Look around the room and pick an object. Write one paragraph describing the object in full detail and a second paragraph explaining where it came from.

High on top of my bookshelf, there is a monk doll. Not the Tony Shaloub Monk. A doll of those dudes who live quiet, non-materialistic lives and don’t touch themselves.  He is about 6″ tall, bald head, bare feet. At least I think he is bald underneath the the plastic ridge that circles his head like a bandanna. At some point, there may have been fabric on his head because it feels slightly rough, like there had been glue on it and the material torn away. He has a dirty, chubby face and a long neck, lined with folds of fat. The top of his robe is a dark brown color, a little rough and grimy from years of collecting dust. It’s worn in a few spots, even picked away in some areas, exposing the plastic below. His hands are folded across his large belly, lopsided and disconnected from anything that resembles an arm. There is a piece of yarn tied around his waist, representing a belt. At one point, it may have been white, but how it’s more of a light grey. The yarn is badly glued – it goes around his belly nicely in the front, but crosses his backside like it’s a pair of pants falling off one of today’s gangstas. The bottom of his robe is a warm brown piece of felt and doesn’t look nearly as old and worn as the rest of the doll. There is an opening along the front of his leg, and the material hangs to his ankles. He is wearing sandals with a brown painted strap across the top of his feet. His toes look like mini corn cobs. They are all pretty much the same size, with lines just pressed into the plastic all the way across. I think the doll may have been mounted to something else, because at the bottom of each sandal is a lump of plastic with a ridge, like it snaps into some sort of opening. It’s a simple religious figurine, until you press his head. When you push down, a two inch long penis pops out from under the robe. It’s about the diameter of a pencil eraser, with ridges meant to resemble veins and folds of skin. The head is freakishly large, like a grape on the end of a toothpick. And he has no balls.

Where on earth did I get this novelty? When my dad died in 1987, it was in the things my mother brought back when his stuff was divided among family. I think she kept it for a while, and I just ended up with it in high school. A few years later, I gave it a name. I named it Jack, after one of my geoscience professors. Because he was a dick.

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