The Loony Lampoonist

Erasmus and Postlethwaite

I didn't hear him come up the stairs.

"How long have you been cooped up like this?", he asked, looking around my room, frowning. Boxes of pizza lay strewn around. An odour of unbathed human hung in the air.

"Oh, I don't know. A month, perhaps?"

"A whole month? Are you writing a novella now? Short stories don't keep you away from human contact for so long, do they?"

"Well, I'm not sure what this is turning out to be", I replied, pointing at the stack of papers on my desk, "It started as a free writing exercise and now I can't seem to stop. I worry that a change in scene might break the flow and this story might never make it to The End."

He came up to the desk and looked at the unfinished manuscript. "Boris? That isn't a very interesting title at all. What genre is it?"


His eyes lit up. He turned a page over eagerly. I stopped him.

"You shan't read it until I'm done"

"Aww, that's cruel!"

"Well, I haven't got to writing the good bits in yet. At this point in the story, my fingers typing it in as we speak, the protagonist is just about to meet the girl on a train."

"You've been writing for a month and you haven't put in a saucy scene yet? What kind of erotica writer are you? Good erotica always begins with a bang, if you know what I mean."

I laughed. "This is my first attempt, Post. Go easy on me. There will be saucy deflowery, I assure you."

"Speaking of deflowery, we're going to a party tonight", he said.

I looked up, surprised. Did he not hear what I had said? I was in the midst of a creative flow, nay, a creative deluge. Stepping outside the familiarity of my badly lit room might interrupt my trains of thought, might cause subtle changes in my current writing style. I am a writer capable of writing in a multitude of styles and I've found that I can maintain a style only for one continuous bout of writing. That was why I favoured short stories that I could complete in a day. This was a story of a longer length, probably a novella or even a novel, and I wasn't sure how I could complete it without becoming a complete recluse.

Post rubbished my theory. "What rot!", he exclaimed, "I haven't heard of such a thing. Writers lead active social lives, you know, though there are exceptions, I grant you that. If you started work on an epic, you'd be telling me that you're going to go off the radar for a couple of years."

"Well, if it was an epic, then-"

"No more of that out of ya. We're going to this party. The erotica can wait. We've got real girls waiting for us, for God's sake.

So, I gave in and let him pick my clothes. He did not trust my fashion sense. "Non existent", he called it, reminding me of the various sartorial faux pas I committed in his company. I sighed. I did not know they were faux pas until he brought it to my attention. But I was thankful to him for that. We had always been like this, from our younger years. We were a good looking pair, Post more handsome than I. He devoted a lot of time to grooming himself and when he was done, grooming me, because I wouldn't do it myself. "You need to look good when you're out with me", he said, when I asked him why he bothered with my appearance, "otherwise you would cause a subtraction from the sum total of our collective beauty."

Our collective beauty must have been a big number tonight, if beauty could be measured on a numeric scale. Post had outdone himself. The young man in a dapper suit on the other side of the looking glass was not me surely. Or was it? I turned to look at Post. "What vile witchery is this?"

He laughed. "That, Erasmus, is the magic of fashion."


We stepped in confidently through the door as our names were announced.

"Erasmus and Postlethwaite, ladies and gentlemen."

We bowed.

A lady came up and smiled at Post, her corset artificially enhancing her curves. I tried hard not to stare at her bosom.

"Oh, Erasmus is here too. To what do we owe this honour?", she said, finally noticing me. The way she was looking at Post, and he at her, I would have to be blind to have not noticed it and suspected an amorous arrangement between them.

"Ask your paramour", I replied, "He dragged me to this gig. I wouldn't have expected to see you fit so well into these expensive threads though, Portia"

"How did you know he was my-? Oh, he must have told you. He tells you everything, doesn't he?"

"Actually he did not. The spark between you the two of you is quite bright, I'm afraid. Bring you two together and every man, woman and pet in this house will feel the heat. Why, the house itself might come burning down."

She giggled. "I look nice in Victorian attire?", she asked, puffing her chest out.

I reddened. "Yes", I managed to mumble, and went looking for a drink to steady my nerves. Post met me midway and asked, "How long has it been?"

"How long has what been?"

"How long has it been since you've er.. been with a woman?"

"I don't know. Maybe since I took up writing?"

He looked shocked.

"Well, you know how I coop myself up for days on end when I'm writing. I have had no time for women."

Post mouthed a silent prayer to the Lord. "Forgive him, Father, for he knows not his sins. Repent he shall on this night. Amen." And then spoke to me. In a tone that I have not heard him use before. "For this crime, you will be punished with the burden of eternal fornication. Now, go sow your wild oats!"

And I went. Post did have a flair for drama, but he was right. It had been a while. I surveyed the fauna. A lioness presented herself, with a mane of burnished gold. She looked about ten years older than me.

"Nice evening, isn't it?", I said, approaching her. The personification of my libido groaned and kicked me in my reproductive parts. "That's not how you do it!", he screamed.

And he was right. She made me get her a drink, chatted for a while, and soon excused herself away to the washroom.

Favouring a more direct approach, I went up to another lioness and introduced myself. "Hi, I'm Erasmus."

"Hi, I'm married', she replied, not bothering to actually show a wedding ring.

"Oh, that's nice", I replied, "So who do you do for a living?"

She looked puzzled. "What do you mean?"

"The gentleman who pays for your upkeep. What is his name?"

Her response was unladylike.

I was beginning to lose hope. I sat down, dejected at being rejected. I must have sat there for a while, drowning my sorrow in drink, because I hadn't noticed that I wasn't alone.

The cohabitant of the couch was a young girl, probably a couple of years younger than myself. She was not as well endowed as the lionesses and if it looked like that I had hooked up with her, Post would probably laugh me to death. "Erasmus going out with a younger girl. Who would have thunk that. Poor desperate Erasmus." The mocking wouldn't end, I was certain.

Her voice interrupted the mocking voices in my head. "So, what do you do?", she asked.

I was tired of that question and the questions that followed.

"I am a milkman", I replied. Now why would I say that? Wasn't I a writer? Was the alcohol already slowing down my cognitive processes? I had no idea.

"A milkman?", she giggled, "No milkman would look as suave as you do."

"Oh, I don't milk farm cows like them ordinary milkmen. I am a milkman of a higher order."

"What do you milk then?"

"I milk the cow in my head."

"You've got a cow in your head?"

"Yes. The Cow of Creativity. I milk her for ideas."

"Ah, you're a writer!"

"Guilty as charged."

She took the glass out of my hand. "So, what does this cow look like?"

"Let's see. Four legs, a hump and two horns. Like a regular cow. What did you expect to hear? Now can I have my drink back?"

"No. And I refuse to believe your cow of creativity looks like a regular cow. Have you heard of Kama-Dhenu?

"Yes, the most sacred cow of the ancient Hindus. Now, can I have my drink back, please?"

She put the glass to her mouth and gulped it down. "You're not to have another drink. Until I'm done talking with you, anyhow. Now tell me, you know Kama-Dhenu is a cow that gives her master whatever he desires. I think the cow in your head is similar in a way."

I sighed. I would have to tell her what she wanted to hear, to get rid of her. It sounded like a simple plan, but would my numbed mind make it difficult?

"No, there ain't any similarities", I replied, and then wondered why I was disagreeing with her. Wasn't getting rid of her the plan? "The cow in my head has no religious significance. She lives in the astral plane. Every time I sit at my desk and take up my pen, I go into a trance. I open my eyes and I find myself in the astral plane and my cow is waiting for me. I take a bucket and sit down-"

"Doesn't an astral plane indicate a religious significance? Or at least a spiritual one?", asked she, finding a flaw in my explanation.

"Very well, the cow does have a religious significance. Now, I'll thank you to not interrupt me while I am talking. As I was saying, I sit down, place the bucket under her udders and start milking. I must be careful though. If I milk too much-"

"The cow won't have any left for her calf?"

"No. If I milk too much, I would be overwhelmed with ideas. I wouldn't be able to string a good story out of so much good milk, er material. Oh, would you like to hear about the methods of the other writers in the astral plane? I see them at times."

"Do they have cows of their own too?"

"Well, some of them do. The others have other methods. I've seen a mysterious writer who can summon infinite monkeys and typewriters at will. With a snap of his fingers, the enslaved monkeys start typing, generating an infinite number of stories. He chooses the best one and leaves the plane. And then there is the lady who lays down before a giant phallic symbol, carved out of wood, and begins her ritual. When she's done, the symbol throbs and -"

"Yes, I get it. I would like to see your cow, Erasmus."

It was a strange request. Didn't she know the cow was in my head? Realising that I was going to be stuck with her all evening, I complied with her request. Picking up a paper and pen, I asked her to come out to the garden.

Her name was Orfelia, she told me as we walked out, and she was an assistant to a naturalist, a famous one at that. He was on the verge of a breakthrough, one that could shatter the known laws of nature. She spoke of wonderful creatures, both beautiful and bizarre, that she had seen on her journeys. Of strange tribes, a matriarchal tribe that was shocked to learn about the gender equations in the rest of the world. I realised that she had made me talk at first and I did not know that she would be so intelligent if I hadn't asked her about herself. I listened to her tales, no doubt true, but tales that I could romanticise for my fiction. Before we realised it, an hour had passed and we hadn't got around to milking my cow yet. We laughed.

I put pen to paper and wrote a few lines. I found myself continuing my story, Boris.

Boris boarded the train and saw the girl. She was reading The Origin of Species, her hair falling over her shoulders, just the length he liked it in women.

I closed my eyes and tried to visualise the scene in my head. As my eyes shut, I noticed Orfelia looking at me and following suit. However, I found myself not on a train, but a farm. In front of the whitest cow I've ever seen. Orfelia was beside me. She was holding a bucket out to me, smiling.

I opened my eyes. Orfelia's eyes were still closed. She was still in the farm. She looked lovely in the moonlight. I kissed her on the lips. Yes, it had been a while. And it felt good. She did not resist. My fingers went over to the buttons of her dress. She still did not resist. Her eyes were still closed. I closed my eyes. I didn't know where we were, in the garden or the farm, but it was a lovely place.

Boris kissed her on the lips. She tasted like fresh strawberries. They were alone on the train. As he unbuttoned her, he noticed her name, written on the inside of the book. Orfelia.

I came out of it. It was like a strange dream. I sat up and wrote, filling up the paper, both sides. This is what I had been struggling with when Post came in and dragged me out to this party. Writing the intimate scene. It had been too long and I could not write a scene of intimacy in a natural manner. And now, I had what I wanted. I looked at Orfelia, sleeping bare beside me on the grass. She awoke, looked over my shoulder and read what I had written.

"Orfelia?", she asked.

"Yes. Boris has found his true love."

"And so has Orfelia. I love you, Erasmus."

"I fear, Orfelia, that only Boris has fallen in love with you."

She did not understand my words.

"Don't you love me, Erasmus?"


"Then what of the moment we shared now?"

"That was a moment you shared with Boris on the astral plane."

She shook her head. Her eyes went moist.

"Then who do you love, Erasmus? Is there another lady who has won your affection?"

"I love Post."

"Postlethwaite? Does he not have Portia?"

"I have always loved Post and no one else. I have had many women and will have many more. But I love Post more than I could love a brother."

"Why is he so important to you?", she asked, crying.

What could I tell her that would stop the tears? That would ease her pain? Post and I were orphans. We shared a bond stronger than brotherhood. Someday, a lady might come along who would make me feel like I was in love. Orfelia was not that lady. I could not tell her that, so I walked away. I had a story to finish.

posted by foogarky @ 12:16 PM,


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foogarky is the pseudonym of the fictional construct who battles for supremacy with other constructed personas in the mind of a crazed individual. He describes himself as a man living in a non descript house in Rio De Janiero, Brazil with two dogs and a parakeet.

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The Loony Lampoonist serves to parody, spoof and satirize everything that needs to be parodied, spoofed and satirized. Due to the fictional nature of this electronic journal, any anecdotes appearing here ever so often that seem to be personal in nature, would suffer from the effects of conflicting personalities, the creation of fictional events and the inclusion of non existent characters who did not make it to the big league in the author's literary works. Thus, the Loony Lampoonist is also a purgatory for characters and ideas that have missed the limelight.

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