Sunday, July 03, 2011


From the novel Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

   "Look at us, dude," I say.  I find the last bottle of beer and it's warm.  I say, "All women have to do is get naked, and we give them all our money.  I mean, why are we such slaves?"
   Denny flips over the page on his pad and starts something new.
   I move his rock to the floor and sit down.
   I'm just tired, I tell him.  It seems women are always bossing me around.  First my mom, and now Dr. Marshall.  In between there's Nico and Leeza and Tanya to keep happy.  Gwen, who wouldn't even let me raper her.  They're all just in it for themselves.  They all think men are obsolete.  Useless.  As if we're just some sexual appendix.
   Just the life support system for an erection.  Or a wallet.
   From now on, I say, I'm not giving any more ground.
   I'm going on strike.
   From now on, women can open their own doors.
   They can pick up the check for their own dinners.
   I'm not moving anybody's big heavy sofas, not anymore.
   No more opening stuck jar lids, either.
   And never again am I going to put down another toilet seat.
   Hell, from now on I'm peeing on every seat.
   With two fingers, I give the waitress the international sign language for two.  Two more beers, please.
   I say, "Let's just see women try and get along without me.
Let's just watch their little female world grind to a halt."
   The warm beer tastes from Denny's mouth, his teeth and Chapstick, that's how bad I need to drink right now.
   "And for real," I say, "if I'm on a sinking ship, I'm getting in the lifeboat first."
   We don't need women.  There are plenty of other things in the world to have sex with, just go to a sexaholics meeting and take notes.  There's microwaved watermelons.  There's the vibrating handles of lawn mowers right at crotch level.  There's vacuum cleaners and beanbag chairs.  Internet sites.  All those old chat rooms sex hounds pretending to be sixteen-year-old girls.  For serious, old FBI guys make the sexiest cyberbabes.
   Please, just show me one thing in this world that is what you'd think.
   To Denny I say, this is me talking, I say, "Women don't want equal rights.  They have more power being oppressed.  They need men to be the vast enemy conspiracy.  Their whole identity is based on it."
   And Denny turns just his head, owl-style, to look at me, his eyes bunched under his eyebrows, and says, "Dude, you are spiraling out of control."
   "No, I mean it," I say.
   I say I could just kill the guy who invented the dildo.  I really could.
   The music changes to an air raid siren.  Then a new dancer struts out, glowing pink inside some sheer baby doll lingerie, her bush and breasts so almost there.
   She drops on strap off her shoulder.  She sucks on her index finger.  Her other shoulder strap drops, and it's only her breasts that keep her lingerie from falling to her feet.
   Denny and me both watching her, her lingerie drops.

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