Monday, October 4, 2010

A few quotes and routines from one of the greatest writers ever to have lived.


The lavatory has been locked for three hours solid... I think they're using it for an operating room...

NURSE:" Adrenalin, doctor?"
DR. BENWAY:"The night porter shot it all up for kicks." He looks around and picks up a toilet plunger... He advances on the patient..."Make and incision Dr. Limpf," he says to his appalled assistant..."I'm going to massage the heart."
Dr. Limpf shrugs and begins the incision. Dr. Benway washes the suction cup by swishing it around the toilet bowl...
NURSE: "Shouldn't it be sterilized, doctor?"
DR. BENWAY:"Very likely but there's no time." He sits on the toilet plunger like a can seat watching his assistant make the incision..."You young squirts couldn't lance a pimple without an electric vibrating scalpel with automatic drain and suture...Soon we'll be operating by remote control on patients we never see...We'll be nothing but button pushers. All the skill is going out of surgery...All the know how and make-do...Did I ever tell you about the time I performed an appendectomy with a rusty sardine can? And once I was caught short without instrument one and removed a uterine tumor with my teeth. That was in the Upper Effendi, and besides...the wench is dead."
DR.LIMPF: "The incision is ready doctor."
Dr. Benway forces the cup into the incision and works it up and down. Blood spurts all over the doctors, the nurse and the wall...The cup makes a horrible sucking sound.
NURSE:" I think she's gone, doctor."
DR.BENWAY: "Well, it's all in a days work." He walks across the room to a medicine cabinet..."Some fucking drug addict has cut my cocaine with Saniflush! Nurse! Send the boy out to fill this RX on the double!"

"In the U.S., you have to be a deviant or die or boredom." - Wm S Burroughs


Benway: "Why not one all-purpose blob? Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down you dig farting out the words. It was unlike anything I ever heard.

"This ass talk had a sort of gut frequency. It hit you right down there like you gotta go. You know when the old colon gives you the elbow and it feels sorta cold inside, and you know all you have to do is turn loose? Well this talking hit you right down there, a bubbly, thick stagnant sound, a sound you could smell.

"This man worked for a carnival you dig, and to start with it was like a novelty ventriloquist act. Real funny, too, at first. He had a number he called 'The Better 'Ole' that was a scream, I tell you. I forget most of it but it was clever. Like, 'Oh I say, are you still down there, old thing?'

"'Nah! I had to go relieve myself.'

"After a while the ass started talking on its own. He would go in without anything prepared and his ass would ad-lib and toss the gags back at him every time.

"Then it developed sort of teeth-like little raspy in- curving hooks and started eating. He thought this was cute at first and built an act around it, but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street, shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags nobody loved it and it wanted to be kissed same as any other mouth. Finally it talked all the time day and night, you could hear him for blocks screaming at it to shut up, and beating it with his fist, and sticking candles up it, but nothing did any good and the asshole said to him: 'It's you who will shut up in the end. Not me. Because we don't need you around here any more. I can talk and eat and shit.'

"After that he began waking up in the morning with a transparent jelly like a tadpole's tail all over his mouth. This jelly was what the scientists call un-D.T., Undifferentiated Tissue, which can grow into any kind of flesh on the human body. He would tear it off his mouth and the pieces would stick to his hands like burning gasoline jelly and grow there, grow anywhere on him a glob of it fell. So finally his mouth sealed over, and the whole head would have amputated spontane- ous -- (did you know there is a condition occurs in parts of Africa and only among Negroes where the little toe amputates spontaneously?) -- except for the eyes you dig. That's one thing the asshole couldn't do was see. It needed the eyes. But nerve connections were blocked and infiltrated and atrophied so the brain couldn't give orders any more. It was trapped in the skull, sealed off. For a while you could see the silent, helpless suffering of the brain behind the eyes, then finally the brain must have died, because the eyes went out, and there was no more feeling in them than a crab's eye on the end of a stalk.


S.S. America off Jersey Coast.

"Ladies and gentleman there's no cause for alarm. We have a minor problem in the boiler room but everything is now under..." (Sound effects of a nuclear blast). Explosion splits the boat. Dr. Benway, ship's doctor, drunkenly added two inches to a four-inch incision with one stroke of his scalpel.

"Perhaps the appendix is already out doctor" the nurse said peering dubiously over his shoulder. "I saw a little scar."

"The appendix already out !?" the doctor shouted. "I'm taking the appendix out! What do you think I'm doing here?"

"Perhaps the appendix is on the left side doctor," said the nurse. "That happens sometimes you know."

"Stop breathing down my neck I'm coming to that! Don't you think I know where an appendix is? I studied appendectomy in 1904 at Harvard." He threw back his elbows in a movement of exasperation.. He lifts the abdominal wall and searches along the incision dropping ashes from his cigarette. "And get me another scalpel! This one has no edge to it."

He thrusts a red fist at her. The doctor reels back and flattens against the wall from the force of the explosion with the bloody scalpel clutched in one hand. The patient slides off the operating table spilling intestines across the floor. Dr. Benway sweeps instruments, cocaine, and morphine into his satchel.

"Sew her up!" he said, peeling off his gloves. " I can't be expected to work under such conditions."

Dr. Benway. Carrying his satchel pushed through the passengers crowded around Lifeboat No. 1. "Are you all right?" he shouted, seating himself among the women. "I'm the doctor."


Well this, ah, folkloric text from the Federal Narcotics Hospital in Lexington Kentucky, well, more of a Prison really - people did sentences there, was actually inspired by Juvenal, the Roman satirist. He's speaking of Greek parasites and sycophants; "All arts, all sciences a fasting Greek knows. Bid him go to hell, to hell he goes...If you but say you're warm, he breaks into a sweat...If you complain of a draft, he calls for his overcoat."

There is an exclusive wing of Lexington reserved for the do-rights, who are considered good `rehabilitation' prospects. They get better rooms and more medications. A do-right always shows up with letters from his congressman, banker, employer, and, you know, pictures of himself as an Eagle Scout, shakin' hands with a priest on graduation day. There's no limit to what they'll do. You know the type. Bawls all over himself to light the boss's cigarette.

The Doctor walks into the ward and says, "Rather warm in here." As one man the do-rights break into a sweat and rush around opening windows. "Cold in here isn't it?" Immediately the do-rights see their breath in the air, snatch blankets and bundle themselves up to a chorus of chattering teeth. Front office brown-nose finks to the bone. "Doctor, when I die I want to be buried right in the same coffin with you! You're the finest, most decent, most deeply humane man I have ever known." "I'm puttin' you down for additional medication, son." "Thank You, doctor! A pusher should receive the death penalty." Of such stuff are do-rights made. It's the Old Army Game from here to eternity. Get there firstest with the brownest nose.

Well, down in the dim gray wards and day rooms where the do-wrongs hock and spit and shiver and vomit, "Fuckin' croaker wouldn't even give me a goof ball...He asked me what the American Flag means to me and I said `Soak it in heroin Doc, an' I'll suck it!' Says I've got the wrong attitude_. I should see the Chaplain an' get straight with Jesus." And then, with the tears streaming down their lousy fink faces, the do-rights leap up and bellow out the Star Spangled Banner.

"I think all writers write for an audience. There is no such thing as writing for your self. Only they never find out who the audience is."

Words of Advice For Young People

People often ask me if I have any words of advice for young people. Well, here are a few simple admonitions for young and old.

Never interfere in a boy and girl fight.

Beware of whores who say they don't want money. The hell they don't. What they mean is they want more money. Much more.

If you're doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing. His word isn't worth shit, not with the good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.

Avoid fuckups. You all know the type. Anything they have anything to do with, no matter how good it sounds, turns into a disaster.

Do not offer sympathy to the mentally ill. Tell them firmly, "I am not paid to listen to this drivel. You are a terminal fool."

Now some of you may encounter the devil's bargain if you get that far. Any old soul is worth saving at least to a priest, but not every soul is worth buying. So you can take the offer as a compliment. They charge the easy ones first, you know, like money, all the money there is. But who wants to be the richest guy in some cemetery? Not much to spend it on, eh, Gramps? Getting too old to cut the mustard. Have you forgotten something, Gramps? In order to feel something, you have to be there. You have to be 18. You're not 18, you are 78. Old fool sold his soul for a strap-on.

How about an honorable bargain? "You always wanted to become a doctor. Now's your chance. Why, you could have become a great healer and benefit humanity. What's wrong with that?" Just about everything. There are no honorable bargains involving exchange of qualitative merchandise like souls. Just quantitative merchandise like time and money. So piss off, Satan, and don't take me for dumber than I look. As an old junk pusher told me, "Watch whose money you pick up."


"There is no final enough of wisdom, experience- any fucking thing. No Holy Grail, No Final Satori, no solution. Just conflict.

Only thing that can resolve conflict is love, like I felt for Fletch and Ruski, Spooner, and Calico. Pure love. What I feel for my cats past and present.

Love? What is it?
Most natural painkiller what there is.


  1. The "Fuckups" quote is my favorite. So tragically true.

  2. Word up, I love that quote. Truer words have never been spoken. LOL