Excerpt from Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Priestdaddy

A Memoir

by Patricia Lockwood

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood X
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
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  • First Published:
    May 2017, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2018, 352 pages

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Lisa Butts
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Priestdaddy

Somehow or other, the seminarian has heard about milfs and he is haunted by the concept. He fears hordes of milfs are roaming the plains of dating, simultaneously breastfeeding and trying to trick young men into having sex with them. "Are milfs something that's popular in secular culture for guys in their twenties to go after?" he asks.

"Yes," I say gravely, signaling Jason across the room to write that quote down word for word. "Very, very popular. The most popular thing now."

His eyes widen and he crosses his legs, as if to protect his holy jewels from the very notion of a milf. I consider other possible lies to tell him.

In Britain they call them Nummy Mummies, and due to the gender imbalance left over from the Great War, there are two of them for every male.

There's no way of telling whether your own mother is a milf, but if she likes to play bingo, it's almost certain.

The wine of Italy is stomped out by milfs, so when you taste the wine, you are tasting their desire.

During the full moon a milf lactates a powerful sex milk that is instantly addictive to any man who tries it.

He interrupts my reverie to explore the subject further. "What's the difference between a milf and a cougar?"

"Cougars are . . . hornier," I say, thinking fast. "A milf doesn't have to be horny at all, it just has to be a Mom You'd Like to F, but a cougar is horny, and it prowls."

"So disordered," the seminarian breathes. Calling people "disordered" is practically his favorite thing to do, and a tawny animal woman who chases after tender cubs is about as disordered as it gets. "I hope I never meet one."

I get very close to his face and fix him with my most feline expression. "Too late, buddy. You already have."

*

I want to take the Gay Inkblot Test so bad I can taste it. According to my father, they administer an inkblot test to all the men who are studying to become priests in order to determine whether they're possessed by the handsome little demon of Same Sex Attraction. (He refers to it as SSA, both for jauntiness and to save time.) I'm not sure whether the inkblots themselves have been somehow designed to be gay—balls everywhere, kaleidoscopic bursts of abs, the words "I'M GAY" doing backflips in the ink, a dong on the classic Rorschach butterfly—or whether they just expect people to see gay things in them. Either way, the test cannot be categorized as either scientific or sane, but my father places great faith in it.

"It's foolproof," he tells me, with the self-satisfaction of a man who knows he would pass. If he took the test, he would see only Batmobiles, but these guys would see the naked body of Robin. His beliefs about homosexuality are in general keeping with those of the church, with a few small but distinctive flourishes of his own. Earlier this week, for instance, he informed me Elton John became gay because he was "raised by too many aunts."

When the seminarian took the inkblot test, he saw bunnies. "You saw . . . bunnies?" I ask. "Bunnies are fine," he says with authority. "Bunnies are very wholesome. What you DON'T want to see is half- animal half-humans. That would show you were messed up." Regular bunnies are just evidence you love Easter, but woe to the one who looks into the ink and sees a rabbit with the luscious lower half of a man.

Important: do you understand how badly I would fail this test? I would get something worse than an F. But my father refuses to even let me look at the Gay Inkblots. He's afraid of what he might find. He knows he was saved from ever seeing me bring home a girl named Boots with screws in her ears for one reason and one reason only: because I got married when I was twenty-one to a man I met in cyberspace.

"We don't know if it works on women," they say cautiously, when I raise the subject amid the happy family clamor of the dinner table. "That's not . . . we haven't studied that yet."

Excerpted from Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood. Copyright © 2017 by Patricia Lockwood. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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