My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!
–Gilbert & Sullivan, “The Mikado”
It’s the “innocent merriment” we focus on here, because the “crime” committed itself rather makes us laugh:
A Singapore man with a penchant for sniffing women’s armpits was sentenced to 14 years in jail and 18 strokes of the cane for molesting his victims. He molested 23 women over the course of 15 months, smelling their armpits and touching them in lifts, staircase landings and their homes.
Caning on the buttocks is an additional punishment for male criminals in Singapore for offences ranging from vandalism to illegal possession of drugs and rape. — stuff.co.nz
So for his crime of pit-sniffing , he gets an ass-whipping. Phrased that way, it sounds like it’s right out of the 1885 G&S comic operatta. Does the punishment fit the crime? Is it even a crime? And is it really a punishment? My bet is the perp will enjoy his strokes as much as he does the bouquet of Ban roll-on.
“Not surprisingly, there are armpit fetishists in every culture,” explains my favorite psychobabblist Libby Rae Shone, Ph.D., when I call her for comment. “Both genders, straight and gay. It’s not a problem until somebody gets violated by becoming an unwilling participant.”
What — nostril rape? Doesn’t there need to be some contact, at least?
“Of course. If he’s just walking around inhaling, that’d be somewhat strange, but harmless. Obviously he was invading personal space, without consent of his victims.”
“Evidently. Sounds like he was forcing himself, nose-first, into women’s armpits. And case history suggests he experienced intense sexual pleasure from these encounters.”
Glad he got something out of it. You figure he’ll like the cane, too?
“Very probable, but I’d need to conduct my own examination to be sure. The thing about armpit fetishists is, they’re quite often kinky in a variety of ways, not limited to armpits. Chances are he’s into caning, pain, or other forms of degradation.”
You sound a bit hoarse, Libby. By any chance are you wearing a sleeveless blouse at the moment?
“I have a patient arriving in 2 minutes. I gotta go.”
Bye bye Libby Rae. Wonder if I can find a recording of the Mikado anywhere. Haven’t heard it since Sherlock Holmes went over Reichenbach Falls….