Frequently Asked Questions about "Hypertext"

1. What is “Hypertext”?

2. What are the Richards Criteria?

3. Who are you?

4. What is the Popular Interpretation?

5. And the Texas/Bush School?

6. Can you summarize the Technosexual Reading?

7. How about the Richards Posttranssexual Rereading?

8. What's the story with the fan fiction and the double murder?

9. Who am I?


3. Who are you?

Richard Alan Holeton, volunteer FAQ editor and publisher of HerHim.org. Let me thank those who have expressed your appreciation for my humble contributions to the “Hypertext” fan community or the sacrifices I’ve made by mutating from author to editor (less dramatic but still perhaps not unlike Alan Richardson’s own transformations from poet to critic, or man to woman, FAQ #7 etc.). Others have suggested, less generously, that I created HerHim.org (per HTTP pretext) merely to self-publish my “Hypertext” fan fiction story “Another Day at the Office,” after it was rejected at all the existing venues. Not so.

In “Another Day at the Office,” Dick A. Hellton, a hotly handsome computer security middle manager, is the true author of both “Hypertext” the poem and “Frequently Asked Questions about ‘Hypertext’” the FAQ. One day at work, Dick Hellton's colleague Eric Taylor (ET, misread by Ellen Richards as a urinating alien in FAQ #4, reappropriated by critic Richard Allman in FAQ #6, and suspected of murder in FAQ #8) comes out as a transsexual when he reappears from a leave of absence, cheeks pockmarked from electrolysis treatments, as Erica Taylor.

Dick finds it impossible to look Erica in the eye (Peer here: Eye thy eyer) and not see Eric, the biological man with the big hairy hands and the broad shoulders and the Dick Tracy mug, the deep-voiced man who had quaffed brewskies with him and his fan-fiction buddies Jim Morrison and Joseph Conrad (FAQ #4) after work. And since Erica is still preoperative, Dick cannot stop picturing her marginalized male organs tucked there under the dresses or strapped between her legs when she wears pants.

He recalls the drunken night (“Try rye”), from his wild single days, when he'd followed home a whorishly-made up barfly (pretty tree expert) and made out with her slobberingly, let her fondle him, then slid his hand down her pants to find something solid instead of soft, like a hard plastic sanitary pad strapped over her crotch.

Her hand stopped his (“What is it?” “Nothing.” “Nothing?” “You can't go down there.”).

pantyhose image

What he can't forget is the surprise of his fingers hitting that protective shell, like some incongruous female athletic cup, covering what must've been the preoperative penis or transitional organs (no balls?) of a transsexual (“Tether T-Rex yet?”)—then, his sudden sick feeling and quick exit.

He knows it's not fair to heap these feelings onto Erica Taylor and is only dimly aware of doing so. Dick's cringing and confusion exacerbate his own crossdressing fantasies, and one night while composing FAQ #8 he dons devoted and shapely wife Seven of Nine's (Star Trek: Voyager) sheer black pantyhose from her lingerie drawer (Exert petty hex).

Admiring the nylon-spandex tent of his arousal (pet yer petter), Seven of Nine is so turned on that she persuades their housekeeper, Robot-Maria (Metropolis, FAQ #6, FAQ #7), to strap on her metal breastplate and join them in a ménage a trois (“Trey, eh Tex? Tee-hee!”), for which the manly Hellton performs magnificently.

Maria-Seven collage image

The story leaves Dick Hellton poised on the brink of self-discovery and invention (i.e., pre-Pyrex), as it leaves Erica Taylor in genital limbo. Thus in “Another Day at the Office” Eric/a Taylor—hopelessly confused in Hellton's mind with an anonymous trans-waif from his sleazy past—is the unintended inspiration for the entire FAQ, the real-life, electrolysis-scarred face that launched 6000 words