PUBLISH OR PERISH
Like any true philosopher, Mr. Carton found there was no aspect of creation that was void of meaning, unworthy of scrutiny. Infinity was in every grain of sand. Which grain of sand got the attention was arbitrary, and any conclusions reached were inevitably disputable, but we can only do what we can do, Mr. Carton believed.
Mr. Carton’s philosophical sweet spot was the human body. As a young man he looked at the human body in order to discern the workings of a soul, querying the divine spark. The inquiry proved too vast, too streaked with voodoo mysticism, and hackneyed to boot, even though it was a well-paved route to publication and Mr. Carton was desperate to publish.
Willy-nilly as he matured Mr. Carton got more specific, until in his prime, his powers at their peak, he zeroed in on the pelvic area, the Solar Plexus. He gave up the riddle of the soul, and with it the question of What is Consciousness. He was prospecting for something post-modern. Post-modern was a less frequently traveled route to publication but it was a route.
After months of concentration, Mr. Carton’s philosophical inquiry devolved into this: at what precise moment does a lap come into being? Is it a question of pure mathematics, the angle of the thigh, the declension of the butt? Or is volume more salient? Must a threshold be reached? The bellies of some of his colleagues were so pre-eminent that it was doubtful they could cross any such threshold. Sometimes getting through doors was success enough.
Here Mr. Carton had his long anticipated eureka moment. Lapless Males was a field wide open. Mr. Carton foresaw his byline in Psychology Today. He foresaw a series of articles.