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The Old Man flaked the crusty net onto the deck. He cast off the lines and pulled the heavy oars through the still, pre-dawn harbor water. Would there be fish enough to feed his family for another day? Would another squall come and blow him off shore like it had so many times before? Why wouldn’t Maria let him fuck the little brown boy from the village? Once clear of the quay, he set the canvas and made fast the frayed hemp sheet. He wished the boy were there.

Two miles off shore he cast the net and let out the sheet for a slow downwind run. Out of habit and nostalgia for the days of his youth, he dropped a line baited with smelt, though it hadn’t yielded him a big one in years. But after only a moment in the water, the line started to run. He cleated the end to the center post and watched as it disappeared over the stern. Once the line was gone, the boat lurched to a stop and then began moving aftward quickly. He pulled in the net, which was still empty, just to keep it from getting fouled in the line, and then slowly worked the line hand over hand. But every time he felt he was making some progress the fish would dive and the line would cut through his worn leathery hands. Blood dripped and splattered on the gunwale. He imagined it was the boy out there, and he was ripping the flesh of the Old Man’s leathery hands with a switch. It was good.

And so he continued late into the afternoon, and all the while the fish dragged him further out to sea. If only the boy were there, and he could feel his downy rump against his face, all this fishing wouldn’t be so wearying. The sun set and the moon rose and just as the Old Man felt his hands would hold no longer, the great beast jumped from the water, its rippled sail glistening in the moonlight. He saw the beast’s cold black eyes and he was reminded of the boy. A growing stiffness set in his oilskin trousers and he redoubled his fight on the line. The sting of his hands was gone and all he saw before him was the glory of the fish, the glory of the boy. The hours of fighting had worn the great beast as much as it had the Old Man. The beast rose to the surface, nearly limp, only thrashing his powerful tail now and again. The OLD MAN lashed him to the side of the boat and made sure he was fast. Then he peeled off his grimy oilskins, climbed over the bloody gunwale and fucked that fish with his worn, leathery penis. And it was good.

Date Written: July 15, 2004
Author: Ewan Snow
Average Vote: 3.5556

07/20/2004 John Slocum: someone's a little liar!
07/20/2004 John Slocum (5): Nice tail.
07/20/2004 scoop (4): The ending feels a little pedestrian for such a sweeping tale of adventure and daring in the high-sea and the mind's eye. But excellent descriptions of boats and pedophillic longing.
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow (3): More moderate monolith crap, carefully written but ultimately gay.
07/20/2004 qualcomm (3): yes, i quite agree with this ewan character.
07/20/2004 qualcomm: i mean, i just don't hear an original voice here, and originality, which my writing has in spades, is the most important quality in the universe.
07/20/2004 qualcomm: hello?
07/20/2004 Stash (3): actually, that's a rather unoriginal statement, Beef Jerky. i think you're all dried up.
07/20/2004 TheBuyer: hi!
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Stash's sense of irony is impeccable.
07/20/2004 TheBuyer (4): agree with unilith; th'seastuff descriptions play nicely, but that fish has no vagina. 3.5 rounded up
07/20/2004 qualcomm: yeah, Stash o' Weed, what Ewan said. puns and wordplay jokes are corny, Mus-Stash. (see how dumb those are?) maybe you'd be happier at jokes.com
07/20/2004 Craig Lewis (4): Shouldn't you mad drunken poet-visionaries be a bit more magnanimous towards those of us who, due to a cruel cosmic fluke, did not enjoy colorful Welsh boyhoods, and are incapable of prose-poetry which is magnificent, rampant and untamed -- prose-poetry, in other words, which recalls nothing so much as a magnificent, rampant and untamed stallion? Anyway, I'm not so sure this "carefully written" piece is by a member of the alleged monolith. In fact, I think it's Maniacs, fuckers.
07/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Is Slocum part of the monolith?
07/20/2004 Craig Lewis: This isn't Slocum.
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Wait a second, Danko enjoyed a "colorful Welsh boyhood", didn't he?
07/20/2004 John Slocum: I'm quasi-lith. not mine, I hate all things nautical.
07/20/2004 Craig Lewis: I think Danko's a Scotch Highlander. Slocum: what in FUCK is ice wine? I saw it on a menu the other night and was confused and angered.
07/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Not mine
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: It's sort of like Bud Ice. It's just a marketing gimmick from the major vineyards.
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Slocum's first comment, “someone's a little liar,” was prescient. This is Lewis if I ever saw it. Note the nonsensical denial and curious blame shifting to Maniacs. Trust me. I’m an expert on these matters. Also, I’m deeply offended by Lewis’ racist use of “Scotch” to describe Dylan. Calling Dylan “Scotch” is like calling Mr. Pony “Oriental”. While Mr. Pony may have an “Oriental” rug, and Dylan may drink “Scotch”, the former is “Asian” and the latter is “Scotts” or “Scottish”. Thank you.
07/20/2004 John Slocum: Smells like Newton or D.C. or WH or Brookline. who cares? I enjoyed waking up and reading this, yes well written, yes relatively unoriginal. I thought it was "funny" in a non-explosive way, and interesting the way the fisherman's desire for the boy spurred him on. Also, if you're like me and you've fucked a few fish, you'll know how fucking satisfying it can be.
07/20/2004 John Slocum: Sorry, disney, it could also smell like stoughton, or lexingberg, or concord. Where were you from again?
07/20/2004 Craig Lewis: Snow: you know my soul, and you see through my ruses. (But Pony is not Asian.)
07/20/2004 Craig Lewis: Slocum, as I told you when I reached you on the phone in the cave at "Cru," my first guess was Scoop. But then the tricky bastard had to go and four-star the short, and I can't figure why he would be bothered with that kind of preemptive ploy. It's not in Scoop's character, and it's a violation of journalistic ethics. Which is why I've settled on Maniacs. (Even though I wrote this short.)
07/20/2004 TheBuyer: Mr. Pony is equine, I thought.
07/20/2004 qualcomm: it's not so much the careful writing that bothers me in this as the old joke. the old man and the sea is a very old and very specific target.
07/20/2004 Craig Lewis: I agree with the OSS's last statement.
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Everything about this thing sucks. It exhibits the typical failings of its class and the class of BL hominids which wrote (and praises) it. I should have given it a two. O moderate short! O moderate, moderate short!
07/20/2004 scoop: Never read it didn't get the reference. But I really liked that book he wrote about those killers in Kansas. Since we're all guessing here, i just assumed it had to be Matza. Since I have been shown to have the most powerful perception of style-deduction, it stands to reason I remain right on this point.
07/20/2004 scoop: Hey Snow, why doncha tell us how you really feel, huh fella? huh? Haha.
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Because I'm trying not to be too insulting.
07/20/2004 scoop: Hi-Ho!
07/20/2004 qualcomm: i actually thought this was yours, snow.
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: FU
07/20/2004 John Slocum: I thought it was sausage.
07/20/2004 qualcomm: well, you know OSS' golden rule: when in doubt, it's disney.
07/20/2004 qualcomm: (or lewis)
07/20/2004 anonymous: Langston Cawthorne wrote this.
07/20/2004 Stash: sweet-n-sassy Sausage: yes i do see how dumb your jokes are, but i don't mind that you pointed them out for me. it was actually kinda cute.
07/20/2004 qualcomm: really? is your russian twat percolating as we speak?
07/20/2004 qualcomm: (sorry, i meant your 'gorilla salad')
07/20/2004 Stash: no. sadly, my poor imported twat is weeping without your fat meat stick here to fill it up. tears abound. perhaps that was the dripping you heard?
07/20/2004 Stash: (salad reference? you must be used to tossing it, what with all the homo in you. no worries, i'll strap one on for you.)
07/20/2004 qualcomm: i won't be dragged into a war with someone who's too dense to know when she's out of her depth.
07/20/2004 Stash: who are you calling "she" ya fairy? oops, sorry, i'm way out of my league here. nevermind.
07/20/2004 qualcomm: maybe you're not so dense after all!
07/20/2004 Mr. Joshua (2): Elements in this short (fixation on a brown boy, stylish [and in this case, cribbed] writing devoid of any substance) make the authorship all but certain, unless tomfoolery is involved.
07/20/2004 Stash: just where it counts.
07/20/2004 TheBuyer: like this brown boy?
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: groan
07/20/2004 TheBuyer: what'n samfuck...the Achmed date thing. pardon my link.
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Buyer, huh? (The groan was for stash)
07/20/2004 Stash: Snow: you loved making that groan.
07/20/2004 Craig Lewis: I look forward to the humiliation of my smug (to borrow a Snowism) detractors. I'll meet you here at midnight to accept your groveling apologies -- and will administer schmackums as that time. Meanwhile, after all the WH rhetoric about Brookline group-think and the monolith, etc., it's curious to find Mr. Joshua parroting the WH line about "stylish writing devoid of any substance." How'd you ever come up with that line of reasoning, horsey boy? Does the Sausage have any other Jew-siblings who care to comment on this question?
07/20/2004 TheBuyer: whoops! timing. the link was crap, i wasn't jumpin in on the other stuff.
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Lewis, will this crappy short you gave a four to (and probably wrote) suddenly improve at midnight?
07/20/2004 Mr. Joshua: Lewis: I said that tomfoolery might be involved; so if you really did not write this, whoever did, wanted us to think that you were the author. This was probably a set-up to "expose" the WH monolith. I'm not parroting any lines...I haven't seen or spoken to Ewan in at least six months. Now you may say that I'm just copy-assing what i've seen him write on the site, a fair enough argument. All I can do is give you my word that my criticism comes from the heart, and is not written to bait you or as a proxy attack. Incidentally, I have no quarrel with stylish writing. But what is this short conveying? I don't see anything.
07/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Joshua, how would that "expose the WH monolith"? Because OSS and I didn't like it? Doesn't the fact that it's not very good come into play?
07/20/2004 Craig Lewis: Mr. Joshua: whether or not you've seen or spoken to Ewan is beside the point. You're right, I was implying that you were copy-assing what Ewan (and Summer Sausage) have said repeatedly on the site, and while I'm willing to take your word that your criticism is heartfelt, perhaps you understand why I was suspicious, given the close resemblance of your post to the party line, and the ad hominem nastiness of its phrasing. I just ate a delicious sandwich.
07/20/2004 TheBuyer: what kind? I had really terrific chicken schnitzel and a V8 in the sunshine. I love sandwiches.
07/20/2004 Mr. Joshua: Ewan: The author (if it was not Lewis) may have anticipated that we would jump all over it, thereby "proving" that we WHers foster the very same groupthink of which you and Lerpage accuse the Brookline monolith. Lewis: My criticism was overtly and nastily personal. I should have focused on the weakness of the short, rather than engaging in the time-honored acme parlour game of divining authorship. I apologize...tough day in the rackets.
07/20/2004 Craig Lewis: Mr. Joshua: don't worry about it. The Buyer: smoked turkey on pumpernickel. Yum.
07/20/2004 TheBuyer: ooo pumpernickel, git down!
07/20/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan (4): Well, I'm not speaking for the rest of the Hawaiian monlith, but you haven't lived until you've had a good fish-fuck.
07/20/2004 Jon Matza (3): This vote proves I'm either part of or not part of one or more monoliths.
07/21/2004 scoop: You cad!
07/21/2004 John Slocum: Snap!
07/21/2004 Craig Lewis: An amazing stunt!
07/21/2004 Ewan Snow: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
07/21/2004 qualcomm: what did we learn here?
07/21/2004 Richard Bachman: Nothing, I hope.
07/21/2004 qualcomm: oh shit, bachman's here? dude, i loved 'The Long Walk' and 'Rage'. and 'Taking Care of Business' - man that song is sweet. "You get up in the mornin' to the 'larm clock's warning, take the 8:15 into the ci-ty!"
07/21/2004 Mr. Joshua: Snow, you bastard.