An Excerpt Looking For A Home

“Did you ever, when you were younger, attempt to write your own dirty joke?”


“I don’t know.”

“Like, you know, in 1st Grade or thereabouts, when some of the kids were just beginning to learn about sex and whatnot, and there’d be like, this one kid who was just totally and completely obsessed with sex, and so he’d tell all these childish jokes about it that were just sort of ultimately both naive and not even that funny?”

“I think so, I think I know what you’re talking about. The only one I really remember is the lame one with the kid who inexplicably asks to take showers with his parents individually and they inexplicably let him, and y’know, doesn’t that strike you as a little weird, since the kid’s supposed to be like 8 or so, and anyway, wouldn’t you think he’d had plenty of opportunities to see his parents nude? But, anyway, when they let him shower with them, he asks about their genitalia, and they can’t or won’t use the real terms for another wholly inexplicable reason, which I can only guess is tied into the same reason that makes them think that taking a shower with their 1st-grade-age son is not at all creepy or strange, and so they use car metaphors instead of the proper terms, so the man’s penis is a car, and the woman’s breasts are headlights and her vagina is a garage, and it’s also unexplained why both parents, independent, one assumes, of each other, would both use automotive metaphors when, seriously, you’d think there’d be a lot more intuitive ones out there, or, y’know, god forbid actually telling the kid straight what they are, but I’ve always figured if you’re old enough to ask, you’re old enough to know the answer, so maybe I’m weird on that one. Anyway, after learning the automotive names for the primary and secondary sexual characteristics of his parents, he asks if he can sleep with them that night — which I suppose is a little inexplicable, but it’s not entirely unheard of for even 8 year olds to want to sleep with their parents if they’ve had, like, a nightmare or something, but to actually make an appointment for it is a little odd, but it might happen, I suppose — and then, that night when they’re all in bed, suggests his mother, ahem, turn her headlights on so his father can park his car in her garage, and it’s not entirely clear that the kid’s being innocent and not really realizing he’s suggesting they have intercourse or if he’s just precocious and kind of twisted in that he seems to want to get with both his parents, when, honestly, one would be weird enough. Although not quite as weird as the image of the mother’s breasts actually lighting up, as per her son’s request, which I always thought was an amusing image, and was probably my favorite part of the joke, really.”

“Yeah, those are the jokes I’m talking about. I remember being vaguely intrigued that they were changing over from the standard Q/A type jokes to actual joke-stories, even if the jokes, in retrospect, weren’t even funny in the slightest, though, at the time, I remember them being hilarious, even though I’m certain that’s more out of the whole taboo thing rather than actually the comedy. But, anyway, did you ever try to write one of those?”

“No. I don’t think anyone actually wrote the jokes they told. I think they were just sort of passed down from the one perverted kid’s older brother who’d pass them on to his friends, who’d also pass them on.”

“I did.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. It wasn’t a very good joke. I remember attempting to tell it once or twice, and it ended up just confusing everyone, and I just defaulted back to the old standards, like the Car/Garage/Headlight one or this one about Santa Claus that I don’t even remember anymore, but rest assured, it involved him having sex with people. My joke was sort of convoluted, and, well, even if the Car/Headlight/Garage one doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense when you actually sit down to think about it, it at least has a clear narrative and suchlike, and nothing really out of the ordinary other than the really oddly open-yet-closed parents, who are willing to expose themselves to their child, but not actually give any actual information to him. And mine had more back-story, rather than actual narrative, y’know? It took forever to actually get to the setup to the punchline. My setup was more in setting up the actual setup for the joke which then setup the punchline.”

“Do you still remember it?”

“Yeah, actually, do you want to hear it?”

“OK.”

“It’s pretty dumb, just so you know. And it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

“That’s OK.”

“Sure?”

“Yes! Just tell the stupid joke.”

“OK. Anyway, there was this guy, and OK, he had this birth defect –”

“I think I see why this joke didn’t go over especially well.”

“Heh, yeah. Anyway, so the guy’s got this birth defect, where he has these two deep, like, divots in his chest. They don’t affect his breathing or anything; he’s basically totally normal other than this. And you can’t even tell normally, since if he’s wearing a shirt, which, y’know, is most of the time, since he lives in a society that is down with the whole shirt thing. So, basically, his birth defect doesn’t really actually matter. But, anyway, as he gets older, he feels a little bit bitter I guess about having the divots, so, he decides that he’s going to, y’know, use this to his advantage.”

“I see.”

“Because, see, in case you’re not paying attention, they’re deep and in his chest. So they’re basically like, inverse breasts, get it? So, he notices that they’re basically like Inverse Breasts and all, and so he decides that he’s going to use this as his line to pick up chicks and have sex with them.”

“I don’t follow.”

“Don’t worry, it doesn’t actually make a whole lot of sense. Basically, his plan is to mention his defect to various women in bars or whatnot, and say that the woman who fits his divots will be his soulmate, and so, therefore, they should have sex to see if that particular woman is his soulmate. I assume he’d go into something about how God Or Whatever had created him and this Potential Woman as a pair to be together forever and ever, and apparently this is supposed to be a Completely And Totally Romantic Idea, and so therefore it works and women are more than willing to sleep with him.”

“Even though if anyone actually tried this, divots or no, they’d be looked at as the biggest sleaze on earth and would never, ever, ever get to have sex with anyone other than maybe prostitutes whom he wouldn’t even have to use the line on, but rather have to pay them.”

“Well, yeah. Remember, I was in 1st Grade when I wrote this. Anyway, his divots were such that a woman would have to have very large breasts to fit.”

“And this doesn’t affect his breathing? Because that sounds like the divots would be pretty deep, and impacting his lungs and whatnot.”

“Well, yeah–”

“And, uh, doesn’t that assume that his soulmate would also have to be the same height, like, exactly as him? Otherwise they still wouldn’t line up.”

“And–”

“And what’s with the breast fixation anyway? I mean, the situation would be at least a little buyable if the woman he was searching for had smallish breasts.”

“It was first grade. Breasts were shorthand for naked lady, especially big breasts, which I guess meant an especially naked lady, I guess. More breasts equal more naked lady. Actually, I wonder what would have happened if someone found a picture of a woman with many breasts, like, four or six. I remember one time one of the teachers or parents or someone brought in a bunch of her Cosmos for collages, and those aren’t totally unknown to have nude women in them, and anyway, someone found a naked lady in one, and basically had an orgiastic fit of joy or something over it. It was sorta strange, especially since I think he only had a vague notion of what he would do with a naked lady should one have ever presented herself to him and requested that he do what he will.”

“So…”

“So, anyway, back to the joke. So, anyway, the divot guy is having lots of sex, because apparently women are really into having sex with you–”

“Why did they have to have sex?”

“See, the divots were such that to get a good fit, both parties had to be at least topless, so that way the woman wouldn’t have any, say, bras molding the breasts, making them change shape and not fit, making a potential soulmate think she wasn’t the soulmate, when in fact she was, so OBVIOUSLY it was in her best interests to do it while topless, and I guess if you’re topless, you might as well go all the way and have sex, I guess. So, anyway, apparently women are really into having sex with you if you say that you need to have sex with them to prove whether or not they’re your soulmate. And the guy’s having lots and lots of sex and one night in the bar, he sees this incredibly beautiful woman with incredibly large breasts, and he goes up to her and does his deal, and she agrees to see if she fits because if she didn’t there wouldn’t be a joke, and so, anyway, they have sex, and oddly enough, she actually fits his divots. And even though the guy is just all doing this for cheap one-night stands and doesn’t even actually believe his soulmate story, he actually gets all excited and thinks that Maybe This Is To Be, and gets all excited and is all ‘Oh my god, you fit! You’re my soulmate!’ And she looks at him, and sort of says awkwardly, ‘No, I don’t think this will work. You see, uh, I’ve got a similar problem that you had….'”

“… I don’t get it.”

“The ‘punchline’ lost a bunch of people. See, the joke is that his penis is too small for her vagina. So she’s rejecting him based on the same criterion that he rejected all the other women.”

“I see.”

“Like I said, it wasn’t funny. And it was written when I was in first grade, remember.”

“Um, yeah.”

“One thing I do sort of like about it that I didn’t really pick up on when I originally wrote it is how the guy’s at least somewhat punished for being an asshole, since now he gets to know the emotional pain of being rejected like the pain he inflicted on all the other women, but I have to admit that I’m not really sure how much emotional attachment would really be involved in a string of one-night-stands to see if a particular woman ‘fits’ in some divots in a guy’s chest. But at least there’s that sort of revenge type thing going on or something in there. If I were going to write the joke now, I’d probably do a postscript-epilogue-coda-whatever where it turned out that he was completely depressed and lonely for the rest of his days having lost his one true love, even though the ‘one true love’ status is based wholly on some random thing that he arbitrarily made up anyway. But that’s just me. And if I were going to write the joke now, I, uh… wouldn’t.”

“That is probably for the best.”