I once had a football coach who told me and a bunch of naked teenage boys that "Opinions are like asses. Everyone has one, and they all stink." Now, that's not what he said, and I'm not sure we were all naked; the point is Chris Ziegler is a dick. And by "dick," I mean an even bigger dick than even I had imagined—and I have always had a generous opinion in that regard—since I have recently discovered that Chris is no low-rent, garden-variety dick, but a dick of Big Box proportions, the kind of dick who moves into town and puts all the mom-and-pop dicks out of business—with the blessing of the local government, the dicks—a dick ascendant, a big, big DICK. This is because Ziegler, or, as he will now be known, Baron Dickweed von Dickhoffen of Dickpenistan, refused to write about asses, and here we are, on the day all the stuff about the sex and the body parts that go along with the sexing of those body parts was due, and we have no ass of which to speak, which, as a 43-year-old man, was probably why I was asked to fill in at the last second for Herr Dickler since, when you get older, your ass deteriorates and no amount of running or tiger-penis extract can change that.
Throughout history, people have had asses and asses have been present at such monumental moments as the creation of the wheel, the landing at Plymouth Rock and the moment after the landing when someone said, "I really think we should move off the rock onto the land. It just seems right to me. Input?" The point is that with the exception of Maria Shriver, everyone has an ass, and many people are not only turned on by the ass but also want to have sex with it, to "input" (you thought I was dicking around, didn't you?).
THE ASS ARRIVES
As an older person I would like to let the younger people know that the ass was not always in play, young straight men did not think about doing or placing anything in the ass—they just didn't—and then, one day, they did, and it was all anyone wanted to talk about: teenage boys and civic planners and Methodists. Everybody wanted to do things to the ass and kept wanting to do things to it until their wife, after seeing Leaving Las Vegas, said, "You're not getting that. What? Well, think again." But still we thought about it, it was all we could think about, it was like someone sent out a memo saying, "The ass is now in play," it was like that memo they sent out that read, "Guys are turned on by watching two girls kiss," and guys, who are like zombies only less able to think independently, said, "Okay, we like the girls what kiss girls and doing things to the butt. Ass. Whatever." And so now everyone was fixated on the ass. Butt. Whatever.
THE WINDS OF WAR
And there seemed an enormous amount of attention given to what it looked like and, it seems to me, that aesthetic because the butt was now in play, now tended more toward the utilitarian. The butt was allowed to be larger, rounded, more useful, not the object of shame white women had hidden behind sweaters and second marriages. Now everyone wanted to see the butt, the bigger the better, though not too big, you know, not William Bennett big.
ZIEGLER'S A DICK
None of this applied to men who have always cared for their asses as finely tuned machines. This is the way of things. This is how one man has taught another, as I was taught as a young man working my way through college as a roadie for Mitzi Gaynor. I spent many hours discussing the ass with hard-bitten veterans of the road—Lloyd, Emile, Leatherteddy—and oh, the things they would tell—and show—me! I'm not sure what that has to do with what I was talking about, except that it made me a better man. In conclusion, many factors led to the Civil War, the ass being predominant and sweet.