of Osprey Island and
The Good People of New York
If you've read either of Thisbe Nissen's novels, you know that
she explores topics that are able to touch us all in unusually
editor's note: WordSmitten published this story in its original
form in our premier issue of WSQJ, Volume 1:1, which is no longer
in print. We are reprinting this here for those of you who missed
it the first time and who requested that we publish it online.
We love this story, too. Caveat for techies: none of the email
addresses are real, but if you must, knock yourselves out and
test away. Sure, we'd like to see the bot-report data from spam
With Backwards Uterus
WOMAN WITH BACKWARDS UTERUS
SEEKS MAN WITH SMALL PENIS
freshman roommate in college was a delightful southern belle
who dated, during our junior year when we were no longer roommates,
a very attractive guy who I knew slightly from a fiction writing
class. Years later-nearly ten, in fact-we were reintroduced,
via email, by an editor who'd published both of us in his literary
journal. We were both still writing fiction. An email correspondence
ensued. A lively, witty, dare-I-say flirtatious correspondence.
This Attractive Writer Guy Who Once Dated My Former Roommate
The Southern Belle had started his own literary website. He
is the person who told me-a Luddite with technophobic tendencies-that
when one owns a domain name one can receive emails addressed
instance, if you knew an Attractive Writer Guy who had his own
website you could write to him at attractivewriterguy@writerguy'swebsite.com,
or billywiggledart@writerguy'swebsite.com or i_had_a_crush_on_you_in_college@writerguy'swebsite.com.
else I learn is that though Writer Guy accepts submission to
his website and now has many contributors, in its early days
most of the content was actually the work of Writer Guy himself,
posted under various unlikely pseudonyms. This becomes, for
instance, abundantly clear upon reading a certain story, ostensibly
written by one Throop Roebling, which appears to be set in the
very college co-op house where Writer Guy and My Former Roommate
The Charming Southern Lass lived when they were dating, and
where they continued to live (rather excruciatingly) for some
months after they broke up. The story is told from the point
of view of The Ex-Boyfriend (a.k.a. Writer Guy) and takes place
after the breakup when Southern Lass began sleeping with One
Of Their Other Housemates. Like much of my own early "fiction,"
"Throop's" "story" appears to rely heavily
one section, the story contains a hyperlink —
I heard her on the telephone yesterday advising a girlfriend,
down with your lower back muscles, you'll bring the front
wall of your vagina down to meet your partner's penis. This
enables him to stimulate your G-spot, located between your
pubic bone and your cervix." I later
realized she was reading from a woman's magazine she'd left
around the house.
— to an anonymous letter sent to the website's editor
complaining that this instructional bit of information included
in Throop's story is:
wrong, wrong. First off, "lower back muscles" have
nothing to do with anything — totally not connected
to anything interesting. Secondly, there is no "pushing
down" involved, it's actually the opposite: pulling up.
Well, actually, pushing down could be involved if you were
dealing with a very long one that wasn't in all the way, but
really, the only purpose this serves is adjustment, and then
you definitely want to go back to the regular cock-gripping
action, since it simulates (and stimulates) orgasmic contracting
and makes it almost impossible not to come five or six times…
I have no doubt, however, that the above description was inspired
by an actual women's magazine, because they don't know what
the fuck they're talking about. All other descriptions in
the story were not only correct, but highly entertaining.
website's editor (a.k.a. Attractive Writer-Guy), assuming the
title of "Super," responds thusly:
you have an inverted uterus. Or maybe it's not the uterus that
matters here. Maybe your apparatus is upside down. When jostled
in the formative womb, your teeny-tiny equipment could have
got flipped, no? In defense of Mr. Roebling's piece, he assured
me that all information included in the work in question was
reliable, mainly because he stole it directly from a highly
respected journal that predominately employs women as fact checkers.
He would probably argue that the accuracy of the maneuver doesn't
really matter much. I think he's probably more concerned with
pushing in any direction with one's lower back muscles. As you
indicated, meaningless muscles these. Mine are all gelatinous.
Can't do a thing with them. The woman in the story, however,
can use these muscles to do whatever she needs to do, and this
accounts for her high-moaning in the room next to the narrative-voice
guy's: ultimately, whatever direction she's directing her loving
surely don't matter much.
the end, we are inaccurate all over the place. The majority
of the work on this site is grossly . . . Nevertheless, we welcome
your comments and wish you happiness.
I — knowing full well that Throop and Writer Guy and Super
are all one and the same — take it upon myself to write
a note to ThroopRoebling@writerguy'swebsite.com, and relate
this true story:
"Thisbe Nissen" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 2:06 PM
Subject: fan letter
Dear Mr. Roebling,
am writing to tell you that I greatly enjoyed your story and
was greatly humored by the anonymous letter linked therein,
and by the "Super's" response to it, which got me
wondering as to whether the "Super" and the Editor
of that website might be one and the same person, or at least
in close cahoots, since I happen to know for a fact that one
of the Editor's ex-girlfriends did in fact have an inverted
uterus, which may have led to the so-called "Super's"
accusation that the anonymous writer of the letter might suffer
from the same affliction (i.e. uterus inversion). If you, Mr.
Roebling, are in contact with Anonymous, you might want to relay
to her a funny story about the editor's ex-girlfriend, a charming
southern belle who was my freshman roommate in college, at which
time (pre-The Editor), she had a boyfriend back home down south
to whom she had relinquished her virginity. Problem was: said
Southern Gentleman was apparently epicly endowed. Might not
seem like a problem, unless you, like Southern Belle, happened
to have a backwards uterus (or at least it was as such that
she described her particular affliction). Sex between said Southerners
was apparently painful as gout. Should she find herself a new
boyfriend? This was the question. We considered a personal ad:
WOMAN WITH BACKWARDS UTERUS SEEKS MAN WITH SMALL PENIS. We imagined
hoards of men showing up at our door, dropping trou, steadfastly
insisting No! Mine is smaller! But perhaps you've heard this
whole story before, Mr. Roebling… if that is indeed your
name… If you, indeed, exist at all… Anyway, I liked
your story. I just wanted to let you know you have a fan.
To which "Throop" responded:
From: "Throop Roebling" <throop@writerguy'swebsite.com>
Subject: RE: Fan Mail
Date: Tue, Jan 8, 2002, 3:37 PM
Thank you very much for your nice note.
I am sure that the website's Editor and "Super" are
one and the same. He occasionally also indicates to others that
he and I are the same as well; this is a blatant lie, however,
as you can see, since this message has originated from me and
I know little about this man. We met a few years ago, in a far-off
place, when I was doing field research for my forthcoming novel
Throop Roebling's Big Book of Jokes and Riddles. I was investigating
an untranslatable Honduran joke and ran into him at the time.
We exchanged e-mail addresses and he asked me to submit some
work for eventual inclusion in a nasty little website he runs.
I submitted, thinking that I could bring a little meaning to
the poor fellow's life, working the wonders of my adventurous
prose to buttress his apparently rather tender affect. Nevertheless,
I know nothing of his former girlfriend's inverted uterus, although
it does seem like a very likely connection, one that you picked
up on quite remarkably.
Your message also makes me wonder about the penile dimensions
of this so-called "Super" . . . for if he "fit"
the young woman with the inverted uterus, he must have been
under-endowed. I do know he has very large feet and hands, however,
and is rather tall, soaring well over six feet. Next time we're
out drinking together I'll have to follow him to the urinal
to surreptitiously catch a sidelong glance at (what must be)
his tremendously undersized endowment.
Thisbe Nissen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Throop Roebling <throop@writerguy'swebsite.com
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 4:20 PM
Subject: Re: Fan Mail
are very kind to have gotten back to me so quickly. You seem
like a nice person. I therefore hesitate to say this, at the
risk of you thinking that I'm some kind of a catty gossip or
sex fiend, but I just wanted to tell you regarding your comments
on penile endowment, that if in fact the "Super,"
"Editor" and the guy I knew in college are actually
all the same person-the person who was the boyfriend of the
inverted-uterus woman-then I think you probably don't need to
go through with the sidelong urinal glancing (unless you were
looking forward to it, in which case, by all means...) The reason
I say this is that I, as one among many, had always simply assumed,
due to overwhelming evidence and hearsay, that the REASON the
backwards-uterus girl and the Super/Editor fellow had broken
up those many years back was DUE to their physical incompatibility
in that area. It was pretty much common knowledge among a certain,
shall we say, "set," that the boy with whom Uterus
Girl took up relations after Super-Editor was apparently of
such, shall we say, "endowment" that he may as well
have come to her in response to a certain personal ad never
actually placed lo some years before. If you know what I mean.
But you didn't hear it from me.
From: "Throop Roebling" <throop@writerguy'swebsite.com>
To: "Thisbe Nissen" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Fan Mail
Date: Tue, Jan 8, 2002, 6:18 PM
As they often say in the screendoor business, phew!
Oh wait - why would I write "phew"? - Your gorgeous,
convolutedly phrased message debunked the puny endowment speculation
thing about the, er, trouser snake of "that editor guy
I know"? It had nothing to do with me, so why the "phew"?
I guess it's a relief to know that no negative word went around
"the set" with regard to the editor's thingy. It would
make sense, however, since (1) his last name means "small"
in German, and (2) since he is actually not outwardly small
at all, there must be some concealed meaning behind his family's
surname, and such surnames are typically genitally derived.
Very truly yours,
I was beginning to have some suspicions about Throop, which
I confided to the Attractive Writer-Guy/Website Editor/Super
in a subsequent email.
Thisbe Nissen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 7:24 PM
Hey there-how are you? Just wanted to write and give you a little
warning about something… I've been emailing with Throop
Roebling whom I contacted after reading his short story (which
I quite enjoyed) on your website. I had written to him in a
fashion that was admittedly a bit flirtatious, using as a point
of entry into discussion my "suspicion" that you and
the "Super" of your website might be one and the same
person and related to Throop the story of Our Favorite Southern
Belle and her upside-down, inverted, backwards uterus. Really
I just wanted to contact Throop without sounding like a groupie.
But in the course of our communication it is becoming clear
to me that whatever romantic fantasies I may have been indulging
about Mr. Roebling (who I was probably too eagerly conflating
with his fictional narrator in the story I liked so much) are
ill-placed, as it seems to me that Throop may himself swing
in the other direction entirely and may have a bit of a thing
for YOU. Which is to say: next time you happen to be out drinking
together watch out when you go to the men's room. I have reason
to believe that Throop might try to sneak a gander at your private
parts while pretending to be merely pissing companionably at
the urinal beside you. Don't say you weren't warned. -Thisbe
Subject: Re: Throop
Date: Tue, Jan 8, 2002, 9:18 PM
Thisbe- Thanks for the head's-up about Throop. I think he and
I have come to an understanding about all this, so not to worry.
Actually, we were thinking that the next time you visit New
York City, where both Throop and I happen to reside, maybe the
three of us could get together for a drink or something…
Less than a week later I was in the car headed for New York.
We planned to meet at a bar downtown. Throop never showed. But
the Editor/Super/Writer-Guy and I, we were there. Three beers
and five hours later I was able (with full cooperation on the
part of its owner) to inspect the dimensions of a certain aforementioned
"trouser snake," which my perfectly upright uterus
was able to accommodate without anything remotely akin to discomfort.
Nissen, our fiction judge for a previous year's TenTen
story competition, lives with a mysterious writer and some cats.
The cats, although appearing whiskered, bear no resemblance
to anyone in this short story. Nissen, who in her short and
varied life is noted for her transforming courses taught at
the Iowa Writers Workshop and while she was the 19th Zale writer-in-residence
at Tulane University, wears her tank tops one at a time, just
like the rest of us, so we've heard.