Gutenberg’s Son

Alfonz Gutenberg snuck into his father’s office late one night and re-arranged the heavy iron letters on the mighty printing press. He cranked the lever and produced a page that would change his life:


Cloaked, he crept to the town square and left his page for all to see.


“Alfonz, my friend!” Fritz said, patting him on the back as they walked to school in the morning sun. “The maidens sing song of you as they wash the linens in the stream. They say the immaculate word from the godly press insists you have a long piece.”

“Is that so?” Alfonz said, raising his eyebrows.

“But I must beg clarity,” Fritz said. “For I have seen your piece when we bathed in the spring. It brings no shame, but it is no miracle.”

Alfonz pulled Fritz behind a donkey stable and lowered his voice. “Bless me with secrecy?”

“My lips purse tight, my friend.”

“It was me, operating my father’s marvelous press. The maidens believe what it tells them. My power is immense.”

Fritz’s eyes stretched wide and a gleeful smile bewitched his face. He held his friend’s shoulders and jumped up and down, filled with joy. “How blessed are you!”

Alfonz flicked his eyebrows.

“Though,” Fritz said, “the fair maidens sing question of your stones. They speak in jest of a long snake resting on raisins. Clarification may be in order.”

Alfonz nodded. “And so it shall be.”



From behind the donkey stable, Alfonz watched the fair maidens gather around the paper in the town square, giggling and whispering to each other. Fritz walked past them, cupping his hands to his ear to eavesdrop, and then found his friend and lowered his voice. “Alfonz, they sing praise and joy of your fat bag.”

“Rightly so.”

“However, they jest about your ability to make use of such prodigious meat. They sing rumors and speculation that a tool so mighty in the hands of a dolt brings forth no harvest.”

Alfonz rubbed his eyebrows.

“They desire a demonstration,” Fritz said. “At daybreak morrow. They shall await a right and proper ravishing in the town square.”

“Oh,” Alfonz said, sweat trickling down the back of his neck. “In public?”

“How lucky to be thou! The heavens delivered unto you a bounty of splendor! A spread of fine unwed ladies waiting to receive your industrious unit. ‘Tis the dream of all boys, achieved!”

“Of course. Yes. I shall… Pleasure them immensely.”

Feeling queasy, Alfonz rushed home. He spent the day searching his father’s papers and scrolls for sex advice, but he found none.


Three beautiful young women — blonde-haired and buxom — lay back on wooden tables with their skirts pulled up and legs spread wide in the town square at sunrise. Hundreds of men, women, and children from across the duchy had gathered to bear witness to Alfonz’s enormous package and observe his skillful demonstration of sexual expertise.

“Where is our bull?” one of the ladies said.

The next called out, “We await our service with mirth and delight.”

“Alfonz?” said the third. “Make haste with us. We desire nothing more than to experience the physical pleasure only you and your good worm are capable of providing.”

Alfonz paced behind the donkey stable. Sweat rained down his forehead, dripping onto his cloth skirt. He peeled it open and saw his small, nervous penis and tight little sack.

“My friend!” Fritz said, hugging Alfonz. “Heaven awaits you in the town square.”

The crowd heard Fritz and turned to see Alfonz. They all pointed at him, cheering, joyously anticipating a look at his massive hog. “Al-fonz! Al-fonz!” they chanted as he sulked to the town square, his head hung low.

Alfonz stood before the three maidens, surveying their spread legs. What he saw brought him confusion. He’d heard bawdy tales of sex, late at night when his father took him to the pub, but he knew none of the details. Before him lay tufts of thick hair and a perplexing assortment of holes.

He swallowed hard and felt dizzy.

“Get on with it!” a man in the crowed yelled. “Teach us to properly give a lady the good shove.”

Alfonz took a deep breath and shook his head. He bit his lip and looked up at the crowd, knowing what he had to say to clear this mess up and make things right. “These maidens are soldiers of Satan,” he said. “Take them to the Black Forest.”

The town’s hooded executioner knew not to disobey the best-hung man in town. He hauled the screaming women onto the back of his carriage and whipped his two stallions. They sprinted deep into the dark woods.


Alfonz remained awake all night in his father’s office printing a new text to distract the town, to change the subject so they’d all stop speculating about his penis, testicles, and sexual abilities. He invented wild stories about a carpenter who performed outrageous stunts and, most importantly, never had any sex. None at all. Because, that way, Alfonz did not have to risk embarrassing himself by badly describing the act with which he had no experience. By sunrise, his mania had produced hundreds of typed pages, ready to be left in the town square. But he needed a pen name to throw his neighbors off his scent, and the first one that crossed his mind was King James.

Cloaked, Alfonz snuck into the hooded executioner’s carriage and paid the big man two silver coins to drive him to France, where he’d start a new life free from rumors about the size of his penis and scrotum. He’d find a nice, illiterate maiden who bore no expectations of his carnal abilities. With her, he’d move far into the countryside, away from towns and their incessant gossip. Over many decades in isolation, he’d learn to raise barley and potatoes while becoming passable at having sex with his wife, always wondering if anyone ever read that stack of pages he left in the town square.