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**PRINT: COLD WAS THE GROUND, by Chicago's Scott Stealey, is No. 34 in our broadsheet series. Gina, protagonist, a rather lonely condo dweller/office manager, strikes up a fleeting friendship with one Porgo, an Eastern European construction worker who is burying on her property what Gina takes for a time capsule. But the metaphorical fix is in -- Porgo, an ESL student, may be leading Gina in directions she canít exactly get her head all the way around. Enjoy. Chicago writer Stealey is editor of the Please Donít online mag.

JUST SAY NO Ben Tanzer
ASYMPTOTES Michael Balatico
AFTER THE FLOOD Pitchfork Battalion
from 'THEN' Rick Henry
THE BRIDGE Lisa Grayson
WING & FLY: Bubbling up in Nashville, gassing it to Chicago | Todd Dills
CHARLIE's TRAIN a novella by Heather Palmer

Ben Tanzer

Tanzer, author of among other books Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine (Orange Alert 2008), lives and writes in Chicago. Hear Tanzer read this piece -- as well as interview So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel? host Harold Ray -- via his This Podcast Will Change Your Life series, recorded live at the October 5, 2010, edition of Nerves.

Hey everybody, my name is Ben and I want to totally welcome you back for the new school year and our first meeting of the Vestal High School Circle of the Purity Ring and Just Say No to Pre-marital Sex Club.

Before we get started, a few housekeeping items.


First, a big purity ring thank you and moment of silent non-sexual appreciation for the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift, who are helping us keep it real, and cool, to just say no despite the best efforts of that pole-dancing Miley Cyrus.

Second, while I normally wouldn't sully the safe environment afforded to us by attending these meetings, as your President I do want to address the rumor that I allegedly touched Tonya Lane's husband pillows under her sweater at the Creed reunion show this past weekend. I am happy to report that this is not true. The only husband pillows I have ever touched are my mother's, and this was purely to obtain physical and at times spiritual nourishment.

Third, as you can imagine, we were quite concerned that federal dollars for abstinence-only education would be threatened under the new and decidedly socialist leaning administration.

We are happy to report, though, that funding has remained steady, albeit with new restrictions on what we are allowed to refer to as "The Truth." It seems that President Obama Hussein and his merry gang of Nazi scientists would prefer that we show a greater respect for actual "science" and a more frequent use of what they like call "real evidence."


Still, due to our new reporting requirements, I do need to stress what is no longer technically supported by hard science. I also want to stress that I did not digitally arouse Tonya Lane during the intermission of the Creed show despite any alleged photos you may have seen to the contrary on your iPhones this morning.

One, we are no longer allowed to say that pre-marital sex unequivocally leads to eternal damnation, alcoholism, dwarfism, voting democrat and/or anal leakage.

Two, wearing condoms or, if you prefer, Beelsebub's glove, will cause your penis to slowly rot and one day fall off into your hand, or worse, onto the ground, where your family dog will pick it up and eat it as an after-dinner snack.

Third, that ingesting sperm is tantamount to cannibalism.

Fourth, just as using mouthwash is a gateway drug irrefutably leading to smoking crystal meth in a dirty alley somewhere in San Francisco with your hermaphroditic pimp boyfriend, so sex outside the marriage is the gateway to bestiality, group sex and a lifelong affliction to what is known in layman's terms as the Dirty Sanchez.

Finally, masturbation, a.k.a. the Devil's stew, has been proven to lower ACT scores by two full standard deviations. Well, that and blindness. Any questions?

At this time, I also need to take a moment to clear up some of the confusion around the research pertaining to what I like to describe as resuscitating Old Horney's honey pot. I refer of course to the off-cited JAMA article, which states that a statistically significant percentage of the millennial generation does not consider oral sex to be sex. What I want to state today is that oral sex is sex, and must be avoided before marriage at all costs regardless of the misinformation campaign being propagated by the communists at the AMA.

All of this may sound harsh, even antiquated, but it must be addressed, just as I feel it is necessary to address the Tweet I read this morning that Tonya Lane was seen resuscitating my honey pot as I fisted her during the second encore of the Creed show. LOL.

In closing, I want you to know that I believe in you, the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift believe in you, and Glenn Beck believes in you as well. I also want to leave you with the following tips on how best to stay pure in both thought and action before we meet again next week:

First, when in doubt picture Al Franken naked, and do not under any circumstances think about The Jonas Brothers or Taylor Swift.

Second, do not touch yourself down there even when bathing, though if you have to, quickly visualize Al Franken naked, and definitely do not think about the Jonas Brothers or Taylor Swift.

And finally, definitely never, ever, never believe Tonya Lane when she slips off her thong and tells you that the Lord has informed her that she is ready to have him enter her life and you have been chosen as his earthly vessel.

He hasn't.

Thank you. And Godspeed.


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