Distorte is a collection of stories written by Pierce Gleeson

Archives Contact


Did anyone else feel that pang of nostalgia when the penis enlargement spam began again? It harkens back to a simpler time, when the slimy underbelly of the Internet just wanted to sell you pretend drugs for real money. No offshore investment accounts. No Nigerian princes.

And yet, there is an eerie poeticism in the new spam. One struggles to resist clicking the subtle draw of subject lines like “Your baby-maker needs to be bigger in order to perform its functions well” and “Don’t you think it’s time you stopped being a loser with a tiny penis?”

I’d always considered myself comfortably streetwise to unsolicited mail. But resolve weakens in the face of such hooks as “You have a big heart but a small penis.” I do, I do have a big heart! Ergo I have a small penis?

On Saturday night, alone and restless I address my clutter, both online and off. An e-mail: “Have you ever tickled her womb?” The simplicity of the sentence stops me cold. In an instant, my gut dissolves. My will breaks on impact with this unanswerable question. I have never tickled her womb. Such a notion is beyond the invention of some loathsome shill. Something is missing from my life.

The e-mail, when opened, is empty. I reply with a two-line inquiry that doesn’t commit me to anything. Almost immediately I get response containing nothing but a local-area phone number. Which I call.

A soft, confident voice answers. He knows my name, from the e-mail I hope. “I need to know,” I say. “To tickle the womb. What does that mean?”

“Pierce.” His voice is a deep, rich timbre. It is the voice of a man with repose. A man with a beard. “Pierce, you know what it means.” He sighs. “The first time it happened, my wife and I just started crying. It was so beautiful we started crying. Afterwards we held each other for hours, talking about our dreams. Talking about the infinite.

“The next morning I walked into work, rank and unshaven. I thought I had never seen anything so lovely as the sky, heard anything so lovely as the birds and horns of passing trucks.”

“It sounds wonderful.” My throat hurts.

“It was…” He falters. “It is wonderful. I have to tell the world, but they keep shutting down my websites. My message falls within a delicate area. I e-mail only as a last resort.”

“What do I need? How can I?”

He lists a handful of common household items and spends rather longer detailing step-by-step instructions. We say goodbye, almost tenderly, and I promise to call again with news of any progress.

The web is a gift. We must be thankful for what it has given us. We must be fearless of pursuing new horizons, new experiences that could serve to raise us from our narrow courses. Of tickling wombs, or having our wombs tickled, where applicable.

Written by Pierce Gleeson
Posted on the 12 Nov, 2007