Death of a Vulgarian

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Al Goldstein, who made the front page of The New York Times when he died recently, was among the world’s most disgusting men. But he was hardly as repellent as Charles Saatchi and certainly without the coward’s bullying manner—against women, that is. Goldstein founded Screw magazine during the 1960s and pushed hardcore porn into the mainstream without the usual excuses of it being art disguised as porn. He apologized for nothing and took no prisoners and gave the finger to an outraged establishment who thought him rather vulgar, to say the least.

I met him once, and it was on a baseball diamond. Back in the 70s there was a regular softball competition in New York’s Central Park among magazines—many of them, such as LIFE and Look, are now gone. I played third base for Esquire, and as luck would have it we drew Screw in the first round. Word had got around that Screw would provide oral sex right at home plate to anyone on either side who hit a home run. Catching for Screw was an enormous bulldyke whom I noticed during the warm-up was throwing the ball like a man, and then some. My first two times up she yelled at the pitcher that “Sonny Boy here couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn” and other typical baseball barbs. I flied out deep my first two times at bat, then on my third time I got hold of one that fell between left and center. I flew around the bases, and approaching third I saw the coach holding up both hands signaling me to stop with a stand-up triple. But I had made my mind up and never broke stride. Heading for home I saw that the bulldyke had gone down on her knees with her shin guards blocking the plate. I was beaten by a mile.

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