Home Page Photo

The Big Stupid Review

Archives

American Dream Serialization (Early Chapters)
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Maurice Stoker
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Tom Bradley
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: American Dream Title Page by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 1 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 2 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 3 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 4 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 5 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 6 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 7 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 8 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 9 by Jim Chaffee
01-01-2015
Modern Tragedy, or Parodies of Ourselves by Robert Castle
01-11-2014
Totally Enchanté, Dahling by Thor Garcia
01-04-2014
Hastini by Rudy Ravindra
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 5 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
01-01-2014
Unexpected Pastures by Kim Farleigh
10-01-2013
Nonviolence by Jim Courter
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 4 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
07-01-2013
The Poet Laureate of Greenville by Al Po
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part VI by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 3 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
04-01-2013
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part V by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part IV by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 2 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
01-01-2013
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part I by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part II by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part III by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 1 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
10-01-2012
DADDY KNOWS WORST: Clown Cowers as Father Flounders! by Thor Garcia
RESURRECTON: Excerpt from Breakfast at Midnight by Louis Armand
Review of The Volcker Virus (Donald Strauss) by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
01-07-2012
Little Red Light by Suvi Mahonen and Luke Waldrip
TEXECUTION: Klown Konfab as Killer Kroaked! by Thor Garcia
Miranda's Poop by Jimmy Grist
Paul Fabulan by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
01-04-2012
Operation Scumbag by Thor Garcia
Take-Out Dick by Holly Day
Patience by Ward Webb
The Moon Hides Behind a Cloud by Barrie Darke
The Golden Limo of Slipback City by Ken Valenti
01-01-2012
Chapter from The Infinite Atrocity by Kane X. Faucher
Support the Troops By Giving Them Posthumous Boners by Tom Bradley
01-10-2011
When Good Pistols Do Bad Things by Kurt Mueller
Corporate Strategies by Bruce Douglas Reeves
The Dead Sea by Kim Farleigh
The Perfect Knot by Ernest Alanki
Girlish by Bob Bartholomew
01-07-2011
The Little Ganges by Joshua Willey
The Invisible World: René Magritte by Nick Bertelson
Honk for Jesus by Mitchell Waldman
01-04-2011
Red's Dead by Eli Richardson
The Memphis Showdown by Gabriel Ricard
Someday Man by John Grochalski
01-01-2011
I Was a Teenage Rent-a-Frankenstein by Tom Bradley
Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Fred Bubbers
10-01-2010
Believe in These Men by Adam Greenfield
The Magnus Effect by Robert Edward Sullivan
Performance Piece by Jim Chaffee
07-01-2010
Injustice for All by D. E. Fredd
The Polysyllogistic Curse by Gary J. Shipley
How It's Done by Anjoli Roy
Ghost Dance by Connor Caddigan
Two in a Van by Pavlo Kravchenko
04-01-2010
Uncreated Creatures by Connor Caddigan
Invisible by Anjoli Roy
One of Us by Sonia Ramos Rossi
Storyteller by Alan McCormick
01-01-2010
Idolatry by Robert Smith
P H I L E M A T O P H I L I A by Traci Chee
They Do! by Al Po
Full TEX Archive
Side Photo for The Big Stupid Review

El Castrator

By Thomas Head

pigs, between Spearfish and Belle Fourche, South Dakota, late 60s

The beast oinked, and it was a ruinous oink. The devil's oink. Then it charged. I shat myself, then leapt out of the way.

The Pork Menace came to be.

My father had warned over and over about the dangers of pigs getting loose. "That's more than lost bacon," he'd say. But then he'd leave it at that. And being twelve I wasn't interested enough to press the issue.

Until Clarence escaped.

Turns out, what's more than lost bacon is this: Pigs are the closest things to werewolves in the animal kingdom. Give the wild bastards a few months and their snouts elongate, they become blanketed in fur, and their tusks come to resemble jutting middle fingers.

It's odd, but I swear: They even start going for the crotch. Don't ask me why — something to do with an instinct to disembowel.

So the winter after he scared me and escaped, the townsfolk decided Clarence wasn't a suitably alarming moniker for anything with teeth like that, not when it's going for your wiener. They took to calling him El Castrator.

Spanglish?

By townsfolk I mean the residents of Kelly County, Florida. Hefty as a bull, they said. Swift as a deer. He could turn over a tractor with its snout, and the eyes glowed ginger as it stalked the town's crotches.

Most of which was bullpooey. But Clarence was a goddamn menace. He wrecked me. I mean, people are mean. You let a porcine monster loose, you'll know. They look at you like you summoned Satan's nephew.

"Better get that fucking thing, ya horse's ass!" they said.

"Okay," I always responded.

I couldn't really, I knew. Nor could I deal with it because my father had taken himself from a drunk to a miserable drunk. Which meant a lot of arm wrestling and apologizing.

So my little life was a rambling stream of telling my father everything was okay and pretending to be hunting the beast, as this allowed for both dodging malicious stares and retreating from all the arm wrestling. It also provided the privacy needed for my newfound, self-medicating hobby that I thought should not be discussed.

Until the afternoon the beast sought me out.

* * *

A shard of light pierced my mind's eye as I thought about the Ms. Martin's bare bottom. Wicked, wayward Ms. Martin. You are... so beautiful... to mee-eeeee.

tits on Bourbon Street, late 70s

Slut.

Was that a grunt?

No, calm down.

This day would be the same as ever, so relax—the darkened image of the pig, ever elusive, clad in sheets of thickly hair, silhouetted against the swamp's cypress stumps or the streaming greens of a willow—only to be a shrub.

The damned inescapable aggravation of it all escaped for those exquisite minutes.

Back to the matter at hand, radiant flashes of bulbous, pale buttock streaked across my imagination, or, at least, what little of it I could muster. My mouth tasted like mushrooms.

My God, that was a grunt.

That time, yes. It was a grunt.

And 20 more strokes didn't change the facts.

Sitting on the edge of stump, I felt a certain omnipresent sort of quiver that usually comes later. I was giddy, scared. One of my hands trembled.

"Goddamn."

There was a beast to be shot.

"Whew."

There was still a taste like mushrooms. A gun in one hand. Myself in the other.

"What is this feeling?"

While my eyes readjusted to the dimming light of the cypress forest, birds and more sinister things of my imagination scuttled and huddled under the canopy. The grass became a black carpet. A few breaths fluttered.

The grunts became closer.

Wild stirrings traced along my spine, the curious exhilaration of sitting still and naked. At vision's edge, something squeezed its way through a pair of trees.

A creak reverberated across the roof of trees.

Just the world settling.

A few snips of twig sent up a crisp, odd feeling. Rational parts of my mind stepped forward. I grabbed them. They pulled back out of spite until I had them in a chokehold under my mind.

The beast, there. I can see him looking now, stepping to me. Terribly cautious.

I worked the foreskin, tracing the spine from head to base, machine-like, back and forth down either side until the something dropped in a single, musty lump.

Just a few minute's work. I smiled. Forcibly.

I gave the britches a reach, but El Castrator skipped over his hiding place.

I froze, bent. The eyes glowed a little too ginger. Silver bars of hair stretched along his head. Tusks.

Its growl returned, independent of the mouth.

There was no way it was a growl, because my pants were not up, and that meant it couldn't be happening. I pretended I wasn't in the dark swamp. The rest of my brain screamed to run away.

El Castrator curled his lip, and out of it came a noise so low and throaty that growl hardly described it.

I huddled against the tree, peeing all over myself, trying to dissolve into the tree.

El Castrator, too close. He leapt at me, growling, wearing the grimace and snarl of a growling thing, but in the odd slowness of the air its posture was otherwise calm, sedate, and before I knew it, I felt a cool wall of tongue on my face, and I held him in my arms, lifting his friendly old girth onto the stump.

His curly tail wagging like a dog, El Castrator kept growling, a sign of porcine affection.

Where was that damn devil I kept hearing about? Right under me, looking at me with docile eyes that did not go with its growling mouth.

"Easy now, Clarence. Let's take it easy..."

My hands broke free of his affectionate, rooty nuzzling long enough to pull on my trousers.

In all his happy excitement, his forelimbs fell through the wooden ledge of the stump, rotten and hollow wood two inches thick, and soon, on my back, I held fistfuls of cheerful pig cheek, looking up at the growling beast against a ceiling of spiraling stars.

El Castrator stopped. Silent, he looked down at me.

I had an awful thought, which splashed on my brain slowly and with great coldness.

Then the son of a bitch butted me right on the forehead.

And ran off.

* * *

The mean old bastard and his entourage are in pious form as they come prancing toward the trailer. They play up the neighbors' stares and get even fancier because they carry the weight and bearing of the state seal on the side of their truck.

Dad stands his ground behind the trailer's curtain, has to hold himself steady against a stereo speaker.

He's got every right to refuse admittance to whoever the hell wants to refuse it to, and that state seal might keep fists from your nose, but it ain't going to guarantee you entry, not without a warrant. But Dad kinda melts when they get close enough. Opens the door.

"Sir, we need an audience with the boy. Where is he?"

"Ah, yup," he says, pointing me out.

I never look at Fat Bill as Dad after that, sending the men in without hesitation.

And here I am with this big empty table for them to just come and sit at—which they do, without so much as a nod or curtsy.

I have seen all sorts of men in my day, dark ones, light ones, and all the colors between. This man is clean like an angel, and the home they send me to is like heaven.

Sober people.

A private bathroom.

Ms. Martin and I...

And I think more and more about that pig. It might have been easier just to say I killed it. To let Fat Bill get back in his head enough to start pretending to be a father. But this way, something in it all is more attractive, more befitting that I brought it on myself.

Like I escaped. Like I am El Castrator, the werewolf pig.

I wish I could call him or something.

James M Chaffee, 1920-2007, with his pigs and dog, between Spearfish and Belle Fourche, South Dakota, late 60s

© Thomas Head 2007