Annals of the Flesh

“Ask Papa Ratzi”

by Pope Benedict XVI


Infallible advice from the Vatican’s very own love doctor!


Dear Pope,

You are one of the few world leaders who has yet to send a baby gift.  I want one of those crazy hats.


Blue Ivy Carter


Dear Blue,

Your gift has been my prayers, that you might be so talented and generous as your famous mother and father.  Our hats, alas, only come in male sizes, and are unfit for the small, feeble minds of women. 


I invite both you to Vatican City anytime for a baptism — all the talent in the world cannot save an unbaptized baby from the terror of limbo.  Perhaps your parents might perform for the college of cardinals? 

Yours in the Eucharist,

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Defender of the Roman Faith


Dear Pope,

I’ve finally met the girl of my dreams, and I’m planning to propose to her as soon as I can.  The only problem is, she makes a lot more money than I do — she’s this fancy corporate lawyer, and I fix roofs for poor people.  She says it doesn’t matter to her, and I believe it, but — I know that if I get her a small engagement ring (the only kind I can afford), her co-workers will laugh at her; apparently, they were really cruel to a paralegal about it once.  I could ask her first and then we could buy the ring later, together — with her money AND mine — but doesn’t that ruin all the romance?  Please help!


Stuck in Spokane


Dear “Stuck”,

This is what has become of the family in the post-feminist West: the loss of traditional gender roles hurts us all.  You are a decent man, but if your girlfriend is so brazen as to out-earn you, imagine what will come after marriage — she will assert herself as the head of the household, a position that is yours by natural law!  This cannot be abided.  It is my recommendation that you find a new girlfriend to whom you might propose, who earns a properly proportioned salary to your own.  A career woman, after all, can never be a good wife or mother.

Yours in the Eucharist,

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Defender of the Roman Faith


Dear Pope,

Last week, my toaster started burning the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe into my toast!  It’s a miracle!


Blessed in Boise


Dear “Blessed,”

Miracles are a rare occurrence, and almost never toaster-related.  Take this as an opportunity to strengthen your faith, but please stop clogging my email box with photos.  They are all very large file sizes, and free storage, unlike Christ’s love, is not an infinite resource.

Yours in the Eucharist,

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Defender of the Roman Faith


“Chocolate Hearts but no Lady Parts”

by Adam Wohnoutka


Valentine’s Day to me was like Thanksgiving in Ethiopia.  For the past five February fourteenths, Cupid had sent me a bottle of hand lotion and the following note:

“Sorry, Adam…  I’m beginning to think that we’re fighting a losing battle.  Have you ever considered getting into men?  Well, try and have a good one anyway.  It’s strawberry scented.”  The fact that women were allergic to my penis and not even a Greek god could reverse my fortunes was depressing enough.  But add to it the fun little fact that 98% of Gustavus Adolphus students were in relationships.  This meant that the campus was bursting with flowers, chocolate hearts, and sappy Valentine’s Day cards, which were basically reminders that everyone was in love and I was alone.  So, when the faithful day came, I decided that I would remain locked in my room, nibbling on Pizza Rolls and lubricating my banana with strawberry paste.


My dream of a strawberry banana smoothie was crushed in its early planning stages when my roommate barged in and said, “You’re not beating your dick.  Let’s go get some breakfast.”  And so we were off to cripple my pride.


Our first stop was the wall of PO Boxes, where countless women were squealing with glee as they read their admirers’ Valentines.  Apparently, all it took to melt a girl’s heart was a $2.99 piece of paper with two naked toddlers on the cover.  What a thoughtful gift.  These men were really working for that pussy.


Speaking of, my roommate’s girlfriend sauntered over, grasping an envelope and stretching her jaw muscles in preparation for the near-future fellatio.  She leapt into my roommate’s arms, gushing about how much she loved his stupid goddamn card.  Actually, it was my stupid goddamn card.  I had written the entire poem within, as a matter of fact.  That’s not to say my roommate hadn’t added his own personal touch.  He had written “Happy Valentine’s Day” in bubble letters, which was much more deserving of a blowjob than conveying complex emotions in iambic pentameter while also choosing a fitting rhyme scheme.


After 30 seconds of public indecency, the girlfriend asked, “Will some lucky lady be receiving a card from Adam Wohnoutka?”  I informed her that, other than the one that she was ramming a schlong down her throat for, I would not be sending out any cards.  What would an honest Valentine from me say anyway?  Most likely this: “Love is… getting drunk enough that you’re willing to have sex with me.”


Before I could escape Valentineville, it was suggested that I check my box for any possible love letters.  Of course, we all knew how it would end.  The thing was:  My misery served as an aphrodisiac for my roommate and his gal pal.  In fact, I was convinced my inner torment was the only thing keeping them together.  And so, for the sake of their relationship, I entered my combination and stuck my hand into the mailbox.  Normally, my hand would be decorated in cobwebs when I pulled it out.  But not this time.  This time it was grasping something.  (Singing)  Something I had never seen before.  Something for every man to adore.  Something to make the inner lion roar.  Something to help the wounded eagle soar.  Something pure as a disease-free whore.  ‘Twas a valentine.


For some reason, my first instinct was to buy a box of condoms.  I guess I’m just old-fashioned that way.  Before I could rush out and pick up a dozen Trojan Minis, however, there was still the business of opening the envelope and finding out who was raring to bathe in Adam’s love juice.  Who could it be?  There was this amblyopic girl across campus that had her eye on me.


I imagined myself penetrating Lazy Eye McGee as I dug into the package, which gave me an erection that would have been instantly detectable had I not been wearing my boner-masking pants (The pants also served as vagina repellant).  My penis snug against my inner thigh, I read the inside of the Valentine.  By the time I had finished, the expression on my face matched George Lucas’ after he watched “The Phantom Menace” for the first time.  There was a silence and then the girlfriend grinned.  “It’s from your mom, isn’t it?” she said at the height of cuntery.


“Yes,” I replied, my special pants’ services no longer required.


A bruised ego before breakfast.  Good times.   By day’s end, it would look like Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ.”


With my libido ravaged beyond repair, I entered the cafeteria.  Apparently, it was Bring your Bouquet to Breakfast Day because everyone with a vagina was cradling a collection of roses.  What I wanted to do required a pair of garden shears, a drum of K-Y Jelly, and a handgun; but, since I was a coward, I decided it best that I quickly consume my food and slither back to my room, away from all this love and companionship mumbo jumbo.


I had nearly finished my Valentine’s breakfast when the girlfriend strutted over with a monstrous white cake (obviously a symbol of her purity) and presented it to my roommate.  In pink frosting was written something along these lines:  “I am forever grateful that you continually drag your scrotum across my face.”  I tried my hardest to escape the situation, but I was forced into consuming a piece of the love cake, which felt very much like accepting a load from my dear roomie’s fire hose. I wiped the white frosting from my lips and scurried back to the dorms.


I had planned on overdosing on Children’s Tylenol when I returned to the room, but something unheard of happened when I pushed through the door:  I got into the holiday spirit.  Those ever-present feelings of shame and inadequacy were momentarily clouded by love and romanticism.  I wanted to do something special for — my penis.  I lit a couple of candles, poured a glass of wine, and warmed up some two-day-old garlic bread.  Barry White serenaded the two of us as I got tossed by eight ounces of bargain bin Merlot.  And then I made thirty seconds of sweet love to my trouser snake.  A perfect afternoon.  Nothing could ruin it.  Not even the fact that the strawberry lotion seeped into my pee hole and burnt like be Jesus.


After another strawberries and cream session, I was gasping like John Goodman (masturbation made up 90% of my exercise program).  And so I drifted away into a land where girls and boobies and va-jay-jays weren’t just cruel myths.  Turns out girls won’t have sex with me in my dreams either.


I was awoken from my sexless slumber by my roommate, who was prodding my testicles with his big toe.  “Clean up your semen,” he said.  “We’re going out.”


“Where?” I yawned.


“Paglias.”  Great.  We were off to a pizza parlor to raise public awareness of my relationship retardation.  I was about to make an excuse when my roommate blurted, “We found you a date.”


At this point, most people would go ahead and inquire as to whom said date was.  I, on the other hand, sprang to my feet and disappeared into my bedroom.  “I’m getting my sweater,” I announced.  And I was the only human being under 75 years old who needed a sweater every time I went out.


I waited until we were in the car to ask who the lucky lady was.  I was certain she was a mutant-like creature, but I didn’t care.  I had something resembling a date on Valentine’s Day.  Who knew?  Maybe I’d almost get to first base.


“Jackie Myers,” my roommate replied.  “She’s meeting us there.”  I think I fist bumped my penis.  For Jackie Myers was slightly above average looking.  You hear that?  Slightly above average.  I mean, her calves were as thick as Christmas hams, but she was still semi-attractive.  Best Valentine’s Day ever.



When the girlfriend, my roommate, and I took a seat at a shitty little booth, Ham Calves had yet to show (She was most certainly dolling herself up in hopes that she’d receive a coat of Adam’s premature glaze).  Scanning the room, I noticed that I was the only one without a partner at my side.  A few love birds were glancing at me out of the corners of their eyes, silently thanking God that they weren’t me.  I couldn’t wait to see the looks on their faces when a plain girl with cankles cozied up next to me.  That would show ’em.  Until then, I’d play the cool lone wolf.  I ordered a kiddie cocktail and sipped real cool.


After roughly twenty minutes, the waitress returned and recommended we order an appetizer while we waited for my date, who was surely lost in her hometown.  My two escorts, perpetually anxious to remind me that I was single and they went through economy size boxes of condoms weekly, ordered the Sweetheart Shake, which was a crappy strawberry milkshake with two straws.  The server scribbled on her notepad and turned toward me.


“Sweetheart Shake with one straw,” I murmured.


Midway through my Solo Shake, the girlfriend’s cell phone began ringing.  She removed her busy paw from my roommate’s pocket and flipped open her cellie.  “Where are you?” she hissed into the receiver, covering her mouth with a hand.  There was a voice on the other line that sounded a bit like a girl who had received a bowling ball for her birthday.  The only words I could decipher were:  “weird,” “pathetic,” “little,” “uncomfortable,” and “creep.”  After the squawking ceased, the girlfriend bowed her head and whispered, “I know.”  Then she hung up.  I wondered who it was.


I packed the remaining half of my Pizza for Two into a cardboard box (the only box I’d be handling for quite some time) and headed out the door.  My roommate was already in the car, nearly mounting his girlfriend.  He would be handling a box very soon.


When the couple dropped me off at the dorms, my roommate was already rolling a condom over Cupid’s arrow in preparation for some parking lot penetration.  I briefly considered spying on them but I ultimately decided that I could use yet another night alone.  So what I did was I popped my pizza into the microwave, rolled it around my penis, and gave the oven-baked dough the business.  I imagined that I was pounding a low-class Italian prostitute named Consuela, which was quite arousing.  Within thirty seconds, the Valentine’s Day Massacre had ended with a bang.  And a whimper.  I tossed my date’s half pizza into the trash with my pride and took my greasy sausage to bed.


And, with that, the streak lived on:  19 Valentine’s Days, 19 failures.





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