“So Of Course I Didn’t Even Think to Ask!”

(About a 1 minute read)

Jennifer was the first person to befriend me after I moved to Colorado in my late 30s.  One day she showed up at my work, looking for a job in response to an ad I’d placed.  Our rapport was instantaneous, and I quickly hired her.

Unfortunately, she didn’t like her new job and quit within two weeks.  She kept in touch, though, and we became casual friends.  I soon learned that Jennifer harbored a number of eccentricities.  Not the least of which was her enjoyment of sexually teasing me.  However, I was able to quickly realize that she wasn’t seriously coming onto me, because she would tease me in such blatantly funny ways.  So, I would just sit back and enjoy her humor.

But about a year after we’d met, she left the city to live up in a small mountain town with her mother.  We lost contact with each other, and I gradually accepted the fact I probably would not see her again.

However, one winter’s day I walked into a convenience store near my apartment and was astonished to discover her clerking there.  It was her first day on the job.  After enthusiastically reintroducing ourselves, I wrote down the directions to my apartment, and left them with her.

The next day was extremely cold, and the night even colder.  Around eleven o’clock, there was a knock on the door.  I was happy to see it was Jennifer.   We kissed “hello”, and then sat down on the couch together.

Immediately, she turned herself towards me, broke into a wide, brilliant grin, and without a word of warning, plunged her hands down the front of my pants!  Then she quite cheerfully rushed out an explanation as rapidly as she could,  “I’m so sorry Paul!  But my fingers are freezing!  And I figured your crotch would be warm.  And you’re such a humane man I just knew for sure you’d want to help stop my fingers from getting frostbite, so of course I didn’t even think to ask!”

We both broke out laughing.  Jennifer was back.

Experiencing God the American Way

(About a 4 minute read)

From:  Paul Sunstone
Subject:  What’s up?
To:  Christine Andrews
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:07:41 -0600

Hey Chris!

How’s it going?  I’ve been thinking of you and wondering what you’ve been up to?  Are you still the insufferably brilliant businessperson that you were here in Colorado, or has California change you?  😀

I’m doing fine.  Actually, I’m pretty happy these days.  I’ve been tutoring a young university student from Australia via the internet.  She’s an enthusiastic learner, which keeps me motivated.    Mom turned 99 this year.  Can you believe it!

It’s been ages, Chris.  Eight or nine years by my count without a word between us.  Why’d we let that happen?   I miss our trips to the hot springs.  I hope all is well with you!  Please drop me a note to let me know how you’re doing when you get a chance.

Paul


From: Christine Andrews
Subject: re: What’s up?
To: Paul Sunstone
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2017 16:14:22 -0700

Paul! Gold to hear from you!

What have I’ve been up to?  Great things! Paul, I’m excited, really excited!  Here’s the nutshell. First, I’m out of the turnaround industry.  Totally.  I formed a new company awhile back, and we’ve been working our butts night and day on a franchisable “spiritual system”.   Huge potential!  Certain to capture up to 80% of the rapidly growing market for salvation and enlightenment!  Screw capital acquisitions, I’m finished with that crap, money’s in religion. I just closed the alpha tests and I got to say I’m very pleased with the results.

We’re positioning to be very competitive.  Churches, temples, mosques, they’ll be history.  Had their chance for 1000s of years and blew it fighting religious wars.  The first dozen franchises are all opening their doors between November and mid-December, Paul, just in time for the Holidays.

I’m absolutely confident customers will flock to purchase our God experience.  We’re rolling out no less than the most competitively priced, the most reliable, and above all else, the fastest  (no annoying waits!)  God experience on the market!  And totally drug-free.  That’s key to capturing the health segment.

We are going to steamroll the competition.  I actually feel a little sorry for them.  But not too sorry.  Research shows the big complaint, the number one complaint the market has with our competitors services are their long long wait times.  Typically years, decades, even lifetimes between order placement and fulfillment.  And that’s If our competitors deliver at all.  Paul, you would NOT believe how lax their fulfillment controls are.  We are poised to kick ass!

But you know what?  Looked at financially, the REAL secret’s in the spiritual mix. Tests prove there’s no difference in what the market will pay for a 100% God experience and a 70% God experience.  So we’re rolling out the 70% experience at the 100% price point, and pocketing the difference.  Breakeven is a mere six to nine months, and return on investment is conservatively projected to be astronomical!

But enough about me.  So, Paul, what have you been doing? Still painting?  I love your portraits, man!


From: Paul Sunstone
Subject: re: re: What’s up?
To: Christine Andrews
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2017  04:15:17-0300

It’s so good to hear you’re doing well!   I’m stunned by what you’re up to.  It sounds BIG!  I’ve got a thousand questions, but I know you must be pressed for time, so I won’t ask all of them.  If you get a moment though, please let me know how you got into the God business. How did you come up with the idea for it? I just got to know!

Hope all is well with you!


From: Christine Andrews
Subject: re: re: re: What’s up?
To: Paul Sunstone
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2017  22:28:18 +0000

Sorry about not getting back to you sooner.  Been working 18 hour days, but no complaints about it. I love the work.  It’s all coming together faster every day.  We’re going make this happen, Paul.  Me and my team.

So here’s my story.  I hope it answers your question.  I was lonely after my move to Cali.  Met a man and we become friends with benefits.  He introduces me to his spiritual group.  They’re the first people I meet out here, so I spend a lot of time with them.  But the more time we spend talking about God, enlightenment, nirvana, salvation, and other things, the more I feel something nagging at me.  Nagging and nagging, only I don’t know what it’s trying to tell me.

One evening Jessica, my new best friend, and I are in a restaurant, just the two of us.  She confesses she’s leaving the group.  I ask why.  She says, and I remember her words, “Look at me! I just turned 32 last month.  I don’t have forever to find God and it’s like it totally will take forever.  I’ve made my decision.  I’m dropping religion and taking up CrossFit.  I want you to come with me.”

Right then, Paul, it came together in a flash.  All of it.  Everything I ever knew or ever heard about religion instantly rearranged itself in my head until I could see clear as day everything! Everything important about religion at once.  The market. The service. The competition.  The challenge.  And most important of all the Opportunity!

Cut to the chase.  I’ve written the plan, raised the capital, put together the very  best team of R&D neuroscientists ever to work in private industry.  For awhile it’s all dead ends. We lose some people.  But I myself never lost faith.  That paid off when the break through came!   Simply the easiest, safest, most reliable means to enlightenment ever devised, Paul.  And most of all, the quickest!

You know Paul, this all really means something to me. It really does.  But I don’t know,  did I ever tell you?  I’ve always had a spiritual side.  Never wore it on my sleeve, so maybe you never noticed it. Most people don’t.  I’ve been told all sorts of things about myself, but never has anyone talked much about my spirituality.  I’m not complaining, just saying that’s how it is.

This is going big, Paul.  What I’m doing is going to go big.  First North America, then India, then the world.  The Indian market alone is estimated to be worth a trillion dollars over the next decade.  I feel good about it.  Hell, I feel excellent.  For me, making all this happen is a spiritual experience.  A true spiritual experience. Probably the biggest spiritual experience of my life.  Even bigger than the God experience itself.  Even bigger than that.  Do you get me, Paul, I’m right on the verge of realizing the American Dream!

An Important Message From the Monotheism Relief Fund: Please! We Need Your Help Now!

TRIGGER WARNING: Be advised that some of the words in this post may conjure up disturbing images of the profound misery and suffering that can be caused by Abject Theistic Impoverishment, or ATI.

Dear Soul,

Over seven billion people are alive on our wonderful planet today, and for most of us, religion is a rich source of wisdom, security, and comfort. But did you know that is not true for everyone?

Sadly, there are people on this earth who at this very moment live in horribly abject theistic poverty. Decent people. Good people. Perhaps even neighbors of yours. People who mostly through no fault of their own were born into religions that have but a single god! Yes, just one — and only one — god!

Hard as it might be for those of us who are better off to imagine, literally billions of unfortunate people at this very moment are forced to survive their day to day existence living as monotheists! Each night, these poor souls go to bed with only one god to pray to.

Yes, as unimaginable for most of us as it is, billions of theists today exist merely one step away from no gods at all, and the dire heartbreak of atheism! Atheism!  Humanity’s oldest philosophical scourge!  No one deserves to be but one step away from it.  No one!

Can you help?

Here at the Monotheism Relief Fund, we are passionately dedicated to providing blankets, warm clothing, shelter, food, and vital copies of polytheistic literature to the world’s abjectly impoverished monotheists. But we cannot do it all by ourselves. We need your help.

Please donate generously to the Monotheism Relief Fund by calling, 1-800-ANOTHER-SUNSTONE-SCAM now! Have you credit or debit card handy!

Act now and with every donation of $25 USD or more, we might or might not send you a precious four volume copy of Joseph Campbell’s The Masks of God — which is veritably an encyclopedia of deities through the ages!

You CAN make a difference! Act now!

Late Night Thoughts: Ice Cream, Reasoning, Robots, Wisdom, and More

(About a 6 minute read) 

The other day I woke up feeling pretty much under the weather.  I stumbled onto my blog bleary-eyed and somehow deleted a whole post while trying to fix a mistake in grammar.  After that, I spilled half a pound of coffee beans on the floor while getting almost not a one of them into my grinder.  Not yet recognizing that it wasn’t my day, I wrote 500 words for a blog post before realizing I wasn’t making any sense even by my lax standards.  This time the delete was intentional.  A sane man would have gone back to bed at that point.  Naturally, I didn’t.

Instead, I somehow got it into my head to catch up on what’s going on in politics.  I was still catatonic when the paramedics found me two days later After reading three or four articles the thought occurred to me that any sensible and informed person these days must feel a whole lot like I felt that morning: Our hopes and intentions are so far out of line with the bizarre reality of the times.  It almost seems as if the feeling, “This isn’t my day”, has become expanded to include most of the world.

◊◊◊

It is sometimes said that a difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals are more concerned with humanity than they are with individuals, while conservatives are more concerned with individuals than they are with humanity.  As Dostoevsky put it in The Brothers Karamazov,  “The more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular”.

It seems to me that — regardless of whether one is a liberal or a conservative — those two extremes are both inadequate in and of themselves.  The liberal position leads to treating the people one knows like dogs, the conservative position leads to treating the people one doesn’t know like dogs.

Now, the older I get the more I expect to find such “twists” in life.  That is, I have come to largely agree with Immanuel Kant:  “Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.”

What could our human nature not accomplish if our human nature did not stand in our way?

◊◊◊

I recently came across an article stating that eating ice cream for breakfast improves brain performance.  I immediately began dancing around my cottage for half an hour in gratitude to whatever deity or deities had arranged the world such than eating ice cream could be thought of as a duty.

Even since, I have been eating ice cream for breakfast, but alas!  With no discernible results.

Still, this is not something to be lightly dismissed.  One has a duty, you know.  I must redouble my efforts.  Obviously, the problem is I have not been eating enough ice cream to see any results yet.  Obviously.

◊◊◊

I think it was W. Edwards Deming who used to begin his graduate seminars with an experiment.  He would place a large glass jar full of marbles in front of the class, which typically numbered about thirty students.  Then he would ask the students to guess how many marbles were in the jar.

Their individual answers were typically wildly off the mark — either way too high, or way too low.  And yet — consistently in class after class — when their answers were averaged, the result was within 5% of the actual number of marbles.   As a group, the students were always more accurate than most of them were as individuals.

◊◊◊

It seems to me quite possible that how people reason might be almost as subject to fashion as how people dress.

The rules for what constitutes good reasoning might not change much, but certainly what constitutes “acceptable” reasoning can change quite a bit.   By “acceptable” I mean what a majority — or at least a large minority — of us think is good reasoning.

I suspect many of us don’t learn how to reason from a competent instructor so much as from media figures such as talk show hosts and their often questionable guests.  Even advertisements teach a form of reasoning.  It might not often be a sound form of reasoning, but it’s a form nonetheless.  It would make an interesting study to see if the popularity of certain kinds of arguments changed from one decade to the next.

◊◊◊

It seems possible that robots will at some point become sophisticated enough that someone will start making “lovebots”.  That is, artificial lovers.   At which point one wonders when sex education classes will become as hands-on as instruction in tennis or driving?

I have no idea whether such a thing will become commonplace in public education, but I can certainly foresee special academies for it — private schools that use robots to teach love making.

Then again, I think it’s only a matter of time before genetics advances to the point that we have pets with glow in the dark fur.  I am, quite obviously, bonkers.

◊◊◊

Is chocolate also good brain food?  Might be.   Better eat some just to be on the safe side.  Is duty.

◊◊◊

According to Barry Lopez, the Inuit word for “wise person” literally translates as, “one who makes wisdom visible [through their behavior]”.   If we in the West had a corresponding translation for “wise person” it would doubtlessly be something along the lines of, “one who speaks wisely”, for we typically assume that someone who says wise things is actually wise.

◊◊◊

Often enough, great intelligence, or great wisdom, is shown less by what someone says or does than by what they do not say or do.

◊◊◊

An inability to laugh at oneself can be as creepy as showing up in a clown costume at a funeral.

◊◊◊

We so often blame our emotions for the bad behavior of our psychological self.  We say, for instance, that our anger at Smith got out of hand.  But before there was our anger, there was our ego’s perception that Smith slighted us.   Without that perception, we would not have been angry at Smith in the first place.

Late Night Thoughts: Richard Feynman, Flirting, Contrary People, Big Ideas, and More

(About a 13 minute read)

To oppress a mother is to oppress a democracy, for it is mothers who teach the value of democracy to their children.

◊◊◊

Some years ago, if I heard a pounding on my door around 11:30 on a full moon night, I could reliably guess it was Suzanne come by to demand that we go for a midnight hike in the mountains.   I always went for — after all — how often do you get to risk becoming a mountain lion’s next meal?  Besides, the mountains are magic at night.

Suzanne was, and still is, highly intelligent, creative, beautiful, and resilient.  At the time we were taking midnight hikes, however, she was also largely dysfunctional due to an untreated bipolar disorder.  That kept me from developing a genuine emotional intimacy with her, for it’s difficult to feel genuinely intimate with someone who — for whatever reason — is wrapped up in themselves.  Nevertheless, we did pretty good as casual friends.

One crisp night, we set out for a trail head, but when we got there, a noisy group of about seven or eight people were setting off down the trail, so we decided to drive on.  That eventually landed us on a dirt road high up in the mountains.  Since it was about two or three in the morning, and no one was likely to be traveling that narrow road but us, we parked the car in the middle of the road, put the top down, and threw a blanket over us in order to stargaze.

The moon soon enough went down behind the mountains.  The sky blazed with what seemed like five thousand stars, and Suzanne and I fell into silence.  After 45 minutes or an hour, Suzanne spoke.  “Why do I have to be in love with Jeff?”

“I don’t know.  Have you figured that out?”

“Not yet.  I just don’t understand why I get along with you better than I get along him, but I’m in love with him.”  After a moment, she went on,  “I love you too, of course; just not in the same way.”

Jeff was Suzanne’s boyfriend.  Like Suzanne, he was highly intelligent.  He was also abusive.  Whenever we were together, Suzanne would sooner or later start talking about him.   Usually, she spoke of his most recent outrages.

I knew, by that time in my life, that criticizing someone’s partner — even someone’s abusive partner — would most likely achieve nothing more than cause them to rally to the defense of their partner, so I carefully avoided giving Suzanne any hint of how profoundly I loathed Jeff for his abuse of her.   “That does seem strange”, I said as evenly as I could, “I mean that you get along with me better than him.”

“I do love him.”  She turned to look at me.

“Is he good for you?” I replied, looking at her and trying my hardest not to make my question sound like a challenge.  I thought that, if only she would ask that question, sincerely ask that question….

“But I love him!”  She protested.  “That’s got to count for something, right?”  She’d done exactly what I feared: Taken my question for a challenge, rather than genuinely think about whether he was any good for her.

Suzanne was twenty years younger than me.  She had yet to learn the difference between genuinely loving someone and merely being emotionally dependent on them.   Nor was there anyway I could have explained those things to her that night.  Although she never would have expressed it this way,  on some level, Suzanne believed the world was fair and just, and that Jeff had to sooner or later come around if for no other reason than she loved him so much.

In time, Suzanne came to her senses and dumped Jeff.

◊◊◊

Today, May 11, is the anniversary of Richard Feynman’s birth.  He was born 1918 and died 1988.  Probably, I think, not only one of the greatest physicists of the 20th Century, but also one of wisest people of that century.

I have a friend who’s an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don’t agree with very well. He’ll hold up a flower and say “look how beautiful it is,” and I’ll agree. Then he says “I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing,” and I think that he’s kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe. Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is … I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there’s also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.  — Feynman

◊◊◊

I think Sarah was fifteen when I met her.  She and I were both regular customers at the coffee shop and we often enough sat together at the sidewalk tables.  Sarah was one of a small handful of girls who would keep me company even when I was not sitting with any handsome boys their own age.  She also struck me as generally cheerful, optimistic, and sensible.  The sort of level-headed, but occasionally mischievous, young person who gives you hope for the future.

One sunny morning,  about a year after Sarah and I first met,  I was sitting by myself when I happened to glance down the street towards the local high school.  About two blocks away, a woman was walking towards the shop, and though I couldn’t make out her face at that distance, there was something in the way she walked that made me recognize it was Sarah.  I think it might also have been the style of skirt she wore, for Sarah favored long, flowing skirts with a certain kind of print — almost paisley.

As I had guessed, it indeed turned out to be her.

When she arrived, she came straight to my table, and we were soon discussing her jewelry for no other reason than to pass the time of day.   “I have the worse luck, Paul.  Every piece I own has lost its partner.  This ring — see the naked man?   This silver ring had a naked woman that went with it.  That way you could divide the ring into two pieces, and give one piece to your lover.   But I lost the woman.  An ex of mine wouldn’t give it back when we broke up.”

“And you see the man in the moon in my earring? I used to have another earring just like it, but I somewhere lost it.”  She grinned.  “Now I have the moon in one ear, and a dragon in the other.”  She turned her head one way and then the other to show me.

We went on like that for an hour or two it seemed: Simply enjoying the sunny, but cool weather.  Eventually, she had to go back to school, for though her high school had an open campus policy, she was of course expected to attend classes if they were not study halls.

A few weeks later, Sarah and I were again at the coffee shop together.  At some point in our conversation, she decided to draw a dragon for me.  She explained as she was drawing it, that she had practiced and practiced drawing the dragon until she could almost draw it blindfolded.

“Ah! Well executed!  I know you like dragons.”  I remembered her earring.

“Oh yes!  Did I tell you about my dragon lamp?  I have a lamp that a candle fits inside.  When you burn the candle, it casts dragon shadows on the walls.  I love it! I use it as a night light.”

It all came together for me one evening a few months after that.  Sarah and I were once again at the coffee shop, but this time it was towards dusk.  Another man had joined us  — a guy about my age, which was twenty-five or so years older than Sarah.   He and Sarah were flirting with each other, which rather more bored me than anything else.  I became absorbed in watching the sunset.

Presently, the man left to go home, or go to his job, I don’t quite recall which now.  Sarah soon turned to me, “I love flirting with older men”, she said.  “I know I won’t let it go anywhere.  The age difference makes that impossible.  But you can learn so much!  Should I be ashamed of myself, Paul?”

I don’t remember now exactly what I said to her, but she responded by almost pouting — a very unusual expression for her — and then playfully suggesting that I was a public killjoy for refusing to flirt with people, especially with her.  That so surprised me that I felt I needed to make amends!  Hence, within a few days, I composed a simple poem just for Sarah.

She’s a woman in the grace of sixteen summers
With skirts flowing in the morning sun
And she speaks of the silver man ringed naked
A dancer who dances alone
For her jewels have all lost their partners
But the moon still laughs in one ear
And she sleeps in the shadow of dragons
With a heart uncorrupted by fear

◊◊◊

Physics isn’t the most important thing. Love is.  ― Richard Feynman

◊◊◊

Some “religious” people are just contrary.  They profess to be Hindus or Christians, Muslims or Jews, Buddhists or Taoists, but their real religion is simply to find fault with other people.

God, enlightenment, the Tao are to them little more than concepts that they imagine give them ultimate permission to condemn folks, to dehumanize them.  “I speak for God”, they imply.  “I speak for the Tao.”  Such strange people: Always hiding behind some pillar like “God”, peeking out only to snarl!

But such people are not confined to religions.

No, you find them in the lunatic fringes of every political and social movement, every ideology — including the better ones.  What sort of person makes it their life to condemn others?  What sort of person lives for it?

It is part of the comedy of our species that we often give them the time of day.

◊◊◊

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.  ― Richard Feynman

◊◊◊

To me, the ultimate goal in life is neither meaning nor happiness, but to be as true to yourself as you can be in a socially and environmentally responsible way.   The way I see it, if you shoot for that, then you’ll find what meaning and happiness there is for you in life, like icing on the cake.  But I don’t see how living falsely can bring about either meaning or happiness.  Of course, all I really know is that it works for me.

◊◊◊

I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.   ― Richard Feynman

◊◊◊

Top 40 Lovers

I listen to the radio play those old two songs:
“How I love him more than life itself” and “How she did me wrong”.

And I think it’s hard to be a simple lover
If the goal’s a cosmic truth.

And I think it’s hard to be a simple friend
If we’re lawyers in the end.

◊◊◊

Humans are natural born cartographers.  We make maps of the world, which we call “beliefs”.   It’s what our species does.

Sometimes, our maps are more or less accurate.  And sometimes, they are fantasy maps, like the ones we made as children to show where a pirate’s treasure lay buried in our backyard.

The accuracy of our maps often matters less to us than the fact they are ours.  Because, for most of us, our maps are something we think of as us.

◊◊◊

I’m smart enough to know that I’m dumb.  ― Richard Feynman

◊◊◊

“Hullo?”

“Don, this is Paul.  We’re rich!”

“We’re what?”

“Rich, Don, we’re richer than our wildest dreams!”

“Are you kidding me?  What happened?  Did you win the lottery?”

“Lottery?  You can’t depend on lotteries, Don.  This is so much better than a lottery.  This is Big!  Huge!  I’ve had an idea, Don.  An idea!”

“Paul, I have always believed you are capable of having good ideas.  Which is why I am still patiently waiting after all these years for you to actually have one.  But if this is like that last ‘good idea’…”.

“Don’t worry, Don, this one can’t miss.  It’s huge!  What is the number one complaint people have about foods, Don?  The number one complaint?”

“Paul, where is this leading?”

“Don, I’ve been researching this, and nine times out of ten, when people complain about food, it’s because they don’t like the taste.  It’s a scientific fact, Don.  Nine times out of ten!”

“So what?”

“Six words, Don, six words:  Spray-cans filled with liquid nitrogen!  Zap that awful taste right out of your mouth!  Instantly!  Never worry about a bad tasting meal again!

“Don we are going to get rich here!  We are going to get so rich!  I’ve already called some architects, asked for designs on our office building.  Are you excited, Don?

“Don?  Damnit, Don!  You’re a going to have to get a new phone.  Yours keeps dying on me!”

Two More Selections from the World’s Most Abominable Romance Novels

(About a two minute read)

Here are two more excruciating passages from the world’s most abominable (unpublished) romance novels:

From Kitchen of Lusts:

Robert could not sleep. Outside, the violent thunderstorm broke the hour into moments, and the moments into seconds. Each second held an eternity in itself. And each eternity seemed to chide him with his own ultimate meaninglessness. Robert stirred once again in his sheets.

“I am nothing to Vanessa. Beautiful, kind Vanessa”, he thought despairingly for perhaps the hundredth time that night, for perhaps the thousandth time that entire day. “And there seems not a thing I can do about it.”

But he knew, or he sensed, that down that lane lay only the emotional oblivion of hopelessness. “I must not allow myself to feel hopeless. There must be something to give me hope. If only I could discover it!”

Yet, all that came to mind was the careless joy he’d felt earlier that sunlit afternoon when seeing Vanessa’s breasts bouncing in her white, lightly woven, cotton blouse as she ran across the flower strewn meadow to be first to ravage and engorge the delicious foods spread out on the park table at the church picnic they’d attended.

Suddenly, an idea came to him, an idea perhaps midwifed by the violence of the thunder outside, “She loves food! Adores food! Why have I not seen it before! She’s a pig for food,and will do anything to have her way with it. It’s her religion! So I shall…I shall resolve to become a master chef. She must notice me then!”

“And to seal matters”, he further reflected, “I shall appeal to her religious nature, and become a Minister of the Deity, too.” With that, Robert resolutely set his feet upon the awful path that would eventually bring the future lovers to their terrifying fates. And yet, not before the two had learned to hump like rabbits…

From Ravaged is the Night:

Zounds!”, Danielle said. She liked very much to say, “zounds”. She felt using an archaic word now and then might signal to men that she had a few functional brain cells, for men tended strongly to merely focus on her breasts.

“Zounds!”, she repeated, just to make sure Clemence had noticed the word. But poor Clemence’s face and ears were deeply buried in her cleavage, and Danielle wasn’t sure he could hear much of anything.

She herself could certainly hear something! She could hear his sobs; sobs that had started just moments after he had suddenly, and without any warning at all, plunged his head into her cleavage. That was about a quarter hour ago, Danielle figured, and it might be getting time for her to ask him what was the matter.

Still, she hesitated. The two had been seeing each other for a few weeks now, and Danielle had come to recognize Clemence’s gentle, but troubled soul.  In fact, it was his tender, sensitive nature that had first attracted her to him.  “Maybe he just needs a bit more time alone in my cleavage”, she thought compassionately, “We all need to retreat from the world, now and then.”

It disturbed her, though, that he had plunged in without any explanation at all. She wished she could do more to help him, but she had no idea what the problem might be.

To make matters more difficult, both she and Clemence were only sixteen and both of them frequently struggled when trying to express their newly discovered, but extremely powerful — and almost entirely unchecked — feelings. “He might not be able to tell me, even if he wanted to.”, she thought.

She bit her lower lip. She felt like crying herself now. Crying simply because Clemence was crying. “He suffers! My love, he suffers!” Tears began to well in her tender eyes.

But at that moment Clemence raised his head. At last! She felt relief wash over her. “What’s wrong, my love?”

“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong.”, Clemence said in a voice that was still strung out by powerful emotions. “It was your socks. Your socks. I just then noticed them, and I’ve never been so happy in my life! Dearest, you must love me! You’ve chosen to wear my favorite color!”


See also Selected Passages from the World’s Worst Romance Novels.

Selected Passages from the World’s Worst Romance Novels

(About a 3 minute read)

Three selections from the world’s worst (unpublished) romance novels:

From Quiet is the Yearning:

That evening, and following their supper of cold lamb, the two of them sat by their fireplace for an hour, each in his or her own chair, each with his or her own book, as was their custom most evenings. And there should be nothing out of the ordinary to mention about them, except that Henry, at some point that evening, looked up from his tome to say to Ann (with a measure of feeling in his voice that was unusual to Henry), “You are by no means wretched, Ann.”

“Don’t be a fool, Henry”, Ann replied after the moment it took for her to regain her composure, for the remark had greatly moved her, “You presume to much!”

The couple now — for the warmth of Henry’s remark had made them both realize they were indeed a couple now — the couple quietly returned to their books, deeply satisfied.

From The Accountant of Lust:

At some point during the meeting, her mind had crossed the line from her customary sharp focus on the business at hand to idle thoughts of Jeff. “Why am I always thinking of him”, she wondered, “He’s just a man, and his only distinction is he’s more impossible than most men.”

But she knew it wasn’t true. Not entirely. Jeff was…was.. something more to her than merely the accounting department’s single most despised jerk. Certainly, he was that. No one, not even she, could deny that Jeff was a jerk. At least not after he’d been caught drawing a crude penis on the final page of Louise Franson’s dog-eared copy of her favorite novel, Savage Love.

“I know Jeff can draw so much better than that”, she mused, deeply puzzled, “what motivated him to make the penis so crude? I guess it really must be true he’s a jerk. A more refined man would draw a more refined penis. I’m sure of it.”

“Well”, she thought again, “I don’t care! NO ONE, NOT EVEN JEFF HIMSELF, CAN STOP ME FROM LOVING HIM!”

Abruptly, she realized the whole boardroom was smiling knowingly at her. “Oh god”, she realized, “I’ve been talking out loud!”

Thinking quickly, she decided to poof. Poofing was the only truly reasonable thing she could do to distract her board members from the awful, frightening, but strangely intoxicating, truth that she, the president and CEO of Snuckson’s Motor Parts, had fallen deeply, profoundly, and foolishly in love with a jerk.

From Dark Longings:

Tobias felt his impatience turning into despair. An hour had passed. Then another. And still, no midget.

“What’s keeping him?”, Clarissa asked, moodily.

“How in hell do I know? The talent agency closed at five. There’s no way I can call to find out.”

“Don’t get angry with me! It’s not my fault”, Clarissa protested. But she was too depressed to be feisty, really.

Tobias looked over to the motel room bed where Clarissa sat waiting, dressed in her school-girl outfit. Her hands were toying with the model train transformer, clicking the voltage switch back and forth. Click! Click! Click!

Their usual assortment of goodies lay all around her. A standard can of whipped cream, a fresh, thorny rose bush, the couple’s family Bible, two or three impressively sized dildos, and Clarissa’s favorite teddy bear.

“Maybe we could start without him”, Tobias suggested, suddenly hopeful.

“On our wedding night? No midget on our wedding night?”, Clarissa was incredulous, “But I want this night to be special!

__________________

See also Two More Selections from the World’s Most Abominable Romance Novels.