The Sugar Frosted Nutsack (6 page)

Ike Karton
: Super-Sexy Neo-Pagan Martyr or Demented Loser?

Cast Your Vote
Right This Second! You don’t have to go online or call in or anything. Just cast your vote in
your own mind!
And the Goddess
Shanice
(she’s telepathically omniscient!) will tally it all up.

He’s paranoid and maladaptively hostile. (Paranoia and maladaptive hostility can be super-sexy, right?) He oscillates between chip-on-the-shoulder belligerence and Talmudic introversion. (Isn’t the extremely high amplitude of this vibration, in fact, what produces
Ike
’s radioactive charisma?) He operates under what skeptics (his dreary neighbors among them) might call the
erotomaniacal
belief that Goddesses, high on Gravy, are obsessively watching him, that they are forever peering out the windows of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, across the Gulf, across the desert, and gazing at him and masturbating. (Compare the visual acuity of the Goddesses here with the blindness of the bards.) He states it in no uncertain terms: “The Goddesses watch me like pornography.”
That’s
the reason he’s such a total gym-rat—he always wants to look SUPER-SEXY in case
La Felina
, high on Gravy, is watching him from the 160th floor of the rocket-shaped Burj Khalifa! His neck and head intermittently jerk toward the Burj whenever he feels he’s being ogled by masturbating Goddesses. (As would yours.) He’s an anti-Semite, although many experts interpret his anti-Semitism as a form of playacting intended primarily to torment his father. (FYI:
Ike
went to Hebrew school until he was thirteen!) He has a catarrhal rasp and a criminal record. (Super-sexy!) Whenever he goes to a restaurant, he
always
flirts with the waitress by asking for a tongue sandwich—same line, every single time. (That might be a little
demented loserish
.) But check out how he looks at night—a little looped, a little bleary-eyed from all the beer and whiskey, standing there in “the soft pink glow of the sodium-vapor street lights.” (It’s unanimous—
that’s
SUPER-SEXY!!) He likes to sit in the dark at home, wearing night-vision goggles, watching the Military Channel, drinking Scotch. By day, he warns men on his block that their wives are probably Mossad agents. He firmly believes that most women are Mossad agents. (If you’re a married man and you’re reading this,
your
wife is probably a Mossad agent!) But obscured by all his whispery trash talk, and embedded deep within his algorithmic solipsism which transfigures every single thing in the world into a reiteration of
his own mind,
is his extraordinarily tender devotion to
his
wife. Even
Ike
’s philandering is uxorious. His infidelities do not, certainly in
his own mind,
seem incompatible with what he considers his incorruptible rectitude as a husband. They are either seen as the most practical expediencies—before he leaves the house,
Ike
routinely announces to his wife and daughter, “I might have to kill someone or maybe fuck somebody today, but remember, it’s for you guys”—or as consistent with the cultivation and honing of his virility, the very virility that
Ike
so solemnly bestows upon his wife as his tribute to her. Would
Ruthie
(or any self-respecting woman, for that matter) want to be married to a man whose appetite for life was so meager and whose libido was so governable that one woman would suffice? What manner of husband would
that
be? (Surely not a super-sexy one!) And what would his love signify, if not a groveling insult?

Sixty-one percent of women say that a scrupulously faithful husband is a TOTAL TURN-OFF!

Of course, some experts say that
Ike
—Implacable Warlord of His Stoop—would kill a human being as casually as a normal person would pop a pimple. But then you see him brushing his wife’s hair or coloring her roots, nuzzling her neck, even popping one of her pimples, softly singing “The Shadow of Your Smile” to her.…And, of course, we know how—in so many secret, unacknowledged, uxorious moments—he dotes on her, how if he’s getting Fig Newtons for them and there are only two left and one’s normal and the other one’s all mangled and misshapen, he’ll take the mangled, misshapen one for himself, or if there are only two Frozefruits left, one normal, one with freezer burn, he’ll invariably take the one with the freezer burn for himself, or—great example—when he and
Ruthie
were completely obsessed with these crab cake sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, and lemon aioli on ciabatta bread and
Ike
would go to the little deli and then realize he only had enough money in his wallet for one crab cake sandwich, he’d get the sandwich for
Ruthie
and he’d just eat a Slim Jim or make himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when he got back home. And no one knows he’s doing
any
of this, there’s no showy, self-aggrandizing display of being a good husband, no “He went to Jared!” moment. It’s just part of the texture of uxorious doting that
Ike
is weaving every single moment of every single day. (There is the obvious irony here of characterizing these gestures as “secret” and “unacknowledged” or saying “no one knows he’s doing this” since bards—blind, vagrant, and drug-addled—have been chanting these very words for thousands of years, tapping their chachkas against jerrycans of orange soda to maintain that insistent trance-inducing beat.) The portrayal of the
Kartons
in the
Seventh Season
—cavorting on their front lawn in the early
AM
—is exaggerated to the point of being almost defamatory and flaunts the hyperrealism and saturated colors of a Claritin commercial. In real life, the
Kartons
are, yes, exceedingly loving with each other, but they are also unusually protective of each other’s privacy. (It would be considered a monstrous offense even to ask
Ike
if his wife was in good health!) They are utterly inscrutable figures who, paradoxically, understand each other perfectly well. One morning,
Ruthie
came downstairs and found
Ike
sitting at the kitchen table, writing. And she said to him, “You look like you’re writing letters to all the officers in your army.” There’s such profound sympathy and insight and tender irony to that statement, because
Ike
is so alone, so utterly alone in the world of men, so much an army of one. (When
Ike
sits at the kitchen table in the early morning, he’s not writing letters or composing narcocorridos, he’s typically making lists—lists of which celebrities he thinks should be guillotined, which should go to the gulag, which should be rehabilitated, etc.) In his heart of hearts,
Ike
knows that he’s going to die soon at the hands of the ATF and/or Mossad—his “suicide-by-cop”—but he believes that a golden age will come—what he calls “the time when all fettered monsters will break loose”—when he and his wife and his daughter will be reunited for eternity. The bonds uniting this family have been exceptionally strong from the very beginning.

Ike
’s “10 Things That I Know for Sure About Women” List

Soon after
Ike
and
Ruthie
first met (at the A&P where, at that time,
Ike
was employed as a butcher in the meat department), they had a conversation one spring day in the park about each other’s past relationships and about love and about what one could realistically hope for in a marriage, etc.
Ruthie
asked
Ike
if he thought he understood women well.
Ike
got very quiet and thought about this for a while, as he tossed handful after handful of croutons to the swans and mice that had gathered at their feet. Finally, he told
Ruthie
that he was going to make a list. “Not a list of which celebrities you think should be guillotined,” she said, coyly averting her eyes and smiling flirtatiously at him. “No,” he said, “a list of ten things that I know for sure about women.” About a week later—to show
Ruthie
a more delicately registered sensibility than he, a gym-rat and butcher, suspected
Ruthie
gave him credit for—
Ike
presented the list (entitled “10 Things That I Know for Sure About Women” but including an 11th) to
Ruthie
as they sat on the very same bench in Lincoln Park:

  1. Even little girls, in all their blithe, unharrowed innocence, have a presentiment of sorrow, hardship, and adversity…of loss. Women, throughout their lives, have an intrinsic and profound understanding of
    Keats
    ’s sentiments about “Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips / Bidding adieu.”
  2. This sage knowledge of, and ability to abide, the inherently fugitive nature of happiness somehow accounts for the extraordinary beauty of women as they age.
  3. Women have an astonishing capacity to maintain their equilibrium in the face of life’s mutability, its unceasing and unforeseeable vicissitudes. And this agility is always in stark and frequently comical contradistinction to men’s naively bullish and brittle delusions that things can forever remain exactly the same.
  4. Women are forgiving, but implacably cognizant.
  5. Women are almost never gullible, but sometimes relax their vigilance out of loneliness. (And I believe most women abhor loneliness.)
  6. In their most casual, off-hand, sisterly moments, women are capable of discussing sex in such uninhibited detail that it would cause a horde of carousing Cossacks to cringe.
  7. Women are, for all intents and purposes, indomitable. It really requires an almost unimaginable confluence of crushing, cataclysmic forces to vanquish a woman.
  8. Women’s instincts for self-preservation and survival can seem to men to be inscrutably unsentimental and sometimes cruel.
  9. Women have a very specific kind of courage that enables them to fling themselves into the open sea, into some uncharted terra incognita—whether it’s a new life for themselves, another person’s life, or even what might appear to be a kind of madness.
  10. Women never—no matter how old they are—completely relinquish their aristocratic assumption of seductiveness.
  11. And here is one last thing I know—and I know this with a certitude that exceeds anything I’ve said before: that men’s final thoughts in their waking days and in their lives are of women…ardent, wistful thoughts of wives and lovers and daughters and mothers.

Ruthie
found this so beautiful and so moving that she wept as she read it. In the coming weeks, though, she’d discover that
Ike
had plagiarized it, from beginning to end, word for word, from something that had appeared in the November 2008 issue of
O, The Oprah Magazine.
But by then she’d already fallen deeply in love with him, and not at all
in spite of
what he’d done, but, in large part,
because
of it—here was a man willing to steal for her, a man with a big enough nutsack that he was willing to brazenly steal another man’s
words,
another man’s
ideas
(his most precious intellectual property)…for
her.

Ninety-seven percent of people think that it was SUPER-SEXY of
Ike
to totally plagiarize that from
O, The Oprah Magazine
!!

The Club Kids Vs. The Hasids

Ike
has suffered from irregular clonic jerks of the head and neck ever since he was hit by a
Mister Softee
truck on Spring Break when he was eighteen years old. High on ketamine, wearing silver lederhosen and a hat made out of an Oreo box at the time, he initially claimed he’d been hit by a Hasidic ambulance in an effort to foment an apocalyptic Helter Skelter–type war between club kids and Hasids. Many experts, including
Zsófia Csontváry-Horvath
of the Institute of Linguistics and Classical Philology in Budapest (who’s slick with sweat and has a spectacular big-ass ass), maintain that those passages in
The Sugar Frosted Nutsack
about
Ike
making confusing and patently erroneous claims about a Hasidic ambulance are “noncanonical interpolations” and should be deemed “spurious” and deleted.
Csontváry-Horvath
contends that these passages were deliberately inserted by experts who, themselves, were trying to foment an apocalyptic Helter Skelter–type war between club kids and Hasids. Of course, not only is
Ike
’s erroneous contention that he was hit by a Hasidic ambulance considered today a totally canonical and authentic part of
The Sugar Frosted Nutsack,
but
Zsófia Csontváry-Horvath
’s assertion that it’s a noncanonical interpolation is considered a canonical and integral part of the saga which audiences expect the chachka-jangling, sightless bards to feature prominently in their recitations. It’s also entirely possible that
all
this could just be another example of
XOXO
vandalizing
The Sugar Frosted Nutsack
and trying to confuse people and just fuck everything up. But let’s be absolutely clear:
Ike
, when he was eighteen years old, on Spring Break, and high on Special K, staggered into the street and was struck by a
Mister Softee
truck. And ever since the accident, the
Mister Softee
song loops endlessly in his head. This is
not
an auditory hallucination. The song is actually in there—i.e., if you put a stethoscope to
Ike
’s forehead, you can hear the
Mister Softee
song.

But
Ike
’s rage and his lust are strong. He’s nursed by the Gods. His honor comes from
El Brazo
and
La Felina
and
Fast-Cooking Ali
and
XOXO
. He’s dear to them, these Gods who rule the world.

Throughout
The Sugar Frosted Nutsack,
Ike
is portrayed as the most soft-spoken, self-deprecating man you could possibly imagine—someone, in fact, almost ostentatious in his soft-spoken self-deprecation—and even on those rare occasions when he might come across as vain or a little smug—he is, after all, a super-sexy neo-pagan hero and a transformative human being—he’ll reveal something so disarmingly personal about himself (like his tinea versicolor or his genital psoriasis or his dermatitis herpetiformis, which sometimes requires him to soak for long hours in the bathtub with a vinegar-drenched bandana wrapped around his head) that any hint of hubris is immediately dispelled.

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