My colleague was a guy named Eric. I was on the phone accusing him of having no balls when my phone went PING! In a second there were the two little guys, nestled in Eric’s Aero chair and now lighting up my iPhone. I had to change my tune and say, “you do have balls, Eric.”
Eric, you see, is one of my authors. He knows what it’s like to hand me a sentence. First, I pick up my mechanical pencil, then I give him the wolf stare. He says, in a squeaky unmanly voice, “I’m going to the boy’s room.” I know he won’t return until the “polishing phase,” editing he dreads even more than this round.
When he returns for the polish, he brings me a gift: a giant black dildo. He says he knows the final edit is going to feel like this, in his rear end. I laugh and let the marketing department have the dildo for a few months just for fun.
“Eric,” I say. “Your book is about wine-making but I’ve learned more about blow jobs reading it.”
“Is that a bad thing?” Eric asks.
“No,” I say. “And I never thought about that last little flick of the tongue.”
“Yeah, she had it going on,” he said.
“Okay,” I said. “We’re going into copyediting.”
“You’re going to leave the blow job part in there?”
“Yes,” I said. “No one in copyediting knows what they are. It’s educational.”
“That’s true. So my book has two markets: wine and sex.”
“Yes, Eric, it does.”
A year later, I left that black dildo erect on a pile of belongings after I was laid off. I will never know if the marketing department snuck back and claimed it, but I’d rather think of my bosses, all on the down-low, taking it out for a ride around Times Square.
It’s doubtful, though. That would have taken courage.
To this day, there’s no word on the whereabouts of that magnificent editorial motivator,the giant black dildo, but someday I will find another one, and it will be wonderful.