Gail Rubin

Another spinoff from a posting in progress on the playful sexual slang trouser trout for penis (on an earlier spinoff, about the gay porn flick Trouser Trout, see my 8/7 posting “Melecio / Biaggi”). This time it’s about  the antic book A Girl’s Pocket Guide to Trouser Trout: Reflections on Dating and Fly-Fishing, by Gail Rubin:

This posting isn’t about the content of the book — that’s to come in the main posting — but about the identity of the author, something that bears not at all on the sexual slang compound.

Gail Rubin is a fairly common name, so it’s no surprise that a number of noteworthy people have or have had the name. It would be easy for distinct Gail Rubins to get confused. There is, for instance, a noted photographer of that name, but she died in 1978, so she’s irrelevant to the trouser trout book.

Then, it turns out to be easy for people to get different spellings — Gail or Gayle, Rubin or Ruben — confused, and especially easy for automatic search engines to do so (since they specialize in approximations). So searching on Google or Amazon for Gail Rubin will bring you (in addition to other things) links to material on the influential sex theorist Gayle Rubin. A fascinating character (check out her 2011 sampler book, Deviations: A Gayle Rubin Reader), and an acquaintance of mine, so I can assure you that she has nothing to do with the man-trolling trout fishing guide, or with the works of “death educator” Gail Rubin, CT (Certified Thanatologist — I am not making this up, though it giggle-reminds me of Professor H.M. Wogglebug, T.E. (a Highly Magnified & Thoroughly Educated Wogglebug) of the Land of Oz).

The question is then whether Gail Rubin, MT (Man-Troutfisher) and Gail Rubin, CT are two distinct people — united only by the identity of name — or the same person; Amazon treats them as one, but that could just be a confusion on Amazon’s part. Evidence?

The Girl’s Guide is made available by AuthorHouse, a self-publishing company, so the book’s on-line synopsis and brief author bio were surely written by the author herself. The bio:

About the Author: Gail Rubin, a public relations professional, is a trouser trout angling expert. During her 30-year angling career, she dated many swell trouser trout as well as her share of blowfish, crabs and urchins. Ms. Rubin knows, from personal experience, what puts the “ick” in ichthyology. First married in 1983, she resumed trolling following a 1988 divorce. After years of casting for a keeper, she landed her trophy trout and married again in December 2000.

At first, p.r. work and death education look like seriously divergent occupations, but then if you look at CT’s web pages, you see slickly crafted publications and public seminars, literally selling her ideas (for a price) on preparing for death: p.r. work. So CT = MT is not such a crazy idea. In fact, CF’s LinkedIn page leads with the Doyenne of Death™ stuff, but then adds:

She also has more than 25 years experience conducting successful public relations campaigns on behalf of a wide range of national and New Mexico clients [AZ: she lives in Albuquerque] in the areas of education, entertainment, healthcare and economic development. Before becoming a PR and event planning professional, she was a TV producer with C-SPAN, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network.

Finally, on the Gail Rubin page, this final note:

Earlier in her writing career, she wrote A Girl’s Pocket Guide to Trouser Trout: Reflections on Dating and Fly-Fishing.

End of that story.

A bit of weirdness. One way stop in my explorations of the Pocket Guide was at the Google Books site for the book, where I found this utterly baffling note:

Author’s Note

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt died quietly on April 12, 1945, the lives of millions were forfeited. Had he lived, it is a certainty that Dean Acheson would never have risen from deserved obscurity to become Secretary of State.

Ineptitude and error caused the death and dislocation of millions. Korea and Vietnam were needless tragedies. That is part of what this work is about.

Arrogant, self-righteous men cause war and corporals pay for it. That is part of what this work is about.

This is the story of boys forced to grow up too soon and become battlefield legends. Live heroes are often made by the sacrifice of dead ones. That is part of what this work is about.

This is the story of our black budget, the hidden government, the shadowy figures who lurk in the anterooms of power, and are unanswerable to anyone. That is part of what this work is about.

-Dean Will Ross

Political history and moral outrage are totally unlike anything I’ve seen from Gail Rubin’s pen, so I have absolutely no idea what book this blurb is for (there are tons of books about trout fishing and fly-fishing, but none seem to veer into needless war deaths caused by arrogant men). My attempt to search on quotations from the blurb yielded nothing. Nor did I find anything relevant about someone named Dean Will Ross or about a college dean named Will Ross.

Oh yes: surely not Richard Brautigan’s rambling novella Trout Fishing in America (written in 1961, published in 1967), despite the title and Brautigan’s countercultural stance.



2 Responses to “Gail Rubin”

  1. John Baker Says:

    Fascinating stuff, Arnold, and some nice detective work. I would not have guessed that the man-troutfisher and the thanatologist would be the same person.

    It looks like the mystery blurb refers to the novel Just a Soldier, by Dean Ross, also available from AuthorHouse, although the version on Amazon is from 1st Book Library. I don’t know if the two publishers are connected.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Thanks for *your* detective work. (You are one of a small group of readers who help me find things when I exhaust my resources.)

      As for AuthorHouse and 1st Books, in my rooting around on the Gail Rubins, I had already discovered that AuthorHouse is a just a renaming of the 1st Books / 1stBooks company. (Possibly freshly incorporated under the new name, but it’s the same enterprise.)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: