The Loony Lampoonist

Erasmus in the Land of Cows

I arrived on the shores of India a month before the Christmas of 18--, invited to the nuptial ceremonies of a friend and eager to travel the lengths of this ancient land. I would collect experiences; I gravely needed them, my story was far from complete, the deadline a fortnight away and here I was, facing a creative crisis. I had accepted the assignment, confident. Exotic erotica would be easy, I presumed, trusting my imagination to run on full steam and deliver. It did not however, as it turned out that writing erotica was harder than it seemed. Fantasizing oneself into an amorous encounter with a character of the opposite sex was an ability that every boy (and presumably girl) was born with, but representing it in literary form was a rather challenging task. One had to script the encounters between the characters using language that would not stray too far from the polite vocabulary of the readers, who in this case were presumably shy young women reading erotica on the sly, and yet at the same time maintain the sauciness levels to sustain reader interest; the cheeks flushed red, giggling sort of interest to be specific.

And then there was also the problem of unavailable exotica.

"It appears that you need the taste of fresh meat to get your juices flowing, Erasmus", said Post, the bridegroom-to-be, upon witnessing my predicament. He worked at the publishing company that employed writers like me, before he fell in love with a girl from India and decided to go there and get himself married.

"I have grown weary of the local fauna, dear Post, where would I find birds of paradise, except perhaps in paradise itself?", I replied, shaking my head. I had been sitting in front of the typewriter for the past hour and a single word hadn't been typed in.


"India?", I asked incredulously and he replied matter-of-factly, "Yes", which prompted me to question his sanity and ask, "Are you out of your mind?", to which he gave a flippant reply, "No" and smiled, which got a snarl from me in response indicating that he explain his suggestion before he got, quoting from what I remember saying at the time, "kicked in the behind in an impolite manner." "This girl is the very sight of-", he started explaining but didn't quite complete the sentence as I interrupted him and asked for the condensed version, which he provided in three short sentences : "I fell in love with this Indian girl. I am going to India to get married. You are coming with me."

I remember being taken aback and then taking a parental tone to scold the lovelorn child for his folly, but it wasn't very effective. A day later, we were on a ship sailing halfway around the world, to the Land of Cows.


On the day of the matrimonial union, an hour before the ceremony, Post stepped into my room, saw me in my splendid suit and made a fainting motion.

"By the third eye of Shiva, why must my eyes be witness to such horrors? Is that what you are going to wear to my wedding?", he asked.

"Well yes", I replied, "why else, pray tell, would I be wearing it on the day of your wedding?"

He opened his mouth and I knew what was coming. A lecture on the fashion trends of the nineteenth century.

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 them 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.

"Hello Erasmus", she said, and took him away. I could see why Post had fallen in love with her. She was beautiful.

As he went, he looked back at me and mouthed the followed words : "Go forth, young Erasmus, and sow your wild oats."

And I went, surveying 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, m'lady?", I said, approaching her. The personification of my libido groaned and kicked me in my reproductive parts. "That is 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. "Hello, I'm Erasmus."

"Hello, 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. "Whatever do you mean?"

"The presumably rich gentleman who pays for your upkeep. What is his position in the Peerage?"

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. Her voice interrupted the sad 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, "Surely 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, sir?"

"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? Could I have my drink back now?"

"No. And I refuse to believe that your cow of creativity looks like a regular cow. Have you heard of the 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 the contents down. "You're not to have another drink. Until I'm done talking with you, anyhow. Now tell me sir, you know the 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 aren'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 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 there 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 the picture. And I don't think I will be able to get it out of my head for a while. 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 would not have known that she would be so intelligent if I hadn't asked her about herself. I listened to her tales, no doubt true, 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 erotica, titled 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 in 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, looking lovely in the moonlight. I kissed her on the lips. It felt good. She did not resist. My fingers went over to the buttons of her dress. She still did not resist. I closed my eyes again. 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. This is what I had been struggling with in my story earlier. Writing the intimate scene. 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, upon discovering her own name in it.

"Yes. Boris, my character, 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 the Orfelia I created. I have had many women and will have many more. But I think I love her more than I could love a woman of flesh and blood."

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

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

posted by foogarky @ 9:34 AM,


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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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