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                              A Tale of Two Sexes

                                 by  Swamp Rat

                      >>> A CULT Publication......1988 <<<
                        -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-

        The sun was setting on the small American home.  Its occupants were
the typical nuclear family consisting of a married couple, their two kids, and
a dog.  Inside the household, a lone television sportscaster announced the
college football scores for that Sunday afternoon in nasal tones.  The TV sat
crouched under countless outdated TV  Guide s, which lay scattered across
its dusty, simulated-woodgrain top.  The ever-popular excuse for not throwing
these away was that, "The crosswords are educational, you know?"  Across
several feet of worn,  brown carpet stooped the head of the household, the
father.  Much like the television set, he had not moved significantly in years
from the set patterns in his weekly cycle of life.  There he sat, weekend after
weekend, in the same position on an old burgundy-red couch.  His favorite spot,
the rightmost position on the sofa's pillows, sagged downward from years of his
weight.  Creaks groaned from the furniture's wood frame when he sat down or
stood up, as did his middle-aged bones.  Physically, he appeared to be older
than he actually was.  Years of smoking, "Maybe I should quit... but real men
smoke," had cut his once-powerful voice to a harsh rasp.  A bulge in his
stomach sagged from beneath his beer-stained undershirt and spilled over the
top of his belt, like a roll of dough.  Years of heavy beer (and not much else)
drinking had bloated his once-strong body with neglect.  As he poked at the
television's remote control every few seconds, searching for another game, he
called to his son.

        "Roy... come here, boy.  I got a surprise for you."  The aging man
cleared the seat on the couch next to his from its large chrome-plated ashtray,
overflowing with cigarette butts.  Several of the burnt cigarette remains fell
from the container.  These he brushed onto the floor with a pudgy hand.

        "What is it, Pa?" asked his young son, bounding into the room with the
energy of youth.  As the boy took a seat beside him, the man thought for a
moment of his children.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, had managed to squeeze out
a couple of puppies, a boy and a girl.  Looking into his son's eyes, he
remembered that somehow, things were different those ten-odd years ago.  The
young couple had waited for children until they had a place of their own, a
house.  His mind raced back to their anniversary, the one they spent at that
little cabin in the mountains.  It was the last anniversary before the kids
came.  God, she was so beautiful... her soft skin, flowing blonde hair, and coy
smile would send his pulse racing and his body would actually shiver.  But,
that was a long time ago.  And, things were different now.

        Roy bumped into is father as he hopped into the seat beside the man,
bringing him back from his memories.

        "Liz," he called, turning to his wife, "fetch me a beer, darlin'!"
 Elizabeth was in the corner of the drab living room, standing over an ironing
board.  She was visibly the opposite of her husband, though the same in their
decline.  Where Dennis had too much fat, Elizabeth had too little.  Her hands
had become thin, with sharply exposed blue veins due to countless hours spent
scrubbing at the household's grime.  Her once soft, supple skin had become dry
and thinly stretched across her frail body.  Growing bags of skin had formed
beneath her eyes due to the many sleepless nights at the kitchen table, paying
bills and trying to help the kids with their homework.  Deep wrinkles had
etched their way into her forehead, tell tale signs of her worry.  There was so
much to worry about... the money problems, the growing kids, and most of all,
the loneliness.  Dennis was a good man, she thought, but somehow being married
to him wasn't as she thought it would be when she was younger.  He just
wouldn't talk to her anymore.  She had tried so many times to talk to him...
just to talk as they had before their marriage and during the earlier years.
But now, it wasn't the same.  Every attempt at a heartfelt talk was replied
with a request for beer, or food, or the paper, or that damn remote control.
He was so set in his ways, she sighed.  Once, she had even dared to ask him for
help with the housework.  Well!  That was quickly settled.  "I work my ass off
all day so you can live a fine life here, loafing around the house all day!
You can sure as hell do your part, too!"  He had yelled his reply furiously,
and then slumped back down onto the sofa with a huff to watch the news on TV.
She had considered getting a job, but knew she would be met with the same
response.  Divorce had also crossed her mind more than once, but at her age she
doubted that the singles' bar meat racks were for her.  And, there were the
kids to consider.  She cried often.

        "Liz!  The fridge!  Get me a beer!"  Dennis yelled louder.  Elizabeth
sighed, set the iron on end on the board, and headed for the kitchen.  She
returned a few seconds later with a can of beer, wordlessly handed it to her
husband, and returned to her ironing.

        "Here ya go, son.  Your first beer, drink up!"  urged the boy's father
to his smiling son.

        "Dennis!   But he's too young!  You'll stunt his growth or something!"
the woman squealed from her corner.

        "Bullshit!  It'll put some hair on his chest.  Now drink up!  Yeah,
that's it.  Yep... you're gonna grow up to be just like your old man, aren't
you, Roy?  Would you like that?  You listen to your daddy and you can grow up
to be just like me."

        Elizabeth screamed.

 Behavior Modification.....806/793-9462  The Dead Zone.............214/522-5321
 Demon Roach Underground...806/794-4362  Dragonfire Private........609/424-2606
 Question Authority........715/341-6516  Pure Nihilism.............517/337-7319
 Tequila Willy's...........209/526-3194  The Metal AE..............201/879-6668
 (c)1988  cDc communications  by Swamp Rat                          11/24/88-87
 All Rights Worth Shit