|Pendulum pushes the envelope into
gay and interracial terrain.
-Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood's Glen or Glenda?
"He was naked and the young sailor with him in the back seat had the thirteen buttons of his front flap open and his manhood was rigid and being serviced by Paul. The boys in blue surprised the action with a double flashlight blast. There was no dressing or zipping up of trousers. They went to the station in the black and white as they were."
-from Ed Wood's uncredited story in The Boy Friends
As Ed Wood toiled away at his desk Monday through Friday in the Pendulum editorial offices on West Pico in the late '60s/early '70s – the last of the few lasting and significant day jobs he ever held – his typewriter often drifted into a stream-of-consciousness reverie of pet themes, obsessions, confessional autobiography, oblique turns of phrase and mind, and – indeed – even something akin to ecstasy. Which is as good an introduction as any to another long little-seen short story written by Ed at Pendulum. Though uncredited in The Boy Friends, a gay-themed magazine published by Pendulum circa 1969-1972, the magazine seller here both wisely identified and graciously scanned it. You can guess the theme of this Pendulum mag and this story from their titles.
|Two gents just enjoying each other's company.
"Captain Fellatio Hornblower" by Ed Wood (uncredited)
The Boy Friends, Vol. 3, No. 3 (1971)
An attorney just doesn't seem to make it unless he specializes in one particular vein of law. Anyway, that's the way Captain Ralph Henry Hornblower (late of the U.S. Navy and far from being a Captain - more like an Ensign), thought. And there was no one to argue with him, certainly not his landlord who rented him the entire penthouse suite of a tall office building.
Of course Captain Hornblower (and his magical title) wasn't always the success he presently claimed. There were the lean years right after World War II in which he served. There was the struggling through law school, and the time he was caught having a fruity session with one of his classmates, at the all male school. But it was better that the incident be kept quiet than to have him expelled and with all the notoriety that might accompany such a scandal. Besides, it was thought, boys will be boys, and being such they are always investigating things . . . even their bodies . . . or the body of the boy in the next bunk to him. It was one of the hazards of a one sex school.
And if we pin-point it right down to the nitty gritty, the one time he was caught wasn't the first time he'd done such a thing and it certainly wasn't the last. Captain Ralph Henry Hornblower was quite the rounder, and if the nick name started anywhere, it started in those law school days. And the name stuck with him throughout his own circles and cliques.
Captain Fellatio Hornblower!
And to the Captain it was a badge of acceptance, a badge of honor.
But the badge did little for his general law practices when he went out into the make a buck world. There was too much general for the Captain and very few clients. Thus he hit upon the one program which turned out right for him. There had been a time that he, starving, and an author, starving, sat down to bite a crust of bread over a bottle of cheap wine and eat a few other physical morsels, that the author decided he should quit writing about the world and places he'd never been. He should write only about the things he knew and start selling for money instead of rejection slips.
This hit home for the Captain also. After all, what did he know about general law except what he learned from law books? And there was a general law practitioner on every street corner and hundreds more in every tall office building. He had to specialize, and like his writer friend, he had to specialize in what he knew. Thus back to the law libraries and to the musty books dealing with all the sexual deviations known to mankind, but especially to homosexual relationships where it concerned the law. And it would appear homosexuality of any kind had a hell of a lot of relationships with the law, when discovered. Yet he couldn't find one attorney who specialized in that one phase of crime in the entire town. There was a built-in market for him. It takes one to know one. It certainly takes one to understand one. And Captain Fellatio Hornblower was the ONE.
He didn't have to advertise even if advertising was permissible in his profession. One case, selected because he was on the right spot at the right time when an arrest was made put his name up high. He simply presented the boy with his card which simply read HORNBLOWER, then an address and phone number. It might have smelled a bit of the old ambulance chaser, but it was only a one time operation and the word got around like wildfire and was accepted just as the wheat accepted quickly the wildfire. Hornblower moved up quickly in the legal world, once he had made the change over, and continued to climb the ladder of success until he reached the penthouse offices, with an apartment and bar attached for special occasions. And there were many special occasions, and the more financially secure he became, the more lavish were his special occasions. However, the one thing for sure: if a client got Fellatio to blow his horn the courts stood up and took notice.
A successful lawyer first charges a lot of money, and second wins a lot of cases. But then a lawyer doesn't become successful and make a lot of money if he doesn't win cases. Fellatio Hornblower seldom lost a case, that's how good he was. He had a good voice, a resounding one when he wanted, but most of all he had convincing tones which could sway the hardest of jurors. And strange as it may seem it appeared most of the time that the jurors were waiting to be swayed and enjoyed the process. He was a showman from the word go, and along with the medical terms for the things his deviate clients might have perpetrated, he sparced his words with the hard core terms which shocked, but enlightened the listeners.
There were none, even the most ignorant, who didn't know exactly what he was talking about. And there were none that didn't hang onto each word he spoke and dangle expectantly for the next one. But it wasn't only the jurors . . . the judge and the clients themselves were just as enthralled. His court appearances also assured a packed courtroom. The showman of the attorney's circle. The director of thoughts and curver of minds. The twister of fiction which always came out fact.
"But then, who really wants to put these poor homos behind bars anyway? The greatest number don't even need a doctor. They don't go around molesting children. They are in the greater part consenting adults doing their thing."
It always worked!
"Besides! You the tax payer must pay for every inmate the prisons house. Leave those expenditures for the real criminals who are out to do harm to society. There is no harm in the makeup of the homo. Leave him alone and he is bound to leave society alone. Why ladies and gentlemen of the jury, there is a place in this world for each and every one of us . . . and we must understand that all of us have our own little problems. You! You! You! You and you! Do you think your problems rate that you be put away behind prison bars? And perhaps one or more of you may have the same problem as my client. Perhaps it might be one of your closest relatives or friends. Think about that! Would you care to be, or have your relatives or friends in the same situation as my client?"
It always worked!
Then there was the ceremony of paying Fellatio or the devil, his dues. And it always took place in the penthouse, starting with the desk where the check was presented, then to a congratulatory drink, then on into the bedroom where any other little gratuity might be in order. Gratuities were always in order, and the pleasure of being on the outside looking in caused those gratuities to be considerable in a tremendous amount of the incidents.
"What do you do when you find out a client is really guilty?" questioned a friend.
Fellatio could only laugh. "Good friend! All of my clients are guilty or they wouldn't have been picked up and charged in the first place. The only problem is what is the extent of their guilt. And is it worth making a big deal out of. Most of the cases are dropped because of insufficient evidence. Witnesses don't like to appear in such cases . . . all the embarrassment and that sort of thing. In the beginning the excitement of the moment, they will swear they have seen everything, but when it comes time to get them on the stand their memory has an immediate black-out, a failure which can't be redeemed. The more vile the deed the less available the witnesses.
"In the kind of cases I handle it is seldom the arresting officer is on the scene during the commission of the act. He is the second party brought in and therefore must take the word of those who have been the informants. Very poor witnesses for the state. After all, what can they say except to repeat what they have heard second-hand? A complaint is made and they must act upon it. That's where I come in! A complaint is only a complaint until the facts are proven. Law is a very strange and intricate entity. But one by which we must all live and be governed.
"The law is the law. But there are thousands of ways of interpreting the law. And that's the key to the entire operation. Interpretation!"
Fellatio Hornblower knew whether or not he was going to win a case even before he entered the courtroom. In fact his brain was so intuned to what the eventualities would be that he knew how a case would run even before he took it. Fellatio liked to win. He didn't take cases he knew he'd lose. There were a few losses however, but it was through tricks he had not expected. There were not many.
Then there was one Paul Mestroni who was picked up on the beach in an automobile. He was naked and the young sailor with him in the back seat had the thirteen buttons of his front flap open and his manhood was rigid and being serviced by Paul. The boys in blue surprised the action with a double flashlight blast. There was no dressing or zipping up of trousers. They went to the station in the black and white as they were. The arresting officers were first hand observers. Fellatio Hornblower was contacted by Paul when he used his one phone call, and bail was set quickly by a desk sergeant. But the arraignment was delayed until the next morning.
Fellatio had to know the story. "You know what this is going to do to you in the navy?" he asked of the young, frightened sailor who shook his head. "Well, the one thing for sure is you'd better unpack your civilian clothes."
The shore patrol came into the station waiting room and took him from the police. He was not to be Fellatio's client.
"Poor kid," muttered Paul as he got dressed from the bundle the police had tied his clothing into. "But if they stand around on street corners looking for some action they gotta' expect to be busted. After all, I didn't rape the punk . . . and he wanted five dollars. You know what that makes him! You should, you've handled enough of their kind."
"You know, you guys never cease to amaze me. You go out looking for a score on any street corner. You pick up bums, tramps, bumboys, anything to get your jollies. You speak all kinds of words of love to them in preparation for getting his pants and drawers off, then when you get it, or get busted the love words cease to exist and he becomes what you went to pick up in the first place . . . bums, tramps, bumboys!" Fellatio Hornblower frowned deeply, the same frown he had used on tough witnesses or an obstinate juror. "Whore! I wonder which is the worst whore?"
"Well," grinned Paul fixing his tie. "That's the name of the game I guess. You win some and you lose some. The street corner whores are always the losers. You know that!"
"You keep saying, I know that. Listen mister. I don't know anything about your kind of life, physically that is. I look a case right up the ass and see where the dirt is. Then like a dutiful mother I wipe it clean. Then you go right back on the street the next weekend and the whole process starts all over again."
"That's what keeps you in business barrister."
"True, so true. Sadly true, but true. There are times I look forward to my retirement."
Paul grinned again and slipped into his violet, velvet jacket. "You'd die within a year. Lawyer, you couldn't last a month without the entaglement of cases like mine. You going to get me off?"
"I haven't heard all the facts yet."
"That will come later. You going to get me off?" He opened the packet containing his wallet, watch and diamond ring. He selected five one hundred dollar bills and handed them to Fellatio Horn-blower. "Just a retainer as usual."
"Want to visit a psychiatrist for another six months?" Fellatio pocketed tl e money after folding it.
"Hell, why not! Especially if the next one is as cute as the last one."
"Okay! You'll get off with a slap on the wrist as usual. I'll see what I can do about the condition of the psychiatrist's appearance."
A jury loves to think they have saved some poor boy from a life of torture in some prison when they feel he has a slight mental problem. It is easy to sway them into recommending the criminal proceedings be dropped and the poor lad have a few psychiatric treatments. No one wants to confine a sick person to a cell, unless he's dangerous or has committed some heinous crime. A poor homo getting mixed up with strange boys who lead them on . . . Paul would never see a second appearance in court . . . on that particular charge. There would be others. Of that Fellatio Hornblower could be positive. They always came back . . . most of them. But generally the crime was no more than the first time. The only difference was that the charge was a second or third or whatever. None of them ever changed. They could take psychiatric treatment from now until hell freezes over and they would come out with the same ideas as when they first went in.
None of them wanted to change!
That was the entire point. In order for any psychiatrist to help a person, that person has got to want to be helped. Like the alcoholic. He can't even start for a cure until he admits he is an alcoholic, then wants the cure himself. The homosexual male or the female, or any of the other deviates . . . they simply do not want any kind of a cure. They like life the way it is. Any change would take away from their personality. They want to retain that personality.
"Like many of them want to be picked right out of the crowd," tells Fellatio Hornblower. "Not all of them of course. Some would rather stay in the background and not be discovered. But many want to be recognized. It does something for their ego. That particular difference takes them out of the realm of the common ordinary status and puts them in the different limelight. That's the way they must have it for a comfortable life.
"At first when they're caught they are scared out of their wits. The cops and the booking and all the other processes that go with being arrested. But by the time they get to court there is the feeling that they have suddenly begun to enjoy their position in the unusual. Actually when the trial is over and they are once more on the street there is the feeling also of reluctance on their part that it's all over. Now they must return to their regular life and all the spectacle is gone.
"Naturally I make it more of a spectacle, in the courtroom, than it really needs. But that's what wins cases. I blow my horn a lot. Fellatio Hornblower the hornblower. That's me, and I guess I get a lot of my kicks being in the limelight too. Right out there in the courtroom. And I'm always out to win. I hate to lose. That's why I don't lose very often. I can out-shout any other attorney in the country. I can out-shout just about anybody in the country. And as I learned a long time ago. The guy who shouts the loudest is the one who is listened to and heard the longest.
"Hitler was a master of shouting. And he will go down in history for all time. Perhaps I won't go down in history, but you can bet your ass I'll be heard as long as I'm around."
Fellatio Hornblower then ushered Paul Mestroni to the door. "Don't you want a little something extra . . . like in the bar and the bedroom?" questioned the startled man as he was shown to the door. "You're not my type. I'm not one who goes around street corners for my character analysis. That's where you belong. See you in court . . . next time."
• • •
The same black man on the cover of
Vol 4 No 1 from 1972
- "It might have smelled a bit of the old ambulance chaser, but it was only a one time operation and the word got around like wildfire and was accepted just as the wheat accepted quickly the wildfire."
- "A successful lawyer first charges a lot of money, and second wins a lot of cases. But then a lawyer doesn't become successful and make a lot of money if he doesn't win cases."
- "The director of thoughts and curver of minds. The twister of fiction which always came out fact."
- "Like the alcoholic. He can't even start for a cure until he admits he is an alcoholic, then wants the cure himself. The homosexual male or the female, or any of the other deviates . . . they simply do not want any kind of a cure. They like life the way it is."
- "Hitler was a master of shouting."
|The Captain returns!
Next week's Wood Wednesday: "A Taste For Blood," credited to Ed, from Pendulum's lesbian-themed Hellcats.