At one time there was a village in the shadow of a mountain on the Mediterranean that reeked of sex. It would come rolling down the hills like a warm fog, slip under doors, ooze through windows and permeate clothing the way that tobacco permeates the clothing of a smoker. It would fill the nostrils and the minds and then the loins of the young and the old and there would be fucking all the day long and through the night.
It is no longer there, the village that reeked of sex. Not long after the incident that I am about to relate a lightning bolt hit the church and a fire engulfed the entire village, destroying every building. An act of God, it was proclaimed from pulpits all around the island. And perhaps it was a good thing. By now there would be tours there, organised as sex tours are to places like Bangkok and Manila, packaged fucking. That would have been destructive, for there were no whores in the village that reeked of sex. Nobody paid, at least with money.
With their sanity, their health, and usually their marriages or any other permanent liaisons they had entered into before their time in the village. There was so much fucking in the village there, was, quite naturally, a lot of fucking up.
The smell was everywhere. It made the blood race, the heart beat, male newcomers (nowhere more aptly named) were immediately recognised by the way in which they prowled the streets with rolled up newspapers or hats held in such a way as to cover their permanent erections. This did not last.
It did not take long to notice that every other male in the village was similarly afflicted – or blessed – their rigid members strained beneath the flimsy white cotton trousers habitually worn in the summer months, and the baggy brown corduroys of winter. The newcomer would, at the moment of revelation or acceptance, throw the rolled up newspaper on the café table or plonk the hat on his head. It was customary at that moment for all males in attendance to stand, push forward their erections and give three cheers of welcome to the newly liberated male.
The women had different but no less perplexing problems. They stuck to their seats. All through the night, in the bars and restaurants, you would have heard a soft, sucking sound, not unlike that accompanying the eating of mangoes. That was the sound of the women standing after having been seated for some time in one spot. It was customary, whenever a party including women left a restaurant or bar, for the waiter or waitress to wipe the seat carefully and scan the floor for any…stickiness.
Where it had come from, the sex, nobody on the island could remember. Indeed, nobody on the island could remember a time when the village did not suffer from this feverish malady. It was a sad moment for a parent when a son or daughter announced their love for and intention of marrying someone from that village. And, as you might imagine, the young were drawn to the place like vultures to road kill, like vampires to pale white necks.
It came to a head in the late 1970s. The natural and ancient proclivities of the villagers combined with the promiscuity of modern times, from the sixties on, drove villagers and visitors into a frenzy of fornication that had far reaching consequences, both political and personal. Priests, politicians and persons of repute were caught in the web of concupiscence and debauchery. A series of meetings was held, in secret, in the catacombs of the church of San Francisco, in the capital, a church that aptly holds the tomb of the island’s only saint, a man turned to God by half a lifetime of wanton and dissolute behaviour.
A coalition of the church, the army, the medical profession and an ancient and, if not secret, certainly subdued, lay religious organisation with links back to the destruction of the Knights Templar in Medieval times, turned their attention to the village and what to do about its malign influence which, they all agreed, was spreading across the island. At the end of the fourth meeting, and after a series of experiments carried out on prison inmates (the dictatorship allowed such behaviour, indeed encouraged it) this powerful group had formulated a plan.
Early one morning in July, before the sun had risen over the gloomy mountain that loomed over the village like a vengeful deity, a long convoy of trucks and earthmoving equipment clattered, squeaked and groaned around the hairpin bends on the coastal road leading into the village. When it arrived and came to a standstill, the convoy snaked its way along its entire length.
As the sun peeked over the mountain that loomed over the village like a vengeful god, troops leapt from covered trucks holding their rifles and dispersed, responding to a well orchestrated plan, to every corner of the village. Meanwhile teams of white coated nurses set up tables and loaded hypodermic syringes.
The troops began to bang with their rifle butts on the heavy wooden doors, which opened to bleary eyed and mostly naked inhabitants. These poor unfortunates, many panting from recent exertions, were pushed onto the street, given blankets to cover themselves, and, over the next three hours, herded into orderly lines leading towards the nurses and their hypodermics. As soon as the officers reported that all of a sexually active age had been flushed out and lined up – one stood and ticked them off a list – the operation began. Slowly the line shuffled forward as the nurses wiped each arm with antiseptic solution, then plunged the huge needles into them. There were needles for the men, and others, identified with a pink stripe, for the women. Several villagers fainted, and were hauled by waiting soldiers to the side of the road. The injections were carried out in calm silence, the villagers too nervous to speak aloud, although up and down the lines they muttered and whispered to each other as they waited and moved slowly towards the table.
It took two hours to inject the entire village with the solution, a concoction invented by a leading hormone specialist, designed to diminish the oestrogen and testosterone levels respectively in the female and male populations. The specialist had argued that if one generation was discouraged from rampant and random copulation, then the practice would die out. He called this the Skipped Generation Theory. The troops and nurses had already been vaccinated.
Once finished, the nurses threw the last of the syringes into large buckets, and the soldiers helped them board the trucks. The villagers headed slowly back to their homes. The tall mustachioed commander of the troops waved the soldiers and nurses back aboard the covered trucks, and the convoy turned laboriously, and clattered and groaned its way back to the capital. The sun was setting over the sea. Darkness descended upon them as they left.
Meanwhile, inside the trucks, each soldier had taken his hat from his head and placed it over his lap. The nurses began to squirm uncomfortably on the hard wooden seats, their eyes vacant, their breathing short and shallow. They stared into space, avoiding each others eyes, as the trucks bumped and shook them over the badly made roads. By the time the trucks lumbered into the capital, there would be even deeper consequences of that visit to the village that reeked of sex.