When my first novel came out, I caught a lot of flack for the cursing in it. “Too much cursing. Made Baby Jesus cry,” people said.
Look, I curse a lot. And many of the people I hang out with do, too. But the thing is “The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival” was about a priest. And while I’ve known priests who curse and while it DID say something about his character, maybe they were right. Did I really need all the cursing?
So when I started “Bacon and Egg Man,” I figured I didn’t need the fuck-nozzle turned all the way to high. The characters wouldn’t curse that much. I even told one of my Pentecostal aunts that she wouldn’t have to worry (as much) about her immortal soul with this one.
Apparently, I lied to my aunt.
In a phone conversation with my dad, he asked me why I had so much cursing and other filth in there. I told him he was crazy. There was a little bit of sex early in the book and appropriate cursing scattered here and there, but other than that, I kept it to a minimum.
What about the artist character, he asked.
Ohhhhhhh, Jules. I don’t know how I forgot about Jules. Like Miss Rita in the first book, he might have been my favorite character to write in this one. Except he’s no Miss Rita. He’s a heaping mountain of profanity and sexual excess. He represents a certain way of living–one celebrated by certain elements of society, but certainly not one lived by the rest of the characters. Yes, a big old cursing, porn-spouting dude. That somehow I’d forgotten I’d put in the book. Oops. I’d give you an excerpt, but that would be like the guys who made “Porky’s” showing all the boobs in the previews.
“Where did you learn that sort of stuff?” my dad wanted to know.
“From you!” I said. Well, from certain magazines back in the day, some of which were his. Your life starts to jumble together as you get older and some stuff you remember, some stuff you think you remember and some stuff is pure fiction.
There is one line of dialogue I put in Jules’ mouth that I clearly remember the source of. It was from a trip to the Baltimore area back in my LIU days. There were a bunch of us, guys and girls (or at least one girl), and we’d gone to a strip club and then we’d gone to a gas station or convenience store. I was literally riding in the trunk if I remember correctly. That convenience store had a bunch of porn magazines. Remember the days when you had to go buy your porn in public like some common pervert? Now, we didn’t need a porn magazine. But one of the cover lines was such a work of art, such a bit of porn poetry that a member of the group had to buy the magazine. Or maybe I’m misremembering, maybe the member of the group made up the cover line–he had a way with these things.
At any rate, I’m not telling you what it is. It wouldn’t mean much to you if I did. And for those of us who were out on that night, maybe you’ll recognize the line when you come across it. (Then again, maybe your mind has been filled with more useful information.)
Anyway, “Bacon and Egg Man” is rated R for violence, nudity and adult content.