Book Review: Ben Slayton #5

Ben Slayton: T-Man or He-Man?

By Nick Slosser


The year is 1982. Terrorist plots riddle the front pages of newspapers across the globe: The 15 May Organization detonates a bomb on Pan Am Flight 830. The Red Brigade kidnaps U.S. Brig. Gen. Dozier and holds him captive 42 days. Carlos the Jackal instigates numerous bombings and a rocket attack on the Superphénix nuclear power station. At such a time the world needs a hero…a hero like Ben Slayton, T-Man.

Apparently 1982 is a time when treason comes cheap: a mere $10,000 will buy a U.S. Senator, such as Willard Parfrey (even though in 1982, U.S. Senators pulled down salaries of $69,800). For ten-grand Parfrey will deliver to known terrorists the travel itinerary of the President of the United States. The only possible reason for wanting this information is assassination, and the Senator knows it. Suffering doubts, Parfrey reminds himself that “the present Administration was unable to move effectively against inflation, social disparity, and economic strife,” and comprise “a bunch of mealy-mouthed, candy-ass bureaucrats.” Which is enough to rationalize selling out his country and scampering off “to Rio de Janeiro with a wallet bulging with C-notes.”

Of course, Parfrey will never get to Rio, because he’s thrown in with terrorists of the most venomous breed: “Right-wingers,” Slayton affirms, “completely bananas.” Like Colonel Kurtz, these ex-Special Forces men have gone off the reservation to carry out their own radical campaign and adhere to no recognizable morality. These are Slayton’s opponents in a game where Death holds all the cards. But the seasoned T-Man is no babe-in-the-woods. So when Bambi, a streetwalker with everything to lose, joins Slayton and gets herself brutally murdered, the icy-veined super-agent has only this to say: “Just another casualty of war, I guess.”

And make no mistake, war has been declared. Using a highly specialized explosive device, the terrorists stamp their first message on the back of Lincoln’s statue, calling for “all-out revolution without partial solutions or constructive change”.

To further demonstrate our nation’s impotence, the terrorists strike America right in the metaphoric groin: the Washington Monument. But that very display of alpha-masculinity highlights the terrorists’ true weakness: they are lesser men; their pseudo-machismo falls flat.

While the terrorists are busy assaulting a symbolic phallus, Ben Slayton gets busy with his actual phallus on one gorgeous, blonde reporter named Wilma Christian, as if warming up for the contest to follow. “Penetrating her from the rear while she lay face down, panting…Slayton propelled her slowly around the bed in a circle until they both collapsed in a pile of sweating, satisfied flesh and savaged bedding.” Because that’s how a real man loves.

The year is 1982. While the world hosts its first International Day of Peace, terrorists run amok. Not only does the world need a hero, but more importantly, that hero needs to be macho…truly macho…like Ben Slayton, T-Man.

Nick Slosser is a writer. However, he is not a man who returns his emails promptly, so I am forced to write this bio for him. Um, he writes short stories and is definitely working on a novel, because I’ve heard him talk about it. He seems like more of a dog person than a cat person, but that might be me projecting. He likes pizza.

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