Seamen vs. Semen

I posted “I Never Liked Zagreb” a few days ago.  As usual it had several problems.  My writing, which is kind of fucked up, attempts to reflect the nonsequential pattern of human life.  Many people read my stuff and say, “Well, this is a mess.”  They are right.  Things always seem out of place to me.  Often there is no apparent reason for an action.  That point interests me.  Some people spend a lot of time trying to convince themselves and others that everything is orderly, that contradictions make perfect sense. Politicians have a vested interest in trying to make the public believe that everything is fine.  I suppose we need to accept that, or else we all might go insane or kill the politicians, which we do from time to time, see the French, American, and Russian Revolutions for examples of both insanity and unexpected death.

I ran head on into this problem yesterday when I received an email from a virtual friend, John Wood.  He is a fellow refugee author from Booktrope Publishing, which went out of business a few years ago.  He is an author of self-help books for people who might be experiencing social or psychological unrest.  As usual he was kind about my post and wished me well, but then wrote, “Semen, I think you mean.”  What?  I looked at the story and there was this line: “The smell of her cigarette breath mixed with my sweat and I knew my seamen would somehow end up in a cleaning bucket, one way or the other.”

So there it was, something apparently not right in my story.  Some might say, “Oh, it is only a typo.  No big deal.  You wrote seamen for semen and John caught it.”  However, notice how John wrote, “I think” you mean semen.  This leaves open the possibility that what John thinks might be incorrect, for whom among us always thinks correctly?  I would say none of us.

Here is how I responded.

“Hi John,

Thanks for the props.  Actually, I used to carry four little seamen in my pocket and would take them out when having sex.  They were wooden carvings of deckhands from the time of the great sailing ships, including the whalers.  One was a man smoking, another sharpening a harpoon blade, and two pulling on rigging.  They probably came from bottles that were broken during various storms.  I was afraid the woman would dig through my pockets and then toss the figurines into one of her cleaning buckets.  I should have made it clearer for the reader. Like always, my bad.”

John responded with “Saludes to the Seamen!”

So I am looking upon this post, which I have titled “Seamen vs Semen”, as a sort of public service announcement.  I have stepped forward to be an example of how one person can set the world straight, even when it evidently is crooked.  Nothing wrong here and now I must go to the bathroom and orgazm.  It’s cleaner that way.  Thanks.  Duke.


7 thoughts on “Seamen vs. Semen

  1. I noticed but thought perhaps you call your sperms “seamen.” Onward mighty seamen Ship ahoy and all that rot.

    My buddy Jude would ask “seamen intended?” Which leaves me an out. Of course I meant to write “her hart was broken” – she’d just hit a damn dear. Oh, I forgot to add that? Well, we writers must leave something to the imagination! Whoops, I meant deer, a dear deer but nonetheless a deer, now a broken hart . . um so wieder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Neither did I, when I thought about it. No, when I really thought about it, I decided it was the best sentence I had ever written. Thanks. Duke


  3. Of course we all need to keep a sense of humor when it comes to semen, and seamen. To some these could be synonymous as well an eponymous.

    Also: Do not overlook the double plural Siemens. As in the umber successful German company, whose motto is Ingenuity for Life. Or Ralph Seimens, a computer programming teacher I had long ago (not Bibically).



  4. Also also, I love love the fabulously general yet perfectly precise: “Well, this is a mess.” I write, and live, that way too.



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