Affairs of the Court

Affairs of the Court

Oscar Mosco was my old football coach. He’d always had this thing about rolling up incredibly high scores against weak teams. He’d stand on the sidelines yelling obscenities at the opposing players, and anytime one of them happened to get tossed out of bounds near our bench he’d kick them with his heavy boots or grind his stubby fingers in their eyes.

Mr. Oscar Mosco inspired me and the other boys to fifty consecutive victories in the Texas Star League. In the community he was both a spiritual as well as a physical leader. His wife Molly, an obese and outspoken woman with an incredibly good-looking face, owned and operated a small store which specialized in selling salmon colored lingerie. Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Mosco were the southwest regional (national district 7) Chinese checkers champions. Most people conceded that the Moscos had cheated in order to win all their titles, but few cared.

Oscar Mosco gave away my bride. Many times before I married his daughter he’d jabbed me in the ribs and said, “She looks like a real good lay to me, sonny.”

Mr. Mosco liked me. This was mainly because I won a lot of football games for him. I was also an extremely dirty player. Since I rejected the ethic of good sportsmanship, I was Oscar’s pride and joy. So, in my salmon and pink uniform I led Oscar’s team all over Texas, whipping schools supported by Texas Baptists, Texas Methodists, and other breeds of Texas Christianity. Oscar Mosco had this thing about organized Texas religion. More than once I’d caught him making obscene phone calls to clergymen.

Oscar Mosco was not a popular man. I don’t believe his family even liked him. The thing about Mr. Mosco that made people want to stay around him was that he was a winner. He won at everything he tried. He cheated a lot. He found ways to cheat in games that had been especially designed so as to make cheating impossible. For a while he toured America as the representative of a famous gaming company. They sent him all over the country with 150 competitive games they’d developed. His job was to popularize the games by challenging people of prominence to public matches. He relished backing prominent men into insoluble dilemmas or of accusing them of being cheats. Women he didn’t have to humiliate. He’d promise them huge caches of salmon-colored undergarments if they would throw the game in his direction. So he won. He became something of a national hero until a deranged barber in Laredo mailed enough documentation to the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times to convince these periodicals to run a page one story regarding the fact that Mr. Oscar Mosco couldn’t win at anything unless he was wearing matching salmon-colored panties and a brassiere underneath it all.

Well, the gist of all this is that my wife Mary Francis Mosco Dolly was a wonderful girl. She was an intelligent, open-minded, beautiful, faithful, and loving woman. By her twenty-eighth year the mother of my children had long since thrown away all of her salmon-colored underthings. She usually pranced about with nothing on underneath. When forced into more modest dress, Mary Francis leaned toward the darker end of the spectrum.

One day my wife asked me if her father, recently widowed, could come to live with us. I was reluctant. This was because I had changed since my high school days. I had become the head football coach at Texas Evangelical University and national president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. A year before I’d had the good fortune to personally receive the Papal blessing at the Vatican. Over my bed hung an autographed picture of his Holiness handing a football off to me.

“I have this feeling Mary Francis that if your daddy comes to live with us we will lose our foothold in the community.”

“Popa’s an old man. He’s past the age where he can cause big trouble.”

“I have this feeling Mary Francis that if your daddy comes to live with us his anti-religious sentiments will disrupt the rhythm of our daily lives.”

“He’s an old man with nowhere to go. I’m his only child. And you musn’t forget that he was your old football coach. He made a star out of you.”

“I don’t think you are qualified to speculate about my football prowess. In point of fact Mary Francis, I’d have been a fine football player at any school.”

“All right! He’s my father though. Somehow we must do right by him.”

“I agree. Why not send him to a home?”

The wife and I argued about what should be done with Oscar Mosco for three days. On the fourth day the problem took care of itself. Mr. Mosco was appointed by the Senate of the United States as a nonsectarian chaplain. Mary Francis convinced me it was only proper that we go to Washington and be present at his inaugural sermon.

Was this the same man I’d once known? He was still a gruff looking man, sloppily dressed, his pockets stuffed with marbles especially cut for the Chinese checkerboard.

“It’s good to see you again Mr. Mosco.”

He didn’t want to talk with me. He only eyed me warily, giving extra consideration to the religious and fraternal pins which decorated my lapels. Oscar Mosco then cornered the President of the United States and said, “Why I ever let my daughter marry that homosexual I’ll never know.”

I had to concede that Oscar had mellowed with age. Fifteen years ago, President or no President, he’d have called me a queer. Of course I replied.

“Mr President, I am the football coach at Texas Evangelical University. I am the president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I was your personal envoy to the Olympics, and last month you asked me to head your physical fitness program. I must emphatically deny being or ever have been a homosexual. I’m afraid my father-in-law is getting a bit eccentric in his old age.”

That night the President of the United States went on national television. As he put it.


My fellow Americans, tonight I have to discuss with you a topic of grave concern. This is an age of hard times filled with war and poverty. But in our midst is an even greater threat. Sometimes the most erudite of us are misled. We are often deceived by appearances, and as a result of this, sometimes, though not very often, the wrong man attains a position of prominence. With a heavy heart, I must report that this afternoon on the floor of the United States Senate the new chaplain, the honorable Mr. Oscar Mosco, informed me that Dickey Dolly, a man whose prominence in national athletics is well known, is a homosexual.


During the past few hours my staff has worked without thought of rest in order that we might, one way or the other, clarify this grave charge. At exactly 8:27 this evening the evidence became conclusive. Clearly, Mr. Dolly is a homosexual of the worst sort. I feel ashamed to admit that I have spent many a relaxed evening both arm and finger wrestling with this man. Ironically, it was Chaplain Mosco, Mr. Dolly’s father-in-law, who related to me numerous anecdotes dating back to Mr. Dolly’s grade school days which clearly document the development of his homosexual tendencies. In addition to this, Chaplain Mosco outlined some of the consequences of Mr. Dolly’s aberration in his adult life. As the President, I feel it is my responsibility to bring to the attention of the people of this great nation what nature of a man Mr. Dickey Dolly is. It is my hope that the frank and open handling of this issue will once and for all silence those critics who claim that a credibility gap exists within this administration. It is my belief that you the people will deal with Mr. Dolly as he deserves to be dealt with, and, in view of this, I leave this grave matter in your hands, and thus do not plan any legislative or legal action against him.

Fortunately, I am able to end this address on a more congenial note. I have authorized Chaplain Mosco to organize a Chinese checkers tournament in which all three branches of the government will participate. Perhaps such a diversion is just the medicine this nation needs to see us through the grim events of the past day.


The wife was upset. So was I. To begin with, my first name was Danny.


It’s a sad commentary on the executive branch of the government when its leader is derelict in the use of a man’s first name. I will not permit this vindictive action which you have initiated ruin my career, nor will I permit it to disrupt my family life.


The President never acknowledged this brief note.


Loyal friends advised me that my only hope was to convince the nation of my heterosexuality through the courts. The folks at Texas Evangelical were upset. In spite of this, they recognized the fact that I had led their football team to forty-six consecutive wins, and only needed three more to break the national record. In view of this, the alumni association reluctantly drafted a statement that they’d rather win with a queer coach than lose with a ladies’ man. A telegram from the president of the university suggested that if, perhaps, I could convince people I was straight, the university could extend my contract for a few more seasons.

I called up this portrait photographer. His name was Grubacher. A few years back he’d taken wedding pictures of the wife and me. I said, “Grubacher, I want you to take pictures of me copulating with my wife.” His spirits seemed to rise immediately.

He suggested, “Mr Dolly, if I might offer a suggestion. I’ve always found that couples cherish poses of themselves involved in fellatio and cunnilingus.”

This man Grubacher was in the Fellowship of Christian Photographers. I really hadn’t imagined he’d been asked to do this sort of thing previously.

“Really Grubacher, I don’t think that would be prudent. I only want pictures of the Mrs. and me copulating. Missionary position only. No fancy underthings in sight.”

Grubacher was agreeable enough. He came over one afternoon with his Hasselblad and his lights. Shot thirty-six exposures, using various speeds, varying the density and the composition of the negatives to produce the most aesthetic effects. We finally agreed on three shots — one of the wife and me necking on the kitchen table; one of the wife masturbating me in the fireplace; and one of the wife and me copulating on a large mushroom (purposely blurred, so as to accentuate the accelerated pelvic thrusts). Armed with poster size blowups of these prints, I had my lawyers take it from there. In about six months’ time my case got to the Supreme Court. By this time my lawyers had enlisted the help of prominent scientists to document the pictorial evidence.



There can be no doubt that this is a normal man. The angle of penetration and the positioning of the body are clearly identifiable with an exclusively heterosexual orientation.

L. Pudge



Is there any doubt that this man enjoys copulating with the female of the species? The vigorous pelvic thrusts (apparent in the blurred nature of Exhibit #3) suggest a healthy and active heterosexual appetite.

L. Pudge



A lyrical and emotional documentation of the male-female relationship. The beautiful tones combined with the subtle direction of the unique Grubacher style cannot fail to convince anyone of the depth of this male-female relationship.

L. Pudge

Popular Photography


In a landmark decision the Supreme Court upheld my heterosexuality by a 7-2 vote. Curiously, the two dissenting justices had advanced to the final round of Oscar Mosco’s Chinese checkers tournament. The remainder of the court had been eliminated in the early rounds, and had issued a statement voicing their bitterness about the conduct of certain parties throughout the tournament.

So, let it be recorded that Mr. Justice K. Pudge wrote this brief but definitive opinion regarding Mr. Danny Dolly versus the People of the United States.


It is the opinion of this court that photographic evidence far outweighs the testimony of other interested parties. With all due respect to Chaplain Mosco, one must nevertheless conclude that the lens of the Hasselblad 500c is far more qualified to accurately record the facts than are the eyes of a seventy-four-year-old man. The issue here is not whether a man should be penalized for his sexual preferences. The issue here is, in fact, what nature of evidence should be allowed to reflect the sexuality of a given individual. Photographic evidence being decided hereupon as the evidence of fact, this court by a 7-2 plurality concludes that Mr. Danny Dolly does direct his sexual energies toward the female of the species.

L. Pudge

Associate Justice

United States Supreme Court


The President, who had made a surprisingly poor showing in the Chinese checkers tournament, was agreeable to the decision of the court. He went on national television, whereupon he delivered, what is in the opinion of most historians, his most elegant speech. Accompanied in the background by a medley of Fats Dominos greatest hits, our chief executive presented the three, now priceless, photos of the wife and me. In a refreshingly lyrical style he recited the accompanying testimonials of the social scientists. He topped off the evening by showing a special five-minute movie of the wife and me engaged in all sorts of sexual acrobatics. The wife and I had agreed to star in this graphic flick to, in the words of the President, “leave no shadow of a doubt as to the sexual appetites of these two fine citizens.”

Suffice to say, certain breeds of Texas Christianity violently objected to such blatant exhibition of sexual activity over the mass media. This resulted in another legal adventure. Mr. Oscar Mosco, though miffed at me, defended my right to copulate, “where and whenever I pleased.” He still remained firm in his conviction that I was a homosexual, but he claimed he would not let this bias him from defending my right of, “freedom of sexual expression.”

Unfortunately for the wife and me, in the weeks that followed the exhibition of our movie, an extremely high incidence of sex crimes was recorded across the nation. Indeed, the President himself was reported to have used his office to illegally tax various companies which produced devices intended to enhance sexual activity. This, according to the American Bar Association, constituted a sex crime.

With the heat on the President and the dignity of his office at stake, a secret meeting was convened at a little-known flea circus in a Texas border town. In a gesture of patriotism I agreed to take the rap. A few weeks later the high court rendered a final decision.


That Mr. Danny Dolly did encourage the production of and did participate in a movie, the purpose of which was to stimulate others sexually through the depiction of various sexual acts. Such a motion picture does not have nor could ever have any socially redeeming value. In view of this, society can only be served by locking up Mr. Dolly for an indeterminate period until such time he renounces his pornographic patterns of behavior.”

L. Pudge

Chief Justice

United States Supreme Court


About the Author

David Sheskin is a writer and artist whose work has been published extensively over the years. His writing and art have appeared in The Dalhousie Revie Puerto del Sol, Stand Magazine, Gargoyle, Notre Dame Review, The Madison Review, Permafrost and The Journal of Irreproducible Results. His most recent book is David Sheskin’s Cabinet of Curiosities.


Photo by EaglebrookSchool from flckr