Patriarchal. Orientalistic. Subaltern-slut-shaming. What else can be said about the trash coitus of bad taste and indecency that was Hoomer Shoman’s latest crap of fiction. Reprinted in its entirety:
Rico Hettinger was a kind authoritarian. Rico deigned to chat with blacks. But this story isn’t about him. See, Rico never plowed a plot of land in his life but he still knew how to score his hands callous-birthingly to make women and private dicks imagine he was a hard man. He never popped a bottle of champagne, but he had memorized every script for the Sex and the City series to convince sassy bartenders that their Manhattans were actually Sohos and their Upper West Side accents could use work. He had never spit into a tin can and prayed for rain but his Val Kilmer poster collection was unmatched.
No, this story is about Rico’s sister: Braithwaite Tiny. Tiny had been the victim of every violent crime imaginable. Law and Order watched her and freaked out with its kids. She wasn’t particularly pretty or voluptuous. In fact, she looked exactly like a boy. And boy, boy oh boy, was she strong. She could bench a clean 178 pounds and she could squat twice that. She was smart, too. The big mop heads didn’t even give her tests. She passed with flying colors and fiddled around with transformers, miniature computers and any number of volatile chemicals. “Boy,” her mother would accidentally say, “You’ll never make anything of yerself being that smart but if you happen to — if that tricky Loki bitch has his druthers — make sure you buy me a big house and tell the host of the newscast how good I was to yer.”
Tiny had been flipping burgers for ten years after the series of brutal assaults, robberies, maimings and X-men-style science experiments that had, duly, left her unhappy and withdrawn. “One long decade that passed like a kidney stone,” she thought. “Wait, had anyone used that simile before?” “Of course they had. It’s obvious,” bellowed her fry cook Gretch Carter. “Why don’t you try something a little more … perverse: ‘One long decade that passed like a ship in the night in a urinary tract.'” Gretch was on to something.
After all, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the great Zelda player, penned, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” It was just like that, Tiny’s kidney-stone-like history. “Always the past, always almost passed,” she scribbled into her diary made of used napkins. They kept ripping. “Shit,” she exclaimed, “I agreed not to use that metaphor.” “Conceit,” Gretch whispered, “Conceit.”
Why was Gretch a fry cook? She had gotten most of Finnegan’s Wake tattooed on her thigh — save for the section unceremoniously interrupted by a few lines of Gertrude Stein.
Any one can learn that north of course
Is not only north but north as north
Why were they worried.
What I wish to say is this.
Yes of course
“I got it in college. Ya know when all the boys were kissing boys and the girls were kissing just about everything else. We had been reading far too much Quine, far too much Frege. I had no idea what ‘sense’ meant and why it wasn’t ‘reference’ and why I was shirtless in a puddle of ice — oh God what did I mean by that thought — at Alpha Sigma Phi. Hey it was college. Get off my case.”
So where are they now? Rico is still pounding the pavement looking for a stone. He was last seen in Texarkana but only because he liked how it sounded when he said the town’s name. His sister? Oh, that brutish man-girl? She fights her own battles and is a news anchor for some small C-SPAN affiliate in rural Nebraska. Gretch writes for a blog. That is to say, Gretch writes comments on blogs. She’s pretty angry. But wouldn’t you be if you had spent all those years hitting on a burger-flipper, pulling your skirt up so she could glimpse the hidden lines of sound poetry in the Joyce. (Gretch was pleased that, in her case, that wasn’t a metaphor). Gretch still has Tiny’s napkin journal. It’s not very good but she’s trying to get it published. If you are reading this, it has been.
How could you print this apocryphally entertaining insult to America? What makes it worse is that David Edgarstein’s masterwork — included later in your quarterly — was reduced to a single paragraph to accomodate for Shoman’s shit:
The hoarfrost spikes of her platinum wig danced plaintively, cursing out a calendar of never-dids in the cool fluorescence of the office. Twelve years, her fitfully adequate dresses sang hymns of Rolodex dalliance, paperweight shortsightedness. It was not legal. It could not be in this, nor any other domicile. Of course it was legal. Boss Chesterton, the boss of the whole thing, said it was, his mustache cursively molesting typewriters, breathalyzers and sip-cups. Touchdown, bottom-of-the-ninth, bottom of the ninth nymph hammering out 69 words per minute.
[Editor’s Note: We regret that we lacked the space to print both paragraphs of Mr. Edgarstein’s epic poem. For readers who are eager to know the conclusion, we have included it here:
Had we but world enough and thyme, we could have won on that episode of “Iron Chef.” Instead, the entire process was as rigged as a catamaran about to set sail in search of the reclusive movie star whale “Keiko.” Speaking of that voyage, Herb Adderley served as our captain as well as our coach, and his experience in big games (he played in four of the first six Super Bowls) proved invaluable. If one needed to put a value on it, though, I would pick any one of the Pythagorean primes. After several months at sea and many harrowing adventures that have since become fodder for the infamous “Veronica Mars” series today’s tech-savvy kids love so much, we discovered that the person we were looking for had always been right there, inside our heads. That person, if you haven’t already guessed it from the clues that the Riddler dropped during his latest riddle-themed crime spree, was you.]