Ancient History

“Stalin”

By Kathleen Wolak

It was 1935, and I was working in Paris as a painter.  The locals called me something quite endearing, “Le Beouf” I think it was, which roughly translated means “Artistic genius the likes of which we have never seen.”  My romance with Simone had just ended.  She was a beautiful, three hundred pound woman with eight toes on each foot.  She couldn’t walk in a circle to save her life, but she could dance.  We were once dancing for eighteen hours straight before our host told us that we had to stop, as others needed to use the bathroom.

Simone and I parted ways because her father had arranged a marriage for her.  He was a count, or a gardener, or something upscale like that.  She said a tearful goodbye to me, and boarded a train to Normandy.  I showed my sorrow through my art.  I painted fruit bowls crying, dogs playing cards crying, and when I painted houses on the side for extra money, I would paint a large teardrop right on the side.  That was my most inspired period.

I never found love again.  There were the short romantic trysts with waitresses and prostitutes, but nothing to put your hat on.  It was during this period that I started to paint large, full-scale nudes, sometimes on canvas.

I was in my studio, painting a flower on a fat nude’s buttocks when there was a knock.  I asked the woman, Georgette, I think her name was, if it was all right if I answered.  She turned around to face me and nodded.

“Entré!”

The man pushed the door in and smiled.  He was a short, plump man with a large, bushy mustache.  I had been desperately trying to grow one for years, but had given up and just painted one on instead.

He smiled, “Oh, I do hope I am not interrupting.”

I took note of his strong Russian accent.  “Ah!   A Ruskie!  What can I do for you sir?”

“Are you not GastÓn?  The most gifted painter in all the land?”

I put down my brush and faced this man.  “Yes, that is me.  And you are?”

“Joseph Stalin, sir.  My friends call me Joe.  My really close comrades call me Nickles.”

My nude was getting dressed to leave, and I opened the door for her.

“I was wondering, GastÓn, if you would paint me, er, nude.”

“Why, sir, I could think of no finer honor.”

The process began the next week, as Stalin had to move some appointments around in his calendar.  He arrived the following Tuesday in nothing but a silk bathrobe and a pointed helmet.  He made himself comfortable on my velvet chaise and tried several different poses before settling on one he called “The Mermaid.”  Essentially, it was him posing with his legs bent, and cleverly hiding what he called his “Stalin-nads.”  He was self-conscious, and drank about three bottles of wine before agreeing to remove his helmet.

He and I would talk during these sessions.  He told me this picture was a present for a woman he was in love with.  “A married woman,” he said.  “By the name of Eva.”

He said he didn’t care for her husband.  A pushy little man named Adolph.  I had no idea who he was talking about, as I had isolated myself from the outside world since I found a mouse on my front stoop.  He would shift his considerable gut from side to side and sigh, complaining of how fat he felt, and begging me to paint him thinner.

“I paint only the truth.”  I responded each time he asked me to not paint a fat roll, or make his arms look leaner.

“But,” he would argue, “Pictures add ten pounds!”

I refused, and gave him more wine.  He became a gossip when he drank.  He would tell me all about this grand idea some joker named Marx had that he was going to improve upon.  I told him I had no mind for politics and he would splash wine at me.

“You artists!  All you do is go around, and think you are too good for everyone!”

He spoke of the American President, and the man he was married to, and of what he wanted to do when he got sick of leading the Soviet Union.

“I want to move to a little cottage here, in France, and knit all day.”

I painted him for months.  Every mole, every hair, and every bit of fat went on to my canvas.  At the end of it all, I stepped back from my work and beamed with pride.  The portrait showed him, nude, with his silk robe draped seductively behind him.  His come hither eyes and significant facial hair made the painting almost too much to resist.

“Your lady friend will love this,” I said, in the summer of 1937, as I was wrapping up the painting for him.

“I am hopeful.”  He paid me thirteen hundred francs, tipped his helmet and was on his way.  I stopped him five minutes later, as he had left his robe on my chaise, and was wearing nothing but his helmet and a sock.  He thanked me and we parted ways.  This was the last I ever saw of Joe, but I am told he did pretty well for himself.

  

“From ‘Ass-Feeling’ to ‘Glass Ceiling’: The Triumphant Evolution of Women in the Workplace”

by Frank Allbritten

January 10, 1897.  Jefferson City, Missouri.

Constance Simpkins becomes the first woman to establish and operate her own saloon in the United States. Unfortunately, she is soon hospitalized with severe bottom trauma from her bawdy male patrons’ constant seat-smacking and posterior-pinching. Her son proceeds to take over the saloon; his buttocks are left relatively unharmed.

September 22, 1916. New York City.

Margaret Sanger opens the first birth control clinic in the U.S. It’s staffed entirely by female doctors, a fact that astonishes much of the male-controlled newspapers at the time. ‘Women Not Only Can Read, But Can Doctor, Too!’ reads one headline.

August 18, 1920. Columbus, Ohio.

Women in a bonnet factory unionize and strike, declaring better hours and reduced spankings. Women, if unencumbered by hindquarter pain, are allowed to stroll to the polls to vote. Domestic violence is strongly ‘frowned upon’ by the United States government, but an occasional-to-frequent “smack on the tush” is officially endorsed by President Woodrow Wilson.

November 22, 1933. Washington D.C.

Frances Perkins becomes the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet, serving as Secretary of Labor. Carter is badgered by her male peers to answer the phone, schedule appointments, and maybe wear something a little more tight-fitting sometimes; she is constantly forced to remind them that she’s not an actual secretary.

July 2, 1937. Lae, New Guinea.

Sick and tired of being goosed on the caboose by her fellow male aviators, Amelia Earhart sets out on a flight around the entirety of the earth. Though she almost immediately ‘disappears,’ a woman strongly resembling Earhart is soon reportedly seen on Howland Island displaying a radiant gap-toothed smile and enjoying cocktails served by young, shirtless island boys, all of whom she joyously gives a hard thump on the rump.

February, 1942

Rosie the Riveter serves as an iconic example of how women have been roped along as an integral piece of the slaughter-play called war that men regularly engage in. Their forearms taut and muscular, their bandanas delightfully ensconced, women everywhere luxuriate in the fact that their hands are covered in heroic blood as they singlehandedly manufacture the weapons of death our nation so deeply needs. Riveting is, apparently, essential for war.

August 14, 1945

‘Victory over Japan Day’ is announced by President Harry S. Truman. Women everywhere celebrate by getting kissed and groped in public by anonymous sailors. The end of World War II imminent, many women rejoice in their workload being reduced from keeping the nation afloat back to various forms of featherdusting, dustbusting, and featherbusting.

October 15, 1951 – May 6, 1957

The hit sitcom I Love Lucy is the first time America sees a full-blooded woman (Lucille Ball) showing everyone she belongs in show business as much as an Al Jolson or a Humphrey Bogart. Most of the plots involve Lucy ironing her husband’s shirts.

March, 1960

‘Maternity leave’ is established at several companies throughout the country, in which case women with newborn children are kindly asked to leave.

December 12, 1963

Betty Friedan, a lady author, publishes her book Vaginas are People Too, in which she argues that vaginas are people too. Many argue this statement is semantically flawed and confusing, but the book goes on to sell 9 million copies anyway.

September, 1968

When played backwards, several Joan Baez records are revealed to contain subliminal feminist messages urging women to stand up for themselves at work. Unfortunately, most people prefer to play the records forwards.

June 30, 1970. Morgantown, West Virginia.

At a conference for professional women, learned anatomist Abigail Horowitz points out the clitoris. The ladies riot out of indignation, then all quickly disappear to their respective hotel rooms for a good, long time.

August 11, 1971. Boston, Massachusetts.

The revolutionary women’s health book Our Bodies, Ourselves is published. The sequel, Their Bodies, Themselves, is an empathetic analysis of why penises equal money.

March 24, 1972, New York City.

Gloria Steinem and Letty Cottin Pogrebin co-found Ms. Magazine, which gives women something to read in the waiting room while their husbands go in for high-paying job interviews.

January 9, 1976

The TV show Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman airs and causes a national sensation. Its star, Louise Lasser, defines a generation of brilliant women subjugated by authority. Her former husband married his own adopted daughter and continues to make films and win countless awards.

May, 1981. Washington, D.C.

Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve as a justice in the Supreme Court, authors a myriad of dissenting opinions concerning the ass-slapping ceremony “mandatory for her induction” that the other justices just made up.   

June 18, 1983, space.

Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space. “I’d like to take her for a ride,” says rising stand-up comic Jay Leno, a raging, ignorant sexist.

March, 1986

Sexual harassment is banned in the workplace. Ladies are subsequently so packed in their slacks that several working men throughout the nation die of slappage deprivation.

June 5, 1988. Nashville, Tennessee.

“Women should be allowed to use a computer,” declares President Ronald Reagan, “despite the risk of them cooking it, or having a baby all over it.”

January 26, 1998. Washington, D.C.

Monica Lewinsky becomes the first woman to actually achieve something in the White House.

October 14, 2000.

In a massive coup, the female judge Judith Sheindlin gets her own daytime TV show. She proceeds to bust every ball in sight.

July 19, 2007

Mad Men airs, and is lauded by critics for its portrayal of strong, intelligent women in the workplace during the 1960s while weaving a rich and insightful narrative about the country as a whole during this transformative era. Men watch it for tits.

April 14, 2008

Rebecca Solnit publishes her essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” in which she establishes the concept of “mansplaining.” In the wake of scores of angry women, men manflect this idea away with tearful manpologies and send millions of mandollars worth of roses to various secretaries and receptionists throughout the country.

2015

The national average of women’s wages compared to men’s increases from 77 to 78 cents on the dollar. Women are now considered only 22 cents less equal than those with testicles. All is well.

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