Saturday, November 12, 2005

catch 22 (joseph heller)

General Dreedle's nurse always followed General Dreedle everywhere he went, even into the briefing room just before the mission to Avignon, where she stood with her asinine smile at the side of the platform and bloomed like a fertile oasis at General Dreedle's shoulder in her pink-and-green uniform. Yossarian looked at her and fell in love desperately. His spirits sank, leaving him empty inside and numb. He sat gazing in clammy want at her full red lips and dimpled cheeks as he listened to Major Danby describe in a monotonous, didactic male drone the heavy concentrations of flak awaiting them at Avignon, and he moaned in deep despair suddenly at the thought that he might never see again this lovely woman to whom he had never spoken a word and whom he now loved so pathetically. He throbbed and ached with sorrow, fear and desire as he stared at her; she was so beautiful. He worshipped the ground she stood on. He licked his parched, thirsting lips with his sticky tongue and moaned in misery again, loudly enough this time to attract the startled, searching glances of the men sitting around him on the rows of crude wooden benches in their chocolate-coloured coveralls and stitched white parachute harnesses.
Nately turned to him quickly with alarm. 'What is it?' he whispered. 'What's the matter?'
Yossarian did not hear him. He was sick with lust and mesmerised with regret. General Dreedle's nurse was only a little chubby and his senses were stuffed to congestion with the yellow radiance of her hair and the unfelt pressure of her soft short fingers, with the rounded untasted wealth of her nubile breasts in her Army-pink shirt that was opened wide at the throat and with the rolling, ripened triangular confluences of her belly and thighs in her tight, slick forest-green gabardine officer's pants. He drank her in insatiably from head to painted toenail. He never wanted to lose her. 'Ooooooooooooooh,' he moaned again, and this time the whole room rippled at his quavering, drawn-out cry. A wave of startled uneasiness broke over the officers on the dias, and even Major Danby, who had begun synchronising the watches, was distracted momentarily as he counted out the seconds and almost had to begin again. Nately followed Yossarian's transfixed gaze down the long frame auditorium until he came to General Dreedle's nurse. He blanched with trepidation when he guessed what was troubling Yossarian.
'Cut it out, will you?' Nately warned in a fierce whisper.
'Oooooooooooooooooh,' Yossarian moaned a fourth time, this time loudly enough for everyone to hear him distinctly.
'Are you crazy?' Nately hissed vehemently. 'You'll get into trouble.'
'Oooooooooooooooooh,' Dunbar answered Yossarian from the opposite end of the room.
Nately recognised Dunbar's voice. The situation was now out of control, and he turned away with a small moan. 'Ooh.'
'Oooooooooooooooooooh,' Dunbar moaned back at him.
'Oooooooooooooooooh,' Nately moaned out loud in exasperation when he realised that he had just moaned.
'Ooooooooooooooooooh,' Dunbar moaned back at him again.
'Ooooooooooooooh,' someone entirely new chimed in from another section of the room, and Nately's hair stood on end.
Yossarian and Dunbar both replied while Nately cringed and hunted about futilely for some hole in which to hide and take Yossarian with him. A sprinkling of people were smothering laughter. An elfin impulse possessed Nately and he moaned intentionally the next time there was a lull. Another new voice answered. The flavor of disobedience was titillating, and Nately moaned deliberately again, the next time he could squeeze one in edgewise. Still another new voice echoed him. The room was boiling irrepressibly into bedlam. An eerie hubbub of voices was rising. Feet were scuffled, and things began to drop from people's fingers - pencils, computers, map cases, clattering steel flak helmets. A number of men who were not moaning were now giggling openly, and there was no telling how far the unorganised insurrection of moaning might have gone if General Dreedle himself had not come forward to quell it, stepping out determinedly in the center of the platform directly in front of Major Danby, who, with his earnest, perservering head down, was still concentrating on his wrist watch and saying, '.... twenty-five seconds ... twenty ... fifteen.... ' General Dreedle's great, red, domineering face was gnarled with perplexity and oaken with awesome resolution.
'That will be all, men,' he ordered tensely, his eyes glaring with disapproval and his square jaw firm, and that's all there was. 'I run a fighting outfit,' he told them sternly, when the room had grown absolutely quiet and the men on the benches were all cowering sheepishly, 'and there'll be no more moaning in this group as long as I'm in command. Is that clear?'
It was clear to everyone but Major Danby, who was still concentrating on his wrist watch and counting down the seconds aloud. '!' called out Major Danby, and raised his eyes triumphantly to discover that no one had been listening to him and that he would have to begin all over again. 'Oooh,' he moaned in frustration.
'What was that?' roared General Dreedle incredulously and whirled round in a murderous rage upon Major Danby, who staggered back in terrified confusion and began to quail and perspire. 'Who is this man?'
'Major Danby, Sir,' Colonel Cathcart stammered. 'My group operations officer.'
'Take him outside and shoot him,' ordered General Dreedle.
'I said take him outside and shoot him. Can't you hear?'
'Yes sir!' Colonel Cathcart responded smartly, swallowing hard, and turned in a brisk manner to his chauffeur and his meteorologist. 'Take Major Danby out and shoot him.'

Sunday, November 06, 2005

time for bed (david baddiel)

It might seem a bit early on in our relationship to try and climb to the top of what I know represents to many people the top of the sexual peculiarities tree, but Dina's pretty experimental. Throughout the night, she was saying 'Tell me what you like. Tell me what you like.' Sausages, I said, eventually, The Carpenters. Dina thought this was a poor joke, a result of inhibition on my part. She wants me to talk to her during sex. I don't know what to say. This may be something to do with having watched too many people talking during sex. I know what they say: 'oh yeah, baby', 'do it to me', 'do you like that? huh?', 'ooo! ooo! ooo!', 'ja, meine Titten, ficken sie meine Titten', 'hahahaha!'. I can't say that stuff, not without growing a moustache and repainting the flat purple.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

brief interviews with hideous men (david foster wallace)

B.I. #31 03-97


‘But you want to know how to really be great? How your Great Lover really pleases a lady? Now, all your basic smoothie-types fellows will always say they know, they’re an authority and such. It’s not a fag, darlin’, you have to hold it in. Most of these fellows, they haven’t got the first damn idea how to really please a lady. Not really. A lot of them don’t even care, to tell you the truth. That’s your first type, your Joe Sixpack cracker-type fellow there, your basic pig. This fellow’s barely even semiconscious about life anyhow, and when it comes to lovemaking why he’s just pure selfishness. He wants whatever he can get, and as long as he gets it that’s all there is to it as far as he’s concerned. The type that rolls on and has at her and the minute he comes he rolls back off and commences to snoring. Go easy there. Why I suppose this is your old-fashioned stereotype male fellow, older, the fellow that’s been married twenty years and don’t even know if the wife even ever comes. Never thinks to even ask her. He comes and that’s all that counts as far as he’s concerned.’
‘These aren’t the fellows that I’m talking about. These are more like just animals, roll on and roll off and that’s all she wrote. Hold it closer to the end there and don’t inhale as much in as a regular fag. You want to hold it in and let it absorb. This is mine, I grow it, I got a room all lined with Mylar and lights, darlin’ you would not believe what it goes for down here. These fellows are just animals, they’re not even in the type of game we’re talking about here. No, because the ones we’re talking about here are your basic secondary type of fellow, the fellow that thinks he’s a Great Lover. And it’s real important to these fellows that they think of themselves as Great and they know how to please her. These right here are your sensitive male smoothie type. Now, they’re going to look like the complete opposite of your white-trash fellow that don’t even give a shit. That’s it but go easy. But now don’t go thinking these fellows are really any better than your basic pigs are. Seeing themselves as a Great Lover doesn’t mean they give any more of a shit about her than the pigs do, and deep down they aren’t one little bit less selfish in bed. It’s just with this type of fellow what they get off on in bed is their own idea of themselves as a Great Lover that can make the little lady just about lose3 her mind in bed. What they’re into is a woman’s pleasure and giving her pleasure. That’s this type’s whole trip.’
‘Oh like oh say going down on her yingyang for hours and hours, holding off their own coming so they can keep at it for hours, knowing the G-spot and Ecstasy Posture and such. Running down to Barnes and Noble’s for all your latest female sexuality-type books so they can keep up on their knowledge about what’s going on. I’m guessing from looking you over out here now you’ve run up against a smoothie a time or two, with his pheromone aftershave and strawberry oil and hand massages and the holding and touching, that know about the earlobe and what kind of flush means what and the aureole and the backside of the knee and that new little ultra sensitive spot they say they found now just at the back of the G, this type of fellow knows them all, and you can be damn sure he’s going to let you know he knows how to --- here, give it here. I’ll show you. Well and now darlin’ you can just bet this type of fellow wants to know if she came, and how many times, and was it the best she ever -- and like that. See there? When you blow out you don’t want to be able to see anything. That means you got ‘er all. I thought you said you did this before. This is not your average cracker ditchweed. It’s like a notch on this fellow’s gun for each time he can make her come. That’s how he thinks about it. It’s too damn good to go blowing half back out, it’s like you got a Porsche and you’re only driving it to church. No, he’s a Notcher, this fellow. That’s a good way to compare them maybe. The two types. Your pig may put a notch for every one they nail, that’s their notches, they don’t care. But your so-called Great Lover-type fellow puts a notch for every time each one comes. But they’re both of them just Notchers. They’re both really the same-type fellow underneath. Their trip is different, but it’s still only just their own trip they’re on, in bed, and the little lady deep down’s going to feel like she’s just getting used just the same. That’s if the lady’s got any sense at all, which is another story. And now darlin’ when it goes down a little more you take and don’t grind it out with your boot there like you do a regular fag. You want to wet up your finger and gently pat the end of it and put it out and then save it, I got something to save them in. Me, I got something a little special but your more run-of-the-mill is one of them little film canisters from the developer, that’s how come nobody ever throws those out. See if you ever see you a little film canister thing in the trash someplace.’
‘No but here’s your classic symptom to tell if it’s one of these Great Lover fellows is they’ll spend whole major blocks of time in bed going down on a lady’s yingyang over and over and making her come seventeen straight times and such, but afterward just watch and see if there’s any way on God’s green earth he’s going to let her turn around and go down on his precious little pizzle for him. How he’ll go Oh no baby no let me do you I want to see you come again baby oh baby you just lie there and let me work my love-magic and such like that right there. Or he’ll know all his special Korean Massage shit and give her the deep-tissue backrubs or haul out the special black-cherry oil and massage her feet and hands - which darlin’ I got to admit if you never had a quality hand massage you have not heretofore even really lived, trust me - but will he let the little lady reciplacate and give him just even one backrub? Nosir he will not. Because this-type fellow’s whole trip is he’s got to be the one giving the pleasure here thank you ma’am. See, it’s a difference, it’s got a screw-lid with an airtight seal so it don’t smell up your pocket, they’re stinky little boogers, and then it goes right in this little flap thing here where why it would be anything at all. Because this is where your smoothie type is being stupid. This is what gives me my contempt for these fellows that go around thinking they’re the Lord’s own gift to the female species. Because at least your cracker type’s halfway honest about it, they want to nail her and then roll off and that’s all she wrote. Whereas but your basic smoothie thinks he’s all sensitive and knows how to please a lady just because they know clitoral suction and shy-atsu, and watching them in bed’s like watching one of those stupid-ass mechanics in white coats work on a Porsche all swelled up on their expertise and such. The think they’re a Great Lover. They think they’re generous in bed. No, but the catch is they’re selfish about being generous. They’re no better than the pig is, they’re just sneakier about it. Now you’re going to be thirsty, now you’re going to want some Evian. This shit’ll dry out your mouth something fierce. I carry these little portable Evians with min in here in this inside part, see? Custom-made. Go on and take one, you’re going to want it. Go on.’
‘Darlin’ no problem, hang on to it, you’re going to want some more in about half a minute. I could of sworn you said you did this before. I hope I’m not corrupting a Utah Mormon here am I? Mylar’s better than foil, it reflects more of the light so it all goes right into the plant. They got special seeds now where the plant don’t get any higher than this here, but it’s lethal, it’s death on a cracker. Atlanta in particular seems full of these fellows, What they don’t understand is their type’s and even worse drag for a lady with any sense than your on-and-off pig ever was. Because how’d you like to just like there and get worked on like a Porsche and never get to feel like you’re generous and sexy and good in bed and a Great Lover too? Hmm? Hmm? That’s where your smoothie-type fellows always lose the game. They want to be the only Great Lover in the bed. They forget a lady’s got feelings too. Who wants to lie there feeling all ungenerous and greedy while some Yuppie with a Porsche shows off his Tantric Clouds and Rain Half-Lotus on you and mentally notching off how many times you come? If you swish it around a little your mouth’ll stay wet longer, Evian’s real good for that, who cares if it’s a dumb-ass Yuppie water if it’s good, know what I mean? The thing to watch for is if the fellow when he’s going down on you if he keeps one hand on the low part of your stomach there to really make sure you’re coming, why then you’ll know. Wants to make sure. This son of a bitch isn’t a Lover, he’s just putting on a show. He doesn’t give a shit about you. You want my opinion? You want to know how to really be Great if you want to please her, that there’s not one fellow in a thousand that’s figured it out?’
Q. . . .
‘Do you?’
‘The secret is that you got to give both the little lady pleasure and be able to also take it, with equal technique to both and equal pleasure. Or at least you got to make her think so. Don’t forget it’s about her. Go on and eat her yingyang till she begs, sure, go on, but also let her at your pizzle, and even if she’s no prize at it why you carry on and make her think she is. And like if her notion of a backrub’s just some of those little pissant karate chops on your backbone, why you just go on and let her, and you carry on like you never knew a karate chop could be like this. That’s if a fellow wants to be a genuine Great Lover and go and think about her for one damn second.’
‘Not on me darlin’, no. I mean I usually do but I nibbled them up already I’m afraid. The real falldown of these wannabe-Great-type fellows is they think a lady is, when you come right down to it, dumb. Like all a lady wants to do is just lie there and come. The real secret is: assume she feels the same way. That she wants to see herself as a Great Lover that can blow the top of a man’s head clean off in bed. Let her. Put your picture of yourself on the goddamn back burner for once in your life. The smoothies think if they blow the little lady’s head off down there they got her. Bullshit.’
‘But you’re not going to just want one, though, darlin’, trust me. There’s a little Mart thing a couple of blocks if we - woah, watch your -’
‘No, you go on and make her think she’s blowing your damn head off. That’s what they really want. Then you really and truly got her, if she thinks you’ll never forget her. Never ever. You follow?’