In a recent scholarly lecture, Dr. I.M. Kookie, the noted expert on lots of stuff, presented a unique perspective on the unfortunate Hugh Grant affair.
"Try to imagine," Dr. Kookie said, "that this fellow Grant was at the movie studio and happened to wander over to a nearby set where they were shooting scenes for one of those bikini movies, in which nubile young things jiggle for the pleasure of weak-minded viewers of cable TV.
"And let us say that one of those young things jiggles so skillfully that she catches the eye of Hugh Grant, whose brain immediately throbs with erotic fantasies, which is not uncommon among young men of normal glandularity.
"So when the scene is finished, Grant, a debonair fellow, invites the young lovely to join him for a cup of frozen yogurt. He flatters her by saying she has the artistic potential to develop from an unknown bikini girl into a full-fledged Hollywood bimbo or even a starlet.
"She, of course, is thrilled at such high praise from a famous matinee idol and confides that her dream is to move beyond bikini roles, since the constant pull of gravity eventually takes a cruel toll on a girl's bod and she has to think of the future.
"Then he sighs and says he would like to discuss her artistic potential at greater length -- and the possibility of his becoming her mentor and putting in a helpful word with his personal agent -- but alas, he has to -- home and pack for a few days of rest at a secluded luxury resort on the French Riviera.
"'Oh, my,' she says, she has never been to the French Riviera, but she is a student of foreign travel and has seen every single episode of 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' and knows how beautiful and restful it must be.
"With a shy, boyish smile, he says he happens to have an extra airline ticket, and would she like to join him for his few days of rest?
"She is no blushing innocent, having hopped tables at a local Hooters establishment and being runner-up in the wet T-shirt contest at Booby Beach, so she knows what he has in mind.
"She says she just would love to help him rest, but she has absolutely nothing to wear at a luxury resort. With a kindly wave of his platinum credit card, he says that will be no problem.
"So off they go to a few boutiques, where she comes away with new Louis Vuitton luggage, stuffed with beach wear, evening wear and beddy-bye wear by Gucci, Versace, Escada, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and sparkly baubles by Cartier.
"And soon they are on the Riviera and quickly spotted by the peeping eye of the media. And how are they described? As a coosome twosome by the gossip columnists. As beautiful people by Robin Leach. As dear friends and wonderful human beings by Roger Moore."
Pausing to become coolly indignant, Dr. Kookie said: "And I will tell you how they were not portrayed by the press.
"They were not described as engaging in lewd behavior, which they surely were, unless you believe they put the 'do not disturb' sign on the hotel door because they were washing out a few socks and underwear.
"The press did not report that he gave her $5,000 worth of designer clothing, $10,000 worth of jewelry and picked up the $15,000 tab for the luxury resort. All in exchange for her satisfying his lust.
"Yes, a straight business deal. Being a modern female, she controls the use of her body, and she decides to rent it to him at a substantial profit for a few days. And he, being aware of the enormous long-term price of marriage, especially when factoring depreciation, believes he has received full lust-value for his money.
"And the media and other elite elements of society not only condone such an arrangement, but look upon it with admiration and envy.
"But compare that with what actually happened to Hugh Grant. The media gleefully published his sheepish police mug shot. It snickered and sneered and heaped ridicule upon the lad. It disdainfully described as a mere hooker the night-shift worker to whom he gave 60 bucks in cash. Nobody noted that she was exercising her feminist right to use her body as she chose.
"Why such contempt and disdain? Because Hugh Grant did what many less-fortunate members of the working class do. In paying for sex, he shopped for the best price he could get.
"It was as if he had been caught buying his clothes at a Wal-Mart.
"By doing so, he betrayed his elite status and offended the media, which is part of this society's elite class.
"So he had to receive the ultimate punishment -- saying he was sorry to Jay Leno."
When Dr. Kookie finished his lecture, a member of the audience rose and said: "But aren't you forgetting one thing? Hugh Grant broke the law."
"Then it's a sad day for this country," Dr. Kookie said, "when it is against the law for a guy to look for a bargain."