I Feel Bad About My Dick: Lamentations of Masculine Vanity and Lists of Startling Pertinence

$22.00

At a library used book sale, Ponicsán picked up a copy of Nora Ephron’s bestseller, “I Feel Bad About My Neck.” It inspired him over the next several years to answer her observations from the male point of view and over a different bodily part, and to direct it to Ephron’s audience. Part memoir, part parody, part social analysis. (Publisher’s note: This is not just a guy’s book, or an old guy’s book..It’s amusing and full of interesting tales and insights for any gender, and maybe let’s women take a look into the other gender’s view).

“…light-hearted…waxing alternately philosophical and vinegary as he takes us on a trip through Hollywood’s movie business, the Watts riots, breakfast cereal, sex and invasive medical procedures.There are engaging digressions into the life of a script doctor, politics, porn, the benign-neglect style of parenting his folks practiced and the beauty of non-attachment. He moves it all along smoothly, never letting truth stand in the way of a good story…If you like charming stories, good writing and a few laughs, ignore the title and buy this book.” -Brady T. Brady, published short stories in the anthology Editor’s Choice III Fiction from U.S. Small Press and in the Hawaii Review and the San Francisco Reader, among others.

Description

Darryl Ponicsán’s path led from a coal mining town in Pennsylvania to a teaching job in upstate New York, to the Navy, and then to a solo drive across the country in a battered TR-3, carrying little more than the manuscript of his first novel, “The Last Detail.” He rolled into Los Angeles with three gallons of gas in the tank and $95.25 in his pocket. He became a social worker in south central LA just in time to become embroiled in the original Watts riot, the only white man living in a black rooming house within the curfew area.

He finished his novel and wrote a second navy novel, “Cinderella Liberty.” The film versions of both novels opened on the same weekend, making him the hottest writer in Hollywood, though by that time he had already moved out of LA, first to Ojai, then Bainbridge Island, Seattle, Sonoma, and Palm Springs. Where he is now is anyone’s guess.

At a library used book sale he picked up a copy of Nora Ephron’s bestseller, “I Feel Bad About My Neck.” It inspired him over the next several years to answer her observations from the male point of view and over a different bodily part, and to direct it to Ephron’s audience. The result is “I Feel Bad About My Dick.”

Part memoir, part parody, part social analysis, the book deconstructs the battle of the sexes to its primal curiosity: “You show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

Darryl Ponicsán is the author of fourteen novels and an award-winning screenwriter. Born in Shenandoah, Pa., he taught high school English after attending Muhlenberg College and earning an MA at Cornell University. This is his first non-fiction book.

Visit the author at: www.darrylponicsan.com

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR “I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY DICK”

“I’ll tell you this much: it ain’t baloney.” -Lucky Lukashunas, Kielbasa King of Schuylkill County

“I give it 5 Bloody Marys.” -Debbie, proprietor Peabody’s Saloon

“Ponicsán has a way with words, but I wouldn’t put him on the witness stand.” -Bulldog Baddour, lawyer

“Some pretty fresh stuff, right off the boat.”  -Tony, Seattle fish monger

“Reminiscent of Gary Hart, but I don’t know why.” -Steve Moses, political consultant

“Ponicsán always drinks doubles.” -Susie, bartender, North Bay

“I feel bad about Señor Darryl.” -Lucia, housekeeper

“This is something I don’t want to know about, except for the hair.” -Dylan, hair stylist

“For the movie, I’m thinking Salma Hayek.” -Cee Cee, exotic wife

REVIEWS:

“While we never find out why Ponicsán feels bad about his dick, we do find out a lot about a writer who’s been turning out award winning screenplays and fiction for years. This book, a light-hearted send up of Nora Ephron’s, I Feel Bad About My Neck finds Ponicsán waxing alternately philosophical and vinegary as he takes us on a trip through Hollywood’s movie business, the Watts riots, breakfast cereal, sex and invasive medical procedures.There are engaging digressions into the life of a script doctor, politics, porn, the benign-neglect style of parenting his folks practiced and the beauty of non-attachment. He moves it all along smoothly, never letting truth stand in the way of a good story. If you’ve ever wondered what Jack Nicholson’s like, or who buys lunch when the players in the movie business go out to eat, or what the screenwriter of The Wild One said just before he died, this book is for you. You couldn’t call it memoir but then again, why not? Whatever you call it, at fewer than a hundred and fifty pages, it left me wanting more. If you like charming stories, good writing and a few laughs, ignore the title and buy this book.” -Brady T. Brady, published short stories in the anthology Editor’s Choice III Fiction from U.S. Small Press and in the Hawaii Review and the San Francisco Reader, among others

 

“…this odd collection of essays and lists is actually kinda like a memoir, because we learn something about his childhood in a Pennsylvania coal town (“I lived in a congenial but risky neighborhood. The feel of caked blood in my hair was familiar to me.”), his parents (“I never had more than a few serious conversations with either one of them, few and far between, and brief”), his college years (“My father’s idea. I thought it would be a waste of money”). We hear but briefly of his hitch in the US Navy (so read THE LAST DETAIL and CINDERELLA LIBERTY), but do learn about his trip west afterwards in a junker TR-3 to seek his fortune. His turn as a high school teacher also gets short shrift (so read GOLDENGROVE), but we do hear about his year or so as a social worker in LA during the Watts riots, and his education as a blonde white guy in black neighborhoods. And then he tells of his sudden success as a writer with that first Navy novel, and his subsequent adventures in Hollywood (Ponicsan was script writer/doctor for over 25 years) where he meets Robert Redford (“I went all aflutter … I thought no man should be so handsome”). And meeting Hef at the Playboy mansion, where he talked with Bill Cosby (“long enough to discover that he was, sadly, an a**hole”) and displayed his “pinball wizard” skills to Linda Lovelace. There is almost nothing about a failed first marriage and divorce (so read AN UNMARRIED MAN). We learn of his color-blindness (check out the author photo and the pink suit) and his kinky opinions on beards and muffs. Oh yeah, and murses. And, threaded throughout all of these essays, most of them hilarious, he also gives us tantalizing tidbits of a forty-year love affair with his Mexican-American wife, whom he calls E.W., for “Exotic Woman.” He first met her on a Malibu beach. She was in a bikini. He was in love….Darryl’s DICK book is – most of the time – just plain laugh-out-loud hilarious. I loved it…My very highest recommendation. -Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER

 

Bibliography

  • The Last Detail (New York: Dial Press, 1970)
  • Goldengrove (New York: Dial Press, 1971)
  • Andoshen, Pa. (New York: Dial Press, 1973)
  • Cinderella Liberty (New York: Harper and Row, 1973)
  • Tom Mix Died for Your Sins (New York: Delacorte Press 1975)
  • The Accomplice (New York: Harper and Row, 1975)
  • The Ringmaster (New York: Delacorte Press, 1978)
  • An Unmarried Man (New York: Delacorte Press 1980)
  • Last Flag Flying (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2017)
  • Homicide My Own (as Anne Argula) (New York: Pleasure Boat Studio, 2005)[1]
  • Walla Walla Suite: A Room with No View (as Anne Argula) (New York: Ballantine, 2007)
  • Krapp’s Last Cassette (as Anne Argula) (Ballantine, 2009) [cf. Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett]
  • The Last Romanian (as Anne Argula) (New York: Pleasure Boat Studio, 2012)
  • Eternal Sojourners (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2019)

Filmography

Additional information

Weight .868 oz
Dimensions 6 × .5 × 9 in
IBSN

978-0-912887-91-3

Publish Date

April 1, 2020

Page/Word Count

160 pages

Format

Hardcover

5 reviews for I Feel Bad About My Dick: Lamentations of Masculine Vanity and Lists of Startling Pertinence

  1. Advanced Praise

    ADVANCE PRAISE FOR “I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY DICK””I’ll tell you this much: it ain’t baloney.” -Lucky Lukashunas, Kielbasa King of Schuylkill County”I give it 5 Bloody Marys.” -Debbie, proprietor Peabody’s Saloon”Ponicsán has a way with words, but I wouldn’t put him on the witness stand.” -Bulldog Baddour, lawyer”Some pretty fresh stuff, right off the boat.”  -Tony, Seattle fish monger”Reminiscent of Gary Hart, but I don’t know why.” -Steve Moses, political consultant”Ponicsán always drinks doubles.” -Susie, bartender, North Bay”I feel bad about Señor Darryl.” -Lucia, housekeeper”This is something I don’t want to know about, except for the hair.” -Dylan, hair stylist”For the movie, I’m thinking Salma Hayek.” -Cee Cee, exotic wife

  2. Brady T. Brady, published short stories in the anthology Editor’s Choice III Fiction from U.S. Small Press and in the Hawaii Review and the San Francisco Reader, among others.

    “While we never find out why Ponicsán feels bad about his dick, we do find out a lot about a writer who’s been turning out award winning screenplays and fiction for years. This book, a light-hearted send up of Nora Ephron’s, I Feel Bad About My Neck finds Ponicsán waxing alternately philosophical and vinegary as he takes us on a trip through Hollywood’s movie business, the Watts riots, breakfast cereal, sex and invasive medical procedures.There are engaging digressions into the life of a script doctor, politics, porn, the benign-neglect style of parenting his folks practiced and the beauty of non-attachment. He moves it all along smoothly, never letting truth stand in the way of a good story. If you’ve ever wondered what Jack Nicholson’s like, or who buys lunch when the players in the movie business go out to eat, or what the screenwriter of The Wild One said just before he died, this book is for you.You couldn’t call it memoir but then again, why not? Whatever you call it, at fewer than a hundred and fifty pages, it left me wanting more. If you like charming stories, good writing and a few laughs, ignore the title and buy this book.”

  3. Allen Wyler, Amazon reader

    5 stars
    Hilarious!
    Very seldom do I laugh out loud when reading, but this book provoked several bouts!

  4. Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER

    (5 stars) Yeah, okay, I know – that title. But it IS an attention-getter, and it got mine, because this is definitely a guy book, and I’m a guy, and, like the author, Darryl Ponicsan, I’m old, and sometimes I feel bad about mine too. So, that outa the way, I’m just gonna call this one Darryl’s DICK book, okay? ‘Cause here’s the thing, I’ve been reading Darryl Ponicsan since his first book, THE LAST DETAIL (1970), probably still his best-known work, which was adapted into a classic film. So that’s what? Omigod, that’s FIFTY YEARS I’ve been reading Ponicsan! And he’s written a baker’s dozen other novels since then, and I’ve read them all but one, THE RINGMASTER, and I hope to get around to that one before too long.

    I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY DICK (and that’s the last time I’ll spell it out) is Ponicsan’s first non-fiction book, and it’s kinda the one I’ve been wanting to read for all of those fifty years. I think I mighta written to him once and said he oughta write a memoir. Or maybe that was some other writer. Anyway, this odd collection of essays and lists is actually kinda like a memoir, because we learn something about his childhood in a Pennsylvania coal town (“I lived in a congenial but risky neighborhood. The feel of caked blood in my hair was familiar to me.”), his parents (“I never had more than a few serious conversations with either one of them, few and far between, and brief”), his college years (“My father’s idea. I thought it would be a waste of money”). We hear but briefly of his hitch in the US Navy (so read THE LAST DETAIL and CINDERELLA LIBERTY), but do learn about his trip west afterwards in a junker TR-3 to seek his fortune. His turn as a high school teacher also gets short shrift (so read GOLDENGROVE), but we do hear about his year or so as a social worker in LA during the Watts riots, and his education as a blonde white guy in black neighborhoods. And then he tells of his sudden success as a writer with that first Navy novel, and his subsequent adventures in Hollywood (Ponicsan was script writer/doctor for over 25 years) where he meets Robert Redford (“I went all aflutter … I thought no man should be so handsome”). And meeting Hef at the Playboy mansion, where he talked with Bill Cosby (“long enough to discover that he was, sadly, an a**hole”) and displayed his “pinball wizard” skills to Linda Lovelace. There is almost nothing about a failed first marriage and divorce (so read AN UNMARRIED MAN). We learn of his color-blindness (check out the author photo and the pink suit) and his kinky opinions on beards and muffs. Oh yeah, and murses. And, threaded throughout all of these essays, most of them hilarious, he also gives us tantalizing tidbits of a forty-year love affair with his Mexican-American wife, whom he calls E.W., for “Exotic Woman.” He first met her on a Malibu beach. She was in a bikini. He was in love.

    Yes, hilarious. I found myself chuckling, chortling and breaking into guffaws, belly laughs and tears of laughter as I made my way through this little book. (I tried to read slowly, ’cause I wanted it to last.) But, as he tells us in the intro, where he explains that his DICK book is meant to be a guy kinda answer to Nora Ephron’s I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK book –

    “As Nora’s book at times veers into some serious territory, there is a risk that this one will too, but it will all come out okay in the end.”

    And Ponicsan does indeed veer into some darker stuff in the final chapter, about the inevitability of death, the aches, pains, failings and indignities of old age (the author passed 80 a year or two back). And the “twelve surgeries over fourteen years, the same place for the same reason” he has endured, along with the “dress rehearsal for death and the void of general anesthesia.” But there’s also that “okay in the end” part, where he tells us, in a postscript, that things have taken a “dramatic turn for the better,” and I am so glad to know that.

    Bottom line: this is definitely a guy book. I laughed and laughed, and sometimes winced in recognition too. But when I tried to read some of the funniest parts to my wife, she didn’t laugh. Her reactions were more of the wrinkled nose, “ee-ew” variety. But Darryl’s DICK book is – most of the time – just plain laugh-out-loud hilarious. I loved it. Thanks for sharing, DP. This should be part of every old guy’s library. My very highest recommendation.

  5. Daniel K

    5.0 out of 5 stars A fun & funny read
    Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2020
    Kind of hilarious & fun. A great read!

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