By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
When you find, sitting on your desk at work, a largish, unmarked, plain-wrapped box containing two bags of plaster, a silver canister of silicon, two plastic spoons, an acrylic "stir" rod, various other chemicals, a sieve, a thermometer designed for tropical fish enthusiasts, some weird black foamy thing that smells like a public restroom and a lengthy instruction booklet with poorly rendered sketches of some guy holding a canister (that looks suspiciously like one of those pneumatic tubes that you used to put your deposit in at the bank) over his crotch, it can only mean one thing: Penis Duplication Time!
"Important! WE CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH!" screams the first paragraph of the instruction manual. "Read these instructions completely before you begin! DO NOT assume you can just 'wing it' and read them as you go along when you're ready to begin!" To which I respond, "Shut the fuck up, bitch!" because I have a headache and I don't like it when my instruction pamphlets yell at me. Fine! You have my attention! I don't even have a penis, and already I'm afraid of losing it in some freak accident involving plaster and "winging it."
The panic-provoking paragraph goes on to explain that you now hold in your gooey little hands all the ingredients (minus the penis, which turns out to be quite a detriment, but we'll get to that later) to create a "real to the touch and feel" duplicate of an erect penis. Now, mind you, the sexy phrase "real to the touch and feel" is in quotes in the pamphlet itself, suggesting either: (a) this is a famous Bartlett's quote for which the Santa Ana-based Private Casting company cannot take credit, or (b) when they say "real to the touch and feel," what they really mean is "real to the touch and feel except for the 'real to the touch and feel' part."
According to the hefty, shiny, excellent-quality, card-stock instruction manual, the process is not complicated but is in fact quite simple. Far be it from me to be the fly in the ointment, the turd in the punch bowl, or the undercover narc masquerading as a motel guest at one of the county's finer meth labs dotting Newport Boulevard, but let me ask you this: How simple can it be when some of the steps are "time sensitive," an extra bag of plaster is provided in case you mess up the first time, a thermometer is involved, and the instructions—which feature words like "exact," "precise" and "have a watch or clock for accurate timing in seconds"—look like they were written by the people that make putting together a shoe rack from Ikea a simple, six-day process?
Incidentally, the folks at Private Casting—all of whom I imagine are probably stuck right this minute, like flies trapped in amber, with their genitals encased in plaster and will soon be admiring their lovely, homemade vanity dildos ("for visual enjoyment!")—suggest getting all the ingredients assembled and then doing a "walk through." Weddings take less preparation.
Now that you're good and scared, though, allow them to remind you of the importance of being "in the mood" because, like the sex you had as a teenager, should you lose your erection too soon, it'll ruin everything. However, this time, instead of embarrassment, it's rapidly setting plaster that will stick with you. And also, "after reading the instructions and understanding the process, we think you'll agree that while it may be possible to create PRIVATE CASTING by yourself, it will be a heck of a lot easier and a whole lot more fun with an assistant! Read first, then decide!" Well, break out the friggin' Pringles!
You know, that's just fine. You all can go have your weird, potentially devastating, plaster-mold foreplay, but the problem is that I have no penis of my own to duplicate, nor do I keep one on retainer. Which is a bummer because I not only read but also—I think—even comprehended the whole damned instruction manual, and I should get something for my perseverance. I deserve to duplicate a penis!
And so I'm left to the task of finding someone willing to step up to the plate. My co-workers have been no help. "Wanna make a mold of your penis?" I asked a fellow writer, flashing my most seductive smile. "Wanna do it?"
He thought about it and then, as if he really meant it, said, "Uh, no."
"Aw, come on," I yelled to his back. "You get to have sex with plaster!"
I looked around the office. Suddenly everyone was busy working. "Fine, fuckers," I said, grabbing my backpack, jacket, keys, umbrella and penis-duplication kit. "I can take a hint. I know when my penis-duplication kit and I are not wanted. But just don't come a-running back when you decide you're ready to make a mold of your penis because it'll be TOO LATE! Do you hear me, people? TOO LATE!" Then, forcefully, I said, "Unless of course I still haven't found anyone willing to do it." They should be crawling back to me any day now.