Again, I’m having a bit of fun with my NaNoWriMo work-in-progress. Here is an excerpt featuring Maggie Reynolds and a story straight out of Irish-Lativan lore.
Maggie found a quiet corner in the cafe and set her tall Skinny Vanilla Latte on the table. It was one of her little pleasures to have a few minutes of quiet and caffeine before she opened her knitting shop next door. Another pleasure was to pick up a tabloid for a few minutes of humor. It had been one of her mother’s pleasures as well. Maggie’s mother was a college graduate (BA in philosophy and religion) but she occasionally sneaked home a copy of The National Enquirier or News of the World when she went grocery shopping. She told Maggie and her dad that the stories were sometimes too funny not to want to read beyond the headlines. And yet, she didn’t want her friends to know that she read such things: how could she say she read the rags for the stories?
And Maggie had inherited both her mother’s attraction to the ridiculous and her reticence in admitting it. The headline that had caught her eye this morning had brought her up short, though. It was so bizarre that she couldn’t help but wonder if there were any truth in it: “Young Irish Lass Assaulted by Giant Latvian Penis” was the headline, but the story was relegated to page 13, with a warning that following pictures were graphic. Maggie almost knocked over her latte when she, rather quickly, opened the paper to page 13. There in full color was a picture of a woman hugging a giant penis.
Maggie’s mouth fell open and then promptly shut. The idea of reading about a penis with her mouth hanging open was somehow unsettling. She glanced around to make sure no one in the cafe had seen her expression and then proceeded to read:
“On the evening of September 19, 20__, a young Irish woman was found on the streets near her apartment slightly bruised and very giggly. It was quickly ascertained that the woman was intoxicated and had apparently fallen while on her way home from a local pub. Police say, however, that her bruises were not entirely consistent with a stumble along a cracked sidewalk so they took her to the local hospital for examination. At hospital, the young woman explained that she taught English to Latvian students which initially confused authorities since the woman is Irish. They also suspected her of being a Russian spy, but since she could not stop giggling, they eventually disregarded that suspicion.
“Since the woman may be a victim of assault, this paper will only refer to her as L. According to L, earlier that evening she had gone to the pub to meet a young Latvian man that she had met online through a dating website. She produced a picture of the man which the police has released to our paper in the hope that either he will come forward or that someone will know of his whereabouts.
“L claimed that they had a pleasant conversation peppered with several pints of beer, but that they said goodbye at the pub with no plans to meet again. L lamented that this was typical of her dates so far with Latvian men. Our reporter, who is a Latvian woman, noted that L was not wearing the requisite stiletto heels and leopard-print, figure-hugging dress necessary for a first date. L responded with a few words which we cannot print in a family newspaper.
“When asked how she came to have bruises over her body, L said that while on her way home, she was confronted by a giant penis. The penis blocked her exit from the side street where the pub was located. L claimed that at first she thought the penis was just a costume worn by a Latvian with a sense of humor. She admitted that that was her first mistake. Her second mistake was in hugging the penis as if it were the “man of my dreams.” L stated that what happened next was not clear in her mind, but as the memory returned to her, she started giggling again. “It got p***ed off at me,” she said, obviously relishing the double entrende. Our reporter demonstrated considerable patience in waiting for L’s giggles to subside so she could wrap up the story.
“As it turns out, according to L, the penis was in fact offended by L’s “manhandling” of it and proceeded to knock itself against her head and arms in an attempt to get away from her. By this point, L was practically falling off her chair with laughter, the hospital staff had given up trying to treat her bruises (which in point of fact looked considerably benign), and our reporter was fed up with the whole story. The only “proof” that a giant penis even exists in Latvia is the picture at the top of this story, which L had been carrying around in her pocket.
“Since L will not say how she obtained the photo, it is up to our intrepid reporter to track down the giant penis and get its side of the story. A full update will be provided to our loyal readers once more information has been gained.”
Maggie quietly folded the tabloid. As she left the cafe with her now tepid latte, she slipped the rag into the newspaper recycle bin. Perhaps, she thought, she should find something else to read first thing in the morning.