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—The Importance Of Being Frank—


At the end of this story, a Frenchman will be eaten by African driver ants.

                                                  * * *

Silvie closed the stall door behind her; she closed it timidly, with an empty expression on her face. Her hand shook. She paused for a moment, her mouth half open, her lip curled upward, and a frown on her forehead.
Then she walked over to the wash basins.
A fly buzzed between her and the mirror. She turned on the faucet, filled her cupped hands with water, and splashed it on her face. She looked at the stall's reflection in the mirror, closed her eyes, and slapped herself.
Let us slow down to take in the sights. At the exact moment Silvie's hand hits her cheek, everything seems to halt. But as we look closer, we see that the fly still flies: it now only edges through the air. Water droplets merely drift away from where skin met skin in an entirely unapplauding clap. Glittering in the light, they paint a halo slipped from its place. But let us see the girl!
Silvie is left-handed and French. She is wearing a ridiculous amount of makeup, applied with the mentality of someone painting a wall, not a picture. Silvie is fifteen years old and very beautiful, if not for the makeup. The slap-ripples now creeping across her face lend her the expression of someone stuck between a traffic accident and a kiss.  
The action resumes with a clap and a splash.
Silvie shoveled more water onto her face. After a moment of hesitation, she started rubbing at her makeup with her palms, then grabbed some paper towels, wet them, and removed what she could. She looked at her paint-smeared face; next to herself, she saw the stall's reflection. She shook her head and fled the bathroom.
Which led her into an American diner in the anonymous Midwest. A waitress smoked a cigarette under the no-smoking sign; she had an empty, happy smile on her face. Silvie felt reminded of the Buddhist monks she had seen on the Discovery Channel the night before.
There was only one customer besides Silvie's family: an old man, sitting on a corner bench, right next to the door that led to the unisex bathroom. He was reading a magazine that had naked people (mostly female) on its cover. Just as Silvie walked past him, he let out a roaring laugh, never taking his eyes off the magazine.
For your information: he was reading pornographic poetry.
Silvie hurried past a little faster and sat down on her chair after eyeing it suspiciously.
"Silvie, darling, is anything the matter?" asked her mother. She spoke fluent French, but there was a certain flatness to her accent.
Silvie said nothing and poked her toast with a fork.
This is what had happened inside her head fifteen minutes before:
I get up, excuse myself, and find the bathroom. I feel guilty; I wanted to eat less; I have to go again, and that means I've eaten too much today, because why else would I have to go so often; I have to lose weight, lose, not gain. I take stock of what I've eaten today: the toast, yes, and breakfast this morning, and, oh, two cookies in the car. I hate American food, but they've got chocolate chip cookies down to an art. Still, I shouldn't have eaten them, but Mom and Dad were not-talking in this way that meant trouble and when they do that I get all nervous and I need chocolate and I need to lose weight, lose, not gain! And then Stefane was whining that he was hungry again and we stopped here and I ate all this toast and I don't want to end up with a fat little brother; was I like that at his age? Everyone will make fun of me; Mario will make fun of me!
I open the bathroom door and take a deep breath. I remember the most perfect back in the world: so smooth and curvy in all the right ways. I remember how he pushed out of the swimming pool, how his muscles played their muscle play, and it's not like he's got a lot of them, but I think there should be some sort of book that lists the most perfect backs with pictures of them, just so Mario can be in there.
I close the stall door behind me and sit down. American toilets are weird. I hardly know a dozen English words, but I can read everything written on these walls. I decipher "Mark wants to fuck Susan" and I wonder if Mario will ever want to fuck Silvie.
"Not as long as you are wearing that horrible makeup," says the toilet. I jump; almost soil myself; what the hell? Who was that? Calm down, it was only a...
"Yes, that would be me. Hello. Right beneath you."
"You know how to speak French?" I ask. The moment these words leave my lips, I realize how pointless that question was. Kind of like "are you awake?" One moment later, I realize I'm talking to a toilet, and I stop worrying about pointless questions.
"You wouldn't believe the things I know. Sit on me again! I won't bite, and I like the warmth of your legs. Let's chat about Mario."
I pull up my trousers, think about flushing for a moment, decide against it, and flee the stall.

Silvie gave no answer. She poked her toast and clenched her teeth. A drop of water, makeup-cyan, traced her cheekbone's curve. From her chin it fell on her toast. She pushed the plate from her.
"I am hideous!"
No one said a word.

                                                  * * *

Delphine, Silvie's mother, opened her mouth for a moment. She blinked and then closed it again. After another moment of indecision, she looked at her husband and raised her eyebrows expectantly; he looked away. Delphine sighed.
Stefane grabbed the toast from Silvie's plate.
"Hey! I wasn't done!"
"But you cried on it and then you pushed it away."
"I didn't cry!"
Delphine got up a little too abruptly. All eyes were on her.
"Excuse me," she said, "I have to use the bathroom."
Her family remained silent as she walked away. Now it was her husband's turn to sigh.
Inside the stall, she retrieved a little leather bag from her simple white purse. She opened the zipper. First, she took out a small plastic bag and ripped it open; there was an alcohol-drenched swab in it. She dropped this swab to the bathroom floor and used a lighter to set it on fire. Then she filled a tablespoon with water from a little flask. Next she opened a little paper envelope and shook some white powder out of it onto the spoon. Finally, she leaned forward and held the spoon in the flame, cooking the mixture.
"Heroin is bad for your skin," said the toilet.
Delphine raised her eyebrows and smiled.
"Heroin also doesn't cause hallucinations, especially not before you even inject it," she said.
"I'm no hallucination," answered the toilet.
"That's what they all say. How come you speak French if you're an American toilet?"
"I was fabricated in France."
Delphine looked at the ceramic bowl incredulously; she saw a little "fabriqué en France" sticker.
"And how come a place like this can afford a French toilet?"
"That is a mystery," said the toilet.
"That it is. Now if you don't mind, I have a drug-habit to please here." Delphine now spoke English.
"Matter of fact, I do mind. I worry about your undying soul."
"What, will my soul get wrinkles too?"
"Do you know that your daughter is madly in lust with an Italian boy named Mario?"
Delphine paused. A frown crept into the smile. She leaned back on the toilet, removing the spoon from the flame.
"She dreams of him day and night; in her dreams he hits her and tells her that she's worthless, because this is the only contact she can conceive of; because it is better to her than indifference. You have asked her if she finds any boy 'cute'; you asked her in this awkward mother-voice and I remember how you bit your cheek then. She said nothing, but a minute later she dropped her glass on the floor. She cut herself three times trying to clean up before you had to take over. We call this passive-aggressive behaviour, and it manifests itself in children who have found no other ways of venting their unhappiness. You vacillate between apathy and overcompensation because you have never learnt to be anything but the best at what you do. You must accept that parenting is not an exact science, not a sport to excel at. It is in your nature not to accept failure; thus, you hide in the only private place you have left and do the only thing you've kept a secret from your family. Delphine, you must realize that as a mother, you don't need to be great; you only need to be there."
"Why the fuck is a toilet lecturing me on motherhood? Can't a girl have a decent high without moralizing furniture anymore?"
"You left 'girl' behind many years ago. And I lecture you because I can. I am a sentient toilet, and with your feculence I absorb all your worries and your secret thoughts."
"What's a feculence?"
"That which is feculent. Biological waste."
"Why didn't you just say 'crap'?"
"I happen not to like that word."
"And how come you know 'feculence'?"
"I had a professor of English on me a week ago."
"Right. So why the hell are you a sentient toilet?"
"Another mystery."
"Let me guess. You're actually a prince. If you think I'm going to kiss you..."
"The point of a mystery is not to know its answer."
"Then answer me this: why should I abandon what has comforted me so many times? I know there is happiness in this spoon, which is more than can be said about the group of people sitting out there, probably still not-talking in such a dramatically meaningful way."
Meanwhile, the mixture in the spoon had become cold and flaky.
"Because it's a bad trade-off. You gain short term pleasures at the unreasonable price of long term happiness. There is no greater accomplishment than the memory of a happy life."
For a long time, Delphine said nothing. From time to time, she closed her eyes. Finally, she cleared her throat nervously.
"Will you promise to be silent if I throw this shit away?"
"Upon my honour."
She discarded the flaky contents of the spoon and the rest from the little paper envelope into the toilet.
"There. Have a party."
"You've made a good decision."
"Oh, don't think it's because of anything you've said; it's because you said something at all. There is a certain silent agreement between me and any piece of ceramic I sit on; silent being the keyword. Despite my devious past, I'm still not quite okay with the thought of urinating on my conversational partner."
To this, the toilet remained silent. Delphine wiped, flushed, and exited. Closing the door, she noticed some graffiti and smiled. It said:
"Man, I'm so high; I swear I can hear the toilet talk to me."
As Delphine flicks the light switch, we slow down once more to have a careful look at her face. Maybe an honest emotion will betray itself. Due to our slow-down, the sound of the toilet still flushing behind her dies away like a record slowed to a standstill. The clicking of the light switch is a distant earthquake, hardly audible. As the darkness creeps across the woman's face, we see a frown invade her amused smile. But it is impossible that a frown would last for but the time it takes the photons to travel from neon lamp to floor, so we must have been mistaken.
"What?" said Delphine.
It's been years since my last hit of acid. 'Flashbacks,' they said, 'is what happens to other people.' Seems I'm other people now.
'No darling, with drugs I have no problems,' I told him. The adorable fool! He smiled and nodded and gently corrected me: 'That is good to hear, sweetheart,' he said—and how unnatural that word sounds out of his mouth—and continued, 'but the proper syntax in French is "I have no problems with drugs." Don't worry, you'll get there some day. After all, Finnish is quite unlike French. It is astonishing you speak French as well as you do!' And all the while he looked at me with those confused eyes and they said 'it is astonishing you stay with me at all', and it's not astonishing, it's atonement. Self-punishment. Social flagellation.
Inferior people shouldn't be aware of their inferiority. It makes them so repulsively humble.
I had no plans to stay with him this long. How did this happen? Years drifted by in a sort of brown haze. I will miss brown. I must eat things befitting a food poisoning soon. Yes, that will be the way to do it.
Forgive me father for I have killed. That's quite alright, my daughter. Say five Hail Marys, marry a Frenchman, and go through cold turkey in the comfort of some shabby American motel. Praise Jesus!
And who the fuck uses semi-colons in their graffiti?

Just in case you asked yourself the same thing: it was the aforementioned professor of English.
Delphine walked out of the restroom. She saw a man reading a book with what seemed to be crude erotic drawings in it. From time to time, he laughed loudly. His teeth were ceramic-white.

                                                  * * *

When Delphine sat down at the table, she placed her hand on her husband's thigh. She hadn't done that in a while, Pierre observed; after the fight that morning it was the last thing he would have expected. He got up clumsily, excused himself, and made his way to the lavatories after pushing his chair back under the table properly.
Fifteen minutes later he sat down again with the most bewildered expression on his face.
"Darling? Is anything the matter?" Delphine asked.
"I'm still hungry!" whined Stefane. They ordered more toast for him.
"That man..." Pierre finally said to no-one in particular, looking at the old man still reading his strange book, "he looks like my father."
I am in the stall and I wait. I examine the walls around myself again. I wait for something to happen.
The stall door opens. A man comes in. This must be the father. Oh well, let's see what's on his mind. He sits down on me. I wait for the influx of emotions, thoughts, and other matters.
I feel his nervosity. It's not proper her touching me in public places like that arousing who knows what in me and after the fight this morning she's doing it to mock me, she's doing all to mock me, she's married me to mock me, or to mock France, or God, or herself, who knows. The woman is out of control! I should have stuck to a nice, proper French woman; eventually there would have been one who'd appreciate an orderly, settled man like me; I don't drink, I don't swear, I don't smoke, I don't use God's name in vain, I...
Ah. That kind. Well, this explains the other quasi-psychoses. I'm careful to apply the label psychosis after the student of psychology two months ago; her thighs were so warm and firm, and all she thought about was what she had been studying for her exams. That was a welcome change. Most people seem to come to me to worry, to turn some irresolvable matter around in their minds while passing on highly solvable matter to me, as if they expected advice from below. Well, time to give it to this man. Let's see how long he will last.
"You need to loosen up," I say and wait for his reaction.
For some time, no reaction comes. He sits still; very still. Then he carefully parts his legs and looks down at me through them. What does he expect? A face? He looks up again and shakes his head. Ah. The doubting Thomas type. I persist.
"A father is his daughter's lighthouse in the sea of men. What he is, she will look for in all other men for the rest of her life. You're nothing. You're polite and well-mannered and friendly, and you possess all the personality of a white sheet of paper. Ruled. She is lost and has washed ashore on the island of abusive love."
"What?"
"Forgive the poetry; I'm a little high."
"Who is this?"
"Hello Pierre. I will be your toilet tonight."
"But you're speaking!"
"Thank you, Captain Obvious."
"Is this some sort of TV show?"
"You'd make an awfully bad TV show guest; we'd need to invent at least a quarrelling ex-wife who'd later turn out to be your sister. No, you don't have what it takes to be interesting to a TV audience. As a matter of fact, you've never been interesting to anyone at all. When your wife met you at your office's Christmas party, she had decided to take the most boring man she could find home with her that night. And she did. How did you end up like this, Pierre? Tell me about your childhood!"
And he does, but not with words. I see a dog he loved; I see the dog carried off to a veterinarian, to be put to sleep; I feel Pierre cry for his dog; I feel guilty, very guilty: I have lost the paper from the mail man, the paper that said my dog could live, and daddy is yelling at me for losing that paper, and he yelled at mama before, but he didn't yell at her for losing a paper, and I don't know what he yelled at her for, he said zoophile and pervert and other big words I don't know yet, and then he came and he yelled at me and he said that now Juan would have to be put to sleep, and I don't understand what the problem is because he goes to sleep every night, and sometimes he even dreams, mum told me he dreams of chasing rabbits and he makes funny sounds when he dreams, but now daddy's taking him away and somehow I know that this putting to sleep is different. And I cry and I...
The stream of consciousness and urine goes through me and into the sewer, where they both belong. I see things Pierre did not see: I see his father apply a sledge-hammer liberally to the dog. I see him bring the dog into the veterinarian's office, speaking of a horrible accident, and crying a tear or two when the doctor tells him there is nothing they can do for the animal. I see the same animal, before the hammer episode, alone in the bedroom with Pierre's mother.
I see sausage spread.
What is wrong with French people?
"Listen, Pierre. What your father did to you was wrong; it was not your fault. You are the victim here."
Sometimes I wished I was a couch. He still doesn't answer; clearly, he's not very much at ease.
"You need to loosen up; take some risks in life; bad things will happen—so what? What kind of Frenchman are you anyway? You're more boring than a German. Go out and live a little."
Common-places, but they will have to do. That leaves the son. Let's see what I can do for him.


                                                  * * *

"I have to go too," said Stefane and left the table.
"Yes," mumbled Pierre, "you have to." He looked at his daughter, who was trying to see her reflection in a spoon.
"You know," said Pierre, "I think you're the most beautiful clown I have ever seen."
She looked at him, for a moment not sure whether to laugh or to cry. Her mother laughed first. She joined in.
A little later, Stefane returned, sat down, and pushed his plate away.
"Ça veut dire quoi, 'eat more fibre'?"
And so they left. Mary cleaned their table and frowned at the uneaten sandwich. When she had brought all the plates into the kitchen, she walked through the empty diner to the restroom. Inside, she looked at herself in the mirror, started washing her hands, and said to no-one in particular:
"You know, Frank, you really oughta be a bit more subtle. You go on like this, you'll end up making us all famous. And we don't want that, do we?"

                                                  * * *

The next vacation took this family to the Serengeti; there, Pierre passed out drunk and was eaten by siafu, African driver ants.
Preview goodness!

You probably know my stance on previews on dA if you know me at all: I think that they're almost ALWAYS absolutely useless, that many writers waste a lot of their time fiddling with previews, and that sometimes they're even harmful to the cause of dA lit by confusing the sheepish multitudes and making them fav they pwetty pwetty picture.

But sometimes you happen across pictures that were meant to be previews :)

From my early days here on dA, I've basically used previews provided to me by two people: `moeffju and ~zyphryus. The latter didn't join dA for a while. Now Lydia, that is ~zyphryus, had not read Frank. I know! I couldn't believe it either. When I found Fortune Cookie Recipient 2 in her recently uploaded devs, I thought she surely must have read it. She hadn't.

I don't really think there could be a better preview for Frank ;) She's given me permission to use this picture, and this is one of the times when I think that a preview actually adds something to the story.

Please comment on Lydia's deviation if you're commenting on the picture.

EDIT: Welcome to the new Frank.

This is the most up to date edit of this piece. And fuck has it taken me long to get there. It's about as polished as it will ever be now. I owe enormous thanks to `GunShyMartyr, *IfrozenspiritI, `alienhead, and AdinaJ from [link]

You really want to read the PDF version of this. You can find it :pointr: HERE :pointl:


If you must read this on dA, here's the usual bit:

Please use ~NekoDramon's deviantLit Friendly Format script for reading this; prose should be read without linebreaks between paragraphs and with indented first lines. If you're using IE, well, sucks to be you. Get Firefox!

--

Here is the original artist's comment for historical reasons:


This is my contribution to Contemplicity: Confluence. Contemplicity is a group of writers (as far as I can tell mostly from dA) that sits together in a friendly forum atmosphere. Every now and then, a "theme" is proposed, a special forum is opened, and entries are being workshopped for that theme. These entries are then submitted by e-mail and a panel of judges wisely chooses which of these entries are good enough for issue inclusion. I say wisely because they chose this ;P

Those of you who've read my "How To Write" will have a certain sense of déjà vu. That's French. I really don't hate the French as much as it seems.

This piece contains the word "fuck" in the meaning of "insert penis into vagina and do the squishy squishy"; I've not flagged it as mature because, honestly, come on. I'll reserve the mature flag for when said vagina (or penis) is beyond its 60th year. Which it is not, in this case. I think.
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2005-04-19
Literary toilet humour? If that sounds too oxymoronic, well The Importance of Being Frank by =Bringa is not, to be frank, an artistic turd. Call it pretentious toilet humour. But don't take my word for it. The piece is short - go and read it for yourself! ( Featured by MinorKey )

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

Please sign up or login to post a critique.

:iconeldrow:
elDrow Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
I don't quite remember how I stumbled with this, but I'm glad I did. It was an excellent and fun read. Absudist, but to the point. Really liked it. :)
Reply
:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! I'm very glad you stumbled over this. It started as an example in a stupidly didactic "how to write" piece and then decided it wouldn't be happy as just an example. It's very silly and absurd, as you point out, but I still think it's funny ;)
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:iconeldrow:
elDrow Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
XD Yes. It is hilarious. Found myself holding back a chuckle on a boring meeting. So, I guess you saved me from a boring meeting as well :)
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Always glad to be of service. Next time you're stuck at a boring church service, read Bound to Wood: [link]
Reply
:iconjenalee:
jenalee Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2011
This was a wonderful read!
I had to back-track a couple of times to gain a grasp on who (or what) was speaking/thinking, but other than those bumps I found this story to be absolutely unique, highly creative, and definitely worth the time! :D
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Cheers :)
Reply
:iconhappysmileygal:
happysmileygal Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, I have seen the many many critique.

Which is really why all I'm going to say was WOW
that made me laugh so much! I mean, I know people think I am strange, but my sister shooting me 'those' glances every time I laughed was...

So, as a writer I shall tell yout his now - I am jealous. That was so good! Really! I saw your How To Write thing and at first I was a bit skeptical - you cannot learn how to write, it comes naturally and all that stuff. Then you mentioned the toilet comment and how it started this.

SO naturally I went. And was be-wowed.

Vell done! :D
Reply
:iconcazilu:
Cazilu Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2007
I love it! I really, really loved it. I so wish I could be as good a writer as you!

So much for Advanced Critique, huh? XD
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:icontivovovo:
tivovovo Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2007   Writer
i like.
Reply
:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
very nice
Reply
:iconrainbowcarnagexx:
rainbowcarnageXX Featured By Owner May 9, 2007
Hellow there. I see the other comments here all appear to be crticism and praise from advanced intellectuals. I'm not one of those, i just like reading stuff, and your "stuff" was really really excellent!!! Woooo i liked it very much, im going to spread it...
xxxxxxx
Reply
:iconcza24-9:
cza24-9 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2006
this made me laugh. wonderful! What kind of Frenchman are you anyway? You're more boring than a German. :giggle:
Reply
:iconleezil:
leezil Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2006
congratulations on a very original piece.

i enjoyed reading this story immensely.

i found the opening line very captivating and straightforward, which is a welcome change as opposed to most prose pieces.

i love the quirky humour and the subtle description of Frank.

i hope to read more of your work in future.
Reply
:iconbananaprincess:
bananaprincess Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2006
Absurdist and touching. You've already got a ton of comments here, and I'm not going to read them all, so sorry if I repeat anything. I loved most of it, the only things that bugged me were:
-The "just say no" portion of the Delphine and Frank's talk. But really, it's hard to forge new territory when a character's giving up drugs. At least a toilet's giving the lecture.
-The part when Frank tells Pierre about being his daughter's "lighthouse." Ugh. But that's probably more of a personal reaction on my part.

Lots of humor here, but the part that made me literally giggle aloud was, "'I was fabricated in France.' Delphine looked at the ceramic bowl incredulously; she saw a little 'fabriqué en France' sticker." Don't know why.

Yay for correctly used semicolons, in bathroom grafitti and otherwise.

Oh, and admiring hot male backs--how did you know? I want that book Sylvie thinks of!
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
It creeps me out how much women relate to my female characters' thoughts ;)

Dislike the bit about Delphine getting off the drugs myself but I couldn't see another way to do it, 'cept for skipping it altogether. Will see about that in an edit, if another edit ever happens.
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:iconrandthuntley:
randthuntley Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Great job...I'm featuring this in my Journal:)
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconrandthuntley:
randthuntley Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
your welcome :)
Reply
:iconzyphryus:
zyphryus Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2006
another comment - again i love it... especially the tiny focus on an english professor and the graffiti
im going to go link your story in my deviation now.
This is the second time this month I have done reverse illustration. its my spooky powers. :D

:D
Reply
:iconzyphryus:
zyphryus Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2006
Its the irrelevant details that keep a piece spicy! (in my opinion)

__ __ __

The other time was with the piece Heathen Dance - my friend steven (~old-father-fisheye) had just started a short story and the picture fit all too well.
Reply
:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
Hah! What was the other time?

And really glad you're liking it ;) Frank seems a popular guy ;P The math professor would be one of my typical trademarks--absolutely irrelevant details ;)
Reply
:iconzyphryus:
zyphryus Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2006
argh. the comment I meant for this was accidently posted as a comment to myself. >.< please see comment : [link]

There needs to be a comments edit here. or delete.
Reply
:iconzyphryus:
zyphryus Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2006
:D ...
at first i am joyfully speechless, just a wide open grin on my face.

I want to say I love you in a creative friendship way, for creating this work of genius.

...
more speechlessness, same grin
...
astonishment
...
:D
...
Undeniably awsome! I applause! If you want to use that fortune cookie picture, feel free! :D It is certainly an "Enchanting Adventure" !
Reply
:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
:) Thanks!
Reply
:iconcheckyourmindout:
CheckYourMindOut Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2005
I swear I wrote that. . . in a smaller form though! It's familiar.

Witty with a great dose of surrealism (maybe 4 tablespoons next time, however), but I can't help but feel like there's some vague detritus obscuring the genius of this piece.

Maybe it's me, I dunno, but I can't seem to put my finger on it. *dowses with a bottle of gin* If I were pressed I'd say make it more parsimonious.

It reminds of this article:

Human “Dominance” Pheromone Discovered

A pheromone correlated with traits in men aged 17 - 67 identified, according to a battery of factor analysis studies at Boston University.

Recent research in human olfaction has concluded that the scent of lemon increases people’s perception of their own health, a constituent of rose oil lowers blood pressure, but a chemical secreted by human beings effects submission to commands?

An apocrine gland located in the anus of 750 males aged 17 -67 has been correlated by an interdiscplinary team of researchers headed by Dr Goldie Macmillan of Boston Medical University. “Ethical considerations have been raised by opponents of our work ,” reported Macmillan, “but the crux of these concerns is based on misconceptions about how pheremones are sensed.”

Source


Preliminary but facinating no?

:sherlock:
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:iconcheckyourmindout:
CheckYourMindOut Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2005
Oh sorry, wrong link.

Here it is.

:wave:
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:icontearstone:
tearstone Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2005
fuck
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:icongunshymartyr:
GunShyMartyr Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2005
the
Reply
:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
what
Reply
:iconchrzaszczwtrzcinie:
chrzaszczwtrzcinie Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2005
I still don't like the Hail Marys bit :P
Reply
:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
That's your good right ;)
Reply
:iconchrzaszczwtrzcinie:
chrzaszczwtrzcinie Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2005
yeah
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:iconthecuddlydevil:
TheCuddlyDevil Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005
I hardly know a dozen English words, but I can read everything written on these walls.

The way this line sounded in the first version was much funnier, in my opinion. More direct. I think it was "...but it seems they've had this in mind."

I feel this line was ruined. You should check with the other readers.

"You know how to speak French?" I ask. The moment these words leave my lips, I realize how pointless that question was. Kind of like "are you awake?" One moment later, I realize I'm talking to a toilet, and I stop worrying about pointless questions.

The very first sentance is simply a stretch of "You speak French?", which is what was in the first version. Again, I liked the former. Also, the rest of the stanza seems to be an elaboration of the joke. Check former.

"I am hideous!"

I'll admit this is a completely personal preference, but using short hand (I'm) sounds natural, so it fits the abruptness of the phrase.

Heroin also doesn't cause hallucinations, especially not before you even inject it," she said.

I have absolutely not logical argument about this, but this sentance feels so heavy. I think it's the use of 'also', 'especially', and 'even' so rapidly. Maybe you see what I mean, because I'm not so sure of it myself.

"Why the fuck is a toilet lecturing me on motherhood? Can't a girl have a decent high without moralizing furniture anymore?"

OK, this line is actually funny. A nice sudden contrast, very fitting for a reply.

"Why didn't you just say 'crap'?"

How about Why don't you...? I've seen this in some sitcoms and other forms of comedy. Didn't is somewhat complaining of the past, but Do/Don't complains of the present. The second most often feels natural.

You gain short term pleasures at the unreasonable price of long term happiness.

Stop stealing my psychological theories! Just joking. I've always wondered why people commit sins if they know it takes them to hell. Don't feel offended, this isn't religious, it can be pretty much applied to anything, just as you've just shown. The answer I've decided upon was impatience. They choose to be happy quickly over being happy later. Sorry for the unwanted interlude.

Say five Hail Marys, marry a Frenchman, and go through cold turkey in the comfort of some shabby American motel. Praise Jesus!

This reminds of that line in Paper-Thin. Question, why a Frenchman? Also, is the asking to say a certain prayer a certain number of times actually existent? Because I wouldn't know. I thought you were being humorous in Paper-Thin.

Most people seem to come to me to worry, to turn some irresolvable matter around in their minds while passing on highly solvable matter to me

lol, I love the antithesis in this! Also, I like how you comment on how the term 'psychoses' is dealt way too much. I've read about it.

"What?"
"Forgive the poetry; I'm a little high."


As I was reading Frank's lecture about waled girls, I was going to comment on how poetic it was. Guess there's no need. Making Frank high is a really nice edit. Congrats!

The stream of consciousness and urine goes through me and into the sewer, where they both belong.

Heheh, is there a specific reason you dislike SoC? I hate how it's horribly applied at many times, and at the same time confusing.

I honestly didn't think I was going to pick out this much in the story. Basically, the additions, or revelations, of plot were nice, such as Frank being high. But there were lines that I wasn't very fond of, which I highlighted.

I hope I don't get dealt "What the fuck do you know about prose?" card. I've gotten that before.
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
Haha :) This was a very useful reply, actually :) Thank you!

The single lines you picked out were all lines I did reconsider a lot of times in my mind. Typically I chose simplicity over fanciness; I felt the "they had taken this into consideration" line was too clumsy originally. "You know how to speak French" was an addition in which I tried to mimic the French idiom: "Tu sais parler francais?" -- literally: "you know to speak French?" I thought it wasn't much better or worse than "you know French", and I liked the idea of authenticity. I am hideos has the strong form of "am" for emphasis; if I cut it down to "I'm hideous", I feel some of the BANG will be lost. I want it to BANG loudly, since it's my section one unhook. I feel why didn't you just say crap needs to remain in the past because a) Delphine's being fancy and b) well, technically he already said it, and they're discussing that ONE instance in the past, not his general behaviour.

Now! Religion! We always end up talking religion, don't we? I like that ;)

Yep, Christians really have this strange idea of doing a certain number of prayers (theoretically according to the graveness of your sins); it's one of the most ridiculous ideas in our faith that has survived to this day--or at least to 1988, which is when I was baptized (and also the last time I confessed, iirc ;P I'm a horrible Christian!) (not that I mind that ;P) In paper-thin (I, not being Cummings, still insist on the non-capitalised version; it's meant to imply further thin-ness. Is that too weird? ;P) I exaggerate that concept by giving the priest a cash register. I'm still laughing my ass off at that idea, and I'm sure I'm on some sort of spiritual laundry list with the Pope now, but it's so goddamn funny ;P

Tangent: if you wrote and were published where you are now, would you be wary of what you say about your religion? Would you fear extremists attacking you for what you're saying?

I dislike SoC because it's overused in bad ways. There's a couple of writers here on dA who think that being gritty and using SoC cleverly is enough--never mind telling a story--and I'm pretty much against that. Of course, this is very much tongue-in-cheek (and not ass cheek ;P), since I use three SoCs as the central building blocks of this piece. In all humbleness (hah!) I *think* I'm using SoC well though.

Thank you for liking my now high Frank; I really had that poetic rant on my mind, and I was like, wtf, that sounds like he's high... waaaaaaaaait a minute! It was a pity I had to get rid of "I don't react to chemical substances/sucks to be you", but this was worth it, I think :)

I will definitely reconsider those lines you pointed out. How did you feel about me dropping Delphine's background? Helpful? Pity? And did you feel this version read more fluently?

And thank you very much for the feedback! I'd pay you back if you had anything real online... is that untitled piece advanced far enough in the karmic cycles of drafthell and rebirth that you'd want a Bringa crit on it?

I hope I don't get dealt "What the fuck do you know about prose?" card. I've gotten that before.

Never from me ;)
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:iconthecuddlydevil:
TheCuddlyDevil Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2005
"You know how to speak French" was...

OK, that sounds more logical, but how about not elaborating the joke? It just feels like you're explaining it, ya know? Maybe kind of like and what follows being removed would be better? Give it a thought.

I am hideos has the strong form of "am" for emphasis;

Oh, I get it. I'm hideous sounds a bit like a declaration, but I am hideous sounds more like a confession, a realization, right? If that's the case, how about italicizing the am? Ya know, just to make the emphasis obvious.

I'm a horrible Christian!)

I thought you were an Athiest! That makes you proud, doesn't it? =P

Is that too weird?

It is.

I exaggerate that concept by giving the priest a cash register.

I thought that thing was funny as it is, and would have been funnier if I knew the number of prayers thing. That kind of thing is somewhat existent in Islam. If you say a certain verse or prayer a number of times, then you get credit (I really wish there was a more religious term from 'credit', ya know? It sounds like coins). The biggest difference is the whole confession thing. Completely non-existen in Islam, the confession is with God. I hope I didn't sound too disrespectful, but is there really a 5? Usually the numbers are 3, 10, 100 or 7...

Tangent:...

Okay! A question that makes sense! I've been asked before if there were computers here, if TVs weren't banned. And on some American-teen infested political board, a member insisted that rape rates were soaring (which is untrue) and that they then get arrested. Ya know, kind of like Babylonian law or something.

But yes, I do feel kind of worried. I remember hearing from someone that a man wrote in an article that God and the Devil are two sides of the same coin. I actually read that in the writer's story, not an article. For a time, alot of mosques just kept praying for a horrible demise on the writer (Hamad Al-Turki), which was kind of scary. My personal opinion is that I will write about people who are anti-religion/God because, honestly, people like that aren't fairies, they exist. There are alot of those in religious storie. So basically, I'd make it an opinion of a character. But I think you'd be kind of stupid to assume that everything said in a story is the personal opinion of the writer (I like to think that everything said actually supports the writer's idea, directly or indirectly). I think that kind of argument would push a few battalions off my back. Hamad didn't get attacked, but it's not too far off.

Actually, I also worry about writing overly emotional material or material of vague sexual content. Not about the public's opinion, but what would be my family's reaction? My family is very strict, and I kinda feel self-concious. I just feel that publishing a story is like putting out your heart on the shelves, and I don't know how much I'll take if they belittle what I love or criticize it, ya know? Or don't you know?

Writer Nagib Mahfouz (Egyptian lourette) got stabbed by an extremist on the 10th anniversary of recieving his Noble Prize. Not sure whether the irony was intended or not, heh.

I dislike SoC because it's overused in bad ways.

I actually had this idea floating in my mind for a story that I wanted to write using SoC. But I asked myself if the SoC is actually vital to the story, or if it's just a prop. I think it's the latter.

but this was worth it, I think...

Definitely. How about making it more obvious he was high? Because it seemed like he woke up right after the poetic interlude.

How did you feel about me dropping Delphine's background? Helpful? Pity?

I actually wanted to mention that in my last comment, but you know how it is when you type long comments, you forget.

Basically, I'm not sure. Mentioning Delphine's background in the last version made her seem like a main character. Like all the family's problems stemmed from her. You may or may not want that. Also, the background gave Delphine a bit of character. Right now, we know that she killed someone, but not why. Do you want to keep that?

I don't have much to say. I can just tell you what effect it had on the story (delphine main character blah blah). Basically, I think you should rework it into the story. It actually gave Delphine's character a bit of depth (I just noticed that she seems shallow in this version). Think about it.

And did you feel this version read more fluently?

I have to admit, the intro seemed easier on the tongue, which is a nice effect. Other than the lines I mentioned, the rest is fine.

is that untitled piece advanced far enough in the karmic cycles of drafthell and rebirth that you'd want a Bringa crit on it?

No, it's so unpolished and unedited that it's an insult for you to comment on. I'll get you something else to abuse, =P.

Also, what is up with the guy that reminded Pierre of his father? And why is his teeth white? I get why they are ceramic white, but not white. heh.
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
Well, they are white so I can say ceramic ;) It's Frank, of course; his human projection.

I'm still thinking on Delphine. For the time being, she stays as she is. We will see about that.


I've yet to write a single explicit sex scene (that wasn't a joke, like in bound to wood), and I think part of that is a certain unplacable feeling of embarassment. I know I'll have to overcome that same day, but as you said: the thought of my MOTHER reading that... ;P

All women become like their mothers; that is their tragedy. No man ever does; that is his. (Wilde)

Now, I must produce new material for you to discuss ;)
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:iconthecuddlydevil:
TheCuddlyDevil Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2005
It's Frank, of course; his human projection.

????????????











?

Sometimes I don't get you when you're joking. I won't ask you why he's Frank, (at least not yet) but is there a chance for a reader who cannot have contact with you (ie a reader of a book of yours) to figure that out?

All women become like their mothers; that is their tragedy. No man ever does; that is his. (Wilde)

Intresting quotation, heh. I'm not ready to agree with it though, haha.

Just wondering, but you know I'm a guy, right? I know it's stupid to ask. But to justify, on one site during my seriously depressing angst years, half of the forum that I was a girl. The other half thought I was gay.

Now, I must produce new material for you to discuss

I was kinda having plans of passing this year. My Drafting course is absolutely killing me, I have no steady hand! I mean, if I were a surgeon, my patient would need 3 more emergency surgeries after I'm finished, heh. Math is great, though.
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
I knew you were a guy :)

Yes, that's Frank's projection. Yes you can get that from the text, but it doesn't matter if you do or not :) Come on, his teeth are CERAMIC white? He assumes a certain form to remind his "patients" every time they leave the toilet that it was NOT just a hallucination. It's really not too important for the story, but I think it can easily be guessed :)
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:iconthecuddlydevil:
TheCuddlyDevil Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2005
his teeth are CERAMIC white?

lol, that did seem odd. So...Frank likes looking at porn? That's kind of odd for such a sophisticated toilet.

But Pierre didn't even know it was Frank! So how does he remind them?
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
He likes reading PORNOGRAPHIC POETRY. What else can a toilet read? (as in: the stuff that's written on the walls inside the stall)

No one of them knows it's Frank. It just has to be someone who reminds them of the story again. Some sort of mental nudge.
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(1 Reply)
:iconthecuddlydevil:
TheCuddlyDevil Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2005
I feel like absolutely crying. I just typed this long-ass reply to your comment, and when I clicked submit, it gave me an error. Not even the back button worked. Luckily for me, I had copied the comment just in case. But again, I copied something else.

*sigh* I don't have it in me to type all that I've said again. I'll do it later. =(
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
Aww. Have a :cookie:.
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:iconmacdoherty:
MacDoherty Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2005
Hee! This is all kinds of wonderful.
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks :)
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:iconiracundia6:
Iracundia6 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2005
At the end of this story, a Frenchman will be eaten by Brazilian fire-ants.

THAT was a Douglas Adams line
(not his EXACT line i mean)
i laughed, and the members of my household looked at me strangely


"You know", said Pierre, "I think you're the most beautiful clown I have ever seen."

that reminded me of my Creative Writers club.

overall good piece
hand claps for you
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much for the absolutely undeserved Adams comparison; I'll never get anywhere near him, and I don't think I particularly have though; still I can see the parallel in funny and at the same time somewhat cocky humour (after all, I just gave away the story's end ;P)

I'm very glad you liked the humour of it :)
Reply
:iconpenultimatedishonest:
Firstly, why the fuck did I put off reading this for so long? This is beautiful. I usually don't decide to favorite something until after I've done a critique, but this one had me from the first sentence, no doubt.

At the end of this story, a Frenchman will be eaten by Brazilian fire-ants.
A great way to kick off any story. The way it ties into the ending and the rest of the story is inexplicably awesome.

The two short passages following, describing Silvie approaching the sinks, are well done. There's just nothing particularly notable about them; they're well written and lead the reader to the next part of the story.

The description of the slow down, the focus on microdetails and the inclusion of some facts about her person, is a very interesting technique. I like it, and you've done it well. I wouldn't recommend using it regularly, at least not so obviously, but it certainly works in the context of this story. Nor do I think you've overdone it by using it twice. Both are different enough and compelling in their own ways to maintain my fullest attention.

Again, some pretty good description. The diner description is a little more interesting than the stuff in the restroom, but I'll assume that's because there's more to be described in the diner.

There was an empty, happy smile on her face that reminded Silvie of the faces of Buddhist monks she had seen in a Discovery Channel program the night before.
I wonder if the empty, happy smile has anything to do with the cocaine later mentioned. If so, an appreciative grin for this sentence.

I notice every time you describe the other guy in the diner, you mention how he looks like a hunter. Pierre also says he looks like his dad. Any connection with the fact that Delphine killed two hunters? I suppose there is. You've got a wonderful thing for subtle connections.

Silvie's thought process is nicely done. She's ridiculously obsessed with Mario, if she's thinking about him that often, but I suppose it works for the story. You do maintain a good teenager train of thought, though. I like the bit about the perfect people book particularly.

a drop of make-up-green water traced the curve of her jaw and enjoyed the view from her chin for a second before falling to the floor.
Also like this thing. Lots of inanimate substances are prone to sentience in this story, aren't they?

I also like how the toilet has some fixation on the warmth of girls' legs.

She laughed it off; no, she said, with drugs she had no problems. Her husband nodded and pointed out that the proper syntax was "I have no problems with drugs", but that she was making great progress, coming from a language so unlike French after all.
This feels familiar, like something I've already read. I know it's been done before, though maybe not quite to this effect. Still a good passage, of course.

"Let's take a crap and some heroin", she muttered to herself in English.
I'm not sure what you mean to imply with her saying it in English, but it's an interesting detail to note. :P

Using her lighter she set it afire. Lighters tended to break from the heat if you left them on long enough to boil the mixture of water and heroin in the spoon. These disposable, inexpensive swabs, available in every pharmacy, burnt just long enough. The steady flame licked the spoon.
Fine details. It's always nice to have done research for this sort of thing.

"That is a mystery", said the toilet, as if that answered anything.
Great sentence. These sorts of responses usually are. Reminds me of me, and of a friend of mine.

"Do you know that your daughter is madly in lust with an Italian boy named Mario?"
I hate the phrase "in lust".

"She fantasizes about his smooth back; at night she imagines the sensation of digging her fingernails into this smoothness and about being beaten up in return. Your daughter exhibits some alarming passive-aggressive tendencies and a horrible taste in make-up; you notice neither. Most women your age have already discovered the most potent of drugs: motherhood."
This is a good passage all around. I like how the toilet uses terminology and idiosyncracies from the people that have used it for its own purposes.

Can't a girl have a decent high without moralizing furniture anymore?
Good sentence, and the toilet's response is also excellent.

The egestion dialogue snippet is funny.

"The point of a mystery is not to know its solution."
Ah, so true.

The second slow down is also good, as I said before, and I particularly like Delphine's history.
Now, I'm not at all a fan of giving out of context background in a story. I think there are much more effective ways of revealing someone's past, more interesting than flat-out saying it (as you've done here). Granted, this is a short story, and the history is good. But you tend to do it. Even so, I couldn't justify ever calling it bad, in your case. In this story in particular it works well enough. I prefer more subtle and gradual approaches to giving background, though. Pierre's history is a little more skillfully done, a little less obviously history, since the toilet is describing it. My suggestion is to try not to resort to fact-giving unless it's appropriate. And when you use it, it usually is. This is more a heads up than criticism.

One good thing about this story, and your work in general, is giving plenty of details and background while still maintaining a feeling that there's much more to the story. You don't give the whole story, but there IS more. It's important to have that sense, when reading, because it makes the story more real, the world more plausible and whole, and the characters more compelling. Fine work.
(in particular, we have no explanation as to why Frank exists; that's good)

Just in case you wondered, it was the aforementioned professor of English.
Laugh-worthy, this. The whole story is funny, in addition to all the serious undertones and great storytelling, but this part is one of the best.

Pierre's story. I like how it's from the toilet's point of view, it's good to change things up. It's a bit rough starting out, you sort of lose the intensity of my attention there, but it picks up quick enough.
The toilet's analysis of Pierre and his own person thoughts are well done. I like the toilet's personality.

The passage explaining Pierre's faults, and how he's affected the psychology of his wife and daughter:
Very nice. The details are great (like the make-up reminding Mario of his mother) and the connections with the rest of the story and the assumptions the reader must make, as to how these things developed, are all very well done.

"And you are a Frenchman; so what?"
Haha, nice. The patriotism exchange thereafter is also pretty good.

And he does, but not with words.
The subtle simplicity of this sentence, in the context of the story, is hilarious.

Pierre's childhood reflections are great. They're a little less composed than Delphine's, making them more exciting, and they're from the perspective of a toilet interpreting a child's experience.
The background itself I like quite a lot, as you may have been able to guess. You and I seem to have a thing for bestiality, don't we? Anyway, that concept is of course good, and different in enough ways from Madame Mutt to be appreciable on another level. I definitely liked this.
Wonderful conclusion, too. "What is wrong with French people?"

You're more boring than a German.
Ha, self mockery. I'm a staunch supporter of it.

"You know", said Pierre, "I think you're the most beautiful clown I have ever seen."
Excellent way of showing the change the toilet managed to exact in them. Subtle, kind of funny, and almost moving.

Stefane's response was expected. Still decent, but expected.

I like the casual dialogue between the waitress and Frank the toilet.

The ending, of course, is brilliant.

I think this is my favorite piece of yours, of all the ones that I've read. Amazing stuff, I'm lovin' it.
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
Firstly, why the fuck did I put off reading this for so long?

Because good things come to those who wait; but you know who they come to faster? ;P

This is the kind of critique that makes me all warm and happy inside :) Yes of course I like praise; but that's not exactly the point.

I've been contemplating the usefulness of my submitting stuff to dA at all recently. I mean, this is a fun place, and in many ways it's helped me grow immensely as a writer (and a dick!); but a few valiant exceptions aside, I don't think it ever really was the critiques that helped me grow. This one surely did fuck all to help me become a better writer or help me polish this piece any further—and it really, really didn't have to.

In my world-encompassing arrogance I believe there is no one here right now who could just look at something I wrote and say "this and this and this is what you need to work on" and be right. That's alright.

Why do I submit stuff then? For motivation. It's so wonderful to feel that you are not only read, but also understood. Sometimes I feel like a man speaking into a very faulty telephone line—my message may or may not get across, and the people at the other may smile because they heard me fine—or because they didn't. When someone like you takes the time to say "message received clear and fine", I am happy; this old phone is working well and I'm not just talking talking to the ghosts that live in overland lines.

So before I start answering the things that need answering, here's a big fat thank you: Thank you.

At the end of this story, a Frenchman will be eaten by Brazilian fire-ants.
A great way to kick off any story. The way it ties into the ending and the rest of the story is inexplicably awesome.


You know, to me right now this feels like a little civil war: on the one side are the ant-haters and on the other the ant-fetishists. No one seems to feel impartial to my opening line, and that's a good thing. Whether people hate it or love it, they're thinking about it. And that means I win ;P

(your camp, the PRO-ANT side, is winning currently; oh, you're stomping on the ANTI-ANTs. I personally love the ants so much I'll never remove them, but it always amuses me to say people take this or that stance on them)

I am very glad you liked my slow motions. I'm a sucker for those. In my still-born novel, I once wrote a one and a half page section detailing how a man got shot; it started at the moment the shooter pulled the trigger and ended when the brains hit the car-window behind the shootee. Yes I get to say shootee. No matter what you think, OpenOffice! I had a lot of fun writing these, but since they're so insanely visual I could never be sure my readers would have the same image on their minds. Seems that one worked again :D

There was an empty, happy smile on her face that reminded Silvie of the faces of Buddhist monks she had seen in a Discovery Channel program the night before.
I wonder if the empty, happy smile has anything to do with the cocaine later mentioned. If so, an appreciative grin for this sentence.


She's not really taking cocaine ;) The only junkie in this story is French. The empty, happy smile, and more importantly the comparison to the Buddhist monks have to do with Frank's influence on those regularly around him. Imagine there was a common household appliance that'd solve all your problems. I'm saying with this that Frank really has a rather positive influence on those around him in the long run.

I notice every time you describe the other guy in the diner, you mention how he looks like a hunter. Pierre also says he looks like his dad. Any connection with the fact that Delphine killed two hunters? I suppose there is. You've got a wonderful thing for subtle connections.

The guy in the diner is very, very important. I don't think anyone's figured him out yet ;p Keep trying ;)

"Let's take a crap and some heroin", she muttered to herself in English.
I'm not sure what you mean to imply with her saying it in English, but it's an interesting detail to note.


Quite simple: the idiom "take a crap" does not exist like that in French nor Finnish for all I know. :) (sometimes the solutions are incredibly simple)

Using her lighter she set it afire. Lighters tended to break from the heat if you left them on long enough to boil the mixture of water and heroin in the spoon. These disposable, inexpensive swabs, available in every pharmacy, burnt just long enough. The steady flame licked the spoon.
Fine details. It's always nice to have done research for this sort of thing.


I asked my sister ;P (she has connections to lots of junkies and she told me this; it takes a long time for the heroin/water mixture to dissolve completely, so they use those swabs) I so wanted to use "lambent" in that sentence for the flame licking the spoon, but I couldn't fit it in!

"Do you know that your daughter is madly in lust with an Italian boy named Mario?"
I hate the phrase "in lust".


You're SOOL there; I love it! Have you heard it anywhere outside of this story before?

"The point of a mystery is not to know its solution."
Ah, so true.


As someone pointed out on plicity.org, this line is the key to understanding the whole story. Note, please, that there are two slightly different ways of reading this line:

"The point of a mystery is something else than knowing its solution"

and

"The point of a mystery is EXACTLY the state of not knowing its solution."

You and I seem to have a thing for bestiality, don't we? Anyway, that concept is of course good, and different in enough ways from Madame Mutt to be appreciable on another level. I definitely liked this.

I was actually thinking about Madame Mutt a little while writing that ;) I thought, nah, it's different enough; plus, I had heard the joke with the girl and the dog and the sausage spread and <some celebritiy> in her wardrobe before I read MM.


Thank you once more for this great feedback :)
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:iconirishninja:
IrishNinja Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2005   Writer
Hehe, very clever piece, I must say. It's not everyday I read about a talking toilet, especially one that plays the psychiatrist.

I see what you meant when you said this piece was very "movie-script-like", or something to that effect. You voom in and slow down time in a couple of places, which isn't something I often see. Although, I will say that these effects did bring me out of your world a couple of times. The effects were very nice though; I commend you for breaking the traditional mold.

No spelling or grammatical errors to speak of. At least I didn't notice any.

On one final note, while your hook is great, I thought that how you tied it in to the final sentence felt a little, well, contrived. It just didn't flow with the rest of the story. Everything else felt like it belonged. The first and last sentences just seem out-of-place. That's what I think anyway.

Great story, nonetheless :D
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:icondanielzklein:
danielzklein Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
They were meant to be out of place :) That's actually PART of the hook... it's what I call the "wtf" moment. It seems to have worked :)

Glad you liked it!
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