The catalogue: the gun the catalogue the gun the catalogue was of the typical mail order variety displaying mostly soft things of linen of cotton to cuddly roll around in lost & costly, smiling & foetal. [This is NOT a short story, though things do happen or rather are posed to appear to have happened.]
Page 34: A veritable lingerie "horn(y) of plenty" or "hornicopeia of delites." Sumptuous leering mannequins offer up the winking pose of themselves in a classical genre that pinions its wholesome lasciviousness somewhere between French postcard, Goya's Maja Nude, 60s Sears Catalogue & pastry shop window. One section called Lingerie de la Patisserie, thematically connected our penchant to associate class with anything that sound like it may have been dragged along the floor of a brie factory. & concurrently breasts became sweets (so that women would remain edible) such as whipped cream, so the brassieres of varying cuppages were duly christened—Creme Nocturne, Creme de Menthe, Café Creme, Creme de la Creme. These bras astonish & recall (for males) those early pangs of emissions par main. Back when women were omniavailable, pliant & compliant. Some of the models are cut off at the neck (their necks & heads will reappear again in the jewelry section) & knee, the way a T-bone steak or lambchop is cut off from its sustenant source.
Page 86: We see neatly groomed models to fuck to shoot or look at. They look like guns or bombers or neatly groomed models with piles of headshots in their garrets. They operate bright toys of hard plastic molded to look like guns or cars. Some of the toys talked back, others moved of their own accord.
Page 105: Tools. Black. Variable speed. & shaped to be held by men who had long struggled to overcome the disorder of their environments. Tools that cut through things we had never cut through before. Tools that peeled & vibrated. Tools we didn't even know we needed.
Page 122: The boys wore garments with immense sprawling labels that were meant to resemble a sense of menace. Or identity. Or identity as menace. The boys stretched defiant sneers across their faces. This was the image of Turf Builders, self-described mondo clothiers of the street craze. We had been taught to covet them as diamonds, snatch them as gold chains. & the accrued status seemed to make men of boys. Because not only were the boys proud, they were full of fear. Turf Builders had, indeed, ushered clothing into a new dimension of expression & adventure.
Page 137: A smiling model asserts a stance that deprives him of his person. He is held together not by his powers of reason nor his ability to dream but by the leather & the esteem its superior manufacture seemed to guarantee. A hidden melancholy mocks the virility of his body type. Was he carrying a black valise full of dead meat? Had he lost his motorcycle? Was he suddenly too old to rock & roll?
Page 143: Same model is shown here amiably accompanied by several stylishly underweight female models. Their bodies inspire the dreams of tv. Their tummies tight as a kid's Indian drum. The variety of color seems to beg us to believe that Spandex had already left them reasonably satisfied. Because their smiles seemed professionally rendered. As they strain adroitly inside harnesses of various configurations. Some recalled cobwebs or devices used during "THE TIME OF THE WITCH HUNTS."
Page 174: Models of lithe figure posed with necks & wrists inserted into holes of an "objet d'art" crafted by real country artisans. The "objet" was never actually referred to as a pillory & thus, could have been something else. Besides, the model's smile seemed to indicate all was well.
Page 208: The pet supplies section seemed to display many objects that mirrored products that humans had long ago desired into necessity. [Disclaimer: This is not a short story & should not be judged as one.]
Page 209: This suspicion was amply confirmed by the matching tinted leather dog collars for both "dog & master." The item was understandably marked; "gag gift." Human breakfast cereal that resembles Puppy Chow is also clearly marked as "NEW! NUTRITIOUS GAG GIFT!"
Page 213: Various beauty enhancement devices: one that stretched shoes, another claimed to resculpt the human body using vibrating heat-induction pads. Presented also were special hangers for special garments. A model in bright sportswear hung from it to illustrate the acclaimed strength of design. A variation of the same hanger was touted as a "perfect child maintenance device". But was more costly than a high resolution television.
Page 232: Precise digital computation instruments measured the trajectory of various expended bodily fluids. Fluids under pressure. Fluids chilled by resentment. Fluids overheated by frustration. Fluids boiling, percolating. Labeled "for the modern family."
Page 249: Various odor-sensitive & light sensory alarms had begun to appear among the various electronic trip devices that guaranteed a secure home. Several designs of sonic or toxic anti-personal dispensers meant to ward off intruders & discourage undesired street encounters were offered at reasonable discounts. All had been "police tested." & approved by an official organization that seemed to have links with the Central Government.
Page 275: The smiling skull & crossbones design was a registered trademark & indicated the catalogue's special section: "Armed Responses To Perceived Threats." A section introduced in 1986, a section whose growth & profits had been totally unforeseen.
Page 276: Standard firearms (both portable & window-mount designs) came with bullets that, when discharged, would whistle a pleasant tune as their noses expanded to cause more effective harm.
Page 277: The cross-section tangle of bright wires, sensory gates & micro-chips, although very attractive, comprised the internal workings of the lawn & garden variety of landmines that would explode—via telecommand—if all instructions were followed & all precautions taken. Success would then be imminent & success would look tragic. Perfect for those who need to verify & protect unspecific property lines. Also recommended by APA & the PBA for the esteem-deprived who've been denied a credit card.
Page 279: The cyanide capsules, in a choice of 3 improved flavors, came in a new decorator "kid proof" canister. 3 sizes available: personal, couple & family.
Page 281: A selection of video & K7 tapes by major image merchandisers, reproduced futures that had already deprived consumers of their own imperfect dreams. The variety of choices was invigorating if somewhat predictable: a. Disney; b. Playboy; c. Situation Comedy Households; d. Extinct Wildlife; e. Bacchanalian Idealism in the Rock Video; f. Sports Heroes Prior To Computer-enhanced Imaging; g. Club Med Promotional Tour of the World's Most Luxurious Swimming Pools; h. New Age Industry Tour of Great Waterfalls of the 20th Century.
Page 282: i. The Vatican's Fur-lined Chastity Belt Collection; j. A Russ Meyer Documentary on the Girl Scouts; k. Hungarian Curlian Photography Healing Techniques; l. Fruitbat Imagery in the Paintings of Norman Rockwell; m. Mademoiselle's 50 All Time Top Beauty Tips & Weight Loss Hints; n. The Unexpurgated "Girl From U.N.C.L.E."; o. Changing Attitudes Toward Clitorechtomies & Depilation in Moravia.
Page 291: Special section devoted to vintage Ethno-Aryan Pridewear (some are genuine garments with real epaulets worn by actual Nazi officers. Enclosed P.C. brochure assures buyer that the Swastika is actually an Indian Hindu symbol of peace). Others are official Bavarian recreations of Battlewear as worn by SS officers in the heat of battle. To assure their genuine nature the pieces & ensembles are all individually titled & "signed" by actual Nazi casualties. Extra care to detail includes accurate placing of shredded bullet holes & bomb shard rips. Perfect for history buffs & those who like to periodically take orders from (be "overrun" by ) their significant other in uniform.
Bulk Mail Flier: During the Autumn Sales Extravaganza an ad campaign premiered in fliers, on billboards & kiosks that portrayed wide-eyed models happily holding pistols to their temples.
bart plantenga was one of the four founding members of the Unbearables, who have put out some five anthologies with Autonomedia. The latest is Unbearable Big Book of Sex. The Unbearables have also unleashed fifteen years of literary activism on the world ranging from Brooklyn Bridge Reading to protests at the No Bar against their poets pay-to-play policies.
bart's novel Beer Mystic, has been excerpted a lot in Up Is Up And So Is Down [NYU Press] and was recently published in an online global pub crawl. Two of bart's books were published by Autonomedia: Wiggling Wishbone and Spermatagonia: The Isle of Man. "Psycho-Geo-Cato" originally appeared in Wiggling Wishbone: Stories of Pata-Sexual Speculation.