This story was originally written for a friend of mine who loves two things: words and mythology. By words, I mean he loves big words that make him feel smart at the expense of others. And by mythology, I mean fantasy. And by fantasy, I mean cheap swords and sorcery fantasy like a combination of He-Man and soft core pornography. Actually, He-Man pretty much is soft core pornography, isn’t it?
This is a fantasy story starring words.
This is WORD PORN.
Once upon a time in the land of Dictionary, there lived a word called Indefatigable. Indefatigable was a huge leviathan of a word. His scandalously long vowels and hard consonants caused others words to swoon and sway. Their syllables would spread wide–revealing their trembling trochees and gliding diphthongs in an orgiastic fit of phonetic submission.
But there was only one word in the entire land of Dictionary that Indefatigable had eyes for: Pulchritude. What a noun. Pulchritude’s undulating flow, harsh rhythm, and wanton popping of her plosive P was almost unbearable. There was no adjective to describe Pulchritude with the exception of her sister. Pulchritudinous.
But all was not well in the land of Dictionary—a word of great evil was gathering power. A flabby, jaundiced, heinous word known only as Oleaginous.
Oleaginous had hatched an unspeakably odious plot to slaughter every word between himself and Pulchritude so she would be forced to live directly next to Oleaginous and endure his fetid polysyllabic advances.
Oleaginous, together with his lugubrious henchmen, Squamous and Feculent, marched through the lower O lands of Dictionary—murdering O word after O word with feckless disregard for their antiquity. They silenced Oration! They beheaded Overpass, defenestrated Overthrow, and ripped a gaping hole right through the center of Ozone.
Word of the atrocity traveled to our hero, Indefatigable. Together with his chatty sidekick, Loquacious, Indefatigable set off on a perilous venture to rescue his coveted noun.
As Indefatigable raced through the land of Dictionary, Loquacious babbled and chattered in a desperate attempt to provide comic relief that was neither humorous nor particularly successful in facilitating an emotional catharsis.
“Looky there,” squawked Loquacious like a socially challenged eunuch, “Larceny is having a lark with Laxative!”
But Indefatigable could not be consoled. He raced forward pausing only to wave a friendly hello to his good friends Libido, Liqueur, and Lubricant.
Meanwhile, the villainous triumvirate of Oleaginous, Squamous, and Feculent plundered a path through the hills, valleys, and streams of P. They perforated Penetration! They plastered Pedantic and sent Perdition straight to Hell! They pricked Promiscuity and popped Prophylactic! Oleaginous was almost within propinquity of Pulchritude. All he had to do now was pass through Puberty.
Suddenly, Indefatigable burst upon the scene. Pulchritude told him to capitulate to Oleaginous as she was more than capable of defending herself. But Indefatigable was intransigent.
“You’ve killed a lot of good words today, Oleaginous,” said Indefatigable. “And I’m going to make you pay.”
The two big, hard to say words stared at each other with mutual loathing. Wind whistled atop the rocky plateau upon which they stood. Lightning slaked the dark clouds’ hunger for illumination. And all the other words in the land of Dictionary gathered to witness this apocalyptic conflagration.
Tension paced back and forth. Histrionic wailed and moaned. Ellipsis waited to see what WOULD…HAPPEN…NEXT…
Suddenly, the titanic battle began! Swindle barely had time to collect bets before it was over. Without breaking a sweat, Indefatigable had ripped Oleaginous into his component parts leaving a hideous splatter of flaccid letters pooled in their own fluid. An Alphabet Soup of death.
The crowd began to disperse when Indefatigable cried out, “Oh, I’m not done yet!”
And his tireless eyes met with the unfathomable beauty that was Pulchritude’s pupils.
And even Loquacious was speechless as Pulchritude mounted Indefatigable like an umlaut on a U. They copulated for what seemed an incalculable time—an astounding epic of hammering, pounding, and punctuating—the two words riding one another like prurient asterisks!
It was too much for most decent words. Hell, it was too much for most naughty words. Fellatio’s jaw fell open in shock. Sodomy turned his back. Even Fuck blushed.
And finally, in a swelling exclamation of teleological bliss, Indefatigable and Pulchritude climaxed–their syllables intertwined in an obscene mockery of a compound word.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is the true story of the invention of the word: In-pul-chrat-ah-ga-tude-able.
Or to describe this linguistic union in more pejorative terms—their disgusting, spasmodic lovemaking had created a lovely new word that simply means “tireless beauty.”
Because sometimes even ugly things can be pretty.
A version of this story is also available in my book COMEDY OF DOOM.
Thanks for reading.