“It’s not every day that someone considers the prospect of getting a picture of my asshole to be great news,” Mary Elizabeth Williams told me. “You must be a remarkably cheerful person.”

Maybe I am. Or maybe I’m just sincerely curious about what a woman who regularly writes for places like The New York Times and New York Observer, and penned a “real estate memoir” called Location Location, Location (published by Simon & Schuster in 2008) might imagine her asshole looks like. And here’s what she showed me.


Mary used a Bic pen and copier paper to render her cri de coeur. She’s what is known as a “day painter,” which means the whole thing took about thirty seconds. She chose to include text with her illustration because, as she explained, “I felt that an image alone couldn’t appropriately convey how tight my sphincter really is.”