(Staff members have generally elected to relate an anecdote from their past or provide a hint of their personal philosophy, in place of more conventional biographical information.)

Bill Bergendahl (Editor/Webmaster)
Heather Hathaway (Editor)
Edward Haven (Illustrations Editor)
Blangis (Illustrator)

Horace P. Hightower (Writer)
St. Fond (Epigrammatist)
Louisa Turlington (Writer)
W.T. Zumm (Writer)

Bill Bergendahl (Editor/Webmaster)
Always fond of a prank, Robert Bergendahl has chosen to recount an early instance of such:

"I spent most of my childhood summers at my grandparents, who had a house that fronted Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Here's a prank I played at that locale, when I was twelve:

"First, a couple preliminary items: 1) in Arkansas one may legally operate a boat without adult supervision at twelve years of age; 2) my grandfather had a trim fiberglass fishing boat, powered by a seventy-five horsepower Mercury engine that enabled it to attain to highly entertaining speeds.

"One afternoon the neighbor kid and I interrupted a water skiing session to stop at the fish hatchery and watch them feed the catfish -- a detour always worth taking, as the catfish were over four feet and extremely competitive during feedings. They'd open their wide mouths so that their upper lips were above water as they swam in rapid swishing circles, vacuuming up the floating food; they'd make greedy squawking noises, have territorial disputes -- savagely dart at one another, frantically thrash.

"The feedings seldom lasted longer than fifteen minutes; generally, we'd promptly hop back in the boat and resume racing about the lake. In this instance, however, our attention was arrested by a man with a rifle a few ponds away. Further investigation revealed he was shooting water moccasins and tossing their carcasses onto the pathway. The man was an excellent marksman: a small twenty-two caliber hole was in each dead snake's head. We collected the snake carcasses and tossed them in the bottom of the boat.

"As we roared over the wave crests at full speed the snake carcasses were being bounced about, writhing on the bottom of the boat as if alive: if we didn't know they had bullet holes in their heads, we'd have no reason to believe them dead. It immediately occurred to us we could make use of their lifelike appearance to fool others. We each seized a carcass, held it as we would a living snake -- by the back of the head, with its length coiled about our arms, taking care that its mouth was wide open to display the telltale white, as well as the fangs. We gleefully held them aloft while passing close to other boats -- were most gratified by the looks of amazement and alarm the spectacle inspired.

"We entered a cove where about a dozen middle-aged people were gathered on a party barge. At the sight of us youngsters -- myself twelve, my friend thirteen -- holding the snakes, seemingly unaware of how dangerous they were, they burst into cries of alarm. We laughed, informed them the snakes were "friendly as could be." I yelled, "Good try, but you're not going to ruin our fun!" We began calling them names, making desrespectful gestures. Torn between concern for our welfare and annoyance at our misbehavior, they weren't quite sure what to do. One woman told us to stop being "ignorant know-it-alls and listen for a change"; another man informed us the "harbor patrol would know what to do with us." My friend, overcome by an "Enough of this rubbish!" impulse, dropped his snake carcass onto the bottom of the boat, yelled, "Uh-oh!" and dashed towards the motor. I chimed in with, "Hit it with the fire extinguisher before it bites me!" The people on the barge were hanging on the railing, shouting. I, after gesturing for my friend to sit, thrust the acceleration lever down hard and our boat bolted from the cove: sheer euphoria! My friend and I were aching with mirth!

"Emboldened by the success of our adventure with the party barge people, we approached a boatload of college age girls and came to an idle adjacent to them. "Check out our snakes!" we shouted, stretching our arms -- about which the snake carcasses were intertwined, be it recalled -- towards them. They immediately realized what sort of snakes they were and began squealing with apprehension. One of them urgently pointed out we were holding cottonmouths and that they were aggressive and poisonous; she told us to toss them overboard before we received bites and died. We answered that we knew full well what they were and weren't afraid; that a violent death with plenty of foaming at the mouth and convulsions might be fun: the looks of bewildered disbelief that assailed their faces as a consequence of this pronouncement were priceless to behold! And then I -- eager to be the primary prankster this time -- yelled, "Here, have one!" and threw my dead snake into the bottom of their boat. How they screamed and scattered! One girl dove overboard, the others climbed onto the prow of their boat. All were too frightened to even think of scolding us. We were absolutely dying of laughter, doubled over, nearly in pain. Finally my friend, while still bowled over with laughter, managed to inform them the snake was dead -- ha ha ha! the torrent of rage that descended upon us pleased us to no end! "Faked you out! Faked you out!" we kept yelling with glee. Finally, upon hearing the drenched one express a desire to tan our bratty behinds, we called out "You're gonna have to catch us first!" and full throttled the motor, not neglecting to treat them to a flurry of mocking gestures and faces as we sped away. They didn't bother to give chase.

"Sunset was approaching and we weren't permitted to operate the boat after dark; being desirous of preserving our virtually unlimited daylight boating privileges, we always obeyed this rule. Upon docking, we tossed the four remaining snakes onto the lawn, and stood for a few moments wondering what to do with them: for such treasures were certainly not to be wasted. I'm unable to recall which one of us hit upon our subsequent course of action; but I do remember it was embraced with transports of delight, and immediately carried out. Quite simple: we visited the doorsteps of four neighbors who were less than enthusiastic about us playing in their yards -- assorted humorless dislikers of children who'd on various occasions rather uncivilly informed us to vacate their property; yes, visited each doorstep and deposited one of the snakes thereupon, carefully coiled into striking position with its head facing the front door, not more than a yard away. How we laughed to think of the expressions that would convulse the faces of these joyless souls the instant they opened their doors in the morning! Such a shame, we commented, that we wouldn't be present to witness these responses!

"Yes, it bothered us a great deal that we wouldn't be there to watch panic crease the features of the boorish faces of these killjoys -- our annoyance was threatening to dilute our delight in the joke. Finally, it was decided it would be impossible for us to sleep soundly without ringing the doorbell of the nasty young couple who outdid the others in rude shoo-aways, and concealing ourselves in some nearby pines to observe the result. So we rang and hid -- oh, priceless the hysterics -- outright shrieks -- of the wife, quick slamming shut of the door! We didn't press our luck, were soon racing parallel to the street while crouched low in a shielding ditch, smothering our mouths to prevent our mirth from becoming audible. Minutes later, we strolled into my grandparents' dining room: catfish, okra, and black-eyed peas were on the stove; hush puppies and cornbread were in the oven; a pecan pie was cooling on the counter. There's nothing like a home cooked southern meal: what a fitting reward for our labors! My friend and I kicked one another under the table throughout this dinner and exchanged provoking glances, in attempts to get each other to burst out laughing. Later that night we gave free rein to our sense of accomplishment, proudly recounted the highlights of our day again and again..."

Bergendahl resides in Manhattan, frequently visits Paris, and enjoys sowing confusion in public places with the assistance of undisciplined dogs.

Heather Hathaway (Editor)
Heather Hathaway grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts and attended Yale, after which she obtained employment at a bridal magazine in New York, where she met her good friend and fellow Sliptongue staff member, Louisa Turlington. Like her friend, she was dismissed from the said magazine for indiscretionary behavior.

"Well," comments Heather, "they really didn't know what to do with us; on the one hand, we were workaholics who wrote articles and provided ideas for photo spreads -- novel settings, mostly -- that went over well with readers; on the other, we neither dressed nor acted the part of what was generally expected of an employee. Again, we were both strict vegetarians who shunned drugs and alcohol and never called in sick a single day; at the same time, we were sex mad Goth girls who were often out all night dancing at lesbian clubs, bondage clubs, punk clubs; both of us went through more guys in a month than anyone else at the magazine probably did in a year. Our nicknames for each other were 'slut,' 'cunt,' and 'bitch'; I was singing one or two nights a week at various dives about town in a halfhearted attempt to launch a singing career -- mostly, I was just having fun: getting on every comp list, meeting a lot of crazies, becoming a fly-by-night name on the Goth underground party whirl. Louisa had a dancing gig at a biweekly Darkness & Angst fest; she'd deck herself out like an eighteenth century countess in a powdered wig and low neck billowing ball gown with several rips in it all the way up to her waist so that her legs flashed intermittedly and guys would be straining for a glimpse of nu-nu only to discover she was wearing a skimpy flesh toned G-string after all.

"One evening we were the last two at the office, having been determined to complete an assignment well before deadline so as to both be able to take a week off at the same time. A couple dozen wedding gowns had been sent on loan to the magazine by a department store in the hopes of obtaining a review (i.e., to provide the subject matter for the review they had paid for) and they were arranged on a long wheel about clothing rod thing in the hallway close to our cubicles. The two of us may have found the idea of matrimony silly and preposterous, but we couldn't deny the gowns were stunning -- the billowing folds of linen, silk, and satin cried out to be caressed, rubbed against one's cheeks, tried on. One thing led to another and, by the time we were exiting the building shortly after one AM to get in a few hours of dancing at some fashion fetish place, we were each resplendent in one of the gowns.

"Well, girls, I can assure you there's nothing quite like hitting the town in a six thousand dollar wedding dress -- frills and flounces flowing, lacy ruffs about the neck from the sides while cut low in front -- and the most flattering tuck-in at the waist -- but without the train, which would have been an obstacle on the dance floor. Yes, indeed, dress in an unexpectedly novel manner, take people utterly by surprise with some top-of-the-line getup other women don't have access to and your night's assured! I swear we could've been unattractive drabs instead of the cuties we are, and still the guys would've been pushing each other aside for a chance to dance with one of the girls in a designer wedding dress! We were the toast of the night, loud cheers greeting us from all sides. Towards dawn we were posing at the bar with light bulbs flashing, champagne glasses raised in toasts by those surrounding. That's when we incriminated ourselves somewhat, on account of all the bubbly spray showering around. The dresses became somewhat stained, from that and some purple spray dye that missed our hair and went on the frills -- the stuff was impossible to remove except by dry cleaning, something we hardly had time for. We got the gowns back on the racks before the office opened and hightailed it home. But when we reported to work at noon the blemishes on the satin had been duly noted and few had the slightest doubt as to who the bad girl culprits were: such was the first serious strike against us at the magazine. It remains for Louisa (see below) to describe the extra special violation of accepted behavior that led to our expulsion."

Edward Haven (Illustrations Editor)
Edward Haven spent part of his childhood in suburban locations, where he "indulged in a great deal of fantasy, occasionally enacted, so as to combat boredom." He continues: "There was a period in early grade school when several of us were obsessed with the 'Man From U.N.C.L.E.' reruns on cable, as well as James Bond. We lived in a new neighborhood on the outskirts of town, surrounded by ongoing construction. One weekend afternoon two friends and I were investigating a house-in-progress -- the frame and most of the siding was complete. We found an architectural blueprint by the fireplace, unrolled it on the floor, and entered a fantasy spy-world that transformed the blueprint into top-secret plans. And then, would you believe it? On the mantelpiece of the fireplace we found a book of matches with one match remaining. It was but an instant after the discovery of this lone match that one of us -- I forget which one -- shouted, "Let's burn the plans!" The suggestion was embraced with emphatic enthusiasm. We were shortly huddled about the blueprint. One of us launched into a speech about how the enemy was nearby and our lives depended upon the rapid destruction of the plans. We all flung ourselves onto our stomachs, aimed imaginary weapons at the corners, opened fire on those that appeared to kill us. Amidst the gunfire one of us very carefully lit the match (after all, we only had one chance) and set as many portions of the blueprint ablaze as the life of the flame would allow. Then we climbed out the front living room picture window space while continuing to annihilate the enemy, prevent any from reaching the plans in time to salvage something. But then a very real non-imaginary dark green pickup truck pulled into the driveway and a relatively harmless looking man -- rather short and chubby, close to retirement age -- emerged to enter the house. When he exited the house, however, there wasn't the slightest suggestion of harmlessness. From a distance we saw him (we'd, of course, already commenced running with frequent backward glances) furiously glance in our direction, and leap into the truck. He rapidly circled around to the next block on the other side of the half cleared lots in which we were ineffectually hidden, thus blocking us from reaching safe harbor in one of our houses, and commenced shouting from the passenger window -- something which struck authentic terror into us, lest one of the neighbors (all of whom knew us) hear him and see us and put two and two together. So we ran between the two streets straight towards the unpaved and well-wooded hills. We had, say, fifty yards to go. Realizing what we were about, the man leaped from the truck and gave chase on foot. I vividly remember the moment when we reached the creek embankment that separated the building lots from the beginning of the woods -- the leap I took, my stumble and fall on the far side: I was absolutely bursting with joy! -- picturing the angry man giving chase while rapidly scrambling to my feet, dashing into the enveloping cloak of the woods, laughing! There's nothing quite like that special emotional transition point when heartfelt apprehension gives way to an uprush of relief -- when a perceived danger becomes assurance of safety; and when coupled with the sensibility and excitable imagination of a child -- well, it's just pure bliss and wonderment! We had a grand time that day wandering the woods recounting our exploit, reenacting the high points, mocking the man in the pickup, assuring one another that we were future secret agents for certain and would live wild lives fraught with untold dangers we'd always manage to surmount."

Blangis (Illustrator)
Blangis (pronounced Blahn-jeess) is a native of Paris, France and presently lives in old servant quarters on the top floor of an eighteenth century building in Montparnasse. He occasionally works as a cab driver to make ends meet -- or, as he prefers to say, "so as to have plenty of play-around money." What variety of playing around does Blangis indulge in? He hints at whips and tie-up games -- a fondness for large seafood platters -- he's been known to slather girls in olive oil and squash oysters on their chests. He was once arrested for organizing a dance in the catacombs, the official charge being, "improper use of a historical site." He enjoys concealing himself in cathedrals at closing time, remaining within all night, and emerging with loud shouts of "Thank God you came along!" when the doors are reopened in the morning.

Early training? As a child, Blangis illustrated scenes from the Marquis de Sade on the basement walls of his grade school. Needless to say, he was disciplined by an unappreciative teacher, forced to write "I will not deface school or other public property this year or any other year in the country of France" one thousand times. As a teenager he conducted many serious anatomical studies, after bribing a school acquaintance to allow him entrance into his uncle's mortuary after hours. Blangis was expelled from college on account of having attached life-sized caricatures of the authorities to the walls of the entry hall.

It will perhaps be noticed Blangis does not sign his illustrations: this is because he prefers to ejaculate upon the backs of them instead. In his own words, "After all, does a mother sign her name on her child? Of course not! But her child emerges from the womb covered with birth-slime! Well, such is why I ejaculate upon my illustrations: it's birth-slime!"

Horace P. Hightower (Writer)
Boulder, CO native Horace P Hightower has chosen to relate an anecdote from his college days: "Finally, in my junior year of college -- having fulfilled the annoying two-year obligation of residing in a dormitory -- I was able to move off-campus, into a building famous for the funloving disposition of its inhabitants. Nor did it hurt that the superintendent was an attractive thirtyish woman who enjoyed availing herself of the willingness of male students to show her a good time, and gratefully turned a blind eye to student shennanigans. There always seems to be a killjoy in the mix, however, and my new building was no exception.

"Three doors down from me resided a short, prematurely balding, already pot-bellied, thick-spectacled lout who disliked just about everyone on sight, and ceaselessly complained and threatened, and occasionally summoned the police. He walked in a hunched over monkey like manner and was incapable of passing anyone in the hall without darting them a hostile glance. One afternoon a girl -- sweet-tempered, in the second semester of her freshman year -- was playing music in her apartment, and the lout stormed into the hall, screamed, 'I've had it!,' and began pounding on her door with a hammer. Her next door neighbors -- two Brazilians on the soccer team -- came into the hall, sarcastically asked him if picking on a girl made him feel like a man, and offered themselves as someone to pick on instead. The lout had yelled, 'You're all sick!,' stomped back to his apartment, and slammed the door. On another occasion he barged straight into the apartment of the two girls who lived above him just as they were leaving for class, and raced to their bathroom. When they caught up with him he was on his hands and knees examining the base of their bathtub, shouting that he was fed up with the fact they never used a shower curtain, and were constantly flooding his apartment. When they truthfully stated they never failed to use the shower curtain (which, after all, was there in full view), he called them irresponsible lying sluts and said he wasn't fooled by the fact they'd mopped up their floor to conceal the evidence (another 'fact' that was a concoction of his imagination). Only when they threatened to call the police did he finally leave, albeit while yelling additional insults.

"By the second semester our patience was exhausted: we were students, after all -- for the most part barely emerged from our teens -- and we were going to play music at all hours as loud as we pleased; and we were going to use the whole building as the boundary in endless games of tag and water-balloon and firecracker wars; and we were going to have weekend parties in which the doors of several apartments were left open in welcome with kegs in each; and we were going to ride the mini-bike up and down the halls and play soccer in the halls; and we were going to purchase cheap electric guitars, play them badly at volumes loud enough to make the whole building shake; yes, we were going to do all of these things despite this clown who stubbornly refused to move to a building more suited to his preferences.

"One Friday the lout heatedly announced to a couple people in the hall that he was going away until Sunday night to take a break from us 'animals,' and stormed out the front door with a pack strapped to his back. Later that night three of us were joking about doing something unpleasant to his apartment; before long, we decided it would be disgraceful not to replace joking with action. The unpleasant something we decided upon was the following: Saturday morning we obtained a bucket of blood and mashed entrails from a butcher across town, lined a large cereal box with a plastic bag, and poured a portion of the bucket's contents into the box. Then we pressed the sides of the top of the cereal box together so that it could be pushed under the open space at the bottom of his door. Once the top of the cereal box was worked under his door, we jumped on it, thereby propelling its contents into the interior of his apartment. We repeated this process until the bucket of blood and entrails was empty, taking care to angle the box in a different direction each time and splash as much of his apartment as possible.

"By Sunday afternoon, it being warm spring weather, the lout's apartment was reeking of rotten meat. That evening, we placed a few strips of yellow Police Line: Do Not Cross tape over his door and also attached a sign that read, Homicide Scene: Keep Out and awaited his return in my apartment. Naturally, the lout didn't believe the tape and sign were real and instantly tore them down. But when he opened his door and perceived the bloody mess within, as well as whiffed the stench, he became utterly unglued. Nonsensical wailings, verging on out-and-out terror, were heard. He exited the building, but wasn't gone for long. When he returned he was screaming -- always to an empty hall, with no one venturing outside their apartments -- that he'd called the police and they'd disclaimed all knowledge of the matter and had not put up the tape; that he knew he was the victim of vandalism; that the police were on their way to make a report. Nothing, of course, was ever proved.

"Suffice to say the killjoy finally realized he was unsuited for life in our building, and that we were rid of him by the following Wednesday. A celebration was held on Friday -- our first and only toga party, billed as The Balls Out Bacchanalia of the Century, replete with flowers and cuttings of ivy taped up and down the hallway walls, chariot races (dollies with girls astride, towed by guys with ropes wrapped about their waists), wild animal hunts (baggies of water-soluble red dye flung at guys in gorilla suits), a Miss Rome pageant (the catwalk a row of tables placed side by side), champagne in place of beer, Orgy Here! signs above the entryway of every room, a hacking-to-pieces in effigy of a reproduction of the departed lout (a large sheet stuffed with straw savagely beaten with pool cues), and -- lastly -- Roman candles discharged up and down the hallways."

Hightower now resides in New York; his favorite activity is "forgetting what day it is by whatever means available."

St. Fond (Epigrammatist)
Epigrammatist St. Fond hails from a small town in northern Alabama, not far from Memphis, Tennessee. "The quintessential southern small town," he writes, "a picture perfect place to die for: two 19th century churches, one Baptist, the other Presbyterian; a number of regal mansions from the plantation days; well groomed gardens in every yard; Spanish moss festooned oaks three centuries old; a town square flanked by the county courthouse, jail, police station, assorted merchants; a cathouse -- Fisher's Bait Box -- in the nearby swamp. Such an appropriate name for a cathouse: those talented girls do indeed fish with the bait of their twat boxes -- fish quite charmingly, with the assistance of lacy frills and flounces, immensely stimulating perfume, wild piled high hair, fresh magnolias pinned to their temples, the sweetest purr voices, smiles that promise all and more than deliver! Oh, Southern womanhood! I do declare I'd die of an unmoved heart in the northern states, where southern belle fixes would be few and far between!

"Yes, indeed, here's something that no Yankee will ever encounter in his home state: I dash into an all-night supermarket in Memphis for a bottle of juice and box of crackers after one AM, and what greets my eyes at the check out? The comeliest brunette is operating the cash register. She's wearing a short white summer dress with red lace borders, white heels, a perfect jangle of silver bracelets, pearl earrings; her hair's half fastened at the top with an oyster shell claw clip, half falling about the sides of her face in perfect curls; her makeup -- eye shadow, lipstick, mascara -- is impeccable; she's penned in a beauty dot just to the upper right of her mouth and has wrapped a scarlet choker about her throat; but -- oh, her crowning glory is the large white floppy petaled hibiscus attached to the side of her head: only a southern girl would think of that! And, furthermore, a bit of chit chat reveals she's a student who only has time to work two nights a week; in other words, Yankees, she's not dressed thus for a date or any other occasion; incredible as such may seem to you, Yankees, she's simply a girl at work -- a girl at work in the most lovely glorious south!

"Yes, I pity you, Yankees: we are accustomed to such uplifting sights and warm personalities and easy laughter and kidding and -- oh, just wordlessly soul uplifting charm! -- in places where only badly dressed drabs are to be found in your states! Our women know how to bring a bit of heaven down to earth; they dress the part and are the part, charm incarnate! Our hookers have more social tact and discretionary finesse and tender generosity at their disposal than your most popular debutantes; our belles make your haute couture prima donnas look like the clumsy fumblers they are! I couldn't be paid ten thousand a day to live in your dreary towns! I'm a southern man, and damn proud of it!"

St. Fond now resides in Atlanta; he has a magnolia tree in his front yard and happily allows the neighbor girls to help themselves to all they require for decorative purposes.

Louisa Turlington (Editor)
Louisa Turlington grew up in Danbury, Connecticut and attended Vassar, after which she obtained employment at a bridal magazine in New York, where she met her good friend and fellow Sliptongue staff member, Heather Hathaway. Like her friend, she was dismissed from the said magazine for indiscretionary behavior.

"Heather has given some general background information regarding the two of us and told a story of one of our naughtys (see above); it remains for me to tell of the final indiscretion which led to our expulsion from the magazine:

"So we were alone at the office again late at night; unlike in the instance cited by Heather, however, we'd blown off a deadline instead of being eager to meet one ahead of time, just like students writing term papers on immensely tedious subjects the night before they were due: such is the reversal in attitude towards the place we'd undergone in under four months. Yes, we were bored -- more than bored, out and out disgusted -- we no longer really cared if we continued to be employed at the magazine or not; the more we attempted to whip up some meager amount of enthusiasm between ourselves, commence working in earnest, the more we relapsed into cynical comments pertaining to the inanity of our responsibilities. After all, what did we care about ceaselessly grinding out maudlin articles about every conceivable aspect of the wedding ceremony, manufacturing endless romance novel fantasies, enveloping our readers in fuzzy rose-tinted auras of false expectation? Our present assignment concerned churning out a series of write-ups about assorted manufacturers of wedding invitations -- covering the design options available, waxing poetic about what such-and-such a motif symbolized -- all really nothing but a lot of advertising disguised as a feature article -- nothing but the veiled pitching of the services of a number of businesses who'd paid for the privilege of being written up in a flowery manner.

"'It's a living,' we attempted to inform ourselves for the zillionth time. 'It's the rent and food until we decide what to do with ourselves -- all told, not a bad way of supporting ourselves while we play about like the irresponsible youngsters we are.' But on that night we just weren't inclined to wholeheartedly feel ceaselessly putting on an act -- being considered up-and-coming representative spokeswomen for the marriage ceremony industry -- was something worth tolerating for much longer in any shape or form; at the very least, we were beginning to feel the whole shoddy business was going to be conducted far more on our terms: our employers could take us or leave us, we wouldn't lose any sleep over it if they decided we were more trouble than we were worth. Yes, the Devil-May-Care was steadily building a home for himself in our discontented hearts -- there's really nothing quite like the feeling of having achieved a certain amount of distinction in the professional world, constructed a nice career, and rather cavalierly going about the business of sabotaging it, flinging the whole mess away!

"No, we weren't going to get any work done on that night: why not just chuck the assignment, and hit the town? -- why not log on to that hot club site with the jealously guarded password, find the latest stylish sleazy manner to while away the nighttime hours, some private floating party where kinkiness reigns? But, no! Why not, it suddenly occurred to us, log on to the same site and bid the town come to us? Yes! Why not schedule a fling on the following night at our place of employment? It was a Friday, no one would be at the office again until Monday morning: we would be able to summon some decorator friends, caterer friends, set up a bar and buffet table in the extensive back storage/photography studio area, put on an impromptu Web site and word-of-mouth advertised dance -- we would be the destination of the ultra hip and discerning for this one Saturday night! Suddenly our lethargic turn of mind disappeared; all the enthusiasm we'd lacked when confronted with our work assignment rushed to animate us, enfever us. We absolutely pounced on the phones; no sooner would we call a key person than that person, in addition to providing their own assistance, would volunteer to call someone else; thus, within roughly two hours, just about everything was arranged: the following night after eleven (just to be on the safe side) over a dozen people would turn up to assist us in transforming the studio area into a party zone.

"Suffice to say that by two AM Saturday night (technically Sunday morning), people were buzzing the intercom and providing the requisite password -- 'Aphrodite' -- to be admitted. What a time we had! The premises, as it turned out, were ideal: there was a catwalk and stage for the presentation and photography of the latest wedding gowns, complete with lighting and sound system; and plenty of room, once the clothing racks were wheeled away, for a dance floor. By four AM the festivities were at their height: school girls and transvestites alike paraded up and down the catwalk while bathed in swirling purple, orange, red, and blue light -- the latest gothic and industrial music blared -- the dance floor was so crowded an objective observer would have no trouble supposing a group groping session was taking place -- alcohol flowed, sushi sustained the level of physical expenditure -- rolls of colored crepe paper were being flung, howls of joy and approbation pierced the hammer-beat of the music, couples conducted mutual pleasure-explorations alongside the shadow-draped walls.

"Well, eleven o'clock Sunday morning arrived with none of us being much aware of it -- and certainly the revelry would've continued well into the afternoon, even into the following night, were it not for an untimely interruption. Would you believe it? One of the magazine's owners -- one of those people seldom seen but always heard from by way of policy implementation, cost-saving measures, public relations campaigns -- decides to treat her teenaged niece (visiting from Atlanta) to a tour of the place. My-oh-my! The spectacle that greeted them! By that hour most of us girls were topless -- lovers were entwined on the catwalk, stage, portions of the floor -- the lights and music were swirling and pounding full force -- debris littered the floor. Well the niece, I must say, appeared to rather enjoy the surprise and very likely made a resolution right then and there that she'd attend college in Manhattan so as to be able to participate in gatherings such as ours as quickly as possible. Auntie, on the other hand, was less than impressed. 'Who's in charge?' she rather heatedly demanded of several people, 'Either tell me or the police will ask the question instead!' Heather and I, taking the woman at her word, stepped forth and attempted to mitigate the situation. We succeeded somewhat: provided our friends took their leave immediately, the police wouldn't be involved; further, provided we took it upon ourselves to restore the room to its original condition, nothing would appear on personnel records. Alas, our resignation was also required: we would remove all belongings from the premises and not return again. All things considered, not an entirely unreasonable way of being dismissed from employment, considering the number of rules we'd violated. And people were quite accommodating with references afterwards: after all, no one had ever disputed the quality and popularity of our work."

W.T. Zumm (Writer)
W.T. Zumm hails from a small town in Wisconsin, located on the shore of Lake Michigan. "Rather similar to the Pawtawnwee of my column," he laughingly admits. "And no, we were never treated to the fine circumstance of a Chicago Madame setting up shop and considerably altering the inclinations of some of our residents -- as a town not too far away was fortunate enough to experience -- but there were many surreptitious, beneath the veneer, goings-on which flatly contradict the common conception, by non small town residents, that little out of the ordinary occurs in such places. Yes, the human spirit will out! The primal urgings common to all of us will not, in all cases, permit itself to be forced into the background at all times by the assorted morals and codes of manners steadily promoted by the church, chamber of commerce, and town newspaper. Civilization is an attempt to keep nature at bay, but nature is the source of our body temperature and blood flow; small town public opinion is an attempt to see to it people lead lives unlikely to attract attention, but whispered gossip is secretly thankful for those who've strayed far enough from the norm to provide some engaging entertainment. And it's, quite simply, impossible for all individuals to resist supposing they're the ones who are entitled to 'get away with it'; just as it's impossible for others, urged on by a trifle too much accumulated desire, to avoid becoming resentful of and bored with the community spirit variety of behavior; and, well, sex is a fact of life -- and sex wears many costumes, encompasses many subcategories which steadfastly avoid open admission -- and, hey, a beautiful woman is a beautiful woman, regardless of whether she's married to the mayor -- and, sad to say, those united in the common cause of town stability and prosperity may not be inordinately fond of each other personally and, before they're half aware of it, scores are craving to be settled. In short, people can't help but have an uneasy relationship with contentment; despite themselves, they've generally got to do a few -- or great many -- things during the course of their lives which they dare not tell to many others or any other or even to themselves. Small towns are not exempt from human nature. And so, without further prelude, I shall provide an example of socially discouraged behavior from my town:

"Half the kids in grade school knew that the wife of the most successful builder in town routinely stripped and stimulated herself before the large picture window in the living room on the first floor in the back of her house at approximately eight o'clock while her husband remained at work. She was fond of wearing rather conservative dresses of mid-calf length and it was immensely absorbing to watch her raise them to her stomach, above her breasts, up over her head, and cast them aside; the contrast between the staid image such dresses presented and the black lace panties, garters, and brassieres underneath was quite striking and heightened the impact of her nakedness far more than if all her clothes had been of a risqué nature. Of course, that was nothing compared to the ripe voluptuousness of her body; I never tired of watching her sultry curves emerge from the frumpiness in which they'd been intentionally concealed; a variety of stunned awe would overcome me -- which I don't mind admitting, being as I was in but the fourth grade. The smooth glistening white of her complexion, ample breasts, dark patch of fur between her firm symmetrical thighs: such was the stuff my daydreams were made of for the good part of a year. And when she undid the tight bun of her hair, shook her head until that long cascading mane of curling darkness splashed over her shoulders!

"Yes, indeed, we received quite an education -- such as how brassieres, panties, garters, and stockings are unfastened, slipped off, rolled down -- such as how a pair of firm round laughing breasts sit on a woman's chest once the brassiere is removed, their slight dip downwards, engaging bounce in time to vigorous strides across the floor -- or how those same breasts flatten against a woman's chest when she stretches out full length on a couch and arches her back -- or how a woman goes about stimulating herself, the finger ticklings and probes; and the aspect her features assume when she's approaching climax -- the rhythmic tightening and relaxation of her stomach, closed eyes, open mouth -- the breathing that's forceful enough to discern visually, convulsive tautness -- and then writhing, gasping; her arms suddenly fall limp at her sides, spread thighs suddenly close; she lies blissfully absent for a spell: yes, indeed, an invaluable education! -- extremely pertinent, life-altering, information for children of grade school age!

"One night a man in his early twenties, relatively new in town, who worked as a substitute teacher, house painter, and charter fishing assistant was chatting with our adopted schoolmistress on the couch we knew so well. We assumed she'd summoned him indoors to discuss some fine point pertaining to the paint he was applying to the house. Perhaps she had; in addition, she obviously hinted at another variety of service he could provide. He stood rather abruptly, seized one of her wrists, and yanked her upright in a manner that didn't seem to be kind; but she was laughing, playfully slapping at his waist. They circled to the rear of the couch; he suddenly grabbed her by the nape of her neck with one hand, bent her forwards over the back of the couch, pulled her dress up to her shoulders, removed her stockings and panties, and crouched nearly out of view behind the couch while continuing to hold her in place. When he stood upright again he had a shoe in his free hand, with which he commenced to spank her rather fiercely; he appeared to be yelling; she was writhing, grasping the couch cushions with convulsive hands, tearing at the fabric with her nails, all the while displaying a face that appeared to be wavering between exultation and abjection. His arm continued to flail; far from lessening the force of the blows, he seemed to increase them; from our hiding place in the shrubbery, we could see the twin white globes of her beautiful buttocks changing color.

"We were none too pleased to see our beloved educator being treated thus; we were tempted to race to the window, rap on it, and yell in an attempt to get the man to stop. We were dissuaded from intervention, however, on account of the audible cries of pleasure which were soon absolutely bursting from her lips: "More! More!" she was yelling amidst deep throaty wails of delight, "Harder, my champion! Harder! Beat your bitch!" Well, I must admit we were divided as to how to feel about our Goddess reveling in such treatment. A couple kids appeared to be under the influence of authentic revulsion and horror; others were blatantly amused; I, if I remember correctly, was utterly fascinated: a spanking produce so much overwhelming pleasure, how could that be? But our teacher's pleasure was beyond dispute; and how lovely she was when twisting against and clawing at the couch and exhorting her partner to hit harder! How heavenly the look of rapturous absence which overcame her face shortly after the spanking commenced! Certainly she was far happier with her new partner than when stimulating herself alone, with only her hand for company! Yes, I remember very distinctly thinking I must be gazing upon the most beautiful woman in the world and that she had the most magnificent look in her eyes that it's possible for any woman to have: my admiration was redoubled. And how I envied that man!"

Sliptongue Staff Bios
© 2001 by Sliptongue





Home | Fiction | Illustrations | Epigrams | Romans
Liaisons for Laughs | Random Frivolity | Weblog
| Hightower's Antics | Reviews
Pawtawnee Chronicles
| Poetry | Fiction Archives

| About |
| Submissions | Links

Copyright © 2001-2013 Sliptongue
unless otherwise noted. / All rights reserved. Reproduction
of material, in whole or in part, from any Sliptongue pages without
written permission is strictly prohibited.