The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

22 March 2006

Handle with care

After a sudden upsurge, as it were, of books about What It Means To Be A Man, comes a pointed question from Aldahlia:

Do you really think being in posession of a penis requires a user's manual?

Heh-heh. She said "manual."

Actually, the best treatment I've ever seen of this exact question came from author Catharine Lumby. In a short story Lumby contributed to Fiona Giles' anthology Dick for a Day, in which a number of women were asked what they would do with such a thing for twenty-four hours, journalist Rose Sélavy orders a dingus via FedEx to try out for herself, and the following instructions accompany the organ:

PENIS™ INSTRUCTIONS
Standard Heterosexual Model (U.S. Patent No. 6,945,776)
Patriarchal Privileges Fully Included
One Size Fits All

Please read this booklet carefully to familiarize yourself with the operation of your Penis™ and with the Limited Warranty.

WARNING: Please note that the consumption of alcoholic beverages may seriously impair the performance of your Penis™. Phallocraft Incorporated bears no responsibility for psychological damage to the wearer resulting from malfunctions.

Rose didn't think much of the booklet:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Rose flipped the page and skimmed the rest of the laborious text. Jesus. They made it sound like you needed a Ph.D. in biology to operate something half the idiots on the planet were wandering around with. Trust male engineers to make the male organ sound more complicated than it was.

And in truth, it's that very simplicity that proves to be Rose's undoing.

Incidentally, U.S. Patent No. 6,945,776 had yet to be issued when Lumby wrote her story; the number has since been applied, to a method, and an accompanying skid member, to restrain heat transfer from hot material to a skid coolant pipe and introduce hot gas within the reheating furnace into the skid member to compensate for heat loss in an upper portion of the skid member.

The precise relevance of this invention to the dangly segment of the male anatomy is left as an exercise for the student.

Posted at 7:01 PM to Table for One


Do you really think being in posession of a penis requires a user's manual?

User's manual? Hell, it doesn't even require a monologue. Singular or plural.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:27 PM on 22 March 2006

Besides, who wants to read a book full of turgid prose when you could be learning "hands-on"?

Posted by: McGehee at 8:28 PM on 22 March 2006

"Besides, who wants to read a book full of turgid prose when you could be learning 'hands-on'?"

Pretty limp joke, if you ask me, mcGehee.

Posted by: Bobbert at 8:50 PM on 22 March 2006

In M's case, The Penis Monologue might be a short story.

Posted by: John Salmon at 9:45 PM on 22 March 2006

The Penis Monologue might be a short story.

Vidi, veni.

Posted by: McGehee at 7:15 AM on 23 March 2006

Monologue, Monologue
It's big, it's heavy
It's wood.

Posted by: triticale at 8:12 AM on 24 March 2006

Now there's a concept: John Kricfalusi vs. Eve Ensler.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:32 AM on 24 March 2006

Aaah the penis,the user's manual and the equally unreliable clitoris. The only people I'm interested in having any actual sex with these days are the kinds of people who seem to know that the real sexual organ is abstract. It's all about how you imagine your relation to someone else.

Posted by: catharine lumby at 3:22 AM on 26 March 2006

Hardware and software, separate entities. Thus was it always, thus shall it be.

(Subject to change without notice.)

Posted by: CGHill at 9:45 AM on 26 March 2006

It sounds like an episode of Beavis and Butt-head in here.

Posted by: aldahlia at 5:10 PM on 28 March 2006

So long as no one calls for Cornholio, I'm okay with it.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:14 PM on 28 March 2006