...but the goods are odd

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Don't take my word for it. My friends will confirm that I'm married to a startlingly beautiful woman. I say this with all due modesty and not without regret. I recall a piece by Michael Lewis some years back about the drawbacks of being married to a model. (My wife is not a model but she could be if she weren't so intelligent.) Poor lad, one thought, let me be the first to sympathize. But in fact he had a point. Now and then men who meet us take me aside to demand an explanation. "What the hell is going on here?" or words to that effect. Their astonishment, frankly, can give offence.

Anyway, doubtless seeing some merit in the consensus that she would be better off elsewhere, she is currently dodging rocket fire in the more congenial surroundings of Kabul. The job brings her into frequent, er, contact with muscular security officers and assorted high-testosterone adventurers, who see precious few women of ordinary looks, let alone knockouts like my wife. So as you can imagine I often ask for a word of reassurance. She is very sweet and patient about it.

On the occasion of my most recent tantrum, she said the competition is not as formidable as I might think. As one of her women friends, reviewing the local talent, put it: "The odds are good, but the goods are odd."

Have you heard that before? I had not. What a brilliant apercu. It might be Australian, which would stand to reason. A no-nonsense people. I have been in situations where it fits the case perfectly. Perhaps it is common parlance, but if not it deserves to be.


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Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

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