your friendly floating TOC

accelerated slippages of pleasure by J.B. Sclisizzi

mydrunkenscrawl (montcalm) by jay beaez by J.B. Sclisizzi

If People Can Eat Blood Pudding, I Can Say I'm a Writer on my Tax Return by Jon Konrath

My Brother Died in a Clown Car Accident, You Douchebag by Jon Konrath

Grace Departs from Colin by Caligula Dodge

The First and Last Days Of A Baseball Card Mystic by Caligula Dodge

The Day Colin Lost His Dignity by Caligula Dodge

What Is The Matter With Annalisa by Caligula Dodge

Gentlemen, Please! by Matthew Hoffman

scatalogical by Dorothy Parka

rodenticide tour diary by Mungo & Henrey

The Day Colin Lost His Dignity
The Culpa of the Kalpa

By Caligula Dodge

It all seemed to happen at once, in retrospect.

People could point to many triggers in the previous year, in the previous decade. But there was no one recognizable event that led to our hero's pissing away his dignity as a man might burn down a barn for insurance money only to find that he mistakenly burnt down an orphanage.

Perhaps the first sign was the nachos. He began eating nachos for every meal. At pricey restaurants with plutocratic patrons, he would demand that the chef improvise nachos. Given his stature among maitre des, he always got what he wanted. But people began whispering that something had gone horriblyawry.

At first they gave him the benefit of the doubt. Time Out ran a spread on "Hot Nacho Spots" in the trendy backwaters of manhattan. The Times speculated that nachos may have health or social benefits that only our hero knew of. When pressed by the usual throng of reporters about his new diet and his rapidly ballooning sweatpants, Colin simply pointed to his mouth, made chewing motions and grunted through his lips as if he was giving an answer that was muted by the mass of nacho in his mouth.

He then signed up for innumerble dating services, in a wide variety of languages and nations. On these, he went by the name Sulla--after the morally ambiguous roman dictator who was the first roman general to lead an army against the city of rome.

He hired a team of clerks to manage his subscriptions and to do background checks on all respondents. Through his connections in the political sphere, he had many of these people audited, humiliated or otherwise hurt by variousgovernmental agencies.

Now when reporters asked him about the nachos, he simply refered to one of the poor dilapidated people he had damaged because they responded to his personals ad.

That was when the assassination attempts began. Bullets had to be removed from his ass, neck and unwashed hair at various points. Still, he only retained an aged woman for a bodyguard, he seemed all but invincible and bragged as much.

Then he disappeared for months. The newspapers ran rumors of his location, saying his sweatpants had been run up the flag of a pirate ship, or the queen of the britons was holding him captive until he disclosed his essence, or that he had discovered a passage to the inner earth and was doing watercolors of the flying saucers that region is famous for. His bodyguard,who was also his press secretary confirmed all of these from an undisclosed location.

Those were tense times, the major stock indices, which had ballooned along with our hero's nacho-fueled proportions, suddenly plummeted. Children were abandoned by parents, parents were abandoned altogether. Rains fell for 40 days.

When he emerged, he was a foot taller and talked with a thick New England accent. His sweatpants were crotchless. At first, the news agencies blotted out his ever changing genitalia. Then they stopped bothering. He used the word hate in every sentence.

When asked by reporters about his whereabouts during his absence he said he'd hate to answer that question with out_______(some tortured personals ad user) being present. Or else he said that he'd hate it if past indiscretions interfered with his being able to get on with the business of being himself.

He began listening to one angsty rock song all the time. The lyrics were insipid and aggravating. The old woman who worked for him carried a boombox and spare batteries and made sure it was playing wherever he went. Then he began playing with himself in public. Reporters, who'd acquiesced in the matter of his partial nudity, were afraid to ask him about it.

Some times it would just be a casual touch and shake. But sometimes he would get lost in it, and staring at various members of the press corps, ejaculate indiscriminately. And as his dignity fell further, his star continued to rise.

He was given a guggenheim and several other grants and awards. He put all the money into a big closet in the apartment of an acquaintence, giving no instructions for its use.

The public was happy. They didn't know what to make of our hero's public fascination with and display of his unwashed genitals. But they believed that the television and radio wouldn't bother them with such a spectacle unless it was entertaining.

Then Colin began giving a series of press conferences where he would weep obscenely and complain about childhoods that were clearly not his own.

At one of these, held in Giants stadium, a heckler threw a bloody slab of steak at him. He took a bite and charged into the stands, showing an athleticsm rare in a man so obese and was promptly torn to shreds by the crowd.

Still, months later, some people still remember him.

copyright (c)2001 Caligula Dodge