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J.G. M. McDonohughe’s latest “scather” is a doozy, though it’s his most far-fetched to date. Even his premiere, Fondling Shakespeare, was more grounded in reality, old Bill’s far-reaching carnal pursuits well documented.
By all accounts Columbus was no Romeo, and his lifelong struggle with navigation left him mostly bereft of bedmates (if the scores of periodicals devoted to his sex life are to be believed) other than the occasional presence of seamen.
But what if the diminutive Portuguese was invited to formal dances, taken out to a fancy eatery, or maybe on a midnight horse and buggy ride?
Offered as a “sell all” purporting insight into the explorer’s heart, the book opens on a starlit sea somewhere in the Baltic (if McDonohughe’s faith in Sopling’s interpretations of various astrological sailors’ maps is well placed) where a young Christopher is writing a lovenote to his (oddly unnamed) Nairobian sweetheart with gull’s blood and quill. In this undocumented dispatch McDonohughe has found a world of amorous intentions and just as many oaths of fidelity, prompting him to begin researching the sailor’s letters and numerous gull’s poop sketchbooks.
Said (by the author) to be fond of Belgian pumpkins, brown roses and lemon wine, Columbus also appreciated the value of a gentle footrub after a hard day of swabbing the poop deck. While his diaries make no mention of any fondness for Eskimo jazz, wouldn’t that have been something!
Exactly how Mr. McDonohughe came upon these enlightening tidbits is unclear, although it is stated in the too-forward foreword that the author had just returned from skin treatments in the Hawaiian Alps. Perhaps one of the waiting rooms had some five hundred year old tabloids; maybe he won the tids in a silent auction for a telegraph and the bits were perhaps included in a cereal box. Regardless, they appear in print and so must be true.
A fan of Eurasian seasoning, Columbus (in McDonohughe’s view) enjoyed smoked peasant and oven-faked greenies (what we would today call chip ‘n’ lip) and, when in season, scopped nommy noms. Young Christopher ate these and other Arthurian treats courtesy of his Orwellian grandmother, who spoiled the boy with spoiled sugar beans and lamb hocks for brunch with toasted eggblacks and pee soup steam for linner. Just feed him garlic and chive jellies and watch him melt; skipping choco tasties with cheese nubs made him svelte.
Poetry is also asserted by the author to have gotten old Columbus “in the food” as it were, with his navigationsy particularly fond of Teats and even Newman. Read aloud during freezing winter nights aboard the Santa Rosita while it circumlocuted the world, the rhyming stanzas seemed to infect señor Columbus with a somber solemnity. Usually at these times, McDonohughe insists, the long dead incompetent explorer would be open to frank discussions on morality, faith and self-dentistry. Often employing a corned cobb pype stuffed to the hilt with the ground root of the Asparagus tree, Columbus would hold court over his ruffian sailor crew, entertaining them with assorted sordids, raunchy ribalds overheard over years of port-calling.
Romancing Columbus is the fifth “exposé” from the writer who was once named “the U.K.’s own Phyllis Diller,” is a two-time Dahmer Award winner and is also a two-timing cheat, at least according to ex-wives numbers two and three. McDonohughe’s style seems to be write first ask questions later which has landed him in hot water more than once, most recently when the nation of Bhutan took issue with his last book, Kissing Custer, and its allegations of the Sioux’s involvement in the great fire of Punakha. The author remains unflappable, however, promising even more surprises for the future. Indeed, his latest press release mentions the “inevitability” of an accepted connection between George Washington and Satanism.