Then there was the soul-sucking trash. One book I was forced to read was about four members of a gynecological office, three men and one woman, who go on a private boat ride. Two of the men and the women are then mesmerized into being taken advantage of by “Ralph’s tremendous penis” (a phrase that I believe actually appeared in the book. I once swore if I had time to get a band together ever again, I would name it “Ralph’s Tremendous Penis”). There were eight or nine hundred pages of frolicking in the stirrups, followed by another couple of hundred pages of revenge by the woman. The resolution involved local anesthetic and a surgical procedure that would have provided a wonderful transplant for some lucky recipient, had the results not been flushed down a drain. That, as I have described it to you, was a week and a half of my life that I will never see again.
Every day, someone in the office bore witness to genuine, breathtaking stupidity. Often they would stand up from a manuscript, their eyes wide, shaking like they had just been given terrible, secret news and walk out laughing madly.