Of the Ghost of Vermeer of Delft, Which Can be Used as a Verb & An Inconvenient Provision of Robert’s Rules of Order


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Fassbinder was fassbindered into submission by the imitators who came after him, but he merely let out a guffaw & asked if anyone knew where he could find “a good house of bondage,” whatever that might be. As he made his exit, his pale laughing bearded face glowed in the night, as if rembrandted. Poor Stockhausen, who scarcely needed more trouble, was accused of attempting a filibuster when he was simply reciting the names of the participants at the conference. He finally surrendered the floor to go to the bathroom,* & returned to find that his own name had come under fire, long-winded & nonsensical as it is. Stockhausen was forced to simplify to the shortest available verb or noun, in either case Stock, which made him gloomier than ever. It augurs badly for the stock market.

Most of the best names are already taken: look, for example, at the American detective Matt Murder, whose gentle methods have all but eliminated murder as we used to know it; the squeamish British veterinarian Geoffrey Courage, who lowered standards & enabled many more of us to be courageous than ever were before; the mediocre French philosopher whose one stroke of genius was adopting the name Henri Dialogue; the blissful German simpleton Petr Angst; monosyllabic Sammy Lexicon; & the notorious child molester Harold Please.

Fuck, however, would make an excellent surname, & it’s still available at this writing. Joe Fuck. Maureen Fuck. Joe & Maureen Fuck & their child Duane Fuck. “To fuck” might mean to get root-canal work, or to behave oneself admirably, or to wade through lava in hip-high rubber boots, or whatever the Fuck Family made it mean by their own example (unless they were very libidinous, in which case the verb would stay the way it is).



* Under Robert’s Rules of Order, a speaker holds the floor until natural causes force him to relinquish it. Fortunately, Dr. No refused Stockhausen’s urgent request for catheterization. Had the composer better known the good Doctor’s proclivities, he would have asked him to refuse the operation, whereupon the Doctor, as is his wont, would have answered No. Caught in a double negative, Dr. No would then have been forced to perform the operation, & no one knows how long Stockhausen might have gone on.



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