Home Sweet Home
The obligatory bio
Charites & Organizations
My Calgary Sun Column & More
Law Stuff
Gary Lautens
E-mail me!

The Warrior Within

by Stephen Lautens


July 27, 2001

Would Genghis Khan have conquered so much of the world if he had a wife? That's the question two Toronto researchers asked themselves, and came to the conclusion that he probably wouldn't. They believe wars are caused by a surplus of young men and a shortage of wives.

After looking at the figures for more than 150 countries they found that the more unattached young men a country has wandering around, the more likely they are to get up to no good in their spare time. And that the more of us who take a walk down that aisle, the more peaceful we become as a country.

Well, this doesn't come as a surprise to any of us married men. After all, who has time to invade small countries when there are china patterns to pick out and thank-you cards to address?

They point to Ireland for example, which until recently has had - statistically speaking - too many single men hanging around street corners at closing time. As the young men there get older, so the theory goes, Ireland should be in for a period of calm. Pretty soon everyone in the Emerald Isle will be settling down for a cup of milky tea and Coronation Street reruns.

So back to Genghis Khan. How would history have been different if this 13th century Mongol warrior had decided to get married young and settle down instead of bloodily carving himself an empire that stretched from Korea to Kiev?

"Are you going out dressed like that?"

Genghis looked at himself in the hall mirror.

"Why, what's wrong with it?" he asked his wife. She was clearly not happy with him going out for the second night in a row.

"In your best fur vest? If you get one drop of blood on it, it'll be ruined."

"But it makes me look tough." Genghis sullenly took off the vest and hung it up next to the keys to the mini-wagon.

"And what about that hat?" Mrs. Khan pointed at the fur-trimmed hat with a metal spike that framed Genghis' fierce face.

"What's wrong with it?" the mighty warrior roared quietly, since the kids were already in bed. "It's my old one."

"Exactly," said she who must be obeyed on pain of death or at least a night on the couch. "I thought I told you to throw that ratty old thing out."

Genghis sighed. She was always throwing out his favourite stuff.

"So when will you be back?" Her hands were on her hips.

"When my last enemy is dead and the wails and lamentation of their womenfolk join the howls of the wind." Genghis slashed at the air with his blade blackened by the blood of thousands.

"Well, you know we're going to my sister's wedding this weekend, so you better be back by then. Or had you forgotten?"

"Yes dear, I remember." Genghis dragged his mighty sword in the dirt behind him as he shuffled out the door.

"Since you're going out, would it kill you to take the garbage with you? Honestly, you have time to rape and pillage with your friends, but you don't have time to hang those blinds in the kitchen."

"As soon as I get back, dearest."

"And don't forget to pick up a quart of goat's milk on your way home."

© Stephen Lautens 2001

Back to column archive index