The Fun Also Rises

“Oh, Jake,” Brett said, “we’re going to have such a damned good time together.”

“What’s this? Have you forgotten the many euphemistic ways I’ve told you my penis doesn’t work?”

“No, darling. Let’s just say I’ve grown fond of the idea of a man who can’t get me in trouble. And you can still do a lot of other damned nice things to me.”

“Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it pretty dumb we didn’t think of this sooner?”

- - -

The Old Man and the Sea Cat 2200

He was an old man in a catamaran off the Gulf Coast with his granddaughter who had gone forty-two days now without her blood coming. In the first forty days a boy had been with her. But after the blue line appeared the boy had vanished, so the old man had offered to take the girl to Mexico.

It would be hours before the first shark hit him with a lawsuit.

- - -

A Farewell to Moms

The doctor came into the room in Dallas.

“How does it go, doctor?”

“Absolutely fine.”

“Thank God. And how’s the baby?”

“That’s who I’m talking about.”

“But what about my wife?”

“Oh, her. Total goner. Emergency rooms are for saving babies, not old ex-babies.”

- - -

“Hills Full of Elephants”

“It’s really a simple operation, Jig,” the man said. “Or it was, till we moved back to Huntsville. Guess I’m gonna be a fucking dad after all.”

- - -

For Whom the Belle Toils

“The girl, the Maria has had a bad time,” the mujer of Pablo said. “Understandest thou?”

“Absolutely,” Robert Jordan said. “You are saying, in your strange way, that fascists have sexually assaulted her and you think I can take her someplace safe.”

“Are there not homes to care for such as her in the United States?”

“Yes,” said Robert Jordan. “Good places that will feed her and clothe her and love her while she fulfills her legal duty to gestate the fetus of her rapist.”

- - -

“The Snow Jobs of Kennebunkport”

So now it was all over, Susan thought.

She would never save the landmark decision that she had planned to save by voting to confirm two aging frat bros when they pretended they knew enough to save it. Well, she would not have to fail at failing to save women’s rights, either. Maybe you could never save them, and that was why you put off trying until it was too goddamned late.

- - -

“The Long Happy Life of Margot Macomber”

“It seems very unfair to me,” Margot said, “chasing those little helpless things with threats that they’re going to hell.”

“Does it?” said her husband and his great white evangelist friend Wilson.

Wilson ducked to one side of the abortion-clinic rally and fired off a taunt at a ninth grader. Macomber set his sights on making a ten-year-old cry.

And Mrs. Macomber shot her husband a withering look, served him with divorce papers, and joined NARAL.

“Baby Shoo”

For sale: morning-after pill, best offer.