"You know what we called it when I was in high school? Huh?
"Beaver, for Christ's sake. Sounds silly now even just to say it."
I was sitting in my editor's office. He was ranting and raving as usual. Probably his boss had been on his case about something and he was taking it out on me.
"After that, all of a sudden it's Squirrel. Can you believe that? 'Squirrel this,' and 'Squirrel that.' 'Hey, man, I got me some SQUIRREL this weekend.'" Shaking his head. "If you got a look up a chick's mini-skirt it was called a 'squirrel shot.'
"Of course for the longest time it's been Pussy. Now that I think about it, Pussy was always kind of mixed in with the others.
"Who thinks up all these fucking animals anyway?" He was talking around the fat cigar in his mouth, lighting it and puffing.
Our building is a no-smoking area, but he says his office is his and anybody who wants to argue about it can shove an 8-inch shade-grown long-leaf Dominican up their ass.
I've worked for this moron for seven years. I'm the top-selling author for Red Velvet Publications, Adult Fiction in Paperback, 12325 Golden Blvd, just next door to the Pink Pussycat Gentlemen's Club.
My mother doesn't know I write dirty books for a living.
"So you've got the animal thing, then there's all those other words--you know, certain nouns and adjectives and those, you know those, uh, metaphors that smut writers use over and over that are ridiculous."
"Um, can you give me an example or two, boss, I'm kind of not...."
"Juices." He leaned back and puffed, he was loving this, feeling superior.
"'My hot juices were running down my leg.' 'He lapped up every drop of my pussy juices.' 'I could feel my warm juices....'"
"Right, okay, I get it."
"I mean who talks like that, for Christ's sake? Nobody, that's who." He punctuated with the long cigar. "It's pure smut-writer bullshit and I want you to change it."
"Change it? I'm sorry, I...." My lips kept moving but no sound was coming out.
I'm a we'll-spoken, articulate person, but I don't handle confrontation well. My thoughts sort of freeze up on me sometimes, like some of those chat boxes on the internet.
He gestured slightly with the cigar at the yellow legal pad in my lap, "Write these down. Juices, we already said that one. And add 'dancing.'"
"Dancing," I mumbled as I wrote.
"No more 'dancing eyes,' or 'our tongues danced together this and that' shit.
"Sounds like a fucking tango going on in their mouths.
"And milking! God, I hate that one! If I read that she 'milked every drop' one more time I'm gonna puke."
"No...more...milking." My head was drawing closer to the yellow pad as I wrote and I felt liking curling into a ball. He was grumbling something indecipherable about a cow.
Now he was staring out the window.
"Any more, boss?"
He puffed two puffs.
"Yeah, put 'dripping' on there."
"You don't want me to use the word, 'dripping'? Ever? For anything?
"No, no, no!" Like bosses the world over, he naturally assumed I could read his mind. "For pussy, dripping pussy.
"Angie and I've been screwing for thirty-five years and I never seen her twat drip once. Not like the way they write it in our books anyway."
I did my best to conceal my deep sigh. He went on.
"And get rid of all that 'exploring' crap. 'Exploring each other's body,' and 'Our tongues explored each other's mouth.'
"Dancing, exploring tongues. They ought to be in a Broadway show about Columbus!" He roared at his pathetically unfunny joke.
This went on for some fifteen or twenty minutes more. When I left his office my shirt was soaked through with the sweat of my misery.
I dropped the legal pad on his secretary's desk as I passed.
"What's up with you, Hot Shot? You look like hell."
I didn't stop or even slow as I walked by my desk and grabbed my jacket off the back of the chair.
"Where should I tell him you'll be if he asks for you?" she called to me as I reached for the door.
"Lunch. Next door at the Pussycat."
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