Sally Forth

Hey, remember The Fourth of July, 2003? We don't, but found this in our archives:

Fourth of July Fourthiness.

Independence is on the march, patriots.

& Recently . . .

Kurt Cobain's Ghost with an Invitation to a Fourth of July Picnic and Fireworks by Angela Genusa

"B.L.T.": A Review by Will Layman

Ten Tiny Poems by Brian Beatty

Angry Words from a Gnome Who to This Day Continues to Think the Human Genome Project Was Actually The Human Gnome Project by David Ng

Key Party, N.Y.C., Circa Always by William K. Burnette

A Day on the Phone with Mythological Norse Firewarrior, Bringer of Storms by Aaron Belz

Polish Fact

Daily Newspapers:
Gazeta Wyborcza
Super Express
Nasz Dziennik

Weekly Magazines:
Wprost (rightwing)
Polityka (leftwing)
Newsweek (Polish edition)
Najwyższy Czas! (rightwing)
Przegląd (leftwing)

Learn a Foreign Tongue!

Impari L'Italiano
Buone notizie per la gente che ama le notizie difettose.
Good news for people who love bad news.

Y.P.aRt Gallery

Syndicate! RSD | RSS I | RSS II | Atøm
Large Print | Spanish Bea! Add to your Kinja digest Creative Commons License
This journal is licensed under a Creative Commons License and powered by Movable Typo 3.15.
© MMV, Y.P.R. & Co.
Tuesday, June 17, 2003   |    Fiction

The Global Male

by Diana Grove

The Italian Man

The Italian man begins his day by putting on an Armani suit, having a double espresso with a man named Sal, and gesticulating wildly about the price of leather goods and semolina. Sal agrees and gesticulates back. The Italian then saunters into work where he sells $150,000 worth of Venetian lace to Belgium with three brisk hand waves and something that resembles an air punch. Belgium is a bit intimidated, but that’s Belgium for you. The Italian man then meets his mistress, buys her a calzone, and makes love to her beside the Trevi fountain. Refreshed, he then saunters back to work where he meets a man named Piero who owes him money. After many even wilder hand gestures, the Italian man somehow ekes 300 liras from Piero, who has yet to realize Italy now uses the euro. Finally, it’s home to the wife and kids where a tremendous amount of pasta and veal are consumed, followed by his wife speaking loudly and insistently about olives. After dessert, he then meets his second mistress for a Campari and chocolates at the Piazza Navona where he tells her, “Your eyes are like curls of butter resting on the breasts of Aphrodite.” Whereas she replies, “A little to the left, you’re stepping on my foot.” The Italian man, full of gusto and the Roman night air, then saunters home because, Lord knows, in Italy a man needs his sleep!

The Frenchman

The Frenchman (out of sheer perversity) wakes up, dons a cravat, cuts himself a slice of Camembert and curses the Germans. After milking the goats and lustily “tossing une in Madame,” he then pours himself a delicate glass of syrah and curses the Brits. Next, he spends the better part of the morning in close proximity to water, yet refrains from washing. With much existential thought and mustache twirling, he may recite some poetry (all the while reveling in the superiority of his beautiful language) or he may not, depending on how the sun’s shining on the chamomile. After reading a bit of Sartre, (thinking to himself how much better he is than Schopenhauer) he bursts forth and performs bestial acts of hedonism on a young schoolgirl from Lyon (bestial, yet not brutal; he leaves that to the Australians). After several hours of French kissing, French fondling and French fornication, the Frenchman then ambles off to work. But first he must stop at a café to read Paris Match over a crème de cacao (or a crème de menthe, crème de cassis, or crème de la crème). When he finally arrives at work, the Frenchman spends much of his time sewing tassels onto see-through braziers, which he then sells to the Swedes at inflated prices. After a brief respite of Chateau de Neuf and a very gooey wheel of St. Andre Triple Crème, the Frenchman is finally ready to go home to a nice dinner of Crème de Frommage Froid. However, on his way he comes across Madame Lescaux who cries, “Oh, mon dieu! Remplissez s’il vous plait sans plomb! ” Which, roughly translated, means “Take off my panties, you French fool!” Naturally, being a good citizen, the Frenchman obliges. Then, they both straighten their mustaches and curse the Americans.

The Englishman

Being forced to wear brown and gray all day long makes the British do crazy things, like drink scalding tea or take over India. The average Brit crawls out of bed in the morning, knocks the mud off his galoshes, and then spends a good half hour repressing any emotions he may have for his wife, his children, and even his sheep. After sipping several scalding cups of said tea, he resists the temptation of making eye contact with his wife Doris/Margaret/Florence and instead asks, “Eh, luv, cud ya bring me a pla a blueberra crumblies? Theys a good gul then.” Which can only mean one thing, mainly, “Bring me muffins, woman, and bring them to me now!” The Brit would like to explain his passive-aggressive tendencies, but he simply can’t — possibly because of his tragically twisted teeth. So instead, he does things like shoot foxes, wear wigs in court, and invent tweed. Also, the British man spends a good deal of time trying to prove to the rest of the world that he’s not homosexual. Considering the number of rubies he wore on his hat, King Louis XIV didn’t do a very good job (and neither did that Queen Elizabeth fellow). After six or seven more cups of scalding tea, the Brit must then put on a brown hat, (called a “Brighton Bimbler”) motor into town, (in an “ol’ clinkering Clickity-Clack”) and then conduct his business (“layin’ a hoot ‘n’ a half on the ol’ palm presser, righty right?”). With that kind of language, how Great Britain controlled the majority of the world at one point is anyone’s guess. Finally, after supper, when the Brit’s done with his bangers and mash and lolly cakes, he turns to Doris/Margaret/Florence and decides it’s about time to “give the ‘ol girl a go.” Fortunately for everyone, she just lays back, closes her eyes and thinks of the queen.

The German Man

It’s rise and shine at 6 a.m. sharp for the German, for there are floors to be scrubbed, shoes to be polished, and ausgezeichnet lederhosen (i.e. “snappy, little leather shorts”) to be worn. If anyone should ever point out how foolish the German looks in his leather shorts, he will storm off in a huff and demand it “wasn’t his fault the Kaiser got beaten by the Nazis!” And he may be right. After waiting two extra minutes for the 7:12 train to Hoggstripperplotz, the German then looks sadly at his watch and, with a tear in his eye, remembers a day when all the trains ran on time. He also remembers a time when the pinklewurst didn’t taste like das Pferdscheisemitdreitotenkatzenoberesende (“horse shit with three dead cats on top”). For being such a robust, strapping fellow, the German does tend to become unusually emotional over such things as der Nebelaufderswartzwelderbaum (“the mist clinging to the Black Forest pine”), or the golden braids of eine kleinemadchenknopf (“the skull of a little girl”), and more often than not, grossegelbessenf (“large amounts of yellow mustard”). Oddly, he also has a soft spot for music boxes. How a 200-pound German man who stabbed a Russian foot soldier through his eye socket with a bayonet back in 1944 could be reduced to a pile of quivering flesh over a little, shellacked music box that plays “Edelweiss” is God’s own private mystery. Here’s what we do know: the German loves his mother, and that’s probably the only reason that Freud character ever became famous in the first place!

The Japanese Man

The Japanese man doesn’t ever start his day because he never actually ends it. He works for Suzuki/Mitsubishi/Samsung 24 hours a day and simply props himself against a wall for an hour or two so the cleaning woman can dust his Bonsai tree and empty his already empty wastebasket. (The Japanese man makes no mistakes, therefore he makes no waste.) He does, however, take time out for a business lunch that involves plenty of raw, shaved fish and conversation that includes the use of the word “Hi!” And if his lunch isn’t raw, shaved fish, then, by God, it’s green seaweed pressed, starched and folded into a cunning little pair of pandas dancing the Hiatsuki! The Japanese man is clean-cut, well dressed, and respectful of anyone who is not American. He has 1.6 children and is completely confounded that his son wears Elvis sideburns and a red and white Gene Autry cowboy suit. In a fit of composed rage he may quietly whisper to his wife (who lives in the company coat closet): “It is an outrage! That son of yours is an embarrassment to our race! Why did you not produce a daughter who we could simply send off to Rome to bargain shop?!” Her reply, of course, would be a brief yet succinct “Hi!” Due to the restrictive nature of his culture, the Japanese man tends to have rather excessive sexual fetishes. These can include obsessions with 250-pound black women with tremendous nipples, and just about anything having to do with gelatin. After the Japanese man achieves world domination through the manufacture of shiny, black electrical products, I suggest he lie down and take a nap. “Hi!”

The Afghani Man

The Afghani man is a career warrior. He has actively been at war for virtually his entire life. If there are no rebel warlords to be shot in the morning, he may wander off to the local goat-meat emporium and see if he can’t just rouse a good knuckle fight down there. First, however, he must wrap his entire head in exactly 164 feet of muslin, and then re-muddy the house. For Allah frowns upon a bareheaded man whose house “is without the glories of mud, or other mud-like substances.” In fact, in the down season, when the Afghani man isn’t busy killing warring factions, he’s hard at work selling “mud byproducts” like dirt, rubble, and dust, which he shrewdly exports to Uzbekistan. They then trade it to Kurdistan, who eventually sells it to Tajikistan, who then quickly trades it back to Afghanistan for a few truckloads of figs and a new beard. So as you can see, business is booming for the Afghani. Although reported to be a fiery lover, the Afghani man hasn’t actually seen his wife in years. However, he suspects that she might be hiding under that black sheet that keeps billowing over in the corner. When the Afghani man is done with business, he generally likes to unwind with a tepid cup of yak’s milk at the local arena. The most common sport he’ll find there usually involves a group of townsmen who gallop on horseback knocking a decapitated sheep’s head around with a long stick until everyone gets tired and also wants tepid yak’s milk. And don’t forget the half-time show—it’s Kabdulla Azari getting stoned to death for showing her ankle bone! Why the two greatest world powers want to take over Afghanistan is a complete puzzle to the Afghani man. Perhaps they want a direct link to more resource-rich nations. Or, maybe they just want to steal all of the country’s precious dirt and make a gigantic mud pie. The Afghani man doesn’t care; he’s prepared to shoot us no matter what.

The American Man

The American man is good-natured and works hard to achieve his goals before the age of 40. Unfortunately, his goals usually include memorizing all of the dialogue from the Godfather trilogy and maybe someday, somehow, touching a Super Bowl ring. This could be why the rest of the world hates him. Or, it could be because his government just blew the arms off of an 11-year-old Iraqi girl and replaced her house with a McDonald’s. The world’s really just too busy rooting around for lost limbs to decide. The American man doesn’t like to think about such things, particularly when production is up, up, up! So instead, he snaps into a white shirt and drives his SUV to his job at Dell/Macintosh/ Microsoft/Intel/Gateway, which offers excellent P.P.O.s, H.M.O.s and 401(k)s. Here, he is a back-slapper and a high-fiver and has tremendously bad taste in office furniture. The American man is extremely healthy, and due to excessive amounts of red meat and corn, is two feet taller than the rest of the world’s men. He does, however, think that the mole that’s growing on his back is starting to “look funny.” The American man has sex 2.3 times a week, which, because of his rich diet, produces exactly 2.3 children. His wife Lisa/Laura/Linda is also good-natured, but secretly wishes the American man was a bit more like the Italian. However, with their I.R.A.s they buy a BMW with A.B.S., G.P.S. and XM (which plays both CDs and MP3s with DS and THX) so she’s able to overlook it. Someday, she dreams of owning a $200,000 stainless steel oven that heats Lean Cuisine at about the same rate as a $300 GE. But this doesn’t bother the American man; he’s too busy mowing his lawn double-diagonally so it resembles the outfield at Wrigley Field. (That, and trying to find a way to sell a $6 cup of mochachino to the Middle East.)

Diana Grove speaks with a French patois even though her thoughts drift to the corn belt. Her work can be seen in Sweet Fancy Moses, Opium Magazine, and Haypenny.