A few days ago, I was in my backyard rehearsing a play I’d written about my ex-girlfriend, Daphne. I was wearing a codpiece and swinging around a bullwhip because there was a lot of codpiece wearing and bullwhipping in the script. I’d written a number of plays about Daphne in the last few months, but in my humble opinion this one was the best.

While I rehearsed, my neighbor Theo popped his head over my fence and asked if he could borrow my codpiece. Theo was a playwright too. There are a lot of playwrights in my neighborhood and sometimes codpieces are very hard to come by.

“Is it going to come back smelling like soup?” I asked.

I asked Theo this because once I’d lent him my hacksaw and it came back smelling like soup. It was hard to believe, but I kept putting my nose up to the saw blade and there was no escaping the scent of cream of fucking mushroom.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Theo asked.

Listen—I knew I did not have to do this favor for Theo. He was not my boss and I was taller than him if I wore my tall shoes. Still, I needed to regain some goodwill from my neighbors. There had been an incident a few weeks ago where I’d borrowed my neighbor Gary’s theremin and Daphne and I ended up having sex in front of it and her moans and my moans and the moans of the theremin mixed together into one very loud moan. Everyone on my block heard this moaning because it was the night of our neighborhood block party for which we’d signed up to bring strawberry cheesecake but hadn’t brought any strawberry cheesecake.

“It’s hard to find a good codpiece,” I told Theo as I set the codpiece into his open palm. “It’s damn hard to find a codpiece that strikes a happy balance of fit and comfort and shows off your junk in the proper way.”

I thought I’d impressed upon Theo the importance of returning my codpiece exactly as I’d given it to him, but when he brought it back the next day, it smelled like soup again. This time it smelled like broccoli and fucking cheddar.

“Not cool,” I told him. “Really not cool.”

“What’s not cool?” he asked.

That night, I scrubbed my codpiece for a long time but I couldn’t get rid of the soup smell. I went to bed angry, but when I awoke the sun was out and I was feeling somewhat better. I decided then and there that living well would be the best revenge for Theo and the rest of these asshats, so I went back out to my backyard and rehearsed my play some more. There’s a rusted out school bus sitting next to my house that I’ve been meaning to fix up for about the last ten years and I snapped my bullwhip at it over and over until I felt like myself again.