As Dan Wiseman worked his old, worn key in the lock of his office, the corners of his mouth turned up just a bit.
"Guess that key's a lot like me - it still works, but its teeth are just about gone; I guess that's what forty years of working for the government will do to you."
Of course, the youngster standing beside him couldn't really appreciate what was left unsaid in that remark. In forty years, Dan Wiseman had seen a lot... 'more than most people this side of National Geographic, ' he reckoned.
But now, he was being retired. Still a young man at 62, somehow he had made it through forty years working for three branches of the federal government at once... in an office that never officially existed. Turning to the young man next to him, he opened the door and stood aside.
"What's your name again?"
"Franklin, but everybody calls me Frank."
"Well, Frank, welcome to the best fucking job on the planet Earth." Wiseman handed him two typed pages. "Read this, and you'll know all about how the Office of Unusual Carnal Knowledge came to exist.
In 1963, the head of the United States Patent Office was approached by a representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, acting on orders from J. Edgar Hoover himself. In an attempt to "flush out" the blatant sexual perversion running rampant in the Kennedy era, Hoover wanted the Patent Office to establish a small, seemingly innocuous offshoot. The newly designed branch would not operate in Washington, D.C. proper, but would instead be housed across the river in Arlington, in a warehouse leased by the Justice Department for extra space for its voluminous files.
The idea was simple. Take out small ads in the pornographic magazines that would accept such filler. The following is a sample of an ad from the era:
"Take your place in the history of the sexual revolution! The United States Patent Office is now accepting submissions to officially recognize unique and unusual sexual positions and acts with patents, in order provide historical documentation to the inventors and originators of such acts. For a free information kit, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to..."
In 1964, the Office of Unusual Carnal Knowledge (government acronym OFUCK) received 125 requests for information kits, 35 of which were returned. Government agents, using the information obtained, opened investigations into the people named. 15 were arrested on morals charges, while the rest remained under investigation. The F.B.I did not disclose how it had received the information that lead to indictments in the 15 cases it attempted to prosecute.
In 1965, OFUCK produced its first reference guide to "Unique and Exotic Sexual Positions." In it, it recognized the 35 people who had completed registrations kits, along with the sexual positions they claimed to have invented. Each was issued a "special patent," denoted by the letters SP, followed by six digits; for example, SP-000001 was issued to Dick and Donna Clear of Oakland, CA for their innovative (and extensive!) use of yoga in sexual technique. Their position was called "The Parallel Bars," and involved placing the feet behind the head...
Dan pointed to the picture on the wall behind his desk, prominently displayed in the upper-left hand corner. "SP-000001. That's Dick and Donna themselves, photographed by a more-than-willing neighbor. Recipients of the first 'special patent' ever issued by this office."
"Did they get arrested?"
"Dick and Donna? No, son, they weren't doing anything really illegal, other than enjoying each other's bodies. Which back then was bad enough, I suppose. No, the first arrest made in connection with one of these was SP-000015." Dan walked behind his desk and fingered the picture with that number. "Mr. Ivan Comber of Pocatello, Idaho. He was the first to apply on the basis of altering his body, aka his member. Specifically, he attached various objects to his penis, and then used it to pleasure different women. Other than his wife."
"Yes, son... attached. Sewn. Sutured. Pierced, even."
Frank took a moment to digest that. "What was he arrested for?"
"Anal sex. Which was illegal in Pocatello, Idaho in 1965."
Priced at $8 a copy, the first printing of "Unique and Exotic Sexual Positions" sold out by the end of 1965, and was not reprinted. However, its popularity proved immense, as people with a copy of the book passed it around to their friends, who marveled at daring of such a sexually provocative guide.
No one really believed the government could have published the book.
By mid-1966, OFUCK had received 400 requests for information kits, 236 of which were returned.
By early 1967, the F.B.I. had arrested 40 of those applicants on charges such as drugs, tax evasion, conspiracy, and, in a small minority of the cases, sexual perversion.
J. Edgar Hoover considered the program a success, and issued a special citation recognizing Dan Wiseman's accomplishments in "promoting the general well-being of the majority of right-thinking American citizens."
Wiseman proudly pointed to the wall on the right side of his desk, where a gold-framed certificate hung proudly beside a small portrait of former F.B.I Director Hoover.
"It was the only time the office was officially recognized, of course. Hoover himself died not long after that, and, ever since, we've kinda kept under the official government radar. There've been times when we've enjoyed a certain, well... favor in high-government circles..."
When Nixon was elected President in 1968, he was briefed on OFUCK's existence by no less than Hoover himself. Excited by the success of the program, Nixon authorized enough funding for a third printing of "Unique and Exotic Sexual Positions," as well as more prominent ads for the application kits.
In 1969, "Unique and Exotic Sexual Positions" recognized over 1000 of America's strangest and most inventive singles and couples. The book again sold out, this time producing a profit. Those who read it took to calling it the "Guinness Book of World Sex Records." Applications skyrocketed. People were clamoring for more application kits.
The F.B.I. only arrested 5 people in the next two years.
"Of course, that was a true blow to the program," Wiseman continued. "If the F.B.I. wasn't arresting people, then nothing else really mattered. So the decision was made to shut the doors. Except..."
In 1973, a completed application was on Dan Wiseman's desk. In and of itself, there was nothing to the application. It was standard fellatio - man seated, woman kneeling - with nothing really unusual or exotic, not even bestiality or positioning to differentiate it. Wiseman was about to throw it in the trash when...
'No... it couldn't be! He couldn't really be caught on film... with a girl that's obviously under age. He'll lose his House seat for sure... if this picture comes out!'
With nothing to lose but his job, Wiseman picked up the phone... and dialed the office number for a member of the House from the great state of Massachusetts.
"You don't mean..."
"All I'll say is that he became a great supporter of this office, and he also received his own 'special patent' - SP001499. I keep the picture locked in a special file that will never leave this room. Even though he's long dead, I'll always keep my promise to him to never let it out.
Wiseman smiled at the memory of his first meeting with his long-time patron. "When I met him at his office and showed the member his member, the first thing he said was 'Oh, fuck.' And I said 'How did you know?'"
The late 70s and all of the 80s was a time of indifference and neglect for OFUCK. With moralistic Presidents in office, the small offshoot of the Patent Office was unknown to all but a few of the most powerful people in Washington, which was fine with Dan Wiseman. The requests for applications kits kept coming in. And Wiseman kept issuing "special patents." Right up to number SP-015121.
That's when things got a little weird.
"As I remember it, he was a little geeky fella, some sort of big brain at NASA,
who'd always wanted an 'sp' of his own, and had applied for 10 consecutive years without any success. And then, one day, he just walked into my office."
"That's me, sir. What can I do for you?"
The thin, bespectacled man stared uncomfortably at the floor, not saying anything. The silence stretched for so long that Wiseman started to get up from his chair to escort the man out of his office. That's when the young man looked up.
"Will you trade?"
Wiseman was puzzled. "Trade?"
"Trade with me. Give me a 'special patent, ' in exchange for something I've invented."
"Son, you've got the wrong section of the patent office. If you want a patent on an invention..."
"No, I want to give you an invention... in exchange for you granting me the 'sp' number that I've been requesting for the last 10 years."
Now Wiseman was really confused. "You want to trade me an invention... ? What, you're trying to bribe me into issuing you a patent?"
"What's your name, son?"
Wiseman looked him up and down. "Your parents didn't do you any favors, did they? You look like a movie star like I look like Hulk Hogan. Hang on a second."
The OFUCK administrator looked through his rejection files for a moment, quickly finding Calhoun's application.
"Ah, yes, Mr. Calhoun. Yours is a rather unique sexual position, but it has been done. SP-005691, granted to Mr. Rateesh Hayml of New York City, NY. 'Can insert own penis into own rectum.'"
Calhoun's face fell. Shoulders slumped, he turned to leave the office.
"Mr. Calhoun. Just out of curiosity, what type of invention were you going to trade if I did give you your own 'special patent?'"
"A device that freezes people."
"Freezes them? You mean it turns them to ice?"
"No. It turns them into statues. They just stop moving until you let them start again."
The silence stretched on for about a minute, as Wiseman stared right into the younger man's eyes. "Say that again."
Calhoun said it again.
Wiseman thought for a moment. And another. And a third. And then he did what any red-blooded skeptic would do.
He said, "Show me."
"Let me tell you son, that was one heck of a demonstration! He pulled this little gadget from his pocket, about the size of those PDAs everyone is using today. Then he walked outside to loading dock where a set of files was being unloaded for storage. There were two guys on the loading platform. One of them started walking toward us, and Calhoun pointed this little device at him, and pressed a button.
"And, sure as shit, he just stopped moving!
"Now the other guy was a little disturbed by this, and he started running toward us rather quick, and Calhoun points his gadget and presses the button... and the guy's arms and legs stop moving, but his momentum carries him forward, so he pitches forward on his face! So here are these two moving guys, just completely frozen, not even breathing as far as I can tell.
"So I ask Calhoun about it and he says 'Suspended animation. They aren't dead, just kind of stuck, and they will stay that way until I press this other button over here. And it doesn't matter if I leave them that way for minutes, or days. When they wake up, it will be just like no time has passed.'
"Then he starts talking about his work in 'reverse relativity, ' and how he never saw any practical uses for E=MC2, but then he wondered if he could make it so that a 'time envelope' could be projected so that the people inside would be effected like a traveler approaching the speed of light, only in reverse - time would seem to stop for them, while our time would continue normally. And somehow, he had made it work!
"So, I told him to walk with me back to my office, and we'd talk about giving him his 'sp, ' in exchange for the doohickey. Of course, he had to unfreeze the movers first, which he did, and they were a little dazed but fine.
"When I got him back to the office, I told him that, in order to certify his 'special patent, ' he'd have to show me that he could actually perform the act for which he was applying. By stripping and putting his cock up his own ass.
"He balked at that a bit, saying that he hadn't come all the way up from Langley just to have me watch him 'do his thing.' And I told him it was show or no go.
"Damn, he wanted that 'sp' real bad; he hemmed and hawed for a few minutes, then, finally, took off his pants.
"I have to say, I was startled by the size of his penis. It was 20 inches long if an inch! But the most unusual thing about it was how flexible it was when hard! The kid looked like he had an elephant's trunk down there! He just kept bending it back and up, until it was at the entrance to ass. He looked at me like he was finished, and I said 'Uh-uh! You said you could put it inside! Now show me!
So slowly starts to push the head deeper into his ass crack, no lubrication or nothing! And soon, he's got the head just inside, his head thrown back like he was hurting something fierce. And, at that point, I just stopped him."
Frank had been listening raptly as the older man told the story, suddenly realized that Wiseman had stopped talking.
"Stopped him? You mean you told him to stop?"
"Hell, no. I pointed his little gadget at him and stopped him cold. He froze just like that, his head reared back, penis just inside his anus.
"Wanna see?" Wiseman gestured to the door to the left of his desk.
Nodding slowly, the young man followed Wiseman into the next room.
Where a tall, pale, bespectacled young man stood frozen, his penis stuck up his rear.
And behind him, other men and women stood in various sexual positions, filling the entire room.
Wiseman smiled like a proud father, and gestured around the room. "Now, ain't this a helluva lot better than still pictures?"
The young man gaped for a little while, then walked over to the figure that was very obviously "Rory Calhoun."
"Can I... ?"
"Touch him? Yeah, son, he ain't going to bite you. Go ahead."
The young man slowly reached out and touched the arm of the frozen scientist. Then he gripped the arm. Then he pushed on it. The figure didn't move an inch.
Looking down, he saw something on the frozen man's leg. Something written on the man's leg.
Wiseman grinned when he saw where the young man was looking. "Got a tattoo artist friend who comes in about three times a year and marks them for me. That way they've got their 'special patents' permanently." He gripped the arm of the Calhoun figure and laughed. "I told Mr. Calhoun I'd give him a 'special patent' if he lived up to his side of the bargain, and I think I kept my word!"
Wiseman took Frank by the arm and started leading him around the room.
"Surprisingly, no one ever came looking for that kid. He apparently had no close friends, no girlfriend. He just disappeared and no one even seemed to care."
Franklin's jaw hung open as they walked past a woman being taken from behind by a man who apparently had been born with a penis that was split in two. "But... you're telling me these are all real people? Applicants for special patents?"
"That's right son. All frozen by me, right there in my office, as they tried to persuade me to give them an 'SP' of their very own."
"But where do they all come from?"
"Well, that's where the story of OFUCK takes another turn..."
In 1988, any applicant under consideration by OFUCK received the following brief letter:
As the number of special patents issued by this office has grown to levels unimagined when it was first founded in 1963, it has become necessary for us to require demonstrations of any and all sexual positions or techniques that are pending certification. Therefore, in order to issue you the special patent that you have requested, it will be necessary for you to schedule a person interview at our office between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM, Monday through Thursday. Please be prepared to demonstrate the activity for which you wish to receive a special patent on that date. Thank you for your interest.