Oh, Those Madcap Millennials!

A Cautionary Tale About Tale-Telling

by James Como (September 2016)

Since Patrick’s current girlfriend was merely a surrogate for the last, he numbered them. Both were writers: One a poet, Two a TV script writer. They were voluptuous. He was macho.

In fact, One called him Patsy and had dumped him, his sexual humiliation absolute. Still, he told Two how he had dominated One, stories of her submission, how he had lied when he said “I love you” while in the act of love-making – and she believed him!

He told these tales so well even he came to believe them. Alas, so did Two. She then had no choice but to conduct a pre-emptive strike. So, soon, on a nondescript night, the street asleep under a drizzle, in her lilac-scented, purple-walled loft, as Patrick was in full sail – flood lamps snapped on. The room was filled with ghoulishly masked naked men and women all twirling in what seemed like a medieval danse macabre. Except one had a camcorder.

It didn’t take long to truss him up.  When the men surrounded him and someone took out a long . . . Patrick couldn’t tell what that was . . . the fun began. Well, their fun. “Vaseline?” asked a man. “No Vaseline!” answered a woman. Everybody chuckled as they cavorted about their victim. 

Patrick howled, begged, wept, promised, swore, threatened, and finally just lay sobbing – all caught on camera.

The best part?  Except for the trussing – and his three wranglers were, though firm, nevertheless oh-so-thoughtful of his modesty, even to the point of delicacy – no one had touched Patsy with hand, private part, sexual instrument or anything else. Though restrained, mocked and menaced, Patsy had not been abused, let alone physically violated. Not even close. You can go to the video.

Finally they untied him, dressed him, and kicked him out slobbering. Later he would find a note ductaped to his left buttock. It reads:

“Beware the horrid tales you tell,”

she said before he cried.

“They weave a spell of dread,” she said,

“no matter that you lied.”


Number One




James Como is the author, most recently, of The Tongue is Also a Fire: essays on conversation, rhetoric and the transmission of culture . . . and on C. S. Lewis (New English Review Press, 2015).


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