinely practiced in Muslim ghettoes in France. An informal survey of the Islamic communities of Ontario found much the same. In Britain, the Inland Revenue is considering recognizing polygamy for the purposes of inheritance law, so that a Muslim husband’s estate can be divided tax-free between several wives. And if it’s a Muslim who finally makes it to an American state Supreme Court with a polygamy case, bet on the traditional deference to “multiculturalism”.

Allred (now deceased and you can likely guess the cause of death) didn't have a Family Tree; he had a Family Forest. He was the quintessential marrying kind. He was so proficient at it that backwoods, holler-dwelling Kentuckians got jealous. Owen Allred redefined connubial bliss. He invented the high-protein diet before Dr. Atkins wrote his first book. You see, the demands of Allred's lifestyle meant he had to be a red meat eater -- the blue pill came much too late for Owen.

Allred didn't live in a house (or in a "compound," as Steyn writes). He lived on a stud farm. He had eight wives, twenty-three children, and a veritable flotilla of grandchildren (200+). You've heard of the nation of Islam. His was the nation of Allred. Genealogists died trying to keep up with him. Zanadu couldn't have housed his family. The Pentagon might have been big enough.

Did you know Owen Allred acquired Kodak in a leveraged buy-out? He had to in order to get a family portrait. For similar reasons he owned Kroger Foods and twelve major shoe brands. As they say: if you do the crime, you must do the time! There's a lot of work and financial wherewithal entailed in being a stud-muffin. But, along with the responsibilities, go the rewards. The Rocky Mountain Elk was replaced as the state mammal by Owen Allred. Utah has six National Parks within its borders: Arches; Canyonlands; Zion; Bryce; Capitol Reefs; and, Owen Allred's master bedroom.

But polygamy isn't all it's cracked up to be by its proponents (or in the fantasies of facile married men). Arguments with your wife are one thing in a monogamous relationship. They're something else again in a polygamous arrangement. You have to be on Lasix to get down the street fast enough! And in a polygamous relationship, if you have one of those four-hour erections they like to exult about in ED commercials during dinnertime, you don't see your doctor immediately, you go on to the next bedroom.