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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bizarre Books

All of the following are real books, written in good faith by authors who demonstrate no awareness of irony in any of their efforts.

Some just have unfortunate titles. Games You Can Play With Your Pussy, pub 1985. Old Dykes I Have Known, 1996. The Big Problem of Small Organs, 1966 -- that would be PIPE organs ... if that clarifies the issue.

Cock Tugs, 1963 -- the meaning of which is helpfully explained: "a short history of the Liverpool Screw Towing Company." The Nature and Tendency of Balls, Seriously and Candidly Considered in Two Sermons. The date, 1818, cues us as to the true nature of these "balls" -- soirees.

Shag the Pony, 1952. The Boy Fancier -- a manual of domestic pets, 1912. The Boy Hunter, 1938. Fishing for Boys, 1961. Not one of these words is inappropriate. And yet.

Invisible Dick, 1926, with this succulent passage: "'Jeehosophat! What a disgraceful scene!' said Dick Brett, doing a series of physical jerks behind a bush, as he began to grow into visibility." Talk about yer "small organs."

School Experiences of a Fag at a Private and a Public School, 1854. The Gay Boys of Old Yale, 1869. Queer Chums, 1887; Queer Doings in the Navy, 1896; Queer Shipmates, 1962. Churchill wished he'd said, "The only traditions of the Royal Navy are rum, sodomy and the lash."

Well, that can get old. Let's turn a new page.

Handbook for the Limbless, published 1922 by the Disabled Society. Not so funny, when we remember how close this was to the First World War.

A Treatise on Madness, 1758; by Wllm. Battie (git it?), who informs his rapt readership that madness does not respond to the general cures, such as "bleeding, blisters, caustics, rough cathartics, the gums and faetid anti-hysterics, opium, mineral-waters, cold bathings and vomits." The problem was, no universal healthcare.

Another healthcare problem: The Symptoms, Nature, Cause, and Cure of a Gonorrhoea, 1713, by ... Wllm. Cockburn. Is that a name or a symptom? I prescribe faetid gums and a rough cathartic, or maybe rough gums and a faetid cathartic.

The Gentleman's Recreation, 1928, by Cox, preface by Cuming. Common Truths from Queer Texts, 1908, by Rev. J Gay. Funny how the meanings of words seem to change.

We can't help our names. Yoshimoto Banana. Gottfried Egg. Knud Bugge. Dee Day. Violet Organ. Harry Prick. Pierre Anus. Ludwig von Baldass. A. Farto. O. Hell. M. Fucker. Wolfgang Kunt.

No, we can't help our names ... but we can help the titles and subjects of our books. Obesity: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment, 1974, by L. Lasagna. Care for Your Kitten, 1986, by A. Mews. Motorcycling for Beginners, 1980, Geoff Carless. Some Examples of Wave Motion in Fluids, 1975, G.D. Crapper. Punishment, 1972, by Robin Banks. Vasectomy: The Male Sterilization Operation, 1972, by P.J. Gillette. Shy Men, Sex, and Castrating Women, 1985, by Claude Balls. The Adolescent Diaries, 1980, by K. Horney. Monitoring Family Planning and Reproductive Rights, 1997, by A. Hardon. Sexual Desire and Love, 1983, by E. Fuchs.

Well. A lot of the contents of Bizarre Books are just repetition on the theme. Odd but not incredibly funny titles and authors. Gay Agony, 1930, by H.A. Manhood. They use the word Gay, or Queer, or Inch, or Dick or Roger, or ask earnest questions on obscure topics. Guys named Money write books on finance. Some are just out there. Dildo Kay, 1940. A novel of the shoreline? Lesbia's Little Blunder, 1934. Um, she lost her penis?

But on the other hand, they followed their dream. They poured their hearts into it and produced something they must have been proud of. And bad titles don't mean bad books -- although judgment is distributive. In any case, I have been, in my youth, a name bigot. Something to grow out of. Silly, since your humble author has a name that some may find odd. As for all of my books, they are brilliantly titled. The Light Touch, by Jack Hammer. Birds I Have Loved, by J. Haitch. Yes, I use noms de plume. Point is, I have compassion for the multitudes that are so very much less gifted than I. Of course I do. For I am one for whom there is no need for irony for.


J

4 comments:

Will C. said...

"Another healthcare problem: The Symptoms, Nature, Cause, and Cure of a Gonorrhoea, 1713, by ... Wllm. Cockburn."

OK, I was under control until this one and then I proceeded to lose it.
Thanks, I needed a laugh this morning Jackster.

Jack H said...

Harumph. It's always the lowest common denominator. How very discouraging. Here I am trying to raise the tenor of the discourse, and it always degenerates into a rollick in the gutter. I just don't know why I carry on. *sigh*

bob k. mando said...

For I am one for whom there is no need for irony for.

four "for"s?

one might mistake you for a numerologist.

Jack H said...

Hey. Dude. We are the change we have been waiting for.