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October 5, 2014

Hey There




Left: Random internet girl providing reasonable facsimile of Neela Cubbage.
Right: The doomed



I had great plans to write about The Fappening and was seven hundred words into an incisive, funny take on the topic in my unique idiom before coming to grips with the fact that my take was neither incisive nor funny. Also, everything I wanted to say on the topic seemed sure to reveal me as impossibly old and sleazy and out of touch.

So now it’s Feed the Beast time again, blog-updating-wise, and I have bupkis...

* * *

When I was in the third year of high school, Neela Cubbage let me drive her home after we got off work at The Corner Kitchen one Thursday night, and proved amenable to my suggestion that we stop at the park and make out on the grass. To my surprise and delight, she also proved agreeable to my squeezing her enormous jubblies, albeit through her waitress uniform.

I can’t say that this incident sparked my obsession with Neela’s jubblies, since that obsession dated back to the dawn of said jubblies’ existence, but the tantalizing bytes of data gleaned from the Hillside Park Groping certainly thrust that obsession into a higher gear. So it was not at all surprising to find myself in the throes of a vivid dream a few weeks later wherein Neela was disrobing in front of me. But when she unfastened and slid off her bra, what tumbled forth was not jubblies but a pair of monstrous, hairy peckers. Neela laughed. I wanted to scream, but could only choke.

I’ve never confided that dream to anyone before, other than Doug Wartburg, who reacted with disgust and anger, as the telling of this dream instantly compromised his own ability to cheerfully contemplate Neela’s jubblies from that day forward.

* * *

I don’t know, it’s just… I can’t get past the fact that they would willingly entrust their most intimate photos—photos that, surely they must have realized, would be sought after and prized by thousands of industrious hackers—to something called a “cloud.” Is that just me?

* * *

A few years after high school, there was a party out at the State Park on a cool autumn night at which Doug Wartburg overindulged, as was his wont, and slid down a muddy riverbank.

Around midnight, some friends kindly heaved him into the back of a pickup truck and dumped him at the Wartburg estate, a three-story Civil War-era home in the old part of Mortonville. Doug had the presence of mind to enter by way of the cellar, where he stripped off his mud-caked clothes and hosed himself off. Then he began the long, naked trudge to his room on the top floor.

Embers glowed invitingly in the fireplace on the main floor, inducing Doug to lie down on the carpet for a few minutes. Several hours later, a hideous nails-on-blackboard screech rousted him, and he awoke to find himself sprawled on his back, still naked, with a mammoth morning stiffy pointing directly at his mother, screaming down at him from a stairway landing.

She descended just long enough to order Doug to his feet and then chased him up the remaining two flights of stairs “with my pecker boingin’ up and down every step of the way,” he fondly recalled. Doug was the only man I ever knew who could incorporate his boner and his mother into a story without a jot of self-consciousness.

* * *

Sure, they’re victims. That’s undeniable. And you can’t help but empathize. I’ve got photos and facts that I wouldn’t want aired to the world. (Quite a statement from an author of four books consisting mostly of stories of his own ineptitude and jackassery, but yes, even I have stuff that I don’t want leaking out.) But there are different levels of victimhood. It’s not like that poor sportscaster lady who got filmed unknowingly through the peephole of her hotel room a few years back.

Say there’s a person who has her handbag snatched away in broad daylight in a normally quiet neighborhood because the zombie apocalypse has suddenly broken out, and another who loses her handbag because she left it unattended on her table at Starbucks while going to the restroom… Does that make any sense?

* * *

For a giddy nine months or so late in our college careers, Nielsen and I were housemates. I never pass up the opportunity to point out that we were evicted from two homes and one hotel during that period.

One cold, rainy day in early autumn we elected to cut classes and/or work and stay home all day huddling around the bong. At one point, we broke out Nielsen’s electric football set and managed to stick with something like an actual game—even using that damned awkward passer-gizmo—for a good ten minutes or so before we decided to crank the power all the way up and just watch the players skitter around the field like little plastic meth-heads.

Then, in one of his signature strokes of genius, Nielsen brought his lighter to bear. We provided the howls of agony as best we could while laughing our stoned heads off as player after player scrambled in circles, aflame and melting.

About three weeks later the squirrely bastard dropped out of school to start a house-painting business in another town, and told me so by leaving a note. He left me his waterbed, which was more trouble than it was worth.

* * *

When the world economy was shaken by those Scarlett Johansson selfies a while back, one did feel a tad skeevy about making use of them. There was a sense that a rumpled, half-asleep Scarlett just snapped a couple of awkward nudes for her hubby on the spur of the moment to console him over the lameness of his superhero vis-à-vis hers.

Jennifer Lawrence, in contrast… Oh, for crying out loud, Michael Bay could learn a thing or two about production values from the careful crafting that Jennifer Lawrence brings to her own nudes. It’s hard not to feel at ease viewing the fruits of so much labor. Indeed, seems downright rude to ignore them.

Or is that just me?

* * *

As roommates, we were great note-writers, Nielsen and I. “A life-form named John Fleischer wishes to have nonsexual contact with you,” I wrote him once to his great delight: evidently, there was something about this Fleischer—one of his superiors at work—that jibed especially well with “nonsexual contact.”

“Muggins, I shit long, brown, greasy ones in your peanut butter and mixed them in,” he countered a few days later.

Those were simpler times, before Ebola and Fappenings.