4 JANUARY 1992, Page 36






Hooker Prize II


I n Competition No. 1708 you were asked to provide an imaginary extract from a prizewinning piece of female chauvinist fiction-writing.

'Melissa lay in bed listening to Edgar washing the last of the dishes. "Leave them till the morning," she yelled. "Some of us have got to work tomorrow." ' Tim Hop- kins began nicely, but when Edgar, teeth well brushed, slipped into bed the fun got more furious but less amusing. In fact, there weren't very many amusing entries, some of you having misunderstood the terms of my not perfectly worded competi- tion, and some of you concentrating, almost grimly, on the various female equivalents of bodice-ripping. However, the five prizewinners, who get £15 each, earn their rewards fairly, Chris Tingley, Katie Mallett and Gerard Benson receive special mentions, and the bonus bottle of Chivas Regal 12-yew-old de luxe blended whisky goes to Basil Ransome-Davies. I'm sorry I'm unable to throw in the prize that Neil Lyndon proposed — the world's smallest bra.

He came at me with hands shooting out of the cuffs of his Armani suit, a rapist's snarl on his face. I caught him with a left like a high- performance missile and he slumped. Using the skills I learned in SCUM in the Sixties, I quickly emasculated him. He looked at the blood with the expression of an atheist on Judgment Day. I I thought of throwing the severed parts to Germaine, but why should even a dog have to eat dick?

Kevin rushed in at the commotion. 'Er, what's happening?' he said.

'Never mind, asshole. I hire you to clean the toilet. Clean the toilet. My blade is thirsty today.'

He went the shade of hospital green, and left. I called Andrea, just to report the kill and talk dirty for a while, then visited the cellar where the others were locked up. Paul Newman was showing his age, and Schwarzenegger's muscles had turned to loose folds of ugly skin. No longer the wild bunch. They all looked up at me with sick, pleading faces.

'Eat shit, dirtbags,' I said. Then I showered off and had a vibrator session and left to address the General Assembly.

(Basil Ransome-Davies) He heard the voice long before he reached the tower.

'And where the hell have your been?' it thundered. 'Swilling mead in the Quest's End with the boys, I'll be bound.'

Nervously he tethered the horse and gazed up at the distant• face, partly concealed by a megaphone.

'Lovely Rapunzel, let down your `Don't patronise me, Sunshine!' The golden tresses came tumbling earthwards.

`This may be mere female adornment to you but it's a ladder to better career opportunities for me. And put that sword away, we've all read Freud.'

He reached for the hair, but 'Take your armour off! Classic sign of male insecurity that only achievement can ameliorate. In a way, of course, I'm saving you.'

Ten minutes later he collapsed, gasping, over the sill.

'Keep your hands to yourself,' hissed Rapun- zel. 'You can call it saving damsels, I call it date rape.'

(Nick Syrett) Fear wiped away the agony of labour — fear of, and kit, that which she had created. The parasite, that she herself had implanted, had hung, like a fat tick, and drawn, for nine months of ever-swelling anticipation, on her own life blood. The man-child was hers now, a curse bought with blood, a teat-hungry, tight-eyed bundle of danger, a time-bomb, an asp at her breast. She had a childhood in which to defuse the bomb, to draw the venom from his fangs. But, robbed of violence, could the man-child feel safe?

It was a dilemma foisted by a masculine world upon the bearers of children; the sanctity of the womb violated by the abuse of its owner and of its fruit. Could such sweet fruit survive, uncor- rupted, to replicate its sweetness?

She should have killed the man-child; his danger and his frailty outweighed his worth.

(Simon Davies) It was pointless, Melissa realised with a sad twinge of resignation, attempting to discuss the new decorations with Jock. Men were so hopelessly insensitive in all matters of colour and texture. After all, one saloon bar, the only place where the majority of them felt really secure, was very like another.

It was the same macho male blindness that continued to deny to Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot their true status as the greatest Impress- ionist painters; and, therefore, as Impressionism was the most feminine and consequently earth- real of all schools of painting, their true status as the greatest painters of all time.

`Cuppa char for you, darling', he bellowed, clumping into the room and proceeding to shove the hot mug down, not on one of his fatuous Dick Francises — oh no — but on top of one of her most cherished Fay Weldon firsts. serve the oaf right if she slung it in his gob!

(Andrew McEvoy) The convicts milled aimlessly, indecisively in the the courtyard, and the vultures circled idly above them, eyeing their raddled testicles with frank disdain. None of the prisoners spoke, although one, a repulsive specimen in a string vest, attempted to spit a stream of tobacco juice towards a guard. It missed her, and dribbled feebly down his belly.

They had had the bluster knocked out of them by the mothers. Their sneers, once their trademark, had been wiped across their pillows. Good. Inspection that morning had been the better for it: rows of glistening members anointed with vegetable soap, and armpits dusted with rough talcum.

From the impotent mesa in the scrubby distance to the broken boulders in the fore- ground to the brutal male knuckle of hill on the horizon, the land looked desolate.

And then suddenly, without verbal foreplay, without sense or even pleasure, one of the bastards grunted.

(Glen Lillebrew)