In honor of my friend, Philip the Foole, who died suddenly this past weekend.
For those (probably most) of you who didn’t know him, PtF was one of the grand old men of the BDSM scene. He was an internet perv before most people knew there was any such thing as an internet. He was witty, funny, fierce, amazing, supportive, affectionate, and would never hesitate to laugh at your ass, or give you a swift kick in it if you needed one.
He leaves behind his beloved wife, Lady Foole; his son, the Mini-Fruitbat; and many adoring fans and play-pals.
I first “met” PtF when I joined SSBB (sadly, not at all what it was back in the day) in the summer of 2001. I had found SSBB through John Warren (author of The Loving Dominant). I lurked for awhile, and when I finally de-lurked, two of the first people who welcomed me were John Warren, and the then-unknown (to me, anyway) absurdist known as Philip the Foole.
Phil was SSBB’s resident jester. He always led the welcoming committee, and had a way of making everyone feel that they belonged, even if they were stupid newbies (at least, as long as they were trying to stop being stupid 🙂 ).
Many of SSBB’s most well-known memes originated with or centered around Phil, including FooleCo’s Black Labs, the secret headquarters in Monserrat, and the Two Big Mean Leatherdykes Named Vito.
His sig lines, known collectively as the Ancient Kung Foole Proverbs, were gems of philosophy, wit, and wisdom. I remember the sheer thrill when he picked one of my sig lines to add to his Proverbs. There is nothing like acceptance from one of the inner circle of the BDSM world to make you feel like you have ARRIVED, baby!
The Proverbs were collected by Spectrum and archived at Magenta.com for many years; now they’ve been moved to Spectrum’s FetLife wall, and they are worth checking out, all of them. Really. Trust me on this. (Folks who are not on FetLife can see them here). My own contribution is there, attributed to my prior incarnation as merwench.
The Inner Circle of BDSM was originally defined as “people who know people who know Davo.” If you had met Davo personally, you had a Davo Number of 1. If you knew someone who had met Davo, you had a Davo Number of 2. Likewise, if you had met PtF in meatlife, you had a PtF Number of 1. I had a PtF Number of 1, which automatically gave me a Davo Number of 2. Sweet!
I earned both those numbers when I met Phil IRL at a Halloween munch and play party in Houston. He had come down to do a demonstration, and I got to be his crash test dummy for a part of the demonstration on take downs and spanking positions. As far as I was concerned, that was the night that I became a real, official Kinkster.
It was also the night that I confirmed that Phil was, in fact, a great fucking guy. Down to earth, friendly, welcoming, happy to share the vast stores of BDSM knowledge he’d accumulated over the years, and a short, round bear of a guy with a great hug.
As the news of his passing spread today, and we faced our shock and sadness, many of his Followers shared one of his most poignant–and, today at least, most appropriate–Ancient Kung Foole Proverbs. And because it is so very, very Phil, I’m going to share it too.
Goodbye, Phil. I will miss knowing that you are in the world.For the samurai to learn, There’s one thing only. One last thing. To face death unflinching. He did that. – Ancient Kung Foole Saying