A beautiful baby boy.

Baby Stinky? Note the dazzling blue eyes and unkempt hair.

Q:        Is Stinky real?

A:        He’s as real as Santa, Congressional Ethics, and Martha Stewart’s smile.

Q:        Where did he get a dumb name like Stinky?

A:        Since he was only three when he acquired his moniker he doesn’t remember the specifics, but relies on accounts from various relatives

Our young hero was standing on the beach, in someone’s backyard or on a hill in the Berkshires and came upon something malodorous.

The only thing that all of the accounts agree on is that they don’t know what he found.

In any case, the child spread a bit of the –- whatever –- on his finger and squealed with childish glee, “Stinky!”

For the rest of the day he’d giggle whenever someone called him “Mr. Stinky” and while he stopped giggling, they didn’t let it go.

A classic engraving of a skunk.

Stinky’s first Facebook fan.

Q:        Huh.  So what’s his real name?

A:        Edgar.  He was named for his uncle, who is always called “Biff.”  Many families pass names from generation to generation.  The Carters are unusual in that they pass along names that are used only during the baptism service.

Q:        Who says he’s the best looking man on earth?

A:        Mother Nature.  She got an award when he was born and would have retired had the market been better.  Retirement planning is tricky for immortals, as Stinky is well aware.

Photo of the Apollo Belvedere.

The Sun God shows off his heavily pomaded coif.

Q:        Does Apollo really ask Stinky for grooming tips?

A:        He’s tiresome that way.  Many deities look to Stinky for assistance and he does what he can, even if they tend to pay in ancient currencies with no value.  It may sound glamorous, but try to think up a cardio routine for a clumsy, six-winged seraph who has never done anything more athletic than sing, “Hosanna”  for the past five thousand years.

Q:       There are so many stories.  What’s a good one to start with?

A:       Most of the Stinky Stories are silly romps and a few have more substance.  Remember how most of the Lucy episodes were zany, but in a few we realized how much Lucy loved Ricky and Ethel?  None of the Lucy episodes with substance are on anyone’s top ten list and it’s probably better to start with one of Stinky’s mad romps.

“Stinky News at Eleven” and “Stinky’s Snail Male Delivers” are good ones to read first.  Both are fast and funny and “typical” in that an outside character starts the plot moving.  “Stinky and the Allegorical Breasts” is an early story, but it introduces Stinky’s parents and sister who appear in many other adventures.  “A Stinky Night at the Opera” introduces one of the most memorable guest stars and it comes with a short bonus tale, “Stinky and the Impresario.”  Any of those would be a good place to start.

“Eddie’s 1,002nd Arabian Night” is the only story where Eddie is an Irish-Arabian prince trying to wrangle two powerful genies.

Stinky and the Artrepreneur cover art by Waylon Bacon; design by vikncharlie

Cover art

“Stinky and the Artrepreneur” has a scene where Stinky explains why being the best looking man on the planet doesn’t mean much to him.  It’s as close to insightful as Stinky gets in the entire series.

Another approach is to download the nearest free one, but that’s hit or miss.  The calendar at the bottom of the page has the schedule.

“Stinky and the Cold Toilet Confession,” “Stinky Secrets” and “Eddie the Reluctant Celebrity” are longer and more heartfelt than most of the stories.  “It’s Stinky at the Beach” introduces the family summer cottage and Stinky’s aunts, uncles and cousins.  They’re more for hard-core Stinky fans and not the best end of the pool for an initial dive.

“Stinky’s September Song” is the last story chronologically and the least crazy.  It gives you an overview of Stinky’s long and happy life on a day he’s not particularly happy.

Q:       TMI in previous answer.  There are too many stories.

A:       They are abundant, but there are only a handful of volumes.  Splurge.  Get enough happy endings to keep yourself smiling through a week of in-laws.

Q:        Why does his sister have a different name in each story?  How many sisters does he have?

A:        That’s two questions.

Q:        Answer them in order, bitch.

A:        I’m going to answer them in reverse order since you were rude.  He has one sister.  And I’m going to answer a question you didn’t ask to show that unlike you, I can rise above it.  Stinky is two years older than his sister but pretends to be younger because he feels time has been kinder to him.

Toddler Stinky may have learned the word “stinky” because he heard it applied to Evangeline’s diapers, so in a way she may have given him his nickname.  He couldn’t quite get his tiny tongue around “Evangeline” and he came closer to “Angie” than anything else.  Stinky and the rest of the family usually call her Angie.

Angie spent the first twenty-eight years of her life resenting her brother for being better looking and her mother for being the reason for the disparity.  Every few years she reinvented herself so that she could annoy her mother in new ways.

A smattering of her many names and phases follows:

Angel               Middle school” tight sweaters to show off budding  breasts” phase.

G-line              High school “cool kid” phase.

4-Eva               High school punk phase.

Gel                   College bi-curious phase

Evanescence    New Ager, ca. age 23

Lina                 Bohemian artist model phase, ca. age 24.

Vana (aka “Vana With One N”)  Domestic goddess, ca. age 25.

Q:        Why does Stinky use so many nicknames for people?

A:        If people called you “Stinky,” wouldn’t you retaliate?

Q:        You’re supposed to answer questions, not ask them.

A:        You’re supposed to ask questions, not make statements , so we’re even.

Q:       Eddie’s kind of dull, isn’t he?

A:       Yes he is.  So is Stinky, really.  Left to themselves they go to work, come home, eat a boring dinner, and then Stinky works on dull trusts and wills while Eddie watches a game on TV.  Both of them are hard-working and intelligent, and neither of them looks for trouble.  We like Eddie as we know him better, but he doesn’t reveal much of himself in any one story.  It’s the characters they attract that cause them to have adventures.

Title page, "The Book of Common Prayer."

Stinky’s Prayer Book

Q:        What are the “Articles of Religion?”

A:        These beauties are listed in teensy print in the back of the Book of Common Prayer.  In olden times they were included to convince real Protestants that Episcopalians were part of the club, but they stopped kidding themselves about that decades ago.  They are pithy in a 17th century kind of way and completely ignored by the modern church.

Stinky takes advantage of the fact that Irish Catholic Eddie believes that “unauthorized touching” of the BCP is a mortal sin and a good Catholic should not handle a prayer book other than to follow along during a service.  Eddie also believes that it’s safer to mumble than speak clearly.  In any case, Eddie will never read the Articles of Religion and Stinky feels free to edit them as he chooses.

A photo of historic Plymouth Rock.

Plymouth Rock, where Pilgrim feet once trod.

Q:        Did Stinky’s ancestor really throw up on Plymouth Rock?

A:        How else can you explain the fact that it says 1620?  You don’t believe aliens carved it, do you?

 

Q:        Why does Stinky call Eddie “Mugs?”

A:        Eddie was a conflicted mess of low self-esteem when he met Stinky and frequently referred to himself as a “mug.”  By inductive reasoning the pair of organs found only on a male mug are mugnuts.  Mugs is short for Mugnuts.  Stinky promised never to use the unabridged version of the nickname unless they were alone.

Q:        Okay.  Why does he call his parents “Marter” and “Farter?”

A:        After Eddie got them out of a tight scrape, Stinky’s parents asked Eddie to call them “Mother Carter” and “Father Carter.”  Within seconds Stinky abbreviated the names to “Marter” and “Farter.”

Prior to that he called them “Ancient Relative,” “Daddums,” “Mumsie” or pretty much anything he wanted to.  They’re the ones that popularized “Stinky,” after all.

Q:        Is Eddie a policeman or a detective?  He’s referred to as both.

A:        Eddie was a policeman when he met Stinky, but was later promoted to detective.  The Stinky collections list the stories chronologically and each volume has a cumulative, chronological list of stories at the end.  The deluxe editions have eLeather bindings and your Kindle screen will turn into eVellum, if your device is equipped with that feature.

Q:        Don’t get to windy on me, but what’s the deal with the Hudson?

A:        When Stinky and Eddie met, Stinky lived in a small, one bedroom apartment and Eddie lived with his mother.  They needed to find something suitable for both of them.

The problem for Stinky was finding a place that met his needs at a cost twice Eddie’s budget.  Eddie liked to pay his own way and Stinky was used to living in the high rent district.

Stinky’s clever solution was to move to the Hudson, a luxury hotel from the 1890s that had been converted to condos.  Each of the original hotel rooms was a separate unit and a narrow hallway connected the rooms so that any number of neighboring rooms could be united.  Stinky bought a two-unit condo that included a large, almost circular room on the north end of the building and a standard room on the west side that served as a kitchen.  This was a desirable condo because most of the units had haphazard kitchens tucked in a corner.

Eddie purchased the two adjoining units on the east side.  They were less expensive because they weren’t in as good shape, but Eddie and his buddies soon renovated them.  Each of the boys was a proud homeowner and although there was a door between their real estate, it was never locked.

Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Adam conceals his cadulix.

Q:        Stinky uses a lot of big words.  Does he make them up?  Sometimes I have trouble understanding what he’s talking about.

A:        Ah.  This is the best question you’ve asked so far.  Even Stinky’s father admits that he hasn’t understood more than half of what Stinky has said in his whole life.  Part of the experience of being around Stinky is being confused.  He finds that people tend to stare less when they’re puzzled.

Stinky was never one of the cool kids and isn’t up on current slang.  He does cherish outdated words such as cadulix, fustilugs, hobbledehoy, confabulate, and many others.  He doesn’t make them up.  Once in a great while Stinky uses a word that Eddie thinks might be useful and he makes notes and keeps them in his wallet.

Stinky stories are good for the vocabulary and the author is keen on adding them to college syllabuses. He offers a discount for bulk purchases, so if you’re tired of teaching “Contemporary Feminist Fiction from the Smaller Caribbean Islands” or “Voices of the Dyslectic, Demented and Deranged:  Fiction for the Marginalized,” let him know.

NotaryQ:        Speaking of the author, he claims he’s a notary public.  Is he smart enough to do that?

A:        He must be.  He had to go through a grueling four hours of training and remember enough of it until the end of the day to pass a test.  If you want to notarize an affidavit stating that Stinky Stories are amazing, he will waive his usual fees.

Q:        Doesn’t “FAQ” mean “frequently asked questions?”

A:        Yes.

Q:        Then why do FAQs always include answers?

A: