Steve Martin Essays From The New Yorker

Virgin No. 1: Yuck.

Virgin No. 2: Ick.

Virgin No. 3: Ew.

Virgin No. 4: Ow.

Virgin No. 5: Do you like cats? I have fourteen!

Virgin No. 6: I’m Becky. I’ll be legal in two years.

Virgin No. 7: Here, I’ll just pull down your zipper. Oh, sorry!

Virgin No. 8: Can we cuddle first?

Virgin No. 9: It was a garlic-and-onion pizza. Why?

Virgin No. 10: . . . so I see Heath, and he goes, “Like, what are you doing here?,” and I go, “I’m hangin’ out,” so he goes, “Like, what?” . . .

Virgin No. 11: First you’re going to have to show me an up-to-date health certificate.

Virgin No. 12: Hurry! My parents are due home!

Virgin No. 13: Do you want the regular or the special?

Virgin No. 14: I’m eighty-four. So what?

Virgin No. 15: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Virgin No. 16: Even I know that’s tiny.

Virgin No. 17: “Do it”? Meaning what?

Virgin No. 18: I’m saving myself for Jesus.

Virgin No. 19: Somewhere on my body I have hidden a buffalo nickel.

Virgin No. 20: Don’t touch my hair!

Virgin No. 21: I hope you’re not going to sleep with me and then go sleep with seventy-one others.

Virgin No. 22: Do you mind if we listen to Mannheim Steamroller?

Virgin No. 23: Are you O.K. with the dog on the bed?

Virgin No. 24: Would you mind saying, “Could I see you in my office, Miss Witherspoon?”?

Virgin No. 25: Ride me! Ride me, Lucky Buck!

Virgin No. 26: You like your vanilla hot?

Virgin No. 27: Does Ookums like Snookums?

Virgin No. 28: It’s so romantic here, dead.

Virgin No. 29: Well, I’m a virgin, but my hand isn’t.

Virgin No. 30: You are in?

Virgin No. 31: Hi, cowboy. I just rode down from Brokeback Mountain.

Virgin No. 32: I’m a virgin because I’m so ugly.

Virgin No. 33: You like-ee?

Virgin No. 34: I’ll betcha you can’t get an erection. Go on, impress me. C’mon, show me. Show me, big shot.

Virgin No. 35: By the way, here in Heaven “virgin” has a slightly different meaning. It means “chatty.”

Virgin No. 36: Sure, I like you, but as a friend.

Virgin No. 37: No kissing. I save that for my boyfriend.

Virgin No. 38: I’m Zania, from the planet Xeron. My vagina is on my foot.

Virgin No. 39: It’s a lesion, and, no, I don’t know what kind.

Virgin No. 40: I’m Jewish. Why do you ask?

Virgin No. 41: Hi, I’m Becky. Oh, whoops—you again.

Virgin No. 42: I just love camping! Camping is so great! Can we go camping sometime?

Virgin No. 43: In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m a single mom.

Virgin No. 44: You like my breasts? They were my graduation gift.

Virgin No. 45: When you’re done, you should really check out how cool this ceiling is.

Virgin No. 46: I’m almost there. Just another couple of hours.

Virgin No. 47: Get your own beer, you nitwit.

Virgin No. 48: No, you’ve got it wrong. We’re in the Paradise Casino.

Virgin No. 49: I really enjoyed that. Thank you very much. Gee, it’s late.

Virgin No. 50: You make me feel like a real woman. And after this is over I’m going to find one.

Virgin No. 51: What do you mean, “move a little”?

Virgin No. 52: Not now, I’m on my BlackBerry.

Virgin No. 53: I love it when you put on your pants and leave.

Virgin No. 54: We’ve been together twenty-four hours now, and, you know, sometimes it’s O.K. to say something mildly humorous.

Virgin No. 55: That was terrible. I should have listened to the other virgins.

Virgin No. 56: I think I found it. Is that it? Oh. Is this it? Oh, this must be it. No?

Virgin No. 57: It must be hot in here, because I know it’s not me.

Virgin No. 58: Those are my testicles.

Virgin No. 59: Did you know that “virgin” is an anagram of Irving?

Virgin No. 60: First “Spamalot,” then sex.

Virgin No. 61: Great! I was hoping for circumcised.

Virgin No. 62: Was that it?

Virgin No. 63: Dang. George Clooney was being reckless on a motorcycle, but instead I got you.

Virgin No. 64: Tonight, I become a woman. But until then you can call me Bob.

Virgin No. 65: They’re called “adult diapers.” Why?

Virgin No. 66: We could do it here for free, or on a stage in Düsseldorf for money.

Virgin No. 67: I’m just Virgin No. 67 to you, right?

Virgin No. 68: Pee-yoo. Are you wearing Aramis?

Virgin No. 69: Condom, please.

Virgin No. 70: My name is Mother Teresa.

Virgin No. 71: I’m not very good at this, but let’s start with the Reverse Lotus Blossom.

Virgin No. 72: It was paradise, until you showed up. ♦

The New Yorker, June 17, 2002 P. 84

FAMILY HISTORY about the narrator’s recollection of his strained relationship with his father. After the death of his father, the narrator, Steve, is surprised by his friends’complimentary descriptions of him. All he remembers of his father was his anger. Steve recalls his father’s desire to be in show biz, the bit parts he proudly took on. Of Steve’s show biz career, however, his father was critical. After the premier of his first movie, "The Jerk," he said nothing about Steve’s performance. Steve’s friends noted his silence and were horrified. Finally, one friend said, ìWhat did you think of Steve in the movie?" His father said, "Well he’s no Charlie Chaplin." In the early eighties, after speaking with a friend whose mother committed suicide on Mother’s Day and whose father was killed crossing a street, Steve decided to work through his relationship with his parents: he’d take them to lunch every Sunday: Steve recalls one particular Sunday lunch, after his father’s quadruple-bypass operation. His father held the menu in one hand and his newly prescribed list of dietary restrictions in the other. He glanced back and forth between the standard restaurant fare on his left and the healthy suggestions on his right, looked up at the waiter, and said resignedly, "Oh, I’ll just have the fettucini Alfredo." It was their routine that after their lunches, Steve’s mother and father would walk him to the car and Steve would kiss his mother and wave at his father. One time, though, as Steve went to say goodbye, his father whispered, "I love you," in a barely audible voice. Steve convinced his father that he should see a psychologist. Steve’s mother was also enlisted to visit the psychologist in the hope of shedding some light on their relationship. "Well," she said, "I didn’t say anything bad." With the agreement to see a psychologist, Steve noticed in his father a new-found willingness to try different things. Once, a male nurse produced a bag of pot and Steve’s father, per the advice of his son, took several hits. His eyes glazed over and his leg stopped shaking. He looked around the room with dilated pupils and said, "I don’t feel anything." Only a few months after the pot-testing episode, Steve found himself back at his parent’s home to see his father who, according to Steve’s weeping sister was, "saying goodbye to everyone." Steve walked into the bedroom and the two looked into each other’s eyes for a long, unbroken time. At last his father said, "You did everything I wanted to do." Steve replied, "I did it because of you." After another pause his father said, "I wish I could cry, I wish I could cry for all the love I received and couldn’t return." Here, at his father’s deathbed, Steve realizes that his father had kept this secret, his desire to love his family, from him and his mother his whole life.

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