Abbreviating Ernie

Abbreviating ErnieWhen Dr. Ernest Haas, a cross-dressing Schenectady, New York, urologist, slips into a size 8 beige knit dress, handcuffs his Prozac addicted wife Audrey to their stove, and expires in the act of making love to her, it creates serious problems for everyone involved. Especially for Audrey. Does she go down with the ship in the ultimate whither-thou-goest gesture? Or does she become proactive and resort to her Sunbeam Multi-purpose Carving Utensil to sever her ties with her late husband?

So begins the most controversial domestic violence case in the history of upstate New York. The political correctness of spousal dismemberment is an issue that polarizes women and anti-vivisectionists alike. Audrey’s trial becomes an international cause celebre exploited by everyone from Feminists to Forensic Urologists.

The story is populated by Lefcourt’s usual deliciously zany characters — a Schenectady police detective with a Forget-It-Jake-It’s-Chinatown concern for Ernie Hass’s missing penis, a deaf-mute 15/16ths Mohawk Indian burglar hooked on motivational tapes, an intrepid People Magazine writer with a fondness for Doestoyevsky and vodka, a gorgeous Asian Hard Copy reporter who flagellates herself in a bathtub full of lilac petals, and a vindictive Rottweiler with his own agenda.

As in The Deal, The Dreyfus Affair and Di And I, Peter Lefcourt’s writing is not just hilariously funny and deadon true but romantic and sexy as well. There is at least one love scene that you may never recover from. As well as enough laugh-out-loud moments to keep you from reading this book in bed with anyone trying to get a good night’s sleep.

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