By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
At the mere mention of the title of Anne Louis and Joyce Bandler's new book, Predicting the Penis, Jamie, a raspy-voiced, brunet bartender, explodes: "They're lesbians trapped in a heterosexual mind frame, and they have no fucking idea what they're talking about.... How the hell do they know? Some guys have a dick that's, like, an inch long, and when they get hard, it's, like, seven inches long. And some guys have got one that's seven inches long, and it's not worth shit 'cause it doesn't get hard. What book is this? I want to read this."
I pull out the small pink and green tome. On the cover, a seductress lounges in a chair. I hand it to Jamie, who serves drinks at Kim's Alley Bar (1920 E. Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale). She flips open the cover and reads Louis's inscription: "The true measure of a man is the ability to love and laugh."
"I believe that," Jamie says.
But what do love and laughter have to do with the size of a dude's wang?
Perhaps it would be better to examine what the authors claim does not produce love and laughter: mismatched equipage. Take, for example, Louis' experience with "Don," whose penis she compares to her lower calf: "When he dropped his pants, I dropped my mouth. There was NO way that thing was going to fit... Yet, the trooper that I am, I tried and, oh, it was not pleasant!"
Years after that encounter, at a business meeting, Louis, a sprightly, 51-year-old, tousled blond who used to recruit actuaries, recalls that she was sitting across the conference table from Don. She noticed a correlation between his extremities and the gargantuan dong of her memory. Her mind went to work, piecing together an algorithm that was to save her and now, with her self-published book, other women from waddling home from unpleasant interludes with three-legged men. The formula appears with a trademark symbol in the book, so I can't divulge the specifics, but suffice it to say that when you combine height, neck, leg, and other lengths and widths in a certain way, you can come up with an approximate number.
"I applied [the algorithm] everywhere I went," West Broward resident Louis said recently at Café Europa (726 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). "I used it in my head and never really told anyone about it."
The idea of publishing a book came about a year and a half ago, when Louis was walking her dogs and boy-talking with her neighbor, Bandler, who had already penned a self-help book called Hooked on Feeling Bad.
Louis says: "I told her about this man who was interested in me but I wasn't really all that excited. And then I decided that his penis would be too small, and I didn't want to bother."
Bandler, the blond, blue-gray-eyed, 42-year-old coauthor, cuts in: "I said, 'How did you know that?' She said, 'The formula,' and she started explaining it and putting all the pieces together. And my mouth is wide open, and I'm just taking all this in. We started applying this to all the guys I knew. And I knew: There's a book there."
It wasn't long before the two single mothers started writing the book via a series of e-mails passed back and forth for five months. For them, Predicting the Penisdoubles as a sort of metaphysical self-help guide. "Do you know that humans are the only creatures that have the ability to express humor?" asks Louis, as her deep, brown eyes fall upon me.
I shrug and try to analyze the psyche of the dogs I've come across.
"Not to say that other animals don't express joy, but not humor and irony. If you know anything about energy and vibrations, laughter is the closest vibration to joy that there is."
What with all the vibrations and joy in the air, I had to ask.
"My passion is A Course in Miracles," Bandler explains. "[It] is a spiritual self-psychology program that teaches one how to relinquish thoughts of fear and embrace love."
This is sounding eerily like the life-line health lesson on binary reality in Donnie Darko that leads the high school boy to tell his teacher to "forcibly insert the lifeline exercise card into [her] anus."
But anyway, what about the men? In the age of Samantha Jones, metrosexuality, and weekender erection pills, don't men have enough sexual anxiety?
"Some men have been intimidated by it," Louis concedes. "Our comment to any man that feels a little nervous is, you know, well, we give 'em all a thumbs-up. We like 'em all."
Uh huh. That's certain to satisfy.
But Bandler gestures with her hand and insists, "The individual guy, if you say, I give you a thumbs-up, then everything is fine."
Both women burst into hysterical laughter.
Skeptical, I take their thumbs-up philosophy to the streets.
Cooling it at the bar of the white-collar pickup joint Big City Tavern (609 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale ), I'm skimming the book over a rum and coke when a not physically unattractive, middle-aged man with spikey brown hair and booze on his breath, whom I'll call Bad Boy II, approaches and begins reading over my shoulder. When I don't react, he begins jabbing my torso like I'm the fucking Pillsbury Doughgirl.