The Limerick Memorial, Sunday, May 10, 2009

Recent news coverage about erectile dysfunction made me think of this.

Paul Presser — whose real name only sounds slightly similar to “Paul Presser” — was a friend in the fading twilight of the Eighties. Paul was fond of chess and had devoted his retirement to playing chamber music on the violin, and my late-and-ex, who lived to listen to music, was a Masters Level card-carrying USCF player, so they seemed like natural buds. Unfortunately, as time went on, we realized that Paul had deeply imbibed of the TMI post-Esalen culture of soul-baring, and the embarrassing revelations ranged from particulars of his erectile dysfunction — for which, Viagra not even being a blue twinkle in Pfizer’s eye at the time, he had resorted to various penile implants — to his subsequent adventures in the world of personals ads.


Click for incredibly banal cover copy

Paul was a huge fan of a small book titled Adultery for Adults, which recast adultery in terms of “lateral enrichment.” Polyamory, or ethical sluthood, was not a well understood concept at the time, and anyway, Paul was one of those personal-freedom open-marriage advocates whom you could tell really didn’t want to be free and open and all that while looking his primary significant other right in the eye. Fortunately she never seemed to be around, not that this surprised us. I have met several guys who are evangelists for this kind of thing, and they all have the strained demeanor of a person with something to prove. It must be tiring.

The implant — to this day I remember the exact patent name of the thing and how precisely it was an improvement on the previous model — impressed Paul greatly (“I can remain capable indefinitely”) but apparently did not impress his cohabiting girlfriend, nor yet the women that he tried to pick up on the sly running lame ads in the local free paper. Probably the same issue as Viagra these days: women complain that they want affection and interest, not the services of a self-propelled dildo, which is what Paul began to seem like in our eyes after a while. L&X eventually made him the subject of a couple of limericks:

Said a girl to her Father Confessor,
“I am fucking a man named Paul Presser.
It has been quite a shock,
For he takes off his cock
And leaves it each night on the dresser.”

When I reminded my L&X that penile implants were, regrettably, not easily detachable nor was Paul getting any action at the moment — indeed, he had complained about how often he was driven to masturbate — he mulled it over and after several days brought this forth:

Paul Presser, in lieu of a screw,
Now jerks himself off in the loo.
This practice is grotty,
This poem quite snotty —
If I had to, well I’d do it too.

There was a certain elegiac blend of exasperation, compassion and bluntness in that last one, not that Paul would have probably seen it that way.

But god, the silly bugger could play Schubert. People are a mixed bag.

5 thoughts on “The Limerick Memorial, Sunday, May 10, 2009

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