SPARKY DRAWING HIS NEXT SELF PORTRAIT, WHICH TURNS OUT TO BE THIS ONE, OF COURSE

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This morning I was sorting through the latest batch of self-portrait entries, reading the accompanying e-mail messages, and I opened one from Aline: "Hello my friend! Make your girlfriend or wife speechless with increased hardness, richer orgsms and more power in bed." Since I had just awakened, it took me a good 30 seconds to understand what was going on. Much as I would like richer orgsms, I was stunned that a self-portrait artist would give me this kind of advice. But I was willing to let them have their say. Although these days the only things I do in bed are roll over, and stagger out of it at 3 a.m. to pee. If I developed a powerful roll, I imagined, I would slam into the wall, hard. Which I could do without. But if I could leap out of bed powerfully at 3 a.m. and stride briskly into the bathroom, that would be kind of cool. At about the time I realized that Aline had nothing in the way of real advice to add on the subject, it dawned on me that this was a piece of spam that had somehow landed in the middle of my self-p entries, which my email program was supposed to have placed in their own folder with no ringers promising to increase my power in bed. On further examination, I saw that Aline had made no promises or provided links to a creepy site; she was just telling me what I should do. I can respect that. At any rate, my morning coffee was redundant.