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“Each of us has more than one sphincter. We have many sphincters, in fact. We have the most direct cognitive access to the one we call the ‘asshole’ because we spend time either consciously clenching it or consciously relaxing it. The point is: the asshole is under our conscious control. It’s a muscle, like the bicep - we can flex it or relax it. Not so with our other sphincters: the other sphincters are not under our conscious control.”

F. put down his pen, closed his journal and placed it on the sink. He felt a buzzing sensation in his whole body, the one he got when he made an intellectual breakthrough in his writing. As he wiped, he pretended he was opening his pyloric sphincter to let chyme run into his duodenum. Then he pretended he was closing it. Then he pretended he was his pyloric sphincter. “Sorry, no more chyme past the gatekeeper! I will decide who passes!” Then he realized he was wiping his ass sphincter with his bare hand. He paused, blinking, and then quickly but jerkily picked up his journal again, pen poised over page, his body almost vibrating.

“We need a feeling of control whether we have actual control or not. When we don’t have that feeling, we can lash out and hurt people. In this way, we regain that feeling.”

Enough work for the night, thought F. He licked his fingers and pulled up his pants. After locking his journal in The Vault, he went off to the den for a glass of claret.

Date Written: March 10, 2004
Author: John Slocum
Average Vote: 4.42857

03/15/2004 Will Disney: quickly but jerkily, eh? i was relieved to see you worked wine into this short.
03/15/2004 Ewan Snow (5): Hell, I laughed. Twice.
03/15/2004 Mr. Pony (5): This is very thoughtful. Also gross, and funny.
03/15/2004 anonymous: Disney: should have been quickly and jerkily, I fucked my conjunctions
03/15/2004 Craig Lewis (4): Another excellent Slocum effort. I am docking this short one star, to make up for my overrating of Slocum's earlier short, a vote that I now realize was based on a sentimental, rather than a considered, dispassionate reading. Four stars for the arch kid comes close to cronyism, and I regret the vote. As for the "quickly but jerkily": Disney's right. This is not Slocum's best prose. I'm confident Danko and others will recall an earlier Slocum text, written circa 1986, that began with a description of a keg party "of grandiose proportions." Surely we must all admit that, quickly but jerkily notwithstanding, the old boy has come a long way! I particularly cherish the fusty Old World atmosphere of the current short: the guy named F., the journal, the claret. Formidable!
03/15/2004 scoop: My funny sphincter yawned and released humors.
03/15/2004 scoop (4):
07/2/2004 TheBuyer (4): Heya John Slocum.
01/31/2005 The Rid (4): This was a five until he licked his fingers.
02/1/2005 John Slocum: Oh, you don't lick your fingers after wiping your ass barehanded? Yah, right.
02/1/2005 TheBuyer: Guess he's too good to suck shit out from behind his fingernail. Pfft.
02/12/2009 Mr. Joshua (5): If one types 'sphincter' into the Acme search function, 12 shorts come up. 6 of them were written by Slocum. We simply cannot overestimate his contribution to Acme's anal oeuvre.