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The Cupidian Catastrophe

Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III let out a gratified sigh as his pudgy hands twirled his non-existent goatee.

A forty something Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III, one hundred eighty-third in line to the throne had a yen for ‘exotic’. Whether the foods, goods or sexual interludes, everything had to be avant-garde.  He often lamented, that he been duped in marriage – his ‘new’ twenty-three-year-old wife being the most pasty, boring and prudish figure in the town (the earlier one -bless her soul- was fairly adventurous, but had expired of pox four years ago). In the initial days, he had attempted conjugal adventures in bed with his new bride, that ended with her blaming him of fornicating with devil and locking her chambers with a heavy bolt ever since. Interestingly, despite her apparent horror at his cohabitation preferences, she clung to the marriage like muck to the shovel, refusing to grant him his freedom. On their first marriage anniversary, he tried being romantic, filling her chambers with the rare Asian orchids. But she broke into hives and complained to her pater of an attempt on her life.

He left her alone ever since.

Exasperated, sexually starved and wanting to make his wife envious, Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III on the second marriage anniversary had indulged his fantasies in a famed establishment with a well-known ‘lady of the night’ – a rendezvous his trusted butler had arranged.

For a moment, he shut his beady eyes and relived the treacle-colored vixen with red curls and a pert derriere. He felt the blood rushing to his groins at the memory of things he had made her do. “What a way to finally celebrate the second anniversary”. He shouted, making sure his frumpy wife heard of his escapades. True, he had paid through the nose for ‘services’, but then the la petites morts in succession had been worth it.

Or maybe not.

***

The initial rash was insidious, almost too small to notice. Naturally, he pretended to be nonchalant and blamed the pustules, which had flourished over his abundant backside, to the rigorous horse rides, poorly aired breeches or even an accidental contact with poison ivy. A month after the anniversary, the rash had congealed into a crusty sore over his pizzle, steadfastly refusing to respond to his best salves and saltwater washes. Abashed, he had finally confessed to his butler, threatening him with flogging and unemployment since it was his ‘reference’ that had landed him in this predicament in the first place.

“But sire.” His Butler was as wiseacre as ever. “Your blood sire, hums with the power of the noble and the royal blood. The afflictions of Aphrodite cannot lay a finger over your buttoc…I mean your body. I know of a healer, who deals with these hardships.  With his prescription, you shall be better in no time.”

They both pretended not to hear a snigger from the bolted chambers next door.

***

Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III waited anxiously in a shadowy den, bent naked over a metal table second time since the night of his second marriage anniversary. The ‘medicine man’ examined his scytel, poked at his wares and placed a light brown leech on his ballocks, that hungrily sucked his nether regions cleansing his ‘affected blood’. Then he dispensed an evil smelling concoction. “Horse gametes mixed in finest vinegar. Apply this to the affected area twice a day while you squat in the afternoon sun for the next month.”

After paying a robust price for the demeaning experience, Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III left the premises, hoping that the delicate situation was behind him.

Unfortunately, massaging the vinegared equine fluids over his nether regions did not abate his sores. If anything, he now smelled like a week-old uncooked meat. “I think the lesions look paler though.” The Butler quipped with a sage face as Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III squatted naked in the afternoon sun cursing his fates.

Another week passed in agony. The treatment had caused his jewels to further crust and ooze. His wife took great delight in confiding to her ladies, every now and then. “He dresses in frocks.” Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III felt like he was mortally wounded over, under, front and aside. The exotic experience had transpired into a hellish, itchy nightmare, so much so, that putting his breeches made him cry out in pain.

About three months after his ‘second anniversary’, Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III had finally had enough. He visited the ‘madame’ whose prodigy had put him in this predicament.  One look at his gait and she had scribed down an address for a doctor in Birmingham.

The doctor was an austere man with icy blue eyes and small hands. He took one look at the sores, raised his eyebrows and diagnosed, “Its syphilis, the cupid’s disease. You must have some exotic choices.”  Looking curiously delighted, he brought out an evil looking contraption filled with yellow liquid, fitted with a huge needle. Stabbing the royal buttocks of Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III, he gave a long satisfactory sigh. Later, he dispensed a salve made of antimony and asked his patient to follow up every fortnight for the next eight shots to be taken on alternate buttocks.

It was six months after the ‘second anniversary’, before Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III was cured. His wife finally signed the annulment (the only silver lining to this cloud) and went on to tell everyone who listened that his genitals looked perpetually like a purple prunes infested with mildew.  To add insult to the injury, those injections ensured; he never again sat comfortably on a poorly stuffed couch for long.

Since that incident, Sir Oliver Vincent Hogarth III swore off everything imported, including French wines, Italian leather and Belgian chocolates. When his acquaintances tried to cheer him up, saying “All’s well that ends well” he would cringe, mentally picturing his scarred ‘ends’ and shake his head in denial.

References:

https://asm.org/Articles/2019/June/Revisiting-the-Great-Imitator,-Part-I-The-Origin-a 

 

Author: To be Revealed on 06/12/21

 

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Sangeetha Vallat

    Ouch, this hurts! This had me in splits in places as the afflicted body parts loomed largely in my mind’s eye brought by your effective words. Interesting link the reference shared down below( I couldn’t help using these words here)
    Poor Hogarth.

  2. Avatar
    Chakravorty Urmi

    What a delightfully wicked tale…had me giggling and chuckling all along! Supremely funny, superlative use of language, naughty to the core, but never offending the reader’s sensibilities. Great imagination, with some graphic imagery to match, if i may add
    My only teeny weeny concern here is with prompt adherence…the story has its roots in the second anniv alright but it focuses almost entirely on post-anniversary developments. But that’s just a tiny doubt peeking, and doesn’t mar the narrative in any way.
    Only on that count, I moderate my rating to an 8•5.

  3. Avatar
    Narayani

    I’m still laughing, rolling on the floor.
    Language was apt for the genre.
    From me, 9/10

  4. Avatar
    Natasha Sequeira

    Dear writer. You had me in splits. Additioanally I simply adored the language. Hats off to you.
    Now excuse me, I must control my laughter before I hurt my er.rr…extremities when I fall.

    1. Avatar
      Natasha Sequeira

      Forgot to rate it a whopping 9 on 10

  5. Avatar
    Jaya Pillai

    Superb writing … Hilarious , smart and witty !

  6. Avatar
    Neepomanjaree

    Haha… hilarious…a unique story and impeccable narration… language was hi-class…… my rating is 8/10

  7. Avatar
    Dakshata Kudanekar

    I was in total admiration of the language used. My heart goes for Protagonist though. Indeed a funny and bumpy ride. Tickles!!

  8. Avatar
    Shalini Rao

    Haha this was one delightful read 😀 The humour in the words reminds me of PG Wodehouse’s style and yet the plot is so funny and offbeat that it garners full marks for originality. It also has great revisit value (I have read it thrice already) which I find rare in short stories compared to novels. So thank you for that! All the best! My rating is 9.

  9. Avatar
    Moonmoon Chowdhury

    Loved the brilliant language and the humour quotient. That particular pun in the last para is particularly hilarious and rounds-off the tale so beautifully. A true entertainer of a story.
    My rating 8.8

  10. Avatar

    Excellent command over language; the descriptions, though sparing, are vivid – I am wondering how you did that. Loved the way you handled a topic that could easily descend into vulgarity, with maturity. Great combination of a touch of mild humour and imagination. Wish there was more of the “new” wife and the butler, who looked like interesting characters. Sir Hogarth III is etched very well, being both the protagonist and the antagonist. And the antagonised too!
    My rating is 7/10.

  11. Avatar
    Vaijayanti Panchal

    Muck to a shovel!
    This was a delightful read. I will re-read it and I will read it as I enjoyed it so very much. Kudos to the author
    This one is a winner through and through! ❤ my rating is 10/10

    1. Avatar
      Lalitha

      Hahahahah. This is wickedly funny. The language and the narration are top notch! Reminded me of PG Wodehouse, which itself is a huge tribute. There were parts of the story that had me in splits.
      The only one pointer I had was that Hogart’s derrière stole the show from the prompt , ‘second anniversary.’ But this is such a masterpiece ! 9/10

  12. Avatar
    Amrita Sarkar

    Hi,
    I know we have been advised to be objective while reading the stories…but honestly, I couldn’t find anything to err. It’s a perfect English comedy and the wit was spot on. Starting from the name of the protagonist to the description of his ‘exotic’ ailment, everything was described to the T. I cannot think of any criticism other than the language which might appeal to a niche set of readers. But even then, this is a winner! Thank you for sharing!

  13. Avatar
    Sudha Viswanath

    Hahaha, poor Vincent Hogarth lll. Very hilarious indeed. I am not sure how much of justice this story has done to the prompt, but it was an engaging story making the reader laugh. 7/10

  14. Avatar
    Lakshmi Menon

    Witty and hilarious. Top-notch writing. Liked the names of the characters and the setting. The language was perfect to suit the timeline. Not sure of prompt adherence, though.

    Best left to the jury to decide.

    My rating 8/10

  15. Avatar
    Priya

    So hilarious. I think the author set the tone appropriately with befitting vocabulary and phrases. I enjoyed this tale. I would have loved more twists and character descriptions. My rating is 8/10.

  16. Avatar
    Ratna Prabha

    Comedy is perhaps the most difficult format to write, especially such powerfully funny visual scenes! Totally loved it. Hope to read more of you, whoever you are!

  17. Avatar
    Alipi

    The writer is witty 🙂 and crafted this hilarious story that tickled all the bones. A little bit more focus on the second anniversary would have done wonders. 8

  18. Avatar
    Sheerin

    This one was a laugh riot though I’m sure we shouldn’t enjoy someone’s troubles so much. Wonderful language and the slow developing plot with all the naughty undertones were a joy to read. This one’s a winner for me. 10/10

  19. Avatar
    Ramya Srinivasan

    What a hilarious and original tale! Loved the writing style…it was spot on, didn’t stray in flow or language at any time. The story also felt very fresh, not literally, lol, but fresh in its idea. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Rating: 9/10

  20. Avatar
    Lavanya

    A hilarious read. The way the prompt is used is ROFL! pity sir Oliver.
    Vocabulary rich and perfectly suited the time frame. I had to look.up the dictionary for many and In the process, learnt a lot. No wonder the second wife shut him away ;P
    Rating 8

  21. Avatar
    Amrita Sarkar

    Sorry, forgot to rate the story. 8/10.

  22. Avatar
    Ashvani Sachdev

    A gratifying tale, in short. The protagonist alternately elicits the reader’s abomination and sympathy as he pursues his human impulses and is vexed by the consequences of his urges. The second anniversary connection is incidental though. The role of the wife is not clear and could have been elaborated further but possibly the word limit inhibited the writer.7/10

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