... the latest read. Mr. Hitchens is known as a master wordsmith and rightly so; anyone who reads him regularly knows that. His memoir is just chock full of bon mots and page after page of just the right word put in the right place at the right time. Those that read him regularly also know he's not above schoolboy humor from time to time. Case in point:
I have already offered the excuse that the puerility of these was at least a muscle-building dress rehearsal for a higher form. You may think it absurd or pathetic, for example, to see what happens when you subtract the word “heart” from any well-known title or saying and then substitute the word “dick.” Some of the results are in fact mildly funny (“I Left My Dick in San Francisco,” “Bury My Dick at Wounded Knee,” “Dick of Darkness,” “The Dick of the Matter,” and so forth), and others can recur to one at absurd moments (“Dickbreak Hotel,” “The Sacred Dick,” “The Dick and Stomach of a King,” “The Jack of Dicks,” “An Affair of the Dick,” “The Dick Has Its Reasons,” “The Dick Is a Lonely Hunter”) where they even threaten to be apposite.
You can—I warn you—spend years working on a coal-face like this before hitting an unlooked-for seam. How were we to know that Woody Allen, when questioned about his decision to run off with his adopted teenage daughter, would so tonelessly say: “The heart wants what it wants”?I've spared you the instances where Hitchens and his literary round-table... gathered for drinks and a meal at some watering hole... substituted the Anglo-Saxon euphemism for sexual congress for the word "love" in book and song, but those substitutions are no less hilarious than the examples cited above. And there are many such. This is definitely NOT a case of "you hadda be there," even tho I wish I could have been.
As a noun, and perhaps marginally more ambitiously, the word (love) was to be dropped and replaced with “hysterical sex” thus: “The Allegory of Hysterical Sex,” “Hysterical Sex Is a Many-Splendored Thing,” “What Is This Thing Called Hysterical Sex?” “Hysterical Sex in a Cold Climate,” “Hysterical Sex, Actually,” “Free Hysterical Sex,” “Hysterical Sex Story,” “Hysterical Sex Potion Number Nine” (which has only just occurred to me), and “A Fool for Hysterical Sex” as well as “Ain’t No Cure for Hysterical Sex.” In spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of…
I read all of the above while out on the verandah during today's Happy Hour, just concluded (or rather: moved indoors, as a seasonal chill is in the air). My neighbors musta thought I'd lost it, given the literal "laugh out loud" moments those passages induced. Ah, well. The reality is no one noticed, I'm sure.