For those of you who haven’t noticed, there are a lot of surreal movements lurking under the surface of The American Dream. One of them is the Incel brigade, a group of youngish men who describe themselves as “involuntary celibate.”

They believe that they can’t succeed with women because, secretly, women control the world and the men living there. (This sounds a lot like this reporter’s ex-wife, but that would take a whole new column. Maybe two.)

In their “manosphere,” only “chads” (hunks) score well with women for sheer carnal reasons with “betas” (rich dweebs) coming up second so that women can feed off their money while still boffing their “chad” on the side. On the bottom rung of the manosphere are the Incels, who believe that women are sociopathic and want to deny Incels’ sex and happiness because…they can. They will never find their “true love.”

This reporter sits in a booth in the chic Manhattan bar, Les Miserables Pommes Frite, waiting for Livingston Muldoon, the 22-year-old author of An Incel’s Guide To Dating – Why the ‘F’ Bother?   The place is filled with beautiful people, flirting with the delicacy of a falling Acme anvil.  Soon, a large, strapping fellow arrives. He wears a miner’s helmet and a butcher’s jacket. From beneath the helmet protrudes wild lightning strikes of hair; the kind of “do” one wears as either a tribute to Einstein or the result of being addicted to tonguing plug sockets. He plops down across the table from this correspondent-like tablespoon of Jello.

“Did you read my book?” he asks, nearly slathering beneath his Covid mask.

This journalist furrows his brow when he notices. “Are you wearing a Groucho Marx mask under your protective mask?”


“Sure,” Livingston says proudly. “I don’t want to mask to come in here, but I have to. I figured it’s my body and it’s my choice, so I put on Groucho to defy them.”

“Listen. Do you hear that?”

Livingston blinks. “Hear what?”

“That horrible scream of the word ‘irony’ dying.”

“What about my book?” Livingston asks.

“Book?” this newsman shoots back. “It’s not a book. It’s a screed! And it’s the most misogynistic screed in history! It’s an insult to every woman on the planet!

Livingston chuckles. “Wow! Thanks! Can I quote you?”

“That wasn’t meant as a compliment! Your ‘Pick-Up’ lines sound like the crap construction workers hurl at women passing by. ‘Nice tits?’ ‘Great ass?’ What kind of woman are you aiming for…the concussed?”

“Hey,” Livingston objects. “I haunt construction sites every day just to watch the girls walk by. They respond to those guys.”

“Yeah, by walking by faster. Ever see a woman come back to a construction site to meet the man of her dreams? Why do you have to be a victim?”

Livingston squirms in his seat. Thankfully, this bar has disinfectant wipes. “You just don’t understand. You haven’t been what I’ve been through!”

“Yeah, yeah. All the popular girls at your high school, the cheerleaders, the dancers, the cool girls went after the jocks and the rich kids.”

“Chads and Betas.”

“Let’s say a third of your high school is into that. That leaves 2/3rds of the boys and the girls feeling out of it. They’re just feeling ordinary or even unseen.”

Behind his mask, he winced. “Women Incels??? I think I just sharted.”


This correspondent excuses himself. “Let me ask one of the women at the bar what a man could say that would interest her.”

Seconds later, this journalist sits on a barstool next to a lovely brunette. “Excuse me. I’m Brick Rivers and I’m a reporter. And, you might be?”

“I might be Mary, Queen of Scots, but I’m not,” she smiles.

After showing her the Weekly World News credentials and complimentary whistle, this scribe continues. “I’m interviewing a man who’s just written a dating guide and…”

Mary, Queen of Scots snorted. “You’re not talking about the fried guy with the miner’s helmet, are you? Well, he’s hit on me already. Want to know what he said?”

Five minutes later, this ashen-faced reporter returns to his chair across from Livingston. “Did you actually say what she said you did? That wasn’t a pick-up line, it was an audio porn movie.”

Livingston shrugs. “I just get carried away.”

This scribe sighs. “Look, when I was in High School and in college, I was overweight and had acne that made the Guinness Records. My face craters were so deep; I could’ve derailed the Mars Rover. I wasn’t athletic. Had no interest in sports and I wasn’t rich.”

“What did you do?”

“I started talking to girls. They talk, you know. I joined clubs where I knew girls would be. The Drama Club. The Newspaper. The Literature Club. I became friends with almost every woman I met. We shared views, opinions, went to movies.”

“And you never even got a hand-job?”


“That wasn’t the point. I made friends. Still have them. It’s good to hear about life from a woman’s perspective. In College, I did the same thing. I met the love of my life and we eloped.”

“Then, what happened?”

“We de-eloped, we were both too young. But the deal is, you’re old enough, now, to stop acting like a mindless victim. You dropped out of college. Re-up. Join the newspaper, the clubs. Plus, I see here you wrote a comic book, Defender of Mul Dune, and you were fired because all of your villains were women. Plus, you post reviews of classic science fiction films on the web.

“Go to a science fiction convention dressed as a vintage sci-fi hero or just show up at a comics convention. In both arenas, walk up to a group of women and, bashfully, say, ‘I’ve never been to one of these before, could you tell me what I should be doing?’ That’s bound to start a conversation.”

He scrawls something in his book and pushes it towards this scribe. He then stands. “Far left corner at a table for two. Two set-ups. She’s looking at her watch. She’s being stood up. What she needs is my mighty manhood!”

He dashes off. Mary, Queen of Scots walks over with two drinks. “Scotch, right?”

This reporter nods. “I Googled you,” Mary, Queen of Scots smiles. “It says at the end of the day you like to read books sipping two fingers of Scotch. So. Have you read anything interesting, lately?”

“I have. I just finished Little Steven Van Zandt’s book.

“Me, too! Loved it. Shall we discuss?”


At that point, all Hell breaks loose from the far end of the bar. Bouncers rush to the scene and carry out Livingston, who’s flailing wildly. “Lesbians should label themselves!!!” he roars.

Mary, Queen of Scots picks up Livingston’s book. “Hey, he autographed it.”

“What does he say?”

“Thanks, Brick, for giving me hope. But, sometimes, old habits die hard.”

As the wailing of police sirens grow nearer, she peruses the book. “I think this should be the second book discussed in our new book club.”

“Done deal.”

“Marquis of Queensberry rules,” she grins.


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  1. “My face craters were so deep; I could’ve derailed the Mars Rover.” Brick, you’ve done it again! 😂😂😂👏👏👏


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