Fifty Shades of Pubic Hair

Dec 24, 2012 | 1 comment

Yesterday on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday” host Rachel Martin talked with book critic Ron Charles of The Washington Post about the literary and linguistic phenomena which have sprung from the ‘romantic’ (some say “soft porn”) novel, Fifty Shades of Grey.  They talked about all the spin-offs – the articles, commentaries, and books that are Fifty Shades of Nearly Everything – of Tax Reform, of Grey Matter, of Santa, of Crazy.

What interested me most about the discussion was the information about the book’s beginnings as an e-book, that it went viral because of fan blogs and that each member of the publishing company is getting a $5,000 Christmas bonus!  In a climate in which many publishers are collapsing completely, the latter bit of news seemed huge.

So, of course, my thoughts went like this:  “I have a blog.  Perhaps I should rename it ‘Fifty Shades of Oysterville’ and put a kinky spin on it.  The goings on behind closed doors (or drawn blinds) in our little village, even historically, might increase readership and, somehow generate a bit of income…”

I could start things off with this excerpt from my Uncle Willard Espy’s 1977 book, Oysterville, Roads to Grandpa’s Village:

Aunt Dora justified the bawdiest story she ever told me as proof that even the most unregenerate sinner can be saved.  A certain Oysterville blade, she said, for years had been exceptional in his amorous successes, even against seemingly insuperable obstacles; if his current fancy was wife of the local Methodist minister, that only made the challenge more exciting.  His lack of fastidiousness gave him a head start; it mattered not a whit to him whether the female he was stalking was thin or stout, pocked or clear, red or white, young or old, wanton or virtuous.  The pleasure of the chase was all, and his percentage of successes was acknowledgedly phenomenal. To commemorate each new conquest he was in the habit of clipping off and binding with a thread a snippet of his love’s pubic hair.  These he kept in a brown paper sack, which on request he would produce for his friends, identifying the source of each snippet by its straightness, kinkiness, coarseness, fineness, or color.  The snippets ran the spectrum; some were golden, some brown, black, red, grizzled, or gray, and a surprising number white.  One youth was incensed to find a sorrel-colored specimen attributed to his own fiancée, whose hair happened to be a mouse brown; he charge that the hair had been clipped from a local horse, and a stallion at that.  But on his wedding night he found that her lower growth was as handsomely sorrel as the stallion’s.

When the brown paper sack was finally full, the young blade, by then less young, buried it in a secret place, married a fourteen-year-old virgin, and became a deacon.

If only Aunt Dora were still around!  I’m sure she had other almost-as-good tales of the same ilk.  Surely, “Fifty Shades of Oysterville” would put the village on the map and my bank balance on less precarious footing!

1 Comment

  1. Nancy

    As the year ends….Oysterville, the hotbed of hotbeds….For lo, these many years I have been unaware of the pubies of O’Ville that have now, gone public ! Great blog…


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