We’re back with Strawberries and Other Erotic Fruits from Jerry L. Wheeler, and we’re going on a blind date and I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this makes me, because this blind date is… unforgettable.
The shifts in tone of Strawberries are one of the strengths of the collection. “Waafrneeaasuu!!” which is laugh-out-loud funny, and “Templeton’s in Love” which is one of the singular most moving pieces of short fiction I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. There’s bittersweet (“The Fireside Bright”) alongside regeneration (“Changing Planes”). Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the direction of where Wheeler goes, he zags instead of zigging, and you’re somewhere new again.
Jerry released a revised edition (hence the gorgeous Inkspiral Design and Lammy Finalist for Gay Erotica logo) of this book, which boasts four new tales, and so today we’re hitting up the aforementioned blind date that makes up the third new tale I haven’t talked about before, “T-Bone, Medium Rare.”
NB: Okay, “T-Bone” had nothing to do with me.
JLW: It’s a true story.
NB: I remember the first time you told me that, and I’m still amazed you got through the meal.
JLW: It was exquisitely mortifying, and a cautionary tale about never knowing what you get when you go on a blind date.
NB: And I assume no second date?
JLW: No, we never exchanged recipes because he never called back.
“T-Bone, Medium Rare” is a true story of blind dates, shallow judgements, and missed opportunities, and it’s told so chuckingly tongue-in-cheek (finger-in-food?) that you can’t help but be charmed, even while your eyebrows creep all the way up your forehead. (Oh, and recently, as part of #LivingRoomReadings, Jerry recorded himself reading this one if you want to check it out!)