What I Learned from my First Two Hundred Medium Stories

+plus+ Monday Man-Crush

Digital illustration by David Roddis / sign graphic derived from a photo by Austin Chan (via Unsplash)

I just reached two hundred stories on Medium. I’m telling you this because I know how hard you are on yourself when you forget to hire the marching band, arrange a platter of clever hors d’oeuvres and invite the guests.

Admit it: I go the extra mile for you.

And I’m telling you this even though there’s, well — just a tiny whiff of imposter syndrome tainting my buzz, when I consider that, for example, one of my stories consists of only three words, and they are not “I love you.” But, still, two hundred.

Here’s what I learned along the way:

1. Everyone, except me, loves lists. Seriously loves. They’ll read “Ten Reasons Why Lists Suck.” They’ll read “Five Ways to Improve Your List About 10 Reasons We Hate Facebook, and did you see my cat video?” Takeaway: Two Pad Thai with shrimp, and some spring rolls. Couple of Coke Zero.

Sorry, that’s take out.

The take away is: make the occasional list. They’re light and breezy and full of Anne-of-Green-Gables plucky optimism, and promise quick stimulation, like a shot of espresso taken standing up. In fact, now that I’m writing one, I love lists!

Another take away is that I occasionally channel my dad’s really corny sense of humor. Is there a dad without a really corny sense of humor? What is it about diapers and khaki pants from GAP that shreds whatever part of the amygdala that’s responsible for waspish rejoinders and Wildean epigrams?

This is my first list. You’ve never heard of me, but that all changes today, baby.

2. Gigantic, eye-popping images of unparalleled garishness (see above) are effective because they both repel and attract. It’s like not being able to resist driving back to view the aftermath of a non-fatal car pile-up.

Or like watching Bernie Sanders try to be cool. Or well-groomed. Or electable. “I’m voting for social democracy / I’m voting for a Muppet.” Attract / repel.

Remember: You’ll nab ’em with an image. But your content had better merit the attention, or they’ll wander off, probably to read a list because you were too high and mighty to think one up. Get over yourself, girlfriend!

3. Big images with lots of primary colors and lacking in subtlety make your article look significantly longer and more researched than it actually is. They’ll think, “Jeez, did she hire a graphic designer?” This is discouraging to many rookies. Which is great, because — less competition! You are rockin’ my list!

4. You’ve got a loving heart. Now grow some thick skin. Engaging, however politely, with surly, obnoxious NRA supporters, if you’re a people-pleaser like me, goes well with a big helping of solipsism, i.e., don’t read their replies. Just stay in your Pollyanna bubble and talk to yourself, which you mostly do anyway.

My one foray into this territory prompted My American Cousin to send me a gratuitously nasty, chauvinist, anti-Canada screed that oozed contempt, and in which he asserted I have no standing to discuss gun control in the U.S. (This may or may not be a point, depending on how many hot guns were smuggled into Toronto this past week.)

As a response to his outpouring of bile I countered with my most concise story to date, which I wrote after I stopped crying. My story totalled three words: “Oh, fuck off.”

This is either a triumph of not caring or a total decompensating cop-out. In retrospect, my only regret is that I didn’t say it twice.

5. “Stories.” Ahem. Lord knows I’ve tried, but I’ve never quite acclimatized to calling an article a “story,” much less my short responses. Those I call responses. Yes, I am old.

This is like Spotify calling the movements of a Beethoven symphony “songs.”

“You can’t beat Beethoven’s Fifth— it’s firstsong is just so totally — woke!”

Nope. That didn’t happen. Never said that. No, siree.

6. Do you suddenly feel that you’re entirely on your own, out in the big bad world, where your mother is not going to stick your “story” on the fridge door because she’s so proud and impressed by your mouthing platitudes to a deaf choir?

You’re absolutely right, you are. Learn to hold your own hand. Say what you want to say, not what you think people want to hear. You might open the eyes of one or two special readers, those who “get” you. They are like gold, and they are yours. You might even make them laugh, hopefully because you intended to.

Above all, be your unique self. As an example: I’m flippant, shallow, self-involved and immature, but I try to make sure at least one person is snickering before the truth sinks in.

7. You don’t always have to have the last word, you know, Mr. Smartass Buckaroo. Give someone else that dubious honor occasionally.

This is a note to myself.

8. It is the height of bad taste to engage with your critics — and face it, you know they’ll never come round. They are “entrenched,” you are “right.”

By the way, if you are not familiar with the concept of “taste,” this is when you have every right to do something, then refrain from doing it.

9. When I posted my first story on Medium, I was nervous. Well, with reason, because the first things I posted weren’t all that good.

Oh, they were not. Oh, stop it.

Really? You think so?

But I know that by posting that first story I stepped out of my scared skin as a writer, and acquired a bit more space in the world. I stopped apologizing and worrying if I was any good and remembered that dreams and goals and ideas are like dime-store jewelry; taking action and completing something, just one thing, is worth a million unfulfilled, unfinished dreams. Bear in mind: You’ll probably have to leave the house at some point.

I want the people who don’t think they have anything to offer, the people who are afraid, to step out of their own scared skin and complete something. I want them — is this you, perhaps?— to write any old rubbish, make a gesture with a paint brush, or sing and not care what it sounds like, not yet; and I want you to keep doing this until you’re done. Then I want you to do it again, and again, until you have a lifetime’s worth.

Let me be perfectly clear: I’m talking about writers and artists. I’m all the way up to the waistband of my dollar store briefs, thanks anyway, with conservatives who have skins like elephants and all the zeal in the world around making the world a more hateful place.

Feel free to not complete something, conservatives! Take a day or two off! OK! Back atcha!

10. I will never be relevant. I have the reaction time of glaciers. I shift into high gear like metamorphic rock.

I ponder.

I have always been cursed with “l’esprit de l’escalier.”

I’m at the pub, for example, and someone in the group standing next to me glances at my Friday Night Shirt, the blue and white paisley with the ruffles down the front, the shirt that must be special because I feel so uncomfortable wearing it. I leave this shirt untucked, lest my delusions about still retaining a thirty-inch waist be shattered by a wisp of Oxford cotton. This guy glances at me, turns to his friends and stage-whispers, “Nice shirt!” while rolling his eyes, and I take him at face value.

I feel suitably attired, proud that I’m turning heads who is that distinguished gent who looks so good, backlit? and setting the bar just that little bit out of reach, for fashion’s sake. High fives!

One night later that month, while slipping blissfully under the duvet, I’m ambushed by a nagging moment of uncertainty, followed by full-body blushing, and I sputter, “Why, goldarnit! I do believe he was — making fun of my shirt! That —that hooligan!”

This is why I’m still polishing my satirical barbs about Hillary Clinton. It’s nice to find someone equally irrelevant, and, bless her, she gives and she gives. She’ll go on until the end of time, our little pink bunny, forever beating her drum. I think of Hillary and I as growing old together.

Look for my Joe Biden piece around 2024.

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Monday Man-Crush: Doug. Just—Doug.

Welcome to the recurring feature, previously an occurring feature because this is only the second time it has occurred, that has you on the edge of your organic kneeling-chair, called “Monday Man-crush,” which I am posting on a Sunday.

My timelines, you surely have noted, are not of mere human proportion. My timelines are those of mountains, of giant tortoises, of asparagus beds; they scoop their arcs with the majesty of Emily Dickinson contemplating the starry vault as she rolls her lisle stockings down to her ankles, then sets up her large-format view camera for a thirty-minute selfie.

Also, I’m disorganized as shit.

MM-C points the well-manicured index finger of random interweb glory and/or ridicule at the unwitting, luscious straight guys who have caused the sludgy, congealed sap of my involuntary celibacy to melt into man-lust then burble and spurt along the byways of my gnarly tree-trunk.

Ka-pow!

Now, meet Doug. But may I just say: Hands OFF, Murgatroyd.




Love, if it comes, comes too late.

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Meritocracy? That’s Rich!

playing fair is one luxury the privileged can’t afford


AS A LOYAL READER OF THIS BLOG, YOU will of course be aware that I’ve previously come out as favoring rubies.

Mmmm, rubies!

Let’s be absolutely sure we’re on the same page, here: I’m talking great, honking, shameless clusters of square-cut rubies with lots and lots of nice, big diamonds.

And I know what you’re thinking:

Total! NO! BRAINER!!

But I have to confess I’m also rather fond of oodles and oodles of cabochon-cut turquoise with blue sapphire and diamond accents mounted in 18K yellow gold, by Van Cleef & Arpels, see left.

Now there’s something a girl could make sacrifices for, once a girl has figured out just exactly what there is left of herself that hasn’t already been sacrificed.

What can I say? Like any other eligible piece of daddy-tail between the age of sixty and death, je suis tellement fatigué. I’m not always up to squeezing me, the toothpaste, back into the crinkled, overworked tube of my Fortuny gown, slapping on forty carats of ruby and diamond cuff, retail value $1,229,540.74, then heading to the corner store flanked by twelve Mounties in full regalia just because I fancy a couple of butter tarts and some commemorative postage.

And, frankly, I need to hold back for my fans’ sake, keep just a hint of mystery:

“Who is that distinguished, solitary gentleman? How young he looks when backlit, at dawn!”

Honestly? I just want to slum it, sometimes. OK, OK, like, busted! You got me!

But hear me out, Murgatroyd McGraw, because being rich is not just all about the gold ingots and heirloom silver and Old Masters and crisp, bundled banknotes piled up to the ceiling in your second-best ballroom with the rococo panelling.

It’s also all about the jaw-dropping savings: At $135,000, this timeless, elegant piece of clumps of polished gravel works out cheaper than rubies, making this the more sensible extravagance. And it leaves me more moolah in my Cayman Islands bank account for calling up Uber Eats and ordering a foie gras BLT and a Cherry Coke teased into significance with a spritz of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. (My signature cocktail, the “Power Drill,” great for trepanning yourself the morning after a fun yet overly-demanding night out).

Buying oodles of turquoise instead of bushels of rubies, my little sycophants, is true sacrifice. Let me express this in terms you can understand: It’s like buying a can of No-Name tomatoes instead of the ones you really want: A clamshell of grape tomatoes, each one clutching its affidavit of organic provenance, that just flew into town First Class from Mexico. Maybe Van Cleef & Arpels should make jewelry outta those!

How do you think people get as rich and obnoxious as me?

That’s right. The more you spend, the more you save! We get rich by driving our petro-swilling SUV right through the plate-glass windows of your sad little local hardware store, leaving behind the crushed bodies of Fred Helply, the rosy-cheeked proprietor, and his cheery staff, and right up to the loading bay of Walmart, where we pick up bottled tap water by the pallet, gallons of Dijon mustard, two thousand rolls of quilted toilet tissue.

And we get obnoxious by tearing a strip off the radicalized environmentalists and panda-fuckers who think that’s wasteful: “Two thousand year-old trees? Try wiping your ass with a giant sequoia, then give us a call!”

Also, we rich people get rich primarily by inheriting our wealth.

In other words, we get and stay rich through the sheer randomness of the birth lottery, which determines whether we’re lying in a Blue Almonds baby basket on a sand dune in East Hampton, tiny mouths clamped onto a silver spoon first used by Queen Anne, or lying on a sand dune in Sudan, crawling with flies, arms and legs like matchsticks, and bellies swollen from imminent death from starvation.

This is problematic. We’d prefer to believe we’re in East Hampton not through sheer randomness but because—well, because of all that we’ve achieved.

Like being born in East Hampton and inheriting our wealth.

Once we’ve taken care of our patrician roots, we can relax, even more than we are already! We multiply and preserve our wealth through economies of scale (which the poor can’t access because their cars have been repossessed, leaving them surviving on canned creamed corn and jujubes from the local bodega); and by pinching those pennies so hard they squeal louder than Ann Coulter in tit clamps.

Speaking as the sissy-boy who shared a chambre communicante plus bidet with Ann while we were both Broadway hopefuls, making rounds all afternoon, eatin’ in a greasy spoon to save on our dough-oh—and yes, Sondheim gave me permission—I can assure you those squeals are a decibel or two hundred off the charts.

Ann! I told you! Never spramp your bleedywunquet with hot water—you’ll come up like a Shoppers Drug Mart hemorrhoid cushion! My flushing the toilet at just the wrong moment thereby appropriating all the cold had nothing to do with it!

As I was saying:

Thriftiness is a virtue, especially when we’re asked to pay for some homeless person’s heart bypass or motel housing, instead of setting up another trust fund. This is when we say, “Funds are running a bit low, sorry, and charity begins at home!” When a stagnant economy forces us to live within our means, give me stinking rich any day!

Extravagant, money-leaking poor people soon find the alternative, parasitic lifestyle that seemed so alluring when they read “Oliver Twist” is shockingly expensive. You’ve got no choice but to live in some trailer park where the landlord charges you usurious interest rates on your overdue rent, and you can’t even threaten shopkeepers with taking your business elsewhere, because there’s only one shop within walking distance, therefore no elsewhere.

Why someone would choose to live like that, with not a single elsewhere to relieve the monotony—well, it just boggles my mind.

It’s verging on—somebody has to say it, and here goes Mr. Straight-Talkin’ Unpopular—irresponsible.


The week drew to a close, as I lounged in my bower of white Vanda orchids, with the revelation that rich people—TV stars, and food processing magnates and jewelry designers and more TV stars and dentists and even superstar lawyers (!)— had botched their bribery of posh private colleges. Instead of sticking with the traditional signing of a million-dollar cheque for a new library and presenting it to the bursar while the cameras flashed and hands were shaken and, in an examination hall nearby, little Ziggy struggled with his entrance essay—then waiting until someone on the Board of Directors saw the check, and Ziggy’s essay, and put two and two together—some genius decided to change the M.O.

Suddenly it was skulduggery and cryptic emails and entrance exams taken three times in two different states, images with their kids’ heads Photoshopped onto the bodies of volleyball players—and, I like to imagine, two A.M. trysts in the quadrangle.

Money is the best merit money can buy

Our ever-intrepid parents of the privileged tiptoed across ancient lawns under pitch black, moonless skies until someone hissed, “Hey, over here!”—which so distracted mom and dad that their Ferragamo shoes got stuck in the roots of a three-hundred year old oak tree, and they fell, faces and cheque books first, into the arms of an athletics coach who just happened to be passing by.

Happy coincidence!

And if you can believe it, thanks to the appalling negligence of the groundskeepers, this happened fifty times! You’d think they’d have at least devised a warning sign— perhaps a silhouette of Barbara Hutton tripping over some tree roots, with maybe a lightning bolt pointing at her feet to indicate something painful, then a great, big X through everything to make it clear that this was not a desirable outcome. You’d think, at least!

The revelation that shameless, entitled rich people had bought their kids advantages they didn’t in any way deserve, just more blatantly than last week, was barely news, and certainly not “the end of meritocracy!”

Calm down! This is no end to meritocracy. It’s just another pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Oz has spoken! type of socially awkward event where we’re all in cahoots, but have to pretend we’re not, like when Granny Rockefeller farts in church, or when Egbert uses the crème brulée spoon for the fish course. One of those moments when we admit there’s a big charade going on, look at each other, laugh ruefully, oh, that Egbert! He’s just incorrigible! then go right on charading.

There is a kind of meritocracy at work, just not the overly-literal, humorless, taking-itself-seriously meritocracy that insists on, well, merit. What’s that po-faced fucktardery all about? Think Kardashians, Hiltons, Trumps, gold medallists in the Olympics of Vulgar, oligarchs of the moronic moneyed.

(Or think Koch brothers, DeVos, the Republican party and the Progressive Conservatives at prayer: Sleazy deals and dark Webs; Deep States and French-kissing Godfathers; dissident journalists dismembered in embassies. Whether that’s unspeakable horror or all in a day’s work depends on your job description.)

Merit has always been required, but the trick is to define merit so that it’s in plentiful supply and available to our de facto kings and queens. WASP lineage? Merit will be an IQ test, to keep out Jews. Ineffective? Jews turned out to be annoyingly smart, and SAT’s were born.

The privileged class, rather than staking its claim based on true merit—skill, intelligence, integrity—even once, has cleverly devised barriers that screen out whatever they don’t have, leaving them with one attribute they could all agree on. Money is the best merit money can buy, and the American crown princes, those scions of food packaging empires and hedge fund dynasties, deserve nothing less.

Our quasi-royalty of the republic don’t need to be interesting, trustworthy, ethical or talented, or even know how to pronounce noblesse oblige. Their louder-than-a-Lily-Pulitzer-pantsuit message is: If we can get dosh, anybody can. All you need to do is stoop low enough, preferably while taking a selfie for Instagram.


Someone invents an electronic toy that no one needs, until the marketers and influencers tell us we do—think Apple Watch and thousand-dollar iPhones; gigantic “Smart” TVs that hijack our living rooms; robot sidekicks that might delight an unsophisticated three-year-old; Bluetooth headsets that turn their wearers into obtuse, self-styled celebrities broadcasting their delusions of grandeur at our backs—and we’re lobbing fistfuls of our hard-earned money at the “visionary entrepreneur.”

But let a public servant come up with a way to tackle poverty, deliver healthcare, regulate worker safety, lower our carbon emissions or improve public transit? She’s a wastrel, an enemy of liberty, a socialist.

She’d allocate far less of our hard-earned money for better results and greater good, but we’re sold on the idea that taxation is theft; and the only theft we countenance is the covert type. Covert theft plays out as everyday low prices, subsidized by subsistence-level wages for employees; CEO’s paid three hundred times the wages of a secretary, taxpayer-funded mortgage relief.

Even the robber barons, once reviled but looking more and more like modern-day saints, donated Carnegie libraries, built whole towns of factory-worker housing, gave out a paternalistic scuttle of coal and a turkey at Christmas, out of the nagging sense that they’d amassed more than was seemly.

(Is it socialism when the tax exemption on inherited wealth is increased to eleven million from five point five million, as it was in 2018, in the U.S.? Under these new guidelines, there are currently only two thousand people in the United States who would be liable for estate tax.

(Is it socialism when the corporate tax breaks, which we were assured would be invested in higher wages, new products, job creation or lower prices, were used by companies almost exclusively to buy back their own stock, for the benefit of shareholders?)

North Americans, we proles without the silver spoons, are not a smart or subtle cohort. We are descended from barn-raisers and smashers of stained glass. Life is hard, and meant to be lived unadorned. We work long hours and crawl into bed early, our minds numbed and distracted by Netflix. We don’t throw our hats in the air at the unveiling of a Henry Moore or cram the doorways of Massey Hall to hear Beethoven’s latest, or celebrate Alice Munro Day; we’re too busy paying obscene rent and being gouged for wireless and paying fees to our banks so they can invest our money and reward us with wooden nickels.

We’re just plain folks; culture would prove we’ve got ideas above our station, too much unproductive time on our hands.

We are in thrall to charlatans: carnival barkers with cures for baldness and hatchet-wielding temperance gals in gingham dresses breathing hellfire. Everybody hustle!

Capitalism for the masses: Your success necessitates my failure.

But socialism for the moneyed vulgarians: Scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

Dogs in diamond collars when we’ve run out of places on ourselves.

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A Case of Dementia in Squirrels

lost: a few nuts randomly buried under the Statue of Fuckery



WHATEVER YOU POST IN AN INTERNET FORUM, no matter how bat-shit insane or obviously fueled by malice, becomes instantly and indisputably true, provided you make your case with the absolute conviction of a Supreme Court justice and the fire and brimstone of a born-again Christian preaching to the converted. To test my hypothesis, please spread the rumors described below, being careful to follow the instructions and not attempting anything beyond your current skill set. Go on, you know you want to!

Rumor 1

“Hillary is running a child-sex brothel from an apartment on the second floor of the Golden Lemongrass Thai Restaurant, in Pocatello, Idaho, and on weekdays you get two for the price of one! True!”

What is it: Standard Hillary rumor

Where should I spread it: Facebook is the only way to go.

Why: Facebook was never cool and just went downhill from there, giving a Hillary-Facebook profile match of 10/10; Facebook is mainly used by low-income, middle-aged women who find the real news too confusing and who are all related to you, and/or entire developing nations where women are allocated a status just below even-toed ungulates. Delivers more intensity for less effort than standard “Crooked Hillary” models.

Difficulty: Level 1 (suitable for beginners)

Rumor 2

“Alexandria O-C, that crazy humorless Lesbian socialist c**t,¹ is in cahoots with the Palestinians about plans to pelt the Brooklyn Bridge with balls of exploding falafel filled with broken glass and metal screws, and if you survive that, she’s going to raise your taxes to 90% and take away your cow! All so very true!”

What is it: Experimental “Crazy Socialist/Accusatory Anti Semite” combo type (in beta; may not perform as anticipated)

Where should I spread it: YouTube or other video-heavy sites that attract teenagers and angry middle-aged white guys because a. there’s something that moves; and b. they have to take a break from beating off to “barely-legal” teen porn at least one day out of four so the swelling can go down.

Why: This is uncharted territory. Works on the theory that anyone who demands social justice must have had pre-marital sex, gone dancing or lied about getting straight A’s in college at least once, so there’s bound to be something we can nail her with.

Gets you bonus points for reminding us that anyone who dares to question even for one second anything Israel does, or anything done in the name of Zionism, no matter how morally reprehensible, is so beyond the pale they might just as well have put on their souvenir pair of Hitler’s tattered underpants, then shoveled great-grandfather’s ashes out of the incinerator at Auschwitz before using them for fertilizer.

Difficulty: Level 4 (advanced). Requires impeccable insinuation and moral outrage techniques, plus the ability to withstand mockery by twenty-somethings, and Twitter pile-ons of grandstanding goyim who’ve never been closer to anything Jewish than that time they bought a boil-in-the-bag serving of Shopsy’s corned beef.

¹ Backgrounder:

(Yes, one must consider bringing the “c-word” out of retirement, because the usual styling for a strong female, “bitch”, is currently in the private collection of the Speaker, and besides, “bitch” is not even remotely nasty enough for a wee slip of a thing, not yet thirty years old, who speaks her mind, considers herself equal to a man and dares to talk of revolution.

“Bitch” is too light and breezy to convey the impotent rage of the male conservative whose daughter has stayed out all night being a slut when she’d promised to keep her knees together and return home by midnight, full of chaste, dutiful daddy’s-little-girl kisses.

The moribund, flatulent old guard is incredulous at the vigor and righteousness and juiciness of the new. A O-C is impervious to taunts, because she doesn’t give a fuck what you think; she has that Latina warmth and affability and superiority; plus the natural moral high ground of the female deployed with the ardor of a saint. If you’re on her side, she’ll be your ever-faithful pal; if you’re not, her eyes will flash like steel and she’ll cut you down with a well-aimed retort, swift and sharp as a switchblade. Tremble, o fathers, at untamed, untameable womanhood—!)

Rumor 3

“Nancy Pelosi, actually Nadia Pelosinheimer, filthy rich Jewess, together with her latest lover, George Soros, the Antichrist, and her army of bastard Satan-children, is funding a new caravan of out-of-work Central American soap opera actors who will storm The Wall as part of her Communist-Jewish agenda to slice off every remaining piece of foreskin in California. Vile prepuce, be gone!”²

² (The above should be self-explanatory, except please note that in this one we follow the common practice in that you dislike Jews rather than suddenly wanting to stand up for them because it suits your purpose.)

Rumor 4

Have you been getting this down? Have a go at Rumor 4 by yourself. Should be a cinch!

“Global warming and climate change are hoaxes perpetrated by the Chinese so they can destroy our economy. True!

“They are supported in this by an international cabal of renowned scientists who’ve forged all the data, having forgotten that the Earth’s climate goes in cycles—kind of like your clothes dryer at home with the different settings for linen and synthetics, and we’re just stuck on delicates at the moment. One full cap for a dirty load of true!

“Remember how your ancestor from the Holocene period always told you, It’s OK, dude, just take shelter in your cave until the monsoons pass? Well, there you go! That thing! Crack my skull with your caveman club of truth!

“Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s my turn to demonstrate my killer blow-job technique on the CEO of Esso.”


All of these are facts. Cross my heart and hope to die. Let the world know!

Nope. Not facts. Not even factoids. None of that happened. Just random, made-up shit.

But true.

And why the hell not? The actual truth is so plain-Jane and unadorned, it is as a straight-backed Shaker chair to the curvaceous Louis XIV fauteuil of our fakery. The actual truth admits no duty other than to just be, and it will not be gilded or lilied with your agenda. The actual truth lacks efficiency: it does not rouse the base, deflect blame or target a suitably depressed class as “other.”

The actual truth involves getting out of bed and taking a selfie without the Instagram filter that lets you pretend you’re a tiger, or breathing fire, or even Marilyn, even if you’re a guy. The actual truth might not be that pretty.

What are the actual truths?

The actual truth is that men hate women, hate them so much that every fleeting opportunity for rape not taken is cause for regret; the actual truth is that everyone hates Jews and fags and the transgendered and people with non-white skin and immigrants, the actual truth is that we hate in a dizzying infinite regress of Venn diagrams of who’s the hated and who’s the hater, who hates the haters, and who the hated hate in their turn in whatever hateful hierarchy. That’s actual truth.

We didn’t get out of bed this morning and sip our Evian to admit that our bombed and machine-gunned kids, be they in Palestine, Syria or Parkland, are real kids whose flesh shreds to the bone and whose faces melt like sugar as we wage war against them, and we hate them all the more for being so delicate, so trusting and vulnerable; that hurts, doesn’t it? And to that I say: that’s actual truth for ya!

A black woman, a Democratic representative in Congress, is told by the Chair, a white man, that her time is up, she must stop talking about gun control and her fears for her children. He makes the demand in the soft, decorous voice one would use to say, “A spot of tea, Priscilla?”

The woman explodes in anger. “I will NOT!” she bellows.

White men, as always, offer their opinion on Twitter. You would do better to have some decorum. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, Honey. We understand your position, but there’s a time and a place.

I read these Tweets, thinking, “This woman has probably endured in her lifetime insults, injustice and indignity that these men would not put up with for ONE SECOND, were it them—and now they want to take away her RAGE as well?”

Is there no fucking limit to our shamelessness?


We didn’t cast our vote for Trump or Scheer or Harper or Brexit to admit the actual truth: that The Wall can never be built.

Honestly, haven’t you ever wondered why? Why the delays, why the faffing around and procrastinating and backtracking and deal-making?

It’s not like building a wall costs that much, in a nation that allocates half its discretionary spending to defence while kids starve and their parents shoot up Fentanyl, praying for an overdose; it’s not like it’s technically difficult, in a nation that builds a World Trade Center just so the Deep State can knock it over like a juvenile delinquent knocks a tin can off a fence.

(Except that’s just a rumor; the actual truth is that America, read “the West”, is hated by those who’ve endured the West’s greed, insatiable appetite for oil and callous indifference to the misery they’ve inflicted on entire nations, who looked through the windows at the sumptuous banquet and thought, Why not us, too? Why were we not invited? Why is it their oil, not ours?

To the West, those people were nothing but inconveniences, pawns to be hoodwinked and manipulated and shifted on the board. And the bitterness and hatred of entire nations spawned fundamentalism, which in turn triggered the horrified awakening: that Western life is the unholy life of the apostate, that Westerners are infidels who deserve to die, and for all I know, they’re right.

The actual truth is that you might as well have leveled the World Trade Centre yourselves, so inevitable was the disaster that you call 9/11 and that some call sweet and righteous victory. An infinite regress of haters and the hated…)

The Wall can never be built because it was and is and always will be a metaphorical wall, a glorious Fascist symbol, an intangible, enthralling fever dream that has hooked the souls of the lost and angry white overlords who yearn for a Golden Age.

The Wall is Heimweh, nostalgia for the Fatherland, the Ur-Amerika of cotton and tobacco, and horses-and-buggies transporting the exquisite parasol’d daughters to the cotillion Good evenin’, Miss Scarlett! while the family niggers drop dead in the fields.

The Wall is a Jungian vision of the cosmic hymen that will restore Amerika’s virginity and racial purity, and to attempt to build it would be to awaken us, the sleepwalkers, force us to admit that purity is a chimera, a state that never existed and thus can never be restored.

To attempt to build The Wall would force us to admit we are indelibly stained. We long to be pure water again, but we are forever tainted with the blood of those we hate, and to admit that is to admit defeat.

God and Satan and all the legion of the fallen angels help us! when we whose vocation is hate must admit defeat. Except the actual truth is that God doesn’t exist. Ours alone will be all the kingdom and the power and the glory for what we’ve wrought, forever and ever. And that is why we, the haters, hate Him most of all.

Did you know? Squirrels forget where they buried eighty percent of the nuts they harvest.

True.

Tanya Granic Allen…

…wants you to know that you make her vomit



transcript of speech given at “Our Lady of the Sorrowful Burek” Croatian Catholic Church, Mississauga, Ontario, July 12th, 2018

published with kind permission of The Reverend Father Vldjvicje Zprsczwstic (“Mitzi”)


Good morning and a grim, tightly-wound hello to you. My name is Tanya Granic Allen, and it is truly an honour to be here today at the beautiful Our Lady of the Sorrowful Burek. Thanks to the organizers of this youth conference for the invitation and also of course to The Reverend Father Vldjvicje Zprsczwstic, or as we like to call him, “Mitzi”—and if you’ve never spent New Year’s Eve watching a Croatian Catholic priest in full Barbra Streisand drag sing “People” while twelve naked choirboys in go-go boots sign for the deaf, you probably don’t have the stomach for it!

You may have noticed I’m standing way back from the podium because of my baby bump. I’m currently twelve months pregnant with quadruplets, two boys and two girls, and let me emphasize that those are the only two choices available to you, ok? Any hint on the ultrasound that I was giving safe haven to some pre-op tranny female-to-male lesbo pansy boy with a vagina and it would have been coat hangers, a bucket of Palmolive and an extra round of track and field practice.

I can assure you of that, because the moment that little freak makes the leap from single cell to personhood is precisely never.

Frankly I’d have gotten with child sooner, but hubbie couldn’t find the key to the chastity belt I’ve had on ever since the devil smote me with the curse the day of my “sweet sixteen” party. I know that sounds kinda late, but mom and dad didn’t think I could handle menstruation any younger, and their word was law in our household!

Incidentally, and here’s a cute story, just between you, myself and the bedpost, mom and dad actually put the lock on my mouth at first, but my will to pontificate was too strong. What can I say, that’s Tanya to a “t”!

My goal today is to make you nostalgic for what our society was like when men were men, women were women, mom and dad were in control and kids did what they were told, at least within earshot.

You may also find that you become nostalgic for what life was like before you knew me—and if that thought brings a tear to your eye, I’ll consider this a job well done!

First off, and if it isn’t totally obvious, I’m straight, and because there have been some nasty rumors swirling around about my attitude to gay people, or “skin-flute Sally’s” as I call them, I’d like to set the record straight, too.

The operative word here is “straight.” Keep a straight face, for example, as you hear me tell you that the accusation by the Liberals—my apologies, I just puked a little into my mouth, but I’ll keep going—and the accusation by the press—that I am somehow against the dignity and human rights of LGBT+ people—is a lie.

Trust the Liberal media, and a bunch of Poop-Chute Penelope’s and Rug Rubbers, to get their crotchless panties and deluxe jockstraps in a twist over nothing! Seriously?

Master that straight face and you’ll soon be able to keep it going when I tell you that school kids are not learning math because a bunch of Muslim terrorists, Middle Eastern bum bandits and left-wing Islamico-feminazis have commandeered our school curriculum and made our kids obsessed with anal sex.

And incidentally, any hint that I’m “Islamophobic” is malarkey as well. I mean, if those gals want to dress up in their voodoo masks and walk around like trick-or-treating piles of laundry with eyes, that’s their friggin’ trip! I celebrate their choice to practise a weird cult religion, at the same time as I thank the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception for making possible our cherished Western values and my freedom to wear something light by Suzy Shier when the weather gets crazy hot.

But back to anal sex, always, and the Liberals’ agenda to help young people feel safe and not guilty about their bodies. Part of tradition is that kids should go through what we all went through, and you can bet Kathleen Wynne’s double-headed dildo I’m gonna set you straight on that one, as well.

In fact, my goal is that everyone in the world should set themselves absolutely, no-doubt-about-it, pink-for-girls-and-Barbie-dolls, blue-for-boys-and-aching-balls straight. People should be straight, hair should be straight, talking should be straight, kids should be straight, those white lines dividing highways should be straight, a narrow passage connecting two seas or other large areas of water should be a strait, homeless people should be in dire straits, right-angled triangles should be made from three straight lines and as for Kathleen Wynne, let me ask you this: does anyone recall two boy penguins marrying before that Marxist muff-muncher swept into power with her evil agenda of thin end of the wedge, anti-family Liberal values like subsidized childcare?

Anyone recall that? Well, in case you think you do, let me remind you of something: no, you do not.

Back in the good old days it was Groom Penguin driving the Zamboni and Bride Penguin going crazy with Daddy Penguin’s Amex card and stressing about will it be whale-blubber or seal meat for the reception. And that’s the way it should be, because my single most important point about society today is that it’s all about me determining that you’re doing the right things.

Now, if you’d like to put on the disposable plastic ponchos I’ve provided, I’m going to seriously get down with some of my signature heavy duty vomiting. I’ll try to retain the bigger chunks in my mouth, but I tend to get over-enthusiastic when I’m “shining with the glory,” so you may be showered with a few sprays of chyme, especially the Holy Sisters in the front. OK, ready?

It makes me vomit to think that my beloved homeland, Croatia, that world renowned example of peace, order and traditional values, and only recently free, had ditched its family-friendly customs of learning about sex by getting to third base with a herd of goats and asking grandma about the blood-soaked knee socks, and embraced a throwback, Communist policy of science-based sex-education and indoctrinating our kids with concepts like tolerance and respecting diversity. Is this why we fought world wars?

Oops, here’s the first round coming up now, and you might want to brace yourself for a lot of garlicky fumes. Ready?

BRRRRAAACCCCCHGHHH! UUUUUUGGGGH!

That’s the thing about vomiting, right? It’s always worse than you think it’s going to be! And my apologies to Holy Mother Agathe, that looks like a new habit you were wearing. I’m devastated. Try a pre-soak, then a hot wash in Tide.

You can see how my words have been twisted around and used against me. My spew was not aimed at gay marriage per se, but at the specifics of where the heck do they put the dingleberry when there’s no bleedywunket, who’s the man and who’s the woman, and what’s this eternal cryin’ thing with Judy at Carnegie Hall? I’m sorry but that is so gay, you can understand why they call it “gay” marriage! It is just—so gay?! Right?!

… my single most important point about society today is that it’s all about me determining that you’re doing the right things …

And my vomity veneration tells you that, as a practicing Catholic, I support the teachings of the Catholic Church, including the traditional Croatian Catholic definition of marriage as between a sexually naïve, inferior female and a man who forces himself on her so they can both fumble around on their wedding night.

After a few hours of failed attempts the whole disaster ends up with the tradition of her in tears, and him punching her hard in the mouth, then going out to get shit-faced with his buddies and gangbang someone’s sister.

I’m so intent on my kiddies following the old ways that I’m arranging a double marriage for them while they’re still in the womb, and if you’re concerned about the incest thing, put your mind at rest: Our Heavenly Father let Cain and Abel double-team Eve when it was a matter of dire necessity, and I trust he will not turn His big, hairy, Croatian God-back on me, his humble servant. Magnificat!

Another accusation is that I want to force my religious views on the people of Ontario using the sex-ed curriculum.

That is incorrect.

I want to force my religious views on the people of Ontario using every means at my disposal, including the sex-ed curriculum, lies, appeals to your worst nature, xenophobia and misogyny. I support the true separation of church and state, but that separation has to go both ways, which includes my religious liberty taking precedence over facts gleaned from scientists and the rights of children, and particularly includes freedom from state interference, except when it comes to Big Croatian Brother keeping tabs on my uterus.

So, yeah. It’s like. Honestly? I’ve been coy so far as to my intent. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t, lifting my Croatian maxi-dress to show a bit of traditional ankle. Put another way, I’ve kept my cards close to my chest, and sorry to have pulled the wool over your eyes. It’s hard to discern Tanya’s “agenda.” I understand.

But actually, I do.

I totally, absolutely, no-holds-barred, in-yer-face, infinity-plus-one DO want to force my religious views on the people of Ontario.

There, I said it. I mean, I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, and I should probably soften the blow, but, hey.

Movin.’ ON!!

Ontario parents for far too long have had to endure the state’s overreach into their lives under Premier Labia Libtard. I simply hope to restore a more proper balance, where parents have to endure the state’s overreach under me. Me, Tanya Granic Allen, jewel of motherhood and, frankly, kind of a bitch, too!

Thankfully, that day may soon come. The days are numbered for Kathleen Wynne and her Licky-Lesbo-Liberals.

That day is gonna come when I get into my Ford F-350, round up a bunch of truckers—real men, if the truck symbolism is lost on you—and we’re not going to rest until we rampage over every Liberal, every Lesbo, every Trannie and every Homo from North York to Dundas Square and leave a trail of crushed, dead, innocent bodies in our wake.

Literally! But just a metaphor! Kidding! Not kidding! I didn’t mean that! Yes, I did! Not really! I don’t mean it! Yes I do! Nope, just kidding! Not! Literally! No rampage! Rampage! Literally! Just kidding!

And while Doug Ford has broken the promise he made to me, that he would crown me Terrorist Tanya, Defender of the Faith, I am not going to despair and I am not going away. Nope, not even if you beg me.

Go on, try it. Say,

Please, Tanya Granic Allen, won’t you go away? Please, please, please? You’re ignorant and vile and hateful and you stand for everything we abhor about the Progressive Conservatives, and you give Croatian Catholics a bad name! Please roll up into a ball and slip down the nearest storm drain!

I can’t hear you! Try it again! Beg, you losers! That’s more like it! And look! I’m still here!

Nope, not going. Not gonna happen. Beg more, more! Louder!

Nope. Here I am! Louder, louder! C’mon, beg me again! HA! No way! Here to STAY! Never. Going.

Oh, god… oh god my lunch… thinking of… anal…oh, sweet Jesus, here it comes… homo sex-ed….sorry guys, stand back.—Holy Mary of the Sorrowful Burek—Brrr… BRRRRR…… BBBBRRRRRAAAAAA….

BRRRRAAAAAAWWWWWCCCCCHHHHHHHH…… !!!!


Tanya Granic Allen is the president of Finally U C Tories Are Really Dumb (FUCTARD) and was the official “slip-her-under-the-radar-and-hope-we-get-away-with-it-before-she-opens-her-big-mouth” candidate for the 2018 Ontario PC Leadership. We’re glad they chopped her balls off.

Sorry, ovaries.

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Serious two-bite brownie habit

it helps me forget how awful we’ve become


The sex here is awful—and such small portions!

1. SEX

SUFFERING TODAY FROM Eine-kleine-schokolade-kuchen-schade, which is the bewildered, mushed-together feelings of shame, hopelessness and despair I experience walking home from the corner store, having purchased a pack of “Two-Bite Brownies” for later, mindful delectation. But I am desperately empty now and I eat them en plein air.  

It’s snowing lightly and I feel the chilly kiss of snowflakes on my hand as I reach into the brownie bag and pop another one into my mouth. I lick my index finger and press it onto the few remaining crumbs, like a crack addict mining the shag carpet, unable to accept that his few fleeting moments of pleasure are done.

This was supposed to be about pleasure, wasn’t it? Or maybe I just used the brownies to, as it were, bribe my anxiety to get out of the house and go see a movie. I feed myself like a depressed new mother feeds the squalling unwelcome alien who popped out of her womb. Somebody shut him up!

I’m tired of being one of the adults, sometimes the only one. I’m tired of peering into the dark and telling myself that everything will be all right. I crave comforting placebos: a hint of childlike sweetness, some undemanding chocolatey depth and a little quotidian complexity. I want a Schubert Impromptu; a Chopin Nocturne; a fugue from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.

I want sanity and order and not quite predictability; more like inevitability, but that of a bud coming into flower more than the fruit’s decay. I want to forget, just for a brief, gooey moment, about death and hatred and everything I’ve broken just by being alive and in the same room.

I want to forget about sex.

Craigslist forgot about sex.

Craigslist succumbed to our never-ending panic over sex, in its common-or- garden and educational forms, after its erstwhile competitor, Backpage dot com, got cocky, if you’ll pardon the expression, and rather lackadaisical about a little matter of underage girls. These knock-off Lolitas, who should have been selling nothing fancier than Girl Guide cookies, proffered their sexual services to stoked-up pervs, for cash, with online ads that left nothing to the imagination, then enhanced them with raunchy selfies that screamed, “Over here, Children’s Aid Society! We wanted to make sure you and the vice squad had lots of evidence!”

The Backpage Horror is a classic example of how you can start out with absolutely no good intentions and a disingenuous belief in laissez-faire, drift into awfulness, then say,

Oh, how did we get here? We never noticed before about the fourteen-year-old girl hookers, and anyway, doesn’t everyone do that—? No? I guess we all kinda got used to it!

Are you sure….?

and not even bat an eye until five hundred police divisions and ten centuries of jurisprudence come parachuting into your call centre.

Because, more than ever, in times of stress and uncertainty, we North Americans cling to the truths that have sustained us through famine, world wars and native genocide: that sex is wrong and sex is sinful, but we endure its distasteful bumps and grinds in order to produce unnecessary, smaller versions of ourselves with whiny, high-pitched voices and a tendency to spit creamed spinach in your face.

Sex has become awful, as awful as the people practising it. Sex is a weapon that men use against women, men in positions of power and of trust who need to keep up their bragging rights in the locker room, your sons or husbands or bosses who casually turn their female colleagues or employees or trophy wives into scalps on their belt.

Sex is that smelly, messy, hairy chore that needs to be airbrushed, deodorized and manscaped; it’s the involuntary squint and the pursed lips and the face turning away from the cumshot. For god’s sake, keep your fluids to yourself and outta my beard!

Sex is not the naked guy in front of you in the motel room who breaks your heart with his beauty and devours you with his longing while the afternoon sun beats through closed curtains. Sex has left the building, and sex is never now. Sex is just a possibility, the next big thing, the guy or guys, bland and identical as supermarket fruit, a certain number of GPS yards away (maybe even in the next motel room) who are out there waiting to be recruited; so you must log on —sexual encounters without a device no longer exist—line-up ten, then dump nine, exactly what they’re doing to you. The result being that sex is handily avoided, time’s up! though you’ve started to think there’s something suspicious about the way your desktop background keeps changing.

Did you do something malicious to my computer? You are awful!

Sex is the great defiler of the under-prepared and the irresistible tempter of the over-informed. Sex makes us cry, reflexively, “What about the children?” because sex involves body parts, names of body parts, male lust and female mystery, parental control and teenage curiosity, and someone, somewhere is going to have the awful idea of teaching sex, the names of body parts, how to deal with male lust, how to give consent. But if you name those body parts, they’ll start to pay attention to them, and if they can give consent, what’s stopping them from skipping chemistry class, giving consent, and creating a few explosions of their own?

This, I’ll bet you one intact Trojan, is what has driven Ford Nation to roll back the sex ed curriculum in Ontario. It’s homophobia, doing double-duty; pulsating behind the superficial reasonableness of children must be protected; children will be sexualized; children can’t cope with knowing the names of their genitals.

What about the children?

What about the pervy fingers of gay men who itch to stroke and probe and excite and defile; what about innocence and making children say “penis?”

(There is nothing more taboo than a dick, because there is nothing more contingent, more recalcitrant, more unbiddable. Men must be structural engineers before we’re lovers; our success is one awkward moment away from disaster. We dare not let you see how pathetically, hilariously vulnerable we are.)

But wait! Surely gay men are attracted to other men, by definition? It’s pedophiles who are attracted to children (and specifically under the age of thirteen). What gives?

Conservative minds are simple minds, tirelessly engaged in explaining how stuff works to other simple minds. If it fits on your fender, it’s true. Thus, sex is a necessary evil, gay men are a perverse evil, sex education is a Liberal evil and of course child molestation is an unforgivable evil. BINGO! All for one and one for all and evermore shall be so!


Sex is the great defiler of the under-prepared and the irresistible tempter of the over-informed.

Most abused kids know their abuser; when kids are abused it’s usually within the family circle, by heterosexual men; but never mind, give it up, because het is normal; gay men—perverts, queers, nancy boys, poofs, faggots—are abnormal, thus more logical suspects. This one never changes and this one never dies.

Artful arsefulls of awfulness.

Parents labor under the misapprehension that their children belong to them, like their Ford Fiesta or their fifty-six inch smart TV. Our children are chattels, slaves born of our flesh to be whipped and abused and browbeaten and guilted into doing exactly as we say and believing exactly what we believe: Our alternative facts; the facts that should have been reality if anyone had been paying attention.

But children, saith the U.N. , are autonomous, and one of their rights is the right to the best education that can be provided.

This means they have a right to be educated about their bodies. Young men have the right to be educated about treating women with respect; young women want to confirm that their bodies are their own to control; young people want to know how to consent, and, yes, they fully intend to do so.

What about the children? Why do we ask this question when so many acts and omissions prove beyond any doubt that we do not care? Is it a cynical political posture or are we actually so deluded as to think our enraged attempts at control and our denial that every system we’ve built has catastrophically failed are the acts of loving guardians?

We don’t care about exposing kids to violence, whether as entertainment or as live-action classroom assassinations. The lucky survivors are ruined souls: white-haired, soot-faced trauma survivors, twenty-first century chimney sweeps.

We don’t care about inequality, because we decided not to fix the worst aspects of capitalism, its tendency to create monopolies, corporate and social, oozing great clumps of wealth, floating like schmaltz on the soothing, refined broth of the top one percent. We don’t care about crippling student debt or that we’ve sold out universities, once centres of original thought and incubators of genius, to corporations, to be run like businesses with profit as their sole motive.

We don’t care that we’ve fucked the planet, bled it dry, squandered our kids’ inheritance. Hey, not our problem! We’ll be dead when the ice caps melt and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans thunder into shore, engulfing in mere hours what has taken generations and centuries of struggle to achieve; when democracy is replaced with anarchy, its soundtrack the blasting-off of private space shuttles launching to convey the planet fuckers to another fuckable planet. Our kids will have to deal with that, so long, losers!

We don’t care about our kids.

We care about what our kids will do with their genitals, lest they embarrass us with their sexual virtuosity or raise the ire of whatever fairy-tale ogre whose jaws drip blood and bone; the ogre who loves us then shakes us from his sandals like dust.

If we believe god made the world and saw that it was good, why did we trash it; fill the lakes with shit and strip the trees from the hills and poison the air? 

If he made the birds and beasts and everything that crawls upon the ground, and gave Adam the privilege of naming them, why did we cage them for our vicious entertainment, pen them, miserable and terrified, in lakes filled with their own excrement, slaughter them so we could stuff our expanding bellies until we literally died from greed?

If god made our bodies that experience pleasure, why would god not want us to enjoy that pleasure? Why did we choose agony as our only offering and make suffering our primary achievement?

Great big Noah’s Arks of awful.


2. BAD SEX

GAY GURU SHAUN PROULX, venting his righteous anger like an Old Testament prophet but with less sackcloth and more interesting hair, hits the nail on its swollen mushroom head when he excoriates the current crop of fags as douches, albeit unintentional ones. He generously, partially ascribes this to the wiping out of the older generation by AIDS— the men who should have been here to guide them.

“The proof is in the pudding!” one of my awful acquaintances is wont to shout; and I bite my tongue so that I may not lose my cool and man-to-mansplain him that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, idiot!

(Seriously? As long as he’s happy and not focused on me, I’m good.)

The proof of this douche pudding may be the lost generation of guides, or it may be that social media, our beloved burbling cesspit of dreck, has reduced attention spans to nanoseconds and identity to self-serving fakery.

Looking for now, now now! Nope, not fast enough!

You are all fungible. You will do, old shoe, as well as you and you and you. What was your name, again?

Our hook-ups insult us, lie to us, steal from us, gossip about us, go crazy on us.

Our hook-ups have never heard of the hostess gift.

Our hook-ups are cynical eternal teenagers, wanting an increase in their allowance, and free wi-fi.

Our hook-ups don’t like our food or our drinks and are amazed that we’ve read all those books.

Our hook-ups have not brought with them the five things without which they cannot function; we must provide them.

Our hook-ups are laughing at us even as they exploit us.

How would my dead comrades—lutenists, and counter-tenors, and artist-inventors of imaginary tribes, and poets, and long-haired angels and choreographers and lovers—how would they even have begun to train these sad, wet pups?

Tabernac ! Marie-Joseph ! Atrocités que vous n’avez jamais imaginé !

And with the older generation gone, gone is technical mastery of sex. My challenge to you, gentlemen: Try to get a decent blowjob from an 18-year-old.

What is this? A half-hearted closing of dry, chapped lips around my dick, no idea of how hard to grip, or where, no consistency or sense of drama, no crescendo in the build-up, and now, thirty seconds in and with their reserves of concentration depleted, their eyes begin to wander. Fatal error! Now they are looking for something shiny that will actually amuse them or something bland and starchy they can microwave.

They never expect what happens next. Their insulting behavior towards me and my dick guarantees an experience, maybe their first, of sexual rough justice. As they reach for their iPhone, I shove their head down on my cock, holding it tightly with splayed, lube-y fingers; I shove it down hard until they gag, and when I hear them gag I don’t release them.

Are you kidding? I watch with pleasure as their faces turn purple and their eyes bulge and water and they start to flail, and I hold just a little bit longer until they become afraid. Then I let them go; they race back up to the surface like divers whose lungs are bursting, breaking the surface with wild gasps for breath that are close to sobs.

We have nothing at all to say to each other. Correction: You have nothing at all to say to me. You’d have to have something to say to me before I would say to you the many things I have to say to you, but won’t.

And you don’t.

With my compatriots gone, gone, gone to graveyards every one, we have lost the etiquette, the caring, the finesse of sex.

Young man walks into my room at the bathhouse. I’m naked, except, of course, for the army boots; don’t pretend you don’t know the look.

He walks in and flips my limp dick with one hand. Hey, I just arrived and haven’t popped a Cialis yet.

“Do you ever get hard?” he says.

I’m 63. Do I ever get hard? Is that the question?

The nerve! Oh, I get hard. You’d better believe it.

I also have a refractory period that’s measured in weeks. I last came last Tuesday. My erection’s timeframe is geological, like Mount Vesuvius.

What the hell am I doing in a bathhouse?

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