To do Fitswell or not to do him, that is the question. I’ve done him already, having published his first five misadventures in two small adult magazines. But Jim Lilly’s advice not to write Fitswell under my normal pseudonym still haunted me. Jim Lilly was the owner of the Wild Times Magazine, a small St. Louis based adult publication, and Jim was excited about getting me to create Dick Fitswell, having come all the way over from the St. Louis side to my East side apartment. Jim might have been all fired up about Fitswell, but I wasn’t. I wanted him to publish, Return to Visions a piece I had written about my returning to Visions Gentlemen’s club of my favorite strip clubs down scenic route 157 that meanders along the Mississippi River bluffs where the river long ago had made its channel. That night I had taken one of the dancers home from the club the long way. Early that morning, the girl and I had gone over to Monk’s Mound, climbed its steps and surveyed the landscape, a hundred feet below us, in the moonlight–a landscape of prehistoric Indian mounds of a once proud civilization now called Cahokia Mounds. To make a long story short I reluctantly agreed to write Fitswell in return for Jim’s publishing Return to Visions in his magazine. And now, after having finally written 28 episodes the real issue is whether to pull the plug and to publish the new Fitswell book or not.
Dick Fitswell is a horrible man whose only goal in life is to bang as many women as possible. But this single goal is only a means to an end, which is to find the perfect fit for his overly large male appendage. Whether he gets along with a woman or doesn’t and whether she’s a good person or not doesn’t matter, and for that matter whether she’s beautiful, although it helps, doesn’t begin to measure up to whether she fits or not. The Fitswell stories are pornographic, and I’ve never liked porn very much. But ever since getting halfway through writing the first Dick Fitswell story I’ve never stopped laughing as I’ve brought my character through one improbable misadventure after the other. Whereas the least enjoyable part of writing about Fitswell’s experience was writing about him having sex, I’d have the most fun thinking about where I’d drop him off next and how I could create a situation where Fitswell would get his just deserts right after doing something despicable to one of his female victims.
The question once again is, if I go even more public with Fitswell while admitting that I’m his creator, will this jeopardize any possible success for “Death on the Wild Side” or “Welcome to the Fun House?” And would I be tainting the name Jack Corbett by publicizing a book whose content is so pornographic? But the word pornographic doesn’t really fit here, however. I never intended my Fitswell stories to arouse the erotic instincts of my future readers. Instead my whole intent was to poke fun at the kind of men who behave like wanna bee Fitswells as well as those women who stupidly fall for such cretins. It was only when I got nearly halfway through writing the Fitswell series that organized religion became the subject of several of the stories.
If there has ever been any question of holding back on the Fitswell book, the Republican Party’s turning to the Far Right as we approach the coming election has convinced me to go full steam ahead. I find its policies, and its lying along with its chief propaganda tool, “Fox News” to be a hundred times more appallingly grotesque than anything Dick Fitswell does in my stories even if there wasn’t any humor in them or even a glimmer of hope for good satire. Fitswell is in the face, crude writing that is impossible to ignore, and I’m not sure how he’s going to be taken. It’s time for a few good laughs, however, and I think Fitswell’s time has come.
So I’m doing it. Expect the Fitswell paperback within two weeks.