November 28, 2020

Crossing the Rectal Divide (Part I)

It's a recurring dream, and it refuses to go away. I have it every three or four weeks. In the dream, I'm dining alone in some fancy restaurant, and suddenly begin to beat on a plate with a soup spoon, while chanting, "Americans are degraded and debased!" As I get louder and louder, the waiter, who happens to be Indian, comes over to me.

"I'm sorry, sir, but you are disturbing the other customers. I actually agree with you: Americans are a sorry lot. But I have to ask you to keep it down, and not use a spoon." To which I reply: "The dregs of humanity!" This comes out as a shriek. "Can I offer you a bowl of cheddies?" he asks me.

"Why do you Indians always say 'cheddies'? It's cherries, for heaven's sake."

"Yes sir, I know," he replies. "We can't help it; it just comes out that way. Even Gandhi said 'cheddies'. 'Life is not a bowl of cheddies', he always used to say. Anyway, I think you'll find them veddy soothing."

Meanwhile, the owner of the place calls the local mental institution; the medics arrive in a white van, put me in a straight jacket, and cart me off to the Happy Valley Lunatic Asylum. I continue screaming; they put me in a rubber-lined room, so I can't hurt myself. The door opens, and the resident psychiatrist, Dr. Ludwig von Schmaltzkopf, comes in and sits down. I'm lying on the floor, exhausted.

"Mr. Lokshen Kugel," he says; "I agree with you: the country consists of 330 million putzes. 'Dolts' is too mild a word for them. But you cannot go around yelling this in upscale restaurants. The putzes will get annoyed. Do you understand me?"

"But who will tell them?" I counter.

"Not you, Mr. Kugel. Try writing a letter to the Times instead, OK?"

"But the Times consists of putzes," I reply. At this point I wake up, sweating and breathing heavily. My wife stirs in her sleep.

"Lokshen, honey," she says; "did you have your America dream again?" I nod.

"Lokshen, you can't go on being a one-man anti-asshole crusade. Time you went to see a shrink."

"They'll just give me pills," I tell her. "That won't solve anything."

"It might stop you from having this ridiculous dream," she suggests. "Why don't you just confine yourself to writing your study of Kim Kardashian's buttocks, Crossing the Rectal Divide?"

"I've hit a brick wall with that. I can't cross the divide, so to speak, until I actually examine Kim's anus, see what's going on in there. I wrote her, explaining the project, and asking if we could set up an appointment, but she never wrote back. Meanwhile, my dream is the only thing keeping me going, the only inspiration I have left."

"It's also making you ill," says Sophie. "Why not just fly to LA, and pay Kim a visit. Who knows? Maybe she'll drop her pants. Then you might solve the problem of Americans being assholes by examining an actual American asshole."

My eyebrows go up. "Who's crazy now?" I ask her.

"I'm just trying to get you to lighten up. It's either that or the loony bin, for real." She sighs. "You could also drop in on Meghan Markle, ask her why she thinks Americans are preoccupied with her and her stupid hats. I mean, beyond the fact that they are morons. Americans, I mean, not the hats," she adds.

"A hat can't be a moron," I tell her.

"No, but it can be moronic, which means that Meghan hat-worshippers are morons."

"Why would people worship a hat?" I ask.

"Oh, they think that if they wear a Meghan hat, the hat energy will rub off on them, and they'll be like British royalty. By the same token, if you publish your book and include photos of Kim's anus, you'll sell millions of copies. We'll be rich, and we can relocate to the French Riviera."

"But what if people start to fetishize me, chase me down the street hoping to tear off my T-shirt, or even my pants?"

"Lokshen, I think we may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves. For now, concentrate on your book, and have Dr. Flanksteak give you a pill." Always so helpful, my Sophie.

I booked a flight to LA, also bought a speculum, a flashlight, and a large tube of KY jelly. I'm going to get to the bottom of this, I told myself.

I knocked on the door of Kim's mansion. Kanye West opened it. "Hey dude, wassup?"

"I just want to say how sorry I am that you weren't elected president," I tell him, squelching the desire to add that he looked like a complete buffoon. This is an American idol? I thought to myself. No wonder the country is going down the drain.

"No sweat, amigo; el Señor Trump just made me his homie."

"Wow, that's great!" I reply. "Exactly what does that entail?"

"Oh, I just hafta tell everyone that Biden stole the election. No big deal. But why are you carrying a speculum, a flashlight, and a tube of KY?"

"I'm here to inspect your wife's anus," I tell him, smiling rather dementedly.

"Far out! Hey Kimmie, get that big booty of yours over here. There's some white boy here, wants to have a look at the Royal Asshole." She comes to the door.

"Kanye," she says, "once and for all: you're the Royal Asshole. Unless maybe it's Meghan Markle."

"Ms. Kardashian," I interject, "I'm honored. Could we repair to your bedroom?"

"'Repair'?" she exclaims. "Jesus, you white boys sure talk funny."

"True," I reply, "but then we voted for Trump, and Kanye is now his homie. So let me play that funky music."

"All right," she says; "let me drop my pants so we can get this over with. What are you looking for, anyway?"

"America," I tell her.

"Well, Kugel-face, you've definitely come to the right place. You won't hafta dig very deep, either."

(To be continued)