The women of America were shocked this week when Calvin Trillin's essay about his wife, the one that made all of them cry for a month, or maybe two, was denied a National Magazine Award. It looked like a shoo-in, for sure! We're not accustomed to reading the Georgia Review, which won for Michael Donohue's "
William Russell and Mary," about a guy who found an apartment in Park Slope seven years ago and then went through his dead landlady's stuff. (Whatever. Who hasn't?) But now we know why it won: because it totally trounces Calvin Trillin in the turgid overwritten weird elderporn department.
Beneath the clippings I found a pile of personal letters, all signed by or addressed to Russell. Buried even farther down in the box was a piece of white cardboard with a cartoon sketched on it in colored pencil. The cartoon showed a woman bending over, her buttocks bulky and tinted pink, her labia sagging, as a man with a superfluously large penis penetrated her. "Keep fuckin' it," read the caption. "Hard. Faster. Way up in me. I'm gonna go right now. Oh, you sweet fuckin' son of a bitch."Now we all know there's no such thing as a "superfluously large penis." (Clearly written by a straight man!) But how can nice old Calvin Trillin compete with this sort of thing?