The Poet Laureate of a Tupelo, Mississippi Truck Stop Bathroom
A Stunning and Brave Literary Genius Shares His Art with Weary Interstate Travelers and Over-the-Road Truck Drivers
While I was traveling over the holidays, I stumbled upon a great new writer, Fred Q. Gumby, III, the poet laureate of the men’s latrine in the Pilot truck stop in Tupelo, Mississippi. Mr. Gumby is a prolific composer of sonnets, limericks, and epic poetry, which he publishes on the walls of public bathrooms across the country.
On the way back to Birmingham from Memphis recently, I stopped by the Pilot truck stop in Tupelo to get gas and take a piss. Little did I know that I was about to encounter one of the most promising new voices on the American literary scene. While I drained my bladder, I glanced around the bathroom stall. As a lifelong lover of the arts, I enjoy the masterful Fleischer-Cartoon-style drawings one sometimes finds in such places, and this particular bathroom stall did not disappoint. There were illustrations aplenty — most of them apparently drawn by a gynecologist, judging from the artist’s expert knowledge of the female anatomy. As I gazed in awe at these lifelike renderings, I noticed a stanza of what appeared to be poetry.
“There once was a man from Nantucket . . .” the poem began. Immediately, I was hooked. Undoubtedly, this man from Nantucket would bring a fresh perspective on our culture and its values. I was eager to learn more about him.
“Whose dick was so big, he could suck it . . .” went the second line. The plot thickens! What a problem to have! No doubt, our Nantucketian visitor would have a complicated life. He would probably be malnourished, because he would probably have a hard time enjoying the taste of food after having had a dick in his mouth all day, even if it was his own. Also, he may find the opportunity cost of eating to be prohibitively high. After all, every minute that he spends chewing food is a minute during which he is unable to suck his own cock, which is probably his favorite activity, given that his propensity for oral self-gratification is the second detail the poet reveals about him. Here is a man with a uniquely challenging lived experience, which this poet has brought vividly to life through this exquisitely rhyming verse. I read on . . .
“He said with a grin . . .” went the third line, and I was very glad to see that our Nantucketian protagonist is heroically maintaining a positive attitude, in spite of his abnormal physiology.
“As he wiped off his chin . . .” went the fourth line, deftly bringing the poem to a climax and resolution in a single action-packed sentence.
“If my ass was a pussy, I would fuck it!” concluded the bathroom bard with a flourish. This was brilliant! The hero of this epic poem managed to take what would, for a lesser man, be a negative thing, to wit, fucking yourself — usually when someone says “I fucked myself when I did that,” he means that he made a terrible error to his own detriment — but in this case, this man from Nantucket had managed to turn this negative into something good. Talk about positive psychology in action! What a paradigm shift! Perhaps this man had studied Stoic philosophy during his breaks from auto-fellatiating!
Underneath this magically mellifluous poem, the author had signed only his initials, “FQG.” But who was “FQG?” I browsed the poetry sections of several bookstores in vain. No poets with the initials “FQG.” I looked in the literary fiction shelves, but I struck out there also. I tried to find him on Amazon, but nothing! I was sure that this mysterious bathroom bard had published a collection of poems, and I was determined to track it down. Unfortunately, everywhere I looked, I reached a dead end. Perhaps this single poem was all that I would ever be able to read of this brilliant author. This thought saddened me terribly.
At any rate, I was so overcome with awe and amazement that I mentioned the poem in a recent episode of my podcast (embedded below) . . .
Much to my delight, the mysterious “FQG” contacted me and revealed himself as Fred Q. Gumby, III, the author of this exquisite poem and poet laureate of various gas station bathrooms throughout Tupelo, Mississippi. No doubt, the City of Tupelo will one day erect statues of their native son. I tell you, there must be something in the water in Tupelo. This incredible city was also the birthplace of Elvis. First the King of Rock and Roll, and now the King of Poetry? It is incredible that this single municipality should produce so much artistic talent. I only hope that the appropriate scientists will conduct the necessary research into the culture there, to identify what it is that lends itself to fostering such world-class genius.
According to Mr. Gumby, he began writing poetry on the walls of his high school’s bathrooms during his second senior year. After graduating summa condemnatio last spring (after his third senior year), he has continued his literary endeavors on the sides of toilet stalls in public restrooms across the country, as well as on the walls of jail cells and the sides of garbage receptacles or wherever he happens to be when inspiration strikes. In addition to writing poetry, Mr. Gumby enjoys visiting adult book stores, patronizing gentlemen’s clubs, and working part-time as an amateur pharmacist.
The story of Mr. Gumby fills me with hope. Contrary to popular belief, the rising generation of Americans is not comprised of a bunch of irresponsible, overgrown children doing nothing but playing video games and scratching their asses and contriving new ways to cancel each other for imaginary offenses. Instead, they are poets and artists, who are so prolific that they create their masterpieces even while moving their bowels in the public restrooms of our great nation’s highways and byways, sharing their artistic creations with fellow travelers via the walls of truck stop toilet stalls. With a burgeoning literary scene like this, the future looks very bright for Western culture.
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