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back to article Belgian finds missus was born a MAN after 19 YEARS of marriage

A somewhat upset Belgian has recounted how he discovered his Indonesian missus was actually a born a bloke, but only after after 19 years of wedlock during which the couple enjoyed normal sexual relations. The 64-year-old hubby, named only as "Jan", fell for Monica, 48, when she was working as an au pair for his sister and later …

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Ah ! We are in the news !

You can always rely on us Belgians for a good tech scoop. Well done lads.

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Gimp

Re: Ah ! We are in the news !

Not so dull now! ;o)

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I've just looked at the original article...

And I cannot help but wonder, what's a "minuscule topjes"?

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Re: I've just looked at the original article...

Tiny top garments that leave very little to the imagination. Or, in this case, the wrong kind of imagination.

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IT Angle

Eh?

Beyond the mere lack of IT angle, this seems pretty tawdry and insensitive...

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Re: Eh?

Glad I'm not the only one who thought so.

By my money, this is a story about someone who can't see beyond an aspect of their partner's past even though it has never been an issue, and has seen their relationship collapse as a result. Whether it's an unconscious internalisation of the wider societal prejudice against transsexuals or something more pronounced isn't clear from the article, but it's also kind of irrelevant to the end result - which is a pretty sad situation for both parties.

It's Lester, so the lack of IT Angle kind of goes with the territory. It'd be good if he could also have managed "not coming across as a prejudiced bellend" though...

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Re: Eh?

Dunno about that. We'll never know the whole story and probably we don't need to. But maybe the bloke wanted kids or something. Thes may put a different complexion on the prejudice argument.

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Re: Eh?

Nope, according to the linked article he was glad when she said that she didn't want kids.

You're right, we'll never know the whole story - but they guy does not come across well in the article.

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Thumb Down

Re: Eh?

Although not LGBT myself, I do hang out with a lot of transexual folks on another forum. The process of transitioning is unbelievably tough as it is without articles like this. Rather than painting the husband as being gamed or conned, have a thought about what the wife's life is like. After years, she finally feels safe and accepted about who she is and then *bam* - she's lost the man she loves in the most devestating way possible and now articles are popping up all over the web painting her as a liar and digging through her past for sordid details.

Not cool, El Reg. Not cool.

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Flame

Re: Eh?

"Dunno about that. We'll never know the whole story and probably we don't need to. But maybe the bloke wanted kids or something. Thes may put a different complexion on the prejudice argument."

Then he should have married someone rather a lot younger.

I'm going to jump aboard the 'this is generally insensitive' train.

I don't mind non-IT stuff if it's funny or informative or a bit cheeky. This ticks none of those boxes.

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IT Angle

Re: Eh?

mmm....I would agree had she finally summoned up the courage to tell him herself rather than him discovering "...messages from other blokes on his wife's computer." That sort of suggests that not all was great in marriage anyway.

Presumably the fact that he looked at her computer is the incredibly feeble IT angle. Or at least that would be excuse for El Reg having another "red top" moment.

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Re: Eh?

I have to agree here, all I took away from it was that some bloke was obviously so infatuated with someone that he "came to blows" with them when it was realised that a factor that had *never* played a significant part in his own experience of that person whatsoever was brought to air.

Sure, the secrecy might be enough to be angry at the *secret* of not telling someone, but somehow claiming to be "duped" or bringing up the whole immigration thing over it, and even admitting to domestic abuse (just the "push" was enough for me to think "Woah, that's probably enough to get you arrested if you're not careful", let alone the later admission it "came to blows") was a bit too much.

The lady (or however that person wishes to identify themselves) in question, I feel quite sorry for. Some elements of this story you can't even be sure of - I mean, presumably they volunteered to become a lady after a period of adult reflection on the topic, but that's not necessarily so (certain times when genitalia are involved in accidents / deformities, the patient is asked if they'd prefer to have themselves restructured into something that *does* look "normal" even if it's not for their gender). And even if they chose to change, does that mean they can never marry and never be with someone without telling them straight away?

The man? He's an abusive, intolerant husband who didn't care while he didn't know and was presumably in love with her enough to marry and live with and have sex with and help emigrate.

Like calling someone "gay" as an insult, the greatest affront to some men is to have the suggestion that they might be homosexual, to the extent that they will happily beat someone they were in love with if there's the suggestion that others might think that. And we wonder why we can't stop homophobia.

And, yes, in the traditions of meaningless sentences, I have gay and transsexual friends. I even know someone who is transsexual but identifies as a homosexual in their "new" gender (so their sexual preferences in partners never changed throughout their transition). You know what, I see no problem with that at all. It's not like they are making me change the arrangement of my own genitals.

I'm disappointed that the article made news, and even more disappointed over the tone of The Reg's handling of it, but mostly disappointed that idiots like that still exist (but that's a chronic disappointment and not specific to this article).

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Meh

Re: Eh? - Thomas

You can't say "she". Even with surgery there are huge differences between a man and a woman: Having a sex change operation only changes certain physical parts, not the being as a whole. I don't know many women who would be happy if they found out their husband had an addadicktome and tried to cover it up.

I don't know that I would have beat him/her up, but I sure would have found a lawyer and try to get the marriage annulled too. Marriage is supposed to be honest and this dude certainly wasn't being honest.

Also, even with a sex change the vagoo doesn't operate like a natural body part. No matter how hard you try you'll never get a postop's panties wet.

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Re: Eh?

Totally agree. Really appalled by this article. The tone of it is actually worse than the shite you expect to find in the paper rags. "That evening came to blows" - LOL.

Domestic abuse is always funny right Reg? Oh those crazy transgendered types, they deserve everything they get. Poor violent, bigoted bloke getting duped. Chortle chortle.

This article is a huge editorial oversight, and to be honest you've probably just lost a reader (depending on whether you're actually going to rectify this error with a retraction / apology).

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@ Don Re: Eh? - Thomas

Yes you can. Quite easily.

I am currently on the waiting list for the operation, and my passport says she on the advice of the doctors to the passport agency.

My colleagues (who have been amazing during the transition!) say she.

My family says she

My friends say she

People who meet me in my daily life with no knowledge of my history say 'Mevrouw'

Who are you, with obviously no knowledge of the condition, to decide who can and can't be she.

Incidentally, I have taken part in medical research at the university hospital in Amsterdam on the way the brain works, before I started female hormones my brain worked the same way as a female brain.

Previous studies on the brains of transsexuals donated to science after their death have drawn the same conclusions.

Surely that is more important to who and what someone is than external body parts or your 'Eww' response?

Anonymous as I'm not quite ready to be as out there as Michelle yet...

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FAIL

Re: Eh? - Thomas

"You can't say "she". Even with surgery there are huge differences between a man and a woman"

Yes you can.

You appear to have rather missed the point as to what trans-gender can mean. It doesn't mean a bloke who fancies other blokes and wants boobs.

Essentially it means being born in the'wrong' body, with a mind of a woman but the body of a man (or vice versa). Often in comes to light in formative years, where the child acts -for all intents and purposes - as they were of the opposite gender.

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Re: @ Don Eh? - Thomas

Good luck AC - I hope it works out for you. =)

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Re: @ Don Eh? - Thomas

Quite so. Best of luck, AC.

Don, catch a grip.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Don Eh? - Thomas

@AC waiting ... Thing is for most people, the whole TS topic is so far from personal experience its difficult to engage in rational discussion on a board like this. Bottom line so long as people treat each other decently and fairly, surely its just part of the rich tapestry. The comments here reflect the variety of uninformed opinion from the 'still a man' though to the politically correct 'she is now a woman'. Reality is different.

Quite a long time ago I was friends with a girl who had gender ressignment age 19, earlier than many, taught me a lot about the whole trans deal. Very feminine in all ways and I'm positive out and about nobody would guess she was other than a pretty young woman. However she chose to be open with friends and colleagues. Learned its not an easy path to tread, for instance one of her bugbears was getting hit on by gay blokes. At risk of sounding like a tacky newspaper column, will add we had a brief affair so I'm not speculating on what its like to be a straight guy with a 'different' girlfriend.

The article does not make it clear whether Monica had surgery as a child because of one of various rare conditions, or whether she chose gender reassignment later in life. If the latter I'd personally regard it as deception whatever the law says about gender choice or whether she was clear about not being able to have children before they married. The former I'd find it harder to take any view.

The oddest part of this story to me was the claim they had a normal married life in all respects. Sorry if this offends anyone but its a big mistake to believe reconstructive surgery and hormonal treatment enable a transition that a sensitive lover would not be aware of. It needn't matter of course but its not as simple as changing your body, birth certificate and passport then hey I'm a woman. I think for anyone considering transition its key to talk with those who have been there before you and find out about their experiences months and many years afterwards. Doctors and others for whom its all an academic exercise are not the best guides on what to really expect.

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Happy

Re: @ Don Eh? - Thomas

@AC - Good luck and best wishes for a future which won't be hampered by ignorance.

Their problems are their problems, not yours. It is a shame that a few of them will be in a position to act against you, but with your family and friends behind you, a good, solid future is possible.

Just don't let other peoples limitations, limit you ;-) Aim for the sky. You might not get to space, but you should be able to claim a few clouds higher! And wave at Paris 2 while you're up there!

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Re: @ Don Eh? - Thomas

The whole Caster Semenya went to show that when you really look into it defining sex is not as straight forward as it would at first appear.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ AC Eh? - Thomas

I can go with some of your post. Respect is the most important thing.

However, not with the "Chose". I you knew what absolute hell I went through before making the decision to do this, knew the physical impact on me before seeking help, knew the impact it was having on my daily life then I don't think that you could say 'chose'.

I do agree with your comment that anyone who has reached the point of having to transition should speak to someone about it though. But it should be a therapist who specialises in the condition, as each persons journey is different. Speak to people sure, see what their experiences are, but don't assume they will be your own. Trust me, though out the entire process over the last three years from when I first attended the clinic in Amsterdam has been warts and all in terms of disclosure. What can go wrong, what are the long term health risks. How could it affect my life. I am actually transsexual, or is there an underlying condition that needs looking into? It is a long and arduous process, and as far as I am concerned all the better for it - it's not something you want to do and regret.

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WTF?

@Don Jefe

You, like the jackass domestic abuser in this article, are part of the problem.

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Re: Eh?

"she's lost the man she loves in the most devestating way possible and now articles are popping up all over the web painting her as a liar and digging through her past for sordid details."

I feel the tone of this article was completely wrong and the "coming to blows" part is especially worrying. If you love someone then the gender that they were born should not matter. However, if you're going to marry someone I also don't think you should be keeping such secrets from each other. Why would you want to marry somebody who can't accept you for who you are?

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Alert

Re: @Don Jefe

Spoken like a true virgin ShadowedOne. If you'd have ever been laid you wouldn't have opened your mouth on this topic. There is NO physical way that a surgery makes your body parts work like those of the opposite sex. Post-Op panties don't get wet...

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Unhappy

Re: "Not cool, El Reg. Not cool."

I agree. This isn't something to be laughed at, regardless of the angle. It is a sad tale of a complete fucking bellend who beat his wife.

I'm perfectly aware that this shit happen in the world, but I go do generally try to avoid facing the reality that assholes like this still exist in the world. Maybe it's raw cowardice on my part, but I find that if I encounter too much depressing shit about the wastes of carbon that are out there, ruining the lives of others, I get pretty down.

That's why I read about computers. Computers aren't bigoted shitheads.

Crushed. :(

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Re: Eh? - Thomas

Wow, you must have put whole minutes into your view of gender identity. Firstly, the surgery is only a part of the physical transition and I'd argue that the hormonal aspect, which *does* affect the entire body is far more significant. On top of that, the social and personal identity aspect of gender identity trumps the physical by so many orders of magnitude it's not even funny. This is *not* a man who decided he wanted to lop of the floppy bits, she's a woman whose body played some really unpleasant congenital tricks on her. This stuff isn't intuitive and it doesn't always make immediate sense. I've personally been going through the process for several years and I'm *still* hammering away at it teasing out the gnarlier bits, and that's consciously, rigorously thinking through it Every Single Day. Don't think you know better than we do. You really, seriously don't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

What a lot of politically correct sensitive pussies. Heck, I even consider dyed hair to be fake and a cover up. My latest gag reflex trigger is coloured contact lenses. "Look deep into my eyes and see my plastic self." I don't care how politically incorrect and insensitive it is to say this, but so many people today are uncomfortable with who they are, and they try and cover it up with never ending levels of fake.

Down vote now! Or else you will never attain to higher levels of fakeness. Fake on fakers...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

@AC - cover up? Wrong way of thinking when it comes to transsexuality. We're not talking cosmetics here. It might be easy to see it that way, but it isn't.

What you are on the outside governs how people interact with you and how they treat you. If you're uncomfortable with that interface, and it doesn't feel like "you" then the only way to get around this is to change the outside so that people react to you in a different way. If you're more comfortable with that, then you're not covering anything up, you're actually opening up what is really inside.

When it comes to physical sexual function, that is another matter of comfort. Like it or not, mother nature plays all sorts of tricks on us in the physicaly department. Like the web site I linked elsewhere, one in a hundred births are deviations from what is generally accepted as male or female. There are people running around out there with the social presentation of one sex and physically functional genitalia of the other. Whether you like it or not, they're happy.

And I'll tell you this ... it doesn't really matter whether you like it or not, whether you think it socially acceptable or not, whether you think it is politically correct or not ... that's the way it is. The people that can't live with it; it's their problem.

But here is one thing to consider; would you rather me a functioning member of society, holding down a job, paying my taxes and contributing to society ... or would you rather me an unhappy, depressed, internally troubled person, costing the state in ongoing psychotherapy and unable to hold down lunch let alone a job?

At the end of the day, I'm glad that regardless what some of the more backward, biggoted individuals think, society has made a choice to prefer the former. The rest of it, is just argumentative icing.

I'm also glad that society has made this choice because I was one of a number of volunteers on private telephone lines; lines that we paid for ourselves; to make ourselves available to talk to people who, thanks to the verbal and physical attacks of narrow minded bigots, would have killed themselves. When we started coming close to the 21st century, fewer people called and we wrapped up the line.

When you take people who would happily kill people, or drive them to suicide, simply because they don't like what they've done to their hair and think it is a cover up; I know who I'd lock up and throw away the key on.

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FAIL

Re: Eh?

So AC 06:57 holds in abhorrance women who wear any form of make up too, that's fake. Even if it's worn to cover up disfiguring scars too I suppose, because not being "fake" is better than having that awful feeing of depression when someone looks at you with disgust - not me thank goodness, but a couple of friends.

Hair dye - I went grey very early, and found people assuming I was at least a decade older than I was, and was judged by that. I dyed my hair back to close to my original & hey presto attitudes changed, even from those who knew me. Was I being "fake" by using dye? Or was I just compensating for a misfortune of nature.

And I suppose his idea of "fake" includes any form of surgery to correct birth defects? Because that's what being transgender is, someone born with a birth defect that is luckily correctable with surgery, same as conditions like a hare lip or cleft palate, or extra fingers/toes.

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Re: Eh?

Probably not, unless he asked if she could have children. Women who are not trans can also be unable to bear children, or even want them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh? - Thomas

actually you are wrong in most cases in most cases they remove a piece of the bowle and use this to provide Self lubricating surface lining for the new vagina. Time plus further hormone treatment and to will get drippings.

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WTF?

Re: Eh? Not cool, El Reg. Not cool.

Sorry, but I don';t buy that!!!

HeShe should have been honest upfront!!!!!

I would feel completely betrayed if I were in his shoes.

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Re: @Don Jefe

A) I never made any claim that post-ops could function in the same manner as a 'natural born' person of the respective gender, so consider your strawman flame-broiled.

B) Ad-Hominem attacks don't make you appear intelligent or clever.

C) I've been married for 10 years and have a teenage daughter, and based on your post, if she isn't older than you then she sure as hell is more mature.

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Bronze badge

Re: Eh?

So AC 06:57 holds in abhorrance women who wear any form of make up too, that's fake.

Presumably he considers shaving fake too - it's just hiding your "real" hair. Or cutting hair. And what about wearing clothing - so fake! Probably he'd have included all of those, but typing is difficult with those long, curling fingernails.

Of course, posting as AC is pretty fake. Anyone who doesn't post using their legal name is obviously a fake. Though legal names are pretty fake too, since they're given out arbitrarily and aren't unique. (A quick search would give you an idea of how many "Michael Wojcik"s there are in the US. Am I the former Chicago alderman? The New Jersey high school principal? Only my hair stylist knows for sure!) Really, if you can't smell me, how do you know who I am?[1]

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. Curiously, though, we can often tell when someone's an ass.

[1] And let's not even get into how this whole bogus "real/fake" dichotomy ignores centuries of more-sophisticated thinking, like the interventions into essentialism or the rejection of the metaphysics of presence. Somehow I doubt the OP is up to thinking on that level.[2]

[2] With my Reg Bronze status I'm supposed to be able to use the HTML superscript tag, but it's not working, at least in preview. Oh well.

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Coat

Guess you could say that... she dropped the ball....s.

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Anonymous Coward

IT Angle

No I'm not asking what the IT angle is. I'm providing it:

"There are few women in the ranks of computer programmers, and pitifully few that can be called famous. So few in fact, that transsexuals are giving women a run for their money. The dataset includes 211.5 men, 6.5 women and 4 transsexuals."

- from http://grokcode.com/37/famous-programmers-from-adleman-to-zimmermann/

(Follow the link to find out where the 0.5 comes from.)

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Re: IT Angle

Or, you know, not being a prejudiced caveman: 211.5 men, and 10.5 women.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IT Angle

@Lis 0r You are of course correct, and I apologise. That should have been 6.5 women with XX chromosomes.

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Facepalm

Re: IT Angle

You've done a chromosome assay to ensure that none of them have intersex conditions, then?

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Stop

"Or, you know, not being a prejudiced caveman: 211.5 men, and 10.5 women."

Did you consider that some of the transsexuals may have been female-to-male?

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Re: "Or, you know, not being a prejudiced caveman: 211.5 men, and 10.5 women."

Yes, then I read the linked article, which stated they were all male-to-female.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IT Angle

The only thing in those statistics that I really care about is that, looking at the present state of the processor world, Sophie Wilson must rank as one of the most influential people in IT ever, having designed the original ARM instruction set.

Not a bad claim to fame.

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It's disappointing to see El Reg joining in the retrograde childishness that is pointing at people who've had gender reassignment surgery and saying "EWW!" Because, you know, it's a fair bet that anyone who's undergone gender reassignment surgery has had more than enough that judgmental bollocks already and could probably do without.

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Joke

"More than enough of that judgemental bollocks"

I think we can say with certainty that post-op male-to-female transsexuals have had more than enough of bollocks, and are doing very well without.

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Stop

In Lester's defence

Lester is normally a very enjoyable writer and his articles have often given me a laugh when I needed one. The other thing to bear in mind is not everyone has had the genuine pleasure of working/knowing transfolks; as a consequence not everyone knows when ribbing turns into hurtful remarks. This article has been a swing and a miss for Mr Haines but if were revised to be more sensitive, I'd be cool with that.

Christ knows there's enough bloody witch hunts in this country at the moment without needing to nail Lester for a one-off fuck up. Just as long as it is a one-off fuck up. =)

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Re: In Lester's defence

@Thomas 4, I don't think anyone is calling for Lester's head. I haven't read a single comment here demanding the immediate sacking for the writer and so forth yadda yadda.

But you know what this is? This is The Register's readership telling Lester, The Register writers at large, and every other person who happens to read the comments section of this article that we are not okay with these sorts of articles. I've never met Lester. I know absolutely nothing about him. Maybe he's a great guy, maybe he's not. Maybe he's 25, maybe he's 105. Maybe he's raised in an ultra-conservative culture where social conservatism isn't questioned and there wouldn't have been a moment's thought that others would view this in a different light. I don't know, so I won't pretend to judge him.

What I will say is this: as a reader of The Register, I hope the reactions in this comment thread send a message loud and fucking clear that The Register's readership is emphatically not cognate with the Fox News-class social conservative demographic. I hope that the message gets across that we find this degrading and bigoted, not humorous.

Lester gets off free here, I think. There was a point not so long ago that The Register's readership would have laughed uproariously and slapped a knee. Thankfully, mercifully, that is no longer the case.

So no, let's not vilify the writer: I'm with you there. That said, let's make sure the message gets across crystal clear:

This is something up with which we will not put.

I suspect the message has been delivered for deliberation by the brass hats. I hope so, anyways...

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TRT
Silver badge

Wow.

Well, I guess this isn't the first time this kind of thing has happened. It's the lack of honesty that's quite disturbing, and it does seem to have been engineered in order to get visas and citizenship etc. You'd have thought that a history like that was something to get straight between them. Mind you, it should have raised suspicions when she beat him time and again on the XBox.

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