Fucking Day: Cracked Slashfic

On the path to fame you will take many small steps. Long before you puke pure cocaine onto your own star on Hollywood Boulevard, you will celebrate minor milestones that feel revelatory at the time: The day a fanpage is founded, your own Wikipedia entry, the first time you get recognized when you really wish you weren’t (disheveled and hungover while ordering the worst thing at a burrito cart for me!) but there’s nothing quite like your very own slashfiction. The day an Internet Morlock writes several thousand words about the way you might fuck is the day you know you’ve made it. That’s why I was so intensely jealous of my old coworkers Dan O’Brien and Michael Swaim, when they were graced with this lovely bit of prose:

Even if there’s no fucking in your fanfiction, your fanfiction is still about fucking. It might be on an esoteric level, but fucks will be had. So any piece of fanfiction would belong on Fucking Day as well as any other day, but bear with me, because there absolutely is fucking here. It’s brief and last minute, as all fucking should be, but it’s here. I will deliver.

This is a tough piece for me to write, because I know both of these people, and it’s tricky to walk the line between keeping a respectful distance from their private lives and making loud, explicit jokes about their dicks touching. It’s a problem I’ve struggled with in literally every single friendship I’ve had, and I have never made the right choice. So I’m going to try to confine my criticism only to the text itself, and not address the elephant dong in the room unless absolutely necessary.

I appreciate the writer trying to mimic the Cracked style, throwing in our casual absurdity and liberal hints of violence. But this is almost the start of two jokes and no punchlines. You can’t just say “he did some heroin in an unexpected way” without further commentary; that’s just an accurate report of what bored junkies do. It’s not funny to explain that drug addicts gonna drug. That’s just an excuse that never works at any of my exit interviews. 

And you can’t just say “he threatened to burn my mom’s house down” and leave it at that — that’s genuinely what psychopaths do. Arson is your foundation, and you have to build comedy upon it. Maybe he made a Molotov cocktail in a zany fashion, like in a sippy cup. Maybe he was being metaphorical, and it turns out he ‘burned your mom’s house down’ with his good, good fuckin’. Maybe your mom flipped the script on him and burned his house down. I guess what I’m really asking is for you to take a second pass on the text after you cum, when the clarity of mind can help you build out the jokes.

This is a novice mistake. It’s what takes so many people out of horror movies. Your protagonist can’t be making so many obviously stupid decisions just so you can move the pieces around the board, then set them on top of each other and make grinding motions. Especially since we’re aware that this is slashfiction — we already know somebody is going to get railed that would probably prefer to not get railed quite so hard. You’re going to have to work even harder to make it look like that might not happen.

There always has to be just a whiff of rape in slashfiction, doesn’t there? It’s never fully consensual. Even if the author later makes it very clear that both characters came to want this, it always has to start like a sketch in a self-defense class. Slashfiction writers think that foreplay is a loophole for consent. The only pickup line slashfiction writers know is attempted kidnapping. Slashfiction writers think the most erotic part of the body is the nose because that’s where the chloroform goes.

Okay, the author gets points back here: I do like how real they kept Swaim’s living conditions. He resides in a modest apartment far from the office, and owns nothing but a small grey couch and a television. It’s like they really get the internet writer’s plight.

You see what I mean? As soon as two people show affection toward one another, a slashfiction author has to dive into their own skull Inside Out-style to see exactly how Lust manages to choke Consent out this time.

I don’t know what human pretzel pornography this author gets off to, but I can tell you with authority that Michael Swaim is not a fuck-snake. He’s not a blowjob boa constrictor, able to keep a man on his lap while also fellating him. He’s like any of us: he has to choose between the two.

It is true that the early columnists all had lube. They got it as a gag gift from a fan, and only used it once for an office Slip ‘n Slide party. 

Wait, did I just fall for the least effort ever put into a cover story?!

The human imagination is a bizarre and terrible thing. That you can look at a regular person making comedy sketches on the internet and be so overcome with inspiration that you simply must pen three thousand words on how they probably feel about anal creampies — it’s almost noble. I am a professional writer and I could only get 1,092 words out of that, at best.

Leaving the door so plainly open for a sequel is always a bold move — it shows a degree of faith and certainty that I have never had in anything I’ve ever done. The blind, hopeless trust inherent in that faulty assumption just breaks my heart. It’s like a disabled orphan believing with all his heart that there’s no way you’ll steal his wheelchair for a third time. People that type “THE END…?” are still waiting for OJ to find the real killer. If you tell them “the check is in the mail” and it never arrives, they’ll go hold up the line at the Post Office just to drag an already broken postal worker over coals they stopped being able to feel long ago. This author was so very sure that the people would clamor for more textual erotica about two awkward internet comedians fucking in a budget Burbank apartment that they couldn’t even commit to a hard stop. But that’s not an epic saga that needs more exploration, it’s just a Tuesday we don’t talk about.