About Don Royster

Don Royster has spent many lifetimes accumulating adventures from a multitude of galaxies. Some of his magic carpet rides have taken him to Japan, the Phillippines, and Texas. Gifted with an insatiable curiosity, a love for creativity and a strange sense of humor, he has been a student, and still is, of everything from A to Zen and back again. Along the way he has written poems, stories and novels about his many adventures and travels. His latest adventure is the blog, Uncle Bardie's Stories & Such.

The Rediscovery of Sex

I was watching an old 1930s movie recently. A couple got married. They never had a honeymoon. The husband carried his blushing bride over the threshold, dropped her in the living room, then went off to work. The wife went shopping.

In the one scene in the bedroom, there were twin beds. Both husband and wife wore pajamas. They gave each other a good night smooch, then each crawled into their twin bed and went off to zzzz-land. No time in the movie did the couple even hint at the s-word.

Since movies are a very good reflection of real life, none of the thirties romances had sexual activity. If couples were having sex, they kept it on the q.t. Guess that was why it was called the Great Depression.

It got me thinking. How did they avoid sex? I mean, these days sex is everywhere. It’s on magazine covers. It’s in the ads. It’s in the movies. It’s on tv. It’s in the music. It’s even on the evening news. We can’t seem to get enough of it. So just how did our forefolks avoid sex? Why would they want to anyway? Why did it take a World War to bring back sex?

Big questions. Recently Uncle Bardie came across an ancient tome called  “The Real Kinsey Report” that explained much that has been hidden from history. Lord Byron was one of the last two people in England in the Nineteenth Century to enjoy a ménage à duet, his female partner à duet being the other people. As the famed Lord was making a strategic withdrawal, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were engaged in hanky panky on the HMS Queen Mary. The thing is there was more hanky than panky.

Vickie and Bertie were off on their honeymoon. Of course, you do know that the origin of the word “honeymoon” was Anglo Saxon for “tiddlywinks”.  As soon as Bertie showed his blushing bride his tiddly and she showed him her winkie, they both realized this would never do. She said, “Ewwww.” And she meant it. He said, “Yech.” And he meant it. That was the end of sex as our forefathers and foremothers knew it. The end of foreplay. And afterplay too.

They returned to Buckingham Palace and declared that there was to be no more sex in the land. To make sure that their command was obeyed, they proclaimed a proclamation and they decreed a decree. Every female over the age of twelve not only had to wear a girdle. She had to wear a corset, even when she went to bed. Especially when she went to bed.

Unlike Prohibition, the new regime of non-coitus dilecti was widely popular. The Germans loved it. The Russians loved it. The Chinese loved it. The Greeks loved it. The Americans loved it. The Italians, not so much. Only the French resisted. And the Canadians who were half French anyway. The Canadians just shook their heads and thought, “Are they crazy? How are we to keep warm, eh?”

Late in the century, the French came around. We all know the details. It was the Albert Dufus Affair. Seems that A D was messing around with the Can-Can. Needless to say, it was uncanny how candid the Can-Can can.

The Can-adians never came around. Oh, sure. They too had a coitus interruptus with the Yukon Gold Rush. It was a brief run. Why have all that gold and not have anything to spend it on? So it was soon back to the business of coitus-ing all over the place. Like they say, nobody can the way a Can-adian can-can. Canada, what a country.

Since men and women didn’t make whoopee during the Great Sex Out, they didn’t need to smell good either. So no one took a bath.

Talk about Weather Changes and Global Warming. For almost one hundred years, Earth was bathed in a certain smell. Scientists blamed it on the Industrial Revolution. The truth is it came from the lack of bathing. The smell almost destroyed the ozone layer. The planet was carbon dioxiding all over the place.

For ten years after the Anti-Fornication Act of 1840, there were no babies born. “Why no babies?” the Victorians queried. Everybody liked babies. Oh, sure. There was the poop. Good thing the babies outgrew that. Not the pooping. Changing the diapers they pooped in.

The Victorians did not equate pregnancy with sex. They believed babies were delivered by storks. But there wasn’t a shortage of storks. So. Why no bambinos? It just wasn’t natural. Before they could say, “We’re really screwed,” a solution appeared on the horizon. It came from a most unusual source.

The North Pole. And it was not Santa Claus who presented a solution. Everybody presumed it was Dr. Livingston. But Dr. Livingston was deep in the heart of Africa presuming.

It seems that the Sir Rutherford Rutherford returned from his Great Balloon Exploration into Wild Blue Yonders of the Outer Atmosphere with an amazing artifact. You’ve heard of the iPod. He brought back an ePod.

A what? Yes, you heard me right. I said an Extraterrestrial Pod, known as an ePod. Extraterrestrials were born from ePods and it had been going on for centuries.

When ePods were first introduced to the rest of the planet, people were very skeptical. Some even afraid. Here is some footage taken at one of the first Royal Society meetings:

Soon the Victorians calmed down and realized this was the answer to a prayer. No sex and beaucoup babies. Before you knew it, most families were raising a crop of ePods in their backyards.

There were those who resisted like Abraham Lincoln. “Fourscore and seven years ago” was not about the Declaration of Independence. Abe was talking about the wild sexcapades our forefolks had back in the Olden Days. The Boston Tea Party was a protest, not over a tax on tea, but a tax on condoms.

I bet you thought Manifest Destiny was about increasing the size of the United States westward. It was not. It was about spreading the ePod Gospel. Custer and his Cavalry were taking a wagonload of ePods into Indian country. Sitting Bull had seen the future and he wanted none of it. It was every Indian’s right to have babies the organic way. None of that genetically modified babies for the Sioux.

Despite the resistance, the ePods became the way children came into this world by the beginning of the twentieth century. Oh sure, there were rebels without a cause like D. H. Lawrence and his Lady Chatterley. FDR was rumored to have said to Eleanor on their first night as a married couple, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

This was the way of things until World War II. The War destroyed most of the ePods. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, they wiped out the ePod Supply of the entire United States. FDR wasn’t kidding when he spoke before Congress and said, “This is a Day that will live in Infamy.” He really meant it. By the end of the war, the Atom Bomb radiated the few ePods left.

For the next few years, the world was in despair. What to do? What to do? The Korean War was fought because the Allies believed the North Koreans were hoarding ePods. They weren’t. So the Allies lost interest and declared a Truce.

No one seemed to know what to do. Then Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr parted the waters.

Burt and Debbie showed us the way. Sex was back. And this time it was here to stay.

At least, till another ePod outbreak.

Famous Literary Products

There is some concern that Americans just don’t read enough. As a way to encourage reading, major companies are coming out with a line of products, featuring literary characters and other literary vehicles. Here is some of the upcoming products:
1. Jeeves-and-Wooster Stiff Upper Lip Gloss.
2. Jabberwocky Translators: We translate your gobblelygook into their gobblelygook.
3. Mary Poppins’ Silverware: To make the medicine go down.
4. Macbeth’s Kilts: (With and without) to bring out the ambition in your man.
5. Hercule Pierogies: You haven’t tasted a pierogi until you’ve tasted Hercule’s.
6. Achilles’ Heels: Socks that won’t separate during laundry. So no use to wonder what happened to that lost sock.
7. Dorian Gray Mirrors: Now forever isn’t just a word.
8. Daisy Buchanan Diapers: Once your child starts using these, their poop won’t smell.
9. Dark and Stormy Bras: The pushup bra that keeps on pushing when all other bras give out.
10. Holden Caulfield Skateboards: We show you what a smartass you can be, riding our boards.
11. Frank ‘N’ Steiners (Odor Eaters): Your stink don’t have to be monstrous.
12. Captain Ahab-o-mobile: Lets you own the road.
13. Ebenezer Scrooge Investments: We squeeze every dollar we can out of your investments.
14. Dracula Dental Repair: Get your bite back.
15. Oliver Twisteds; The pretzel that will leave you begging for more.
16. Charlie Brown Noses: We train the professionals.
17. Sherlock Homes: You won’t need a Doctor Watson for your retirement here.
18. Hannibal Lector’s: The finest liver products anywhere.
19. Gatzby Underpants: Guys, you will be the cat’s pajamas in the bedroom.
20. Madame Bovary Scotch: The drink that will bring out the adulteress in you.
21. Rhett Butlers: The best erectile dysfunction treatment on the market.
22. Portnoy’s Non-Complaints: The condoms that never fail.

Cat Time

Around my house, there are two kinds of time. Regular Time reserved for such trivialities as getting to work, watching the news, going to church, eating dinner, sunrise and sunset. Stuff like that.

The second kind is Cat Time. For those who are owned by a cat, you know what I mean. There’s the come-and-see-what-I-caught-you’ll-be-proud-of-me time when you are right in the middle of finding out who murdered Grandma on your favorite tv show.

There’s the I-want-to-sit-on-your-lap time. I am sitting there in my comfy chair, zoning out on that new episode of “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel”. The bowl of popcorn rests on my lap, all buttery and salted the way I like it. Kitty wants on my lap right where that big bowl of popcorn sits. For the last six weeks, I have tried to persuade her that I have a nice lap. Now she has taken me up on my offer. Of all times.

I move the popcorn out of the way and she jumps up on the lap. Now you would think she would lay down and leave well enough alone. Oh no. She has to make sure I know who is in charge. She starts kneading. Talk about pain.

The time I hate the most is the I-want-out-I have-to-go-chase-something time. This usually occurs at 4 am around my house. I say, “Go ‘way. Let me sleep.” I hear this retort, “You don’t want me to go way. I know how to miss the litter box.” When the god speaks, I must respond. No matter what.

In most religions, there is a place for repentance. Cat owners know that does not hold with kitty. No matter how much I beg for forgiveness for that one time that I did not respond to kitty, there is no repentance on earth that will be accepted. I broke The Commandment: Cats rule. Even if I wear sack cloth and ashes and present kitty with special treats for months on end, kitty shall always hold it over me. Lest I transgress a second time. God help me if I transgress a second time.

I have come to one conclusion about cats and their times. This is their revenge for that moment of weakness we called them the one word they truly hate. And believe me. There is no revenge quite like Cat Revenge. So what is The Word? Cute as in “Honey, we just have to have him. He’s so cute.”

If you didn’t say it, you thought it. Cats know. They read minds.

A Writer’s Horror Story

The writer sat back, lit himself a cigar and grinned. He had come to the end of his tome, Somehow, he worked through all the jokes, and all the times when he didn’t want to write the damned thing. It was done, and he was a happy man. He saved his work.

He went to the kitchen, took a grand puff on his cigar and poured a drink of the pinot he’d been saving for a celebration. Soon the glass was empty. He poured a second glass and walked back to his computer with a big smile on his face.

51,717 words. He was indeed proud of himself. Lady Whats-her-name had adventures up the wazoo and who knew? Maybe the next novel might bring more adventures. He had only one more thing to do. Upload his words to the online site. Before he did, there was just one itsy-bitsy change he wanted to make. Change THE END to FINALE.
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He sat down at the computer and looked at the page. He was stunned. The words, all 51,717 of them, had been erased. Where was his work, his month of staying up late and typing out nonsense into the word processor? Hours of trying to think up crap for a useless extravaganza of an exercise.

He stared at the monitor. Suddenly a big mouth appeared on his screen. It said in the crudest possible way, “I’m hungry and I want more words. More words, if you please.”

The Debutante’s Ball

Miss Luella Sue Pepper was in need of a husband. She had just turned eighteen and she was ripe for marrying. Her Daddy, William Kean Pepper, said so. Her Mama, Eustasha Alice Pepper, said so. So did her Aunt Michaela Marie. Seemed it was apple picking time for their young darling, her being the fairest maiden in the Valley. Only problem was Miss Louella Sue was not in a marrying mood. She liked her solitude. She considered herself wearing the likes of that Emily Dickinson down in Mississippi.

The night of the debutante’s ball Miss Louella Sue locked herself in her room. There was not anyway she’s going to that fancy dress shindig. No way atall. She’d heard stories.

Her Mama, Eustasha Alice, did her best to get her one-and-only darling to come on out of her room and go to the ball. She knocked on Miss Louella Sue’s door with a knock that sounded real urgent like. “Y’all come out of there, y’hear. It’s time you put on your best shoes and get on down to the American Legion Hall with me and your Daddy. I’m sure you’re gonna meet a right nice boy tonight.”

“I am not going,” Miss Louella Sue called out, and she meant it.

“You know Mary Eloise Gaine’s boy, Henry, will be there, Darling.”

“I ain’t interested in no Henry Bradford Gaines. You ought know that.” Miss Louella Sue meant these words even more.

Her Mama said softly, persuasive-like, “Darling, I know you want to be one of them poets. And you can. Going to this here cotillion will give you something to write about. You can write poems about how all the boys tripped over themselves just to get to dance with you.”

“I don’t care what you say. I am not going to no ball. And that’s final.” As far as Miss Louella Sue was concerned, it was final.

“Your dear friend, Pearl Eugenia Willingham, will be there. She’ll be downright disappointed if you don’t share this night with her.”

“How do you know that?” She was asking ’cause she really wanted to know. How could anybody know anything about what Pearl Eugenia wanted? Pearl Eugenia shared her wants with not a single soul.

“She told me so. She did last Sunday at church.”

‘Bout this time, her Daddy showed up at Miss Louella Sue’s door. He walked right hard past her Mama and knocked on the door. It was one of them I’m-meaning-business knocks too. “Girl, you get your skinny butt dressed and get downstairs. If you ain’t down there in a half hour, I am gonna personally knock this door down and tan your hide. You’re going to this do whether you like it or not. So you want to be able to sit and sip punch and let them boys admire you? Or do you want to have to stand all night ’cause your butt will hurt something bad?”

From behind the door came a whimper of a voice, “Yes, Daddy.” She knew that there’d be no going against her Daddy no matter what. Miss Louella Sue may have been spoiled all the way down the Mississippi to New Orleans, but she wasn’t so spoiled she didn’t know trouble when it came her way. There wouldn’t be any sweet talkin’ her Daddy tonight. ‘Sides maybe she’d get a poem or two out of this night just like her Mama promised.

So she swallowed her pride and got dressed. In two shakes, she was downstairs, wearing the red and white evening gown her Mama bought over in Memphis for the occasion. Her Daddy looked her up and down and smiled like he’d smiled when he got that new hunting rifle last Christmas. Indeed he was proud. He leaned over and pinned a white orchid corsage on her. Then he gave a sigh.

“Darling Daughter, you gonna make some fella one beautiful bride,” he said, beaming proud as he could be.

Mama and Daddy Pepper loaded their one-and-only in his brand new red Ford pickup. Before you know it, they were at the Hall. They weren’t the first ones to arrive and they weren’t the last ones. Mama led her daughter to the staging area for the debutantes. Soon she’d be walking out into the ballroom, getting herself presented like she was one of them New York City debutantes.

As Miss Louella Sue Pepper walked backstage, all the other girls stared at her. They knew she would have the pick of the litter tonight. She was one fine looking girl and they knew it. But all Miss Louella Sue Pepper could think of was how tight her shoes were. She was also thinking getting dressed up like this was downright unnatural. She’d rather be out of these clothes and in some jeans and a t-shirt than standing in a line looking like a fool for all to stare at.

Then it hit her right side up against the head. She didn’t have to play favorites with any of them boys. She would give a dance to each and every one of them. At the end of the night, she’d go home with a smile on her face, knowing she had outwitted her Mama and her Daddy.

She and the other girls made the walk out into ballroom, all eyes fixed on the five girls, folks ooo-ing and ah-ing at the girls. Those young ladies were something that night. All dressed up and presented to the town and ready for marrying.

Miss Louella Sue danced first with the hotshot of all the boys, Henry Bradford Gaines. His flaming red hair was something to behold. But she was not impressed. If he thought he had a claim on her, he could guess again. She went on to dance with the Breckinridge boys, all three of them. But not at the same time.

Once she’d made it through those fellas, she took herself a break. She sat herself down to give her footsies a break. She sent Peter Charles Breckinridge, the youngest of the brothers, off to get herself some punch. “And don’t come back without it,” she commanded in that Southern Belle voice of hers.

She was joined by Pearl Eugenia Willingham. She said to Pearl, “What you thinkin’.”

Pearl said to her, “Don’t know why everybody makes such a fuss.”

“Me neither. It’s almost like we’re lambs being led to the slaughterhouse.”