“Actually, this is good,” my drinking buddy said when my blog got ignored once again by a few members of the literati. “You don’t want humorless New York types or Me Generation holdovers to sully your comic instincts.”
My drinking buddy then drew a caricature of my receding hairline on the back of a cocktail napkin. The thin reddish fuzz, the sad balance of my forefront follicles, resembled the collection of pubic hairs I had just seen in the men’s room after micturating into the urinal. As a former girlfriend put it, quoting Dr. J as was her wont shortly after smothering me with her bosom whenever we watched the Final Four, “I live my life trying to never appear to be a small man.”
Yet here I was, thoroughly ashamed of my drinking buddy’s slapdash sketch, which he had spent all of two minutes on. I was a small man. In the days that followed, I would still appear to be a small man. All because of the considerable alcohol I had ingested that evening.
It had left me impotent. I had downloaded several MILF Hunter videos from Kazaa, but it was to no avail. How could I get an erection again? Through the act of writing? Perhaps if Graydon Carter offered me a moist kiss, with his reassuring cigarette breath, then I might be small no longer. Indeed, to smell was better than being small, and all it took was switching one vowel. How often had I had this conversation with myself? How often had I stared at myself naked in the mirror hoping that the New York Times might subsidize my writing therapy? It was only through writing an op-ed column that I might be able to purge myself of these demons.
My writer friends thought the ignorance was great. They knew that I was a perverted bastard and that I should probably take a break from thinking about sex for a few minutes. It was an opportunity, a buzz word, a way for me to take up cross-stitching, a hacky sack I could bounce on the tip of my nose to turn into a hacky sack I could ricochet off my knee. Their ignorance of my blog suggested to me that there were other parts of my body besides my penis. I had conjured up grand conspiracies that they were all out to get me. And perhaps they were.
Of course, like every blogger, I had checked my Technorati rating every ten minutes. I had been obsessively monitoring the links to my weblog even before I started blogging on a regular basis, even before I had a blog, ignoring the advice of my drinking buddy, who repeatedly intimated that there was a world outside my apartment.
“Get a life,” said another friend, who was more blunt than my drinking buddy. “Get over yourself.”
By 8 p.m., my Technorati rank was far from the top 100. I basked in the knowledge that I would never be a Boing Boing or a Gawker.
“You see?” my drinking buddy said a week later. “Now let me draw a picture of your penis, since you seem to be having such problems with it.”
I told my drinking buddy to put down the pen. He asked for a small payment to stop sketching.
And all it took was $256.88, which I slid across the table to my drinking buddy. My penis was erect the next morning.
Edward Champion is the author, most recently, of Return of the Reluctant, a weblog of little worth that you really shouldn’t be paying attention to.