by Gianluca Mercadante
Polishing your banister
– So… er… listen, do you… do you still do it?
– Still do what?
– You know, that thing.
– What thing?
– Polish your banister.
– My what…?!
– Banister! Wanking! Do you still wank?
– Are you crazy? I’m married.
– So am I, but what’s that got to do with it? Do you do it or not?
– Yes, once in a while. Usually in the morning.
– Yes, of course. It’s hard in the morning.
– Not really, I mean, my wife leaves the house early, she works around forty miles from where we live, so…
– No, no, no, I meant it’s hard in the morning. It’s hard, d’you get me? You want to use it.
– What about you? Do you still do it?
– Oh, obviously. Every day.
– Every day…?! Blimey, there’s something wrong with you if you’re doing it every day.
– I prefer to think of it as a cuddle.
– But… sorry… what about your wife? Doesn’t she notice?
– I do it in the bathroom.
– Yes, but what if your wife suddenly had to get in the bathroom, let’s say, or if she felt some pressing urge as well immediately after you…
– Problem solved. Poo-pourri.
– Poo-pourri. You can buy it online.
– Absolutely. I’ll send you the link. You save money if you buy the twelve-pack.
– And… I mean, and you…
– When I’ve finished, I just spritz a bit into the air and Bob’s your uncle.
– But why did you even get married in the first place…?
The most important thing is to always enjoy each other’s company
– I’m so bored.
– What a drag.
– God, it’s like watching paint dry.
– Or bananas turn brown.
– I’m so bored my brain is hanging out.
– I’m so bored my BALLS are hanging out.
– Mine are dragging across the floor!
– Right, see you next Saturday.
– See ya.
– You seem… I don’t know. Distracted.
– Do you love me?
– Do you still love me?…
– Shall we have lentils this evening?
AL LIMIT, PROFESSION: PUSSY DESIGNER
A: – Good morning.
B and C: – Good morning.
A: – I see you’ve brought someone with you.
B: – Yes, this is my husband.
C: – I’m Dave, nice to meet you.
A: – What a pleasure. I’m Limit. Al Limit.
C: – Limit? Is that your real surname?
A: – No, it’s an alias. And a notice to jealous husbands.
C: – Meaning..?
A: – Meaning that I never go beyond that limit.
C: – …
B: – Anyway, that’s not why he’s here, Al: my husband and I would like to ask whether you can do some work on both of us. I’d like it on my bikini area, whereas my husband… he’d like it on his rear end.
A: – His buttocks, or…?
B: – God forbid, are you joking? After all the money we’ve spent on anal bleaching!
A: – A…anal bleaching?
C: – It’s very fashionable in Dubai, where my wife and I live. They say it’s rejuvenating.
A: – I see. Is it all right if I take a look…
C: – Of course.
A: – No, no, no… please stay straight, my job is to look at the quality of the hair follicles covering the buttocks — I don’t venture beyond those…
B: – Sorry about him. It’s just that he’s so proud…
A: – No harm done. What design do you want me to shave in?
C: – A football goalpost.
A: – …
B: – And a football on me.
A: – Have you taken inspiration from Captain Tsubasa by any chance?
C: – Depends on how much he’s paying.
A e B: – …
A: – Stay just as you are, I’ll work on my knees. Please don’t bend over again for any reason whatsoever. Especially not with your wife watching.
Turn of phrase
– Doctor, I’ve got some redness in my… er… in my private parts.
– Give them a wash with this.
– But… but Doctor, this is anti-dandruff shampoo!
– That depends.
– It depends…?! Depends on what?!
– On how intimate you think the evidence is.
Illustration by ManuelaCh
Gianluca Mercadante was born in 1976 in Vercelli. Dozens of his short stories have appeared in anthologies, magazines and in the Italian book series Giallo Mondadori. He has published “McLoveMenu” (Stampa Alternativa publishing, 2002, Parole di Sale prize), “Il Banco dei Somari” (NoReply publishing, 2005), “Nodo al Pettine — Confessioni di un parrucchiere anarchico” (AlacrÃ n publishing, 2006), “Polaroid” (Las Vegas publishing, 2008), “Il giardino nel recinto di vetro” (Birichino publishing, 2009), “Cherosene” (Las Vegas publishing, 2010), “Io ho visto tutto” (Milanonera publishing, 2012), “CasinÃ² Hormonal” (Lite Editions publishing, 2013), “Caro scrittore in erba…” (Las Vegas publishing, 2013), “Noi aspettiamo fuori” (EffedÃ¬ publishing, 2014), and “CasinÃ² Hormonal — Versione Integrale” (Lite Editions publishing, 2015). Together with Daniele Manini, he has also been responsible for the anthology “Liscio assassino” (Zona publishing, 2014), appended to the band Banda Putiferio’s album with the same name. He has written literary criticism articles for the Italian daily newspaper “La Stampa” and for the magazines “Orizzonti”, “Pulp” and “Satisfiction”.
His most recent work, which has just been published, is “Caro lettore in erba…” (Las Vegas publishing, 2015) and “L’uomo che non esiste” (Intermezzi publishing, 2016).