It happens to us all eventually – the loss of innocence. The moment where we, as human beings, understand that our place in the cosmos is under the great galactic millstone that shall render us all into so much irrelevant particulate matter. For some of us, it is triggered at a relatively young age by the death of the family iguana or the sudden realization that a great many people are, essentially, doo-doo heads.
For me, it happened around the age of twenty-five, in a Wisconsin public library, when I learned there were sequels to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. The image is burned into my mind – my fingers tracing lightly along the spines of assorted tomes, coming to rest on the purported sequel, the subsequent bafflement as to why someone had bothered to write a sequel to a book that, like most everything Austen ever penned, contains 350 pages of dithering followed by a marriage proposal.
Still, I withdrew it from the shelf, cradled it with a reverence most becoming of an English major, and proceeded to have three thoughts in the order with which they are listed here.
The first, formulated upon viewing the front cover: “When did Mr. Darcy get so ripped?
The second, a result of attempting to flip through the pages and deduce the content: “Why are the pages stuck together?”
The third, as I came to understand the text in question revolved primarily around the protagonists’, ahem, marital bliss: “…I NEED TO WASH MY HANDS!”
After a trip to the restroom, the development of a drinking problem, and several years of counseling, I’ve come to understand that Pride & Prejudice & Pornography is very nearly a genre unto itself. However, were I not jaded enough, I’ve come to discover authors (though here I use the term loosely) are no longer content confining Elizabeth’s libido to subsequent volumes. No, if you search on Amazon for editions of Pride & Prejudice, you will find this returned on the first page of search results:
Yes, the “Wild & Wanton” edition. Care to see a bit of the synopsis? Oh, I think you do.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife…in bed. Unfortunately, you’ve never been able to see Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam indulging their every desire between the sheets – until now. In this deliciously naughty update of the beloved classic, you can peek behind the closed doors of Pemberley’s master bedroom – and revel in the sexual delights of your favorite couple.”
Ignoring, for a moment, the bastardization of Austen’s famous line in a manner that would send an eighteenth century literary scholar into an apoplectic fit, the only word I really take issue with is “unfortunately,” which needs a qualifier – something to the effect of, “Unfortunately, if you live alone and possess twice your body weight in cats […].”
Part of me is horrified, as such is obligatory. But part of me also wants to investigate the legalities of a conflation between the above and Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.
We’ll call it Pride & Prejudice & Wild & Wanton Zombies. I am not going to speculate further.
But assuming some peculiar combination of copyright and taste, the former being fungible and the latter being unlikely, prevent my opus from coming to be, let it be noted I have a backup plan:
Because you have to be a virgin to touch one.