On a wretchedly sultry day, the only thing of the remotest interest in the papers is a curt report about an intriguing, bloody sylvan tragedy.
A 52 year old man called the police at 8:30 yesterday from the woods of Weeze, saying that he had been castrated. When the police arrived, they found him lying on a blanket, bleeding profusely from numerous wounds to the genitalia. It seems he had met someone on the internet, and then for real - with the usual consequences.
Not for the first time, the blog urges those who are unable to control their masochistic homosexual impulses on no account to meet strangers in the woods. No good can come of it.
If you're very lucky, you'll escape with just a nasty rash. But if lady luck looks the other way (and who can blame her, given the circs?), you'll end up emasculated, or worse.
Claude de Bigny, as always trying to root out a glimmer of hope in the most barren of contexts, sees only positive consequences in this revival in public immolation and flagellation. His eyes alight with a burning Catholic intensity, he hopes it will lead not merely to the extirpation of sexually-motivated evildoers, but the rebirth of the Vatican's famous choir of castrati! Sadly, the blog corrects him. A boy's pure treble voice is irretrievably lost, we explain, once he has passed through the living hell of adolescence with his gonads intact. Once broken, the voice is forever gone, even after subsequent removal of his testicles. And the fact is that perverted sexual desires of the sort likely to lead to emasculation only kick in during or after adolescence, when the warbling treble has already given way to the boom of the bass. De Bigny's dreams of celestial Sistine harmonies are shattered.
There is, in short, no comfort in this tale. One can only hope that the men in the woods found what they were looking for.