An unaired episode of The Food Network’s “Chopped!”

gz

(A horror story about The Food Network.)

I’m chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s personal espresso maker and latte-foam artist. Yes, that’s a real job. With benefits, in fact. Great health and dental.

One of the perks of my occupation, aside from hanging out with GZ and getting to eat many of my weekly meals at his outstanding restaurant, The Lamb’s Club, is the access I enjoy at The Food Network’s studios and associated properties.

GZ is a pretty big deal over there, which I’m sure you know if you’ve watched the network for more than a few hours. Aside from Chopped!, which is his best-known show, he’s building a new audience with the Saturday morning feature, The Kitchen. His personality fits so well with whatever he’s in, though, and it’s just great to be a part of it.

I’m totally fanboying right now. Sorry. I hope that doesn’t sound disrespectful in the face of what happened.

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Maria’s Extra-Credit Assignment

slug

When I was in college, I dated a biologist named Maria. Well, a biology undergraduate. She was a lot of fun, albeit slightly odd. Being a bit odd myself, we hit it off right away. Our first date lasted almost 12 hours – the entirety of which was spent talking as we sipped terrible coffee in a 24-hour diner.

Maria told me she wanted to focus on entomology after undergrad, then started to regale me with passionate stories about the local banana slug.

I was familiar with the banana slug. Everyone on campus was. They have an unfortunate habit of falling out of trees and landing on the heads of unsuspecting students and faculty. Being around 8” long and remarkably disgusting, having one plop on one’s head is pretty close to a living nightmare. My first month on campus, one missed me by inches and splattered on the concrete. I was picking slug out from between my shoelaces for a week.

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Sex in the Cemetery

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My girlfriend and I were crossing through a graveyard when she abruptly stopped and grabbed my arm. She grinned. I knew that grin.

 

“Here? In a cemetery?,” I asked. It felt a little weird. Disrespectful, too.

 

“Mmhmm,” she mewled, and pulled off her shirt.

 

I looked around. It was obvious we were alone. Even though it’d stopped raining an hour earlier, it was still misty and cool. New England autumn was in full effect. The ground was covered in dead leaves. The place looked creepy.

 

“We’re gonna get soaked,” I complained, but I started taking off my pants.

 

“I already am,” she whispered. I thought about making a joke and telling her that she should’ve brought an umbrella, but I figured it wasn’t the time or place.

 

We did what we apparently needed to do. She seemed to enjoy it, at least. Afterward, I was trying to pick leaves and grass off and out of myself while she grabbed our clothes off the headstone.

 

“Recognize the name?,” she asked.

 

“Whose name?”

 

She pointed. My eyes widened.

 

“Rudolph Jans Mendelson is fucking buried here?!,” I exclaimed. She grinned.

 

“I wish I could’ve met him,” she complained.

 

“Um, you know he would’ve killed you, right? Like the others?”

 

“No, I don’t think so. We would’ve gotten along just fine.” Again, she grinned. “I probably could’ve given him a reason or two to keep me alive.” She grabbed my crotch, as if I didn’t get what she was talking about.

 

The late afternoon dimness was giving way to full dark. Fog joined the mist and it crept down the hill into the cemetery like a shroud. My girlfriend looked enthralled.

 

“I’m getting chilly,” I told her. “It’s probably time we head back.”

 

“Hang on a minute, let me just take this all in.” She pulled her phone out of her pocket and started snapping pictures of the headstone. “I want everyone to see where we were.”

 

She got a couple shots, then gave me the phone to hold. Thick, cold raindrops began to fall. “Yeah, that’s probably our cue to leave,” I insisted, and started to walk away.

 

While I was pulling my sweatshirt over my head, I heard her gasp, then moan. “What’s wro–,” I started to say, but then felt the blood drain from my head as I saw what was causing her to make those sounds.

 

A hand – a cracked, skeletal hand – had burst from the ground and was gripping her ankle. I shouted and grabbed her arm, but she pulled away. Blood wept through her denim as the hand gripped ever tighter, and after a second, I heard the bone crack.

 

She didn’t cry out, though. Her face took on an expression of intense discomfort, but she refused to shout. I didn’t refuse. I yelled and kicked at the hand as profound horror forced adrenaline through my body.

 

Again, I tried to grab her arms. She struggled, but I held tight. I pulled as hard as I could. As I did, a hideous rotting corpse was dragged from its grave. Rudolph Jans Mendelson.

 

“Let me go!,” she finally screamed. “Let me go!”

 

I was sobbing now and expending all the effort I could to pull her away from the corpse. His misshapen head seethed with maggots and his eyes and tongue bulged out like some benthic atrocities that had never been exposed to light.

 

“Miiiiiiiiiine,” he groaned, and his other hand reached up and grabbed her back; his nails sinking into the flesh and using it to pull. “Miiiiiine!”

 

“Let me go, let me go, let me go!,” she continued to scream. My eyes were closed now as I pulled with singular purpose. I felt teeth sinking into my arm and my eyes flew open as I shouted with pain.

 

In that moment of agony and surprise, my grip loosened. My girlfriend fell back into Mendelson’s grip and he squeezed her against his rotting, pulpy body. His swollen tongue passed over her neck and face. She wasn’t struggling anymore. She just watched me and watched my reaction. Mendelson squeezed harder and I heard his ribs splinter as my girlfriend’s body was pulled inside.

 

“Thank you for helping me be with him,” she said to me, as she was drawn deeper into his putrid carcass. “I always knew we’d be perfect together.”

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A hard-learned lesson about body hair removal.

wax

My trouble started when I realized I was out of razorblades and waxing supplies and my crotch looked like the Amazon rainforest before the mechanization of the logging industry. My date was due to arrive in half an hour. So, I resorted something unconventional. Something, I now realize, was not the best idea.

I’m going to give a little backstory first. I’m not ashamed to say I enjoy sex. The widespread belief that a woman should suppress her sex drive because society finds it “improper” has always disgusted me. Sex is great. Safe sex is wonderful. I respect myself and I respect the men I sleep with. All I ask is that I receive the same respect in return. It’s just two people making each other happy.

Now, I’ve known this since I was fifteen. Two decades of positive experiences have only strengthened my feelings on the subject. That said, there are a few personal responsibilities I feel I have, such as keeping current with the shaving trends. I’m not a huge fan of the concept behind shaving myself, to be honest. If you think about it, it’s actually kind of creepy, but I’ll still admit I enjoy the sensation of hairlessness. I guess it’s a tradeoff.

I prefer to shave, but I’ve waxed myself a lot, too. I have to be careful, though, because I’m allergic to some of the waxes on the market. I don’t know what particular chemical or fragrance it is that causes the irritation, but the itchy rash it produces keeps the downstairs out of business for over a week while it clears up. No one wants to pull off a thong and see that staring them in the face.

So, back to the other day. I found something in the apartment I thought would work like wax, so I tried it out. It hurt like hell and was an absolute bitch to wash off, but it did the job. My date arrived when he said he would. We hit it off at dinner and we ended up back at my apartment, where we both managed to achieve orgasm despite being so full from our meals that we were like two beached whales slapping against one another. Since we both had to get up early the next morning, we said our goodnights and he went home.

The itching woke me up before dawn. It started with my armpits, but then moved to my, if I may use the medical terms, box and asshole. I got out of bed and went into the bathroom. The mirror confirmed my assumption: that damn allergic reaction again. Welts were forming in extremely sensitive areas and it looked like I was already getting a bunch of ingrown hairs. I braced myself and doused the affected areas in rubbing alcohol, hoping none of the ingrowns would get infected. I showered and scrubbed, then went back to bed. I still itched.

When I got up to shower, the swelling looked pretty nasty and the ingrowns, despite my best efforts, were starting to get whiteheads. I got up and left for work. I sat in my cubicle feeling utterly miserable. The itching was way worse than any of the reactions I’d had before. When I got up to use the bathroom, I checked the damage.

I almost threw up. A nearly perfect triangle of densely-clustered whiteheads occupied the entire area I’d waxed. Even worse, and this is going to be gross but there’s no real way to talk around it, they’d been popping the whole time I was sitting at my desk. My underwear was soaked.

After cleaning myself up as best I could, I talked to my boss and told her I needed to leave early. She said it was no problem, so I left and headed straight to the walk-in clinic.

I lucked out and got seen right away. The doctor raised her eyebrows to the ceiling when she saw the reaction I was having, but quickly reassured me that she sees people who get skin irritation from hair removal all the time. She gave me some kind of ointment to rub on it twice a day and said if it doesn’t improve in a week, she’d give me something stronger.

I cancelled the date I had with the nice guy from the other night. I felt pretty bad, but he was understanding. He said was that he had to go on a business trip the next day and would be gone for a week. I told him that I looked forward to his return, assuming a week from then I’d be in the clear.

Spoiler: I wasn’t.

I applied the ointment diligently for a few days and most of the whiteheads stopped appearing. The swelling, though, persisted. Same with the itching. My armpits weren’t particularly bad, but my, well, perineum, and the surrounding area, was a disaster area. It was super swollen and it hurt to walk and use the bathroom.

The other night, six days after I’d seen the doctor, the itching turned to flat-out pain. It wasn’t unbearable, and if it had been, I would’ve gone to the emergency room right away, but it was enough to keep me tossing and turning in bed. The clinic started seeing patients at 6am and I was planning to be the first person there when the doors opened.

As the night dragged on, I felt steadily-intensifying pressure on the affected area. It got bad. I scratched through my pajamas and felt small pops under my fingernails. When I pulled my hand away, my fingers were wet. I gagged. Off to the shower I went.

Because I like you guys, I’m not going to be as graphic as I could be. However, I can assure you this will be extraordinarily unpleasant to read. Before I jumped in the shower, I used my phone to take a quick picture of my perineal area. No, I won’t share it with you. But my God, I wish I hadn’t seen it. The small whiteheads in the area had clustered into a few very large ones. They bulged out of the skin almost half an inch and I knew right away that they were the cause of the pressure I was feeling.

I deleted the picture, got in the shower, and squeezed the biggest one as hard as I could. Its contents splattered on the floor of the bathtub like a pasty spitball. I watched as the water washed away the gooey parts. I bent down to look at what remained, screamed at the top of my lungs, threw on my clothes, and drove myself to the hospital.

Don’t worry, I’m going to be fine. I got to speak to a lot of specialists, though; lots of smart doctors whose curiosity was obvious. They kept me there for a few hours and cleaned up my crotch and armpits pretty thoroughly. Then I was discharged with a bunch of medications and tasked to share a bit of hard-learned advice. So here it is!

Always make sure the skin you’re about to remove hair from is clean. Be mindful of the sharpness of your razor when shaving, and if waxing, do your best to avoid any chemicals you might be sensitive to. Stay away from depilatory products that haven’t been evaluated by the FDA. This includes, but is not limited to, creams, lasers, and waxes.

Further, homemade depilatory products are discouraged. That was my mistake. Well, one of two. No one should ever, ever use flypaper for hair removal, especially flypaper that’s not right out of the box. This is because no matter how clean it looks or how meticulously you picked the flies out of their sticky confines, they may leave pieces behind. In my case, those pieces were eggs.

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The reason why I don’t pick up hitchhikers anymore is also the reason why I need a new car.

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Keep in mind, I’d never even considered giving a ride to a stranger before. All my life, I’d been told that’s how you get killed. “Only crazies hitchhike,” they’d say. “They’ll cut your throat and steal your car and you’ll be dead in a ditch.”

I didn’t want to die in a ditch. And I liked my car. But after I’d left the gas station and I saw the poor guy sitting in the gutter on the I-95 onramp, feebly holding out his thumb, I made my choice. I’d be a good samaritan.

The storm in the distance looked pretty threatening. If I let that guy sit there, he’d have to bear the brunt of it. From the looks of him, he didn’t appear to be able to bear much at all. I pulled over to the side and rolled down the window.

“Where you looking to go?,” I asked him.

“Baltimore,” he replied. His voice was stronger than his sickly body had suggested, and that gave me pause. I looked him over again. Dirty jeans, baggy red t-shirt. No bag, no bulges in his pockets. I sighed.

“I can get you as far as Philly.” He nodded. “Hop in,” I told him, unlocking the door.

In he hopped.

“I’m Colin,” I said.

“Frank.”

We didn’t talk much for the first few miles, aside from me asking if he wanted some of the Fritos I had left from my lunch stop in Rhode Island. He took them and crunched away as I drove. He caught me studying him out of the corner of my eye a few times, but he didn’t say anything.

As the miles ticked away and rain started hitting the windshield, Frank fell asleep. The open bag of Fritos was on his lap. I wanted a couple, but didn’t want him to wake up thinking I was trying to grab his dick. I had absolutely no interest in his dick.

Frank snored like an orgasming Pratt and Whitney jet engine. In the confines of the car, since I had to close the windows once the rain had started, I noticed Frank had an unpleasant odor. Nothing overwhelming, but still obvious.

Over his snore, his stomach growled and burbled. “Gross,” I thought. Lightning flashed and wind buffeted the side of the car. The traffic ahead of us slowed to a crawl.

One of the annoying things about my car is the climate control only works properly when the car is moving. God knows why. The air conditioning we were enjoying up to that point cut out, and hot air started to blow out of the vents. The windshield began to fog up.

I cracked my window, hoping the outside air might clear the windshield. It did a bit, but visibility was terrible. The rain was heavy and my wipers weren’t doing a good job. All I could see was fog and the brake lights of the cars stopped in front of me. Frank’s stomach kept gurgling. I looked over. He was awake, staring straight ahead.

“You okay buddy,?” I asked. No response. He just stared at the fog-shrouded glass of the windshield. The smell I’d noticed before had intensified.

“Hey, Frank, what’s going on? You sick?”

Still nothing. Thick, humid air poured from the car’s vents despite the AC being set to max. Rain and small chunks of hail pelted the choked highway.

Frank retched. “Shit,” I said, and I frantically reached in the backseat for a bag or bucket or anything that might catch what I thought was about to come blasting out of my companion. My hand settled on one of the canvas shopping bags I used at Whole Foods. “God damn it,” I mumbled, as I placed my favorite shopping bag on Frank’s lap.

He moaned and turned to look at me, his eyes swimming back and forth with what I knew had to be intense nausea.

“Frank, please open the door and puke on the road or at least use the bag. I’m begging you.”

More silence punctuated by gurgling and retching. A boom of thunder caused us both to jump. For Frank, that was all it took. He didn’t open the door. And he didn’t aim for the bag.

A heavy wave of yellow vomit exploded out of his mouth and splashed against the windshield. I screamed. Another projectile torrent erupted from the man, dousing the ceiling, the dashboard, and the center console.

“Get out!,” I shrieked, the smell of the stomach contents invading my nose and threatening to force my own contribution to the mess. Frank sat back with his head down, pasty slime drooling from his mouth into the Fritos bag in his lap.

Cars behind me were leaning on their horns. The traffic in front of us had cleared. I poked at the hideousness on the console to turn on my emergency blinkers, then steered onto the median. On my right, I heard Frank choking. I got out of the car and stood in the rain, watching him. If you told me the following 30 seconds actually lasted 3 hours, I would’ve told you you were way off. It felt like a day.

Frank’s throat bulged as something was forced upward and into his mouth. I saw the something a second later. A colossal, writhing centipede as thick as my wrist began sliding out, its passage eased by the vile lubrication from minutes before. Inch after inch, foot after foot crawled out until it was free. It skittered under the passenger seat.

I’d already dialed the “9” in “911” when the solid matter entombed in his vomit began to move. Frank groaned and I distinctly heard him mutter, “not again.” As the rain soaked me, I watched as small centipedes crawled through the sludge all over the car, leaving trails as they went.

My dialing complete, I waited through seven rings before a dispatcher answered. As I told her about the medical emergency and tried to estimate where we were on the interstate, Frank abruptly opened the passenger-side door and stood on the side of the highway. He was gripping another massive centipede and pulling it out of his throat. I watched it bite his hand over and over until its two-foot length was exposed. Frank flung it into the dirt.

“Sorry about your car, man,” Frank called over the sound of rain and traffic. “I haven’t had an episode since I was a kid.”

I was speechless. I just looked at him as he walked down the side of the median, the torrential rain washing his clothes of the filth and bugs. And as centipedes crawled throughout my car and ropes of stomach contents dripped from its ceiling, Frank stuck out his thumb to flag down another potential ride to Baltimore.

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My erection lasted longer than four hours – and I didn’t call a doctor

viagra

(A horror story about drugs.)

I’ll just start by saying I didn’t have health insurance. Couldn’t afford it.

Anyway, when I started dating Marie, I was worried our age difference would be a problem. So, before our third date, when I figured things might get physical, I asked my buddy if he’d let me have one of his erectile dysfunction pills. He obliged.

The date went wonderfully. The time in my apartment afterward went even better. I’ll keep it classy and just say she was impressed by more than just my huge aquarium. That’s not a euphemism, by the way; I have a really cool aquarium. Of course, if I’d gotten rid of it after Mom died, I probably could’ve afforded health insurance. But I’m getting off topic.

As the night came to a close and Marie was saying goodbye because she had to work early, I realized I was still, well, aroused. For lack of a better term, my cock was harder than trying to put a dry sock on a wet foot. Marie, to her credit, took it as a compliment. She left, and I was alone. Alone with it.

I did what I could to bring it down, and yes, that means what you think it does. A half hour and 300 porn clips later, there was another successful firing. I cleaned up and went to make something to eat.

The image of a 44 year-old man sporting a turgid erection as he makes a sandwich is not one I’d like you to hold on to, but for the purposes of this story, it’s kinda important. So I’m sorry about that. But as the sandwich was built, I became increasingly aware that I might be having a legitimate medical issue. I stood in the kitchen, trying to eat, but I had a hard time focusing on the the pastrami. A different meat was on my mind.

With a growing sense of concern, I waddled back to my computer desk. Here’s a tip: if you ever want to feel disgusted, do a search for “priapism.” Even better, do a search for “untreated priapism.” You’ll be regaled with images of poor guys who, for whatever reason, had erections that wouldn’t go down. Over time, the blood trapped in there went bad, and the organ began to rot. It turns purple, then black. The sufferer not only can lose his dick, but could die of blood poisoning if all that nasty stuff goes into his bloodstream.

I didn’t want to lose my dick. I didn’t want to die. But I also didn’t want to have to declare bankruptcy. As much as I was terrified of my condition, I simply couldn’t afford to go to the ER. So, after more Googling, I realized what I had to do.

Mom died in 2014. She was diabetic. I’d gotten rid of most of her medical stuff, but I still had some. Of those “some,” one thing was relevant to this particular story. A needle. Yes. And again, I’m sorry.

I sterilized the head of my penis with some rubbing alcohol, and before I could lose my nerve, I stuck it in and pulled on the plunger. Having my hog sucked had never been so painful.

The hypodermic needle filled with dick blood. When it was full, it was obvious the head gotten smaller. I squirted the blood down the sink, then did it twice more. When all was said and done, my soggy, Swiss-cheesed glans sat at the end of my shaft like a beanie on the tip of a pool cue.

The shaft was a major problem. Besides the pain in my glans from the needle marks, the shaft itself ached terribly. I’d been about seven hours since Marie and I had started fooling around. Everything I read online said eight hours was the absolute limit before irreversible damage would occur. I had to hurry.

Try as I might, I couldn’t get the needle to work properly in the shaft. Part of it was the pain, which was a thousand times worse than it’d been on the tip, but the other part was how the biology of that area is. It’s not just a basic tube that can be emptied and filled. It’s more like a sponge with many chambers which fill with blood, then clamp shut. I could empty a chamber or two with the needle, but I’d have to stick myself hundreds of times to get it done. I simply didn’t have the time. Plus, I was terrified of further injuring myself if I pushed the needle too deep.

I started to panic and I felt myself getting dizzy. Some of it was from the pain, certainly, but to this day I’d swear I’d already started to get poisoned. That freaked me out even more. Short of stabbing my cock over and over and over with the needle and probably destroying the organ in the process, another part of me worried that, in my panic, I’d break the needle off inside. It wasn’t going to happen. I’d rather die.

Panic mixed with despair as I knew I’d probably have to call 911. I cradled my face in my hands and cried for a minute, then got up and headed toward the phone. As I passed the aquarium, I stopped. The exotic fish stared, no doubt judging me. I didn’t care. I’d figured something out. Something that, in my haze of fear and panic, seemed reasonable. Now, a year later, I can barely comprehend how I took the next step.

The biggest fish in my tank, the red-ear sunfish, has a special diet. Regular fish food won’t do it. No, the red-ear sunfish needs to eat leeches. And in the small refrigerator next to the aquarium, I had a box of them.

My dizziness had grown severe and I dropped to my knees and opened the little fridge, pulled out the box, stuffed my hand in, and pushed a handful of the writhing, black leeches against my awful, blood-filled dick. The last sight I had before passing out was the biggest of the leeches pushing its mouth against my shaft.

I was out for hours. When I woke up, it was morning. For a brief moment, I was confused. I couldn’t remember why I was on the floor. To my credit, it all came flooding back pretty quickly. I gasped and jumped to my feet. Here’s another tip: if you’ve had leeches sucking your dick for a few hours, don’t jump to your feet.

I felt terrible pain as the engorged leeches, unable to support their own weight, were ripped off my body. All but one, which had attached itself to my pubic area and could rest its weight on the base of my penis, dropped onto the hardwood floor. Two of them burst like blood-filled water balloons while the other three just writhed pathetically. I shrieked and slapped at the one connected to me. It flew off, hit the side of the aquarium, and splattered.

As disgusted as I was, I felt intense and overwhelming relief. My stupid, tiny, flaccid dick hung from me like a newborn doorstop. I poked it a couple times, amazed that it still had feeling. Its color looked decent enough. Somehow, despite doing everything wrong and doing things out of panic that I would’ve never considered otherwise, my dick had survived. And so had I.

So that’s about it. Later that night, I gave the thing a test firing. It worked. Then, as I waited with bated breath, it returned to its normal, pathetic size. No harm, no foul. I have to admit, though, I still have a hard time receiving oral sex without thinking of those leeches. And I guess maybe now you will, too.

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This is why I will NEVER wear a condom again!

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Show of hands: who actually likes wearing condoms? Exactly. They’re the worst. They’re uncomfortable, they destroy all feeling, and if you actually manage to complete the act without deflating like one of Tom Brady’s footballs, you have to waddle over to the bathroom to throw the thing away while it hangs off you like an eating-disordered grub. But you know what? We still wear them. Because we’re civilized people.

Here’s the thing: fuck being civilized. I’m never wearing one of those latex pieces of shit for as long as I live. As if everything I said above wasn’t enough, I had to deal with what happened last night. God knows if I’ll ever be able to have sex again.

I’d only been on one date with Aimee before yesterday, but it was obvious there was a lot of chemistry between us. So, after we had dinner last night, things went their natural way. That’s a nice way of saying we were grunting and sweating all over one another in the cab on the way back to my apartment. I tipped the driver extra.

We made it back to my place and continued the various biological manipulations we’d started in the taxi. Added bonus to being at home: less clothing. Anyway, things progressed as we’d both anticipated, and a little while later, she was asking me to get a condom. Who was I to deny the lovely woman what she’d asked? I reached over and grabbed one from the nightstand. Aimee took it from me and tore off the wrapper. She looked like she was considering the options for a moment, then she leaned over and put the condom back on the nightstand and did something else to me for a little while. Something quite nice, I might add.

About nine seconds later, I had her stop. I knew the date would end pretty damn early if I let her continue. Aimee obliged, then she repositioned herself to the edge of the bed. Even I could figure out what that meant. I got up, grabbed the condom from the nightstand, rolled the thing over my stupid dick, and we went to work. This time, it was for about four seconds.

In that fourth second, something pinched the tip of my penis. Hard. I withdrew faster than the Republican Guard after the fall of Baghdad. I yelped as I pulled out. I heard Aimee mutter, “oh my fucking God, really?” I wasn’t particularly concerned with her annoyance, though. There was an intensely sharp pain directly at the entrance to my urethra. Something hard was inside the condom, no pun intended, and, I realized with growing horror, it was moving. My yelps turned into a sustained shriek as I peeled the condom off while pinching the tip and feeling something wriggling under my fingertips.

Whatever I was pinching crunched between my thumb and forefinger. Once I’d been freed from the condom, I saw what it was: one of the house centipedes the apartment would get whenever it rained outside. Do you know what house centipedes are? They’re these things. And there was one up my dick. And I’d broken it in half. The other piece, which still moved, was lodged firmly inside my urethra. I screamed and screamed and when Aimee turned around and saw what the commotion was, she made a sound I was certain would wake up the entire apartment complex.

I pinched the halved insect and tried to pull it out of me. Again, its crunchy body broke off in my fingers. I wanted to die. The piece that was still stuck in me – the piece that was STILL MOVING – was getting further inside my penis the longer I stood there.

And then something happened. It’s something I never expected and it’s something I still don’t believe could ever occur in real life. But it did. And the world has to know. Still, before I mention it, I need to say that the ordeal ended about 15 seconds later. Aimee left and I went to the hospital to get checked out. The nurses laughed and the doctors looked disapprovingly at the nurses before turning around and shaking with laughter themselves. I was given a clean bill of health and told to make sure nothing crawls into my condom the next time I have sex. It was nice of them to give their medical opinion.

The part I left out, though, was when Aimee demonstrated the true nature of her character. Even though I never expect to see her again, I will be forever in love with that woman. It’s because in a time of great stress – in a time when a man is suffering and there’s only the act of a great person that can save him – someone will step up and do what needs to be done. Aimee was that person last night.

In the throes of my misery and pain as I flailed with terror and confusion to get the remaining fraction of the centipede out of my dick, Aimee put her hands on my shoulders. She stared at me; the light of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives from the television casting an angelic glow on her dark skin. Then she uttered words that will both haunt and enrich my memories for the remaining years of my life:

“Stop moving around so much.” She let out a long sigh of abject resignation.

“I can probably suck it out.”

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