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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 1, 1937)

The Big Push

The Big Push.

All the big things have been done by Man! yes, sir—with Woman pushing him from behind. Where there's a will there's a way. The woman supplies the will and the man has to find the way. Man is naturally a back-slider; woman is a forward pusher. Man seldom looks for trouble; but his wife does—and passes it on to him. Man is a peace-at-any-pricer. He is satisfied to be satisfied. There are other names for it, too. His wife calls it bone-laziness. Left to his own he-vices he would live in a whare, a wigwam or a barrel, provided there was room enough to put his feet on the mantelpiece.

But the female nine-tenths of the connubial fracas spends much of her time thinking up things to make him think. In the first place she was an after-thought, and she has been after it ever since. Contemplate the average married man, when he images that the heat and burden of the day are o'er, comfortably parked on his dorsal fin with his feet on the marble presentation clock and the warmth of the fire playing pleasantly upon him. He is a picture of content—cubic and otherwise. His spouse sits spouselike at his elbow. Her feet are on the ground. His are on the mantelpiece. There you have the difference. The average wife's feet are always on the ground, which makes her such a disturbing mate for the average slothful male. Notice how his expression of digestive rumination, his contemplative calm, dissolves when he detects in his wife's eye that pensive, expensive, look. Does he suspect that her mystic gaze foretells that he will shortly have to gird up his suspenders? Too right he does! Is she looking into the future? Yes, sir—his.

Is she thinking up such comfort slaying activities as laying a carpet, mending the wash-house door, or even shifting house? We'll say she is!

He buries his head in the newspaper like a kind of literary ostrich, and his expression is a combination of “Just Before the Battle Mother,” “His Master's Voice.” “A Hopeless Dawn” and “Stag at Bay.”