Friday, October 30, 2009

The most disgusting thing

All Hallows Eve

There are different perceptions of what horror is. One is the traditional blood/gore approach that most haunted houses use: dismembered body parts, heads on spikes that look at you, open wound makeup and lots of blood. Then there's the fear/shock approach that is also employed by haunted houses and Hollywood: things that jump out at you, men in hockey masks with chainsaws, loud screams. A lesser used, but I think more effective means of horror, is that of disgust. The game Half-Life 2 uses this approach with rotting, festering enemies such as the headcrab zombie. Sure there's something horrifying about gruesome acts of dismemberment and torture like in Saw, but that's too Hollywood and traditional horror for me to be repulsed by. Personally I think there's something far more horrifying about the last because it's more real. (Ok, the headcrabs aren't real, but the infected, pulsing sores thing is.)

That being said, I've decided to share this story in honor of Halloween. And yes, it's 100% true.

One night in college, about 2 a.m., I realized we (my roommates and I) had forgotten to take the trash out. We had forgotten the previous two weeks before, too, so we had quite a bit backed up. There was a big trash can in the back of the house we would put the smaller bags in and we'd just take it out to the curb once a week. Since we had forgotten the last two weeks the can was filled up and there were about five white plastic bags stacked next to it. I decide to be responsible and so I go outside in the dark and take the trash to the curb.

I flip on the outside light: big trash can overflowing with garbage bags, five white plastic garbage bags next to it. I roll the big trash can to the curb then grab a plastic bag in each hand and take them to the curb. It takes a few trips, but eventually all the trash is ready to be picked up. Due to recent rainfall a puddle of water had collected on the top of one of the plastic bags and my hand and arm got wet. As I carried the bags more spilled out on my arm (open bag, rain for few days, it collects). No big deal, just rain water.

After all the garbage is on the curb, on the way back to the house I run my hands through my hair and then wipe them off on my pants. And that's when I realize they're not drying very well. My hands were actually getting sticky.

Rain water doesn't get sticky when you wipe it off.

(One thing I should point out: in college I lived in a house with 3 other guys. One of the guys was from Ecuador and had different concepts of sanitation than did those of us from the US. He cooked a lot, used a lot of chicken, and didn't dispose of it in plastic bags or sealed up; he would just throw the pieces of raw meat in the garbage.)

I get to the back of the house (the main door we used) and look at my hand in the light. It wasn't water that had collected on the bags. Due to my roommate's frequent disposal of raw meat and the length of time the bags had been sitting out, what I thought was a puddle of water that I had nonchalantly put my hand in was actually a writhing swarm of maggots that had filled the bag and was flowing out the top. What was spilling out all over my arm and pants during the trip to the curb wasn't collected rainwater but thousands of centimeter long maggots. My right hand and arm nearly to my elbow was completely covered and crawling with them. And yes, I had run that hand through my hair only moments before. I have never moved and flailed my arm that fast before in my life.

I immediately turn on the hose in our backyard to full and wash off my entire arm, my pants, and my head with the hose outside. (The water was freezing, btw.) I go inside, throw all my clothes in the washing machine immediately at the hottest temperature setting (remember, I had rubbed my hands through my hair and on my clothes to "dry" them), run naked through the house at 2 a.m. to the bathroom and take a 45 minute shower washing completely from head to toe no less than 5 times.

I didn't sleep well that night.

And that's the most disgusting thing that has ever happened to me. Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dating advice

And remember: don't trust anyone over 30.


I was thinking about all the dating advice I've received over the years and realized this algorithm seems to pretty much sum it up.