my life in a fishbowl by Warren Benedetto | feed | comments feed

Instant Vagina

I bought a loofah today. Also, I grew a vagina. I can’t help but feel like maybe the two incidents are related.

I didn’t have a vagina yesterday. I know for sure, because I masturbated in the shower, which is not something I normally do. Usually, I do it in the car on the way to work, or behind the 7-11, or in the bushes outside your house.

Regardless, I distinctly remember having external genitalia.

The problem with buying a loofah is that it’s a slippery slope (no pun intended). See, with a loofah, a guy can’t just use a bar of soap, or a tube of engine degreaser, or whatever cleaning product he typically uses when he chooses to clean himself.

A loofah requires a special kind of soap: liquid soap. Soap from places with names like “Bath And Body Works” and “Bed, Bath, And Beyond.” The kind of places that are so feminine, they make you show your clitoris at the door.

Men should never buy anything from a store that has the word “Bath” in it. Men don’t take baths. Men shower. Infrequently.

The choice of taking a shower instead of a bath goes right back to caveman times. Back then, they didn’t have bathtubs. They had to take baths in lakes. And you know what lives in lakes? That’s right: Man-Eating Jellyfish.

Actually “Man-Eating Jellyfish” is sort of a misnomer, since they don’t actually eat the whole man. Just the balls part of the man. They were originally called “Just-The-Balls-Part-Of-The-Man-Eating Jellyfish” but they had to shorten it so it could fit on a driver’s license. It’s true. You can look it up. I recommend Wikipedia.

Anyway, back then, any man who took a bath in a lake was taking a chance that his balls would be torn off by the vicious suckers of the Man-Eating Jellyfish’s massive tentacles. Needless to say, baths became less and less popular amongst cavemen.

Then one day, a caveman stepped out of his cave, and it was raining. And the caveman thought, “This’ll work.”

The caveman decided that he should give a name to this phenomenon, since “stepping out of the cave whenever water falls from the sky” didn’t have the brand name appeal he felt like he needed in order to get traction in the marketplace. He decided to name this new form of bathing “Shitting.”

Another caveman, who worked at the Patent And Trademark Cave, reminded his friend that “Shitting” had already been registered as a brand name. The caveman cursed his ill-fortune, since he had just spent his entire life savings of two wives, eight goats, and a spear to register the domain name “shitting.com.” He was even more pissed when he found out that he could’ve registered the same domain at GoDaddy.com for only $7.95.

Cavemen suck at the Internet.

After this tragic misjudgment, the caveman fell into the depths of depression. His friends tried to get him to come out of his cave and have some fun. They’d say, “Come on, Glarg. Me and Brox are gonna go get drunk and bludgeon a large mammal. Why don’t you come along?” But the caveman was so down, he could barely bring himself to stab a squirrel with a sharp stick, let along wield a massive club against a wildebeest’s skull.

Soon, the caveman started questioning all of his decisions in life. “Maybe I should’ve gone to law school,” he thought. “It’s not too late to get my MBA.” Still, the caveman couldn’t get rid of the nagging feeling that he was destined for greatness.

“Look at Hrug,” he’d say. “He never even went to college, and he invented Fire.” Or, “Zlaf is an idiot, and he just sold The Wheel to Google for $1.8 billion!”

The caveman began to think more and more about his “stepping out of a cave whenever water falls from the sky” idea. He knew that if he could just find the right spin on it, it could be a real moneymaker. A billion dollar business.

Then, one day, the caveman stepped out of his cave and, sure enough, water was falling from the sky. That’s when it hit him, like a bolt of lightning. It was … a bolt of lightning. The massive surge of electricity tore through his body, causing his heart to explode and his eyes to rupture, running in gooey white rivulets down his blackened, smoldering cheeks. It was disgusting.

Four million years later, some plumber named Joe invented the shower.

Anyway, enough history lessons. Where were we? Oh yes. Loofahs, and their relation to spontaneously growing vaginas.

Before I got that loofah, I bought my soap at the same place all guys do: Home Depot.

There are two main kinds of guy soaps. The first comes wrapped in plain brown paper, with the word “SOAP” stamped on it. It is roughly the size, shape, and consistency of a brick. If you were to look closely, you would notice that is it, in fact, an actual brick. To use it, a man simply rubs it against his skin until it exposes muscle and bone. One bar of this soap costs 86 cents and lasts approximately 432 years. It is very cost-efficient.

The other type of man soap comes in a vat roughly the size of a septic tank. These soaps usually have names like Goop-Off, or Grease-Off, or Dirt-Off. Basically, anything with the word “-Off” appended to it. This makes it easy for a man to pick out what kind of soap he needs. He only needs to ask himself, “What do I have on my hands?” Blood? I suggest “Blood-Off.” Cheese? A nice vat of “Cheese-Off” should do the trick.

There used to be a time when these soaps had more obscure names like Steel Force or Alpha Clean. The problem was, nobody knew what the hell they did.

A guy would walk into Home Depot and tell the Home Depot guy, “I need soap.” The guy would say, “Well, what do you have on your hands?”

“Tree sap and deer innards.”

Then they’d both wander over to the soap aisle and spend seven or eight hours trying to decide which soap to buy. “Let’s see … Platinum Splash is probably good for tree sap, but the box doesn’t say anything about cleaning up deer innards. Maybe we should try UltraMax 2000.”

Finally, after the fourth consecutive day in the Home Depot soap aisle, one guy got frustrated and said, “For fuck’s sake, why can’t they just call it Tree-Sap-And-Deer-Innards-Off?!”

That guy got ridiculously fucking rich.

Sometimes, I wish I was alive back in the days before good ideas. Nowadays, it’s so hard to come up with something that hasn’t been done before. Self-cleaning toilet seats? Done. Realistic rubber anus molded from a porn star’s actual anus? Done. Gum? Done.

But imagine being alive back in ancient times, like 50 or 60 years ago. It would be so easy to come up with good stuff.

“I have an idea!”

“What?”

“Pillows.”

BANG! You’re a millionaire, just like that. And all the other assholes who have been sleeping with their head on bags full of rocks are like, “Fuck! Why didn’t I think of that?”

I wonder what the world’s first idea was. I’m guessing it had something to do with porn.

Anyway, when I bought the loofah, I didn’t expect it to make my testicles wither and fall off. I wasn’t really thinking about the side effects. To me, I was just investing in the latest shower technology.

I’ve been using the same wash rag since 1973. One day, I was washing behind my knee, and then suddenly, the wash rag was gone. It just — POOF! — evaporated into dust. I went to Home Depot to see if they carried wash rags, but the best the guy could offer was Brillo pads or an industrial power-washer used for blasting oil stains from concrete driveways. I bought both.

Unfortunately, the power washer couldn’t fit through the bathroom door, and the Brillo pads were a little harsh around the anus. Plus, they made pink bubbles, which made me feel kinda gay.

The power washer cost me about $700, so I didn’t want that to just go to waste. I hooked it up in my garage, stripped naked, and tried to use it to clean myself. The good news: my garage floor is spotless. The bad news: I washed off all my skin.

When we got back from the hospital after the skin grafts, my wife said “Why don’t you just go to The Body Shop and get a loofah?”

At first I was skeptical. What is this “Body Shop” she speaks of? It sounded somewhat girly, but also oddly compelling. It sounded like maybe welding would be involved, and possibly carburetors. I decided to give it a try.

We arrived at The Body Shop without incident. I was relieved to see that there was no clit-check girl at the door. She must have been on break.

This Body Shop didn’t smell like any body shop I had ever been in. I was expecting it to smell like sheet metal and rivets. Instead it smelled like something called “Dewberry.” I was about to make a break for it when I spotted a section called Essential Oils. That made me feel a little more comfortable. They sell oil. Home Depot sells oil too. How bad can this place be?

While I was browsing for other essential stuff, like Essential Solvents and Essential Power Steering Fluids, my wife tapped me on the shoulder. “Here’s your loofah,” she said.

For those of you who have never seen a loofah — I’m sure most of you haven’t had the privilege — it’s sort of like if someone took the 20 cent hair net off a Guatamalan busboy, tied a string around it, and sold it to you for $14.99. The big selling point is that it bubbles your soap up into a frothy lather. That should have been my first clue. There’s nothing manly about a frothy lather, unless it involves rabies.

Against my better judgment, I bought the loofah. I also bought some liquid soap.

The woman asked if I would like my soap “infused” with essential oils. That sounded cool, so I said yes. I was expecting “infusion” to be something  that would require wearing protective eyewear. I figured there would be sparks. Fire.  Droplets of molten slag.  It turns out, “infusion” is done with an eyedropper.  There’s almost no chance of death or dismemberment whatsoever.  Zzzzzzzzzzz …

She asked what kind of essential oils I wanted my soap infused with. I asked for Deer Musk, but I had to settle for something called Bumbleberry Frost. It might as well have been called Instant Vagina, because of what happened next.

I took the loofah home, along with the Bumbleberry Frost. I didn’t want any of my neighbors to see me carrying them, so I pulled off the road before I got home and stuffed them into a possum carcass I found in the passing lane. This way, when my neighbor asked, “Hey there, man. Whatcha got there?” I could say, “Dinner.” He would simultaneously be nauseated and impressed, and would never once guess that there was a loofah concealed in the dead possum’s chest cavity.

Once inside, I locked the door, closed the shutters, unplugged the phone, cancelled my cable Internet subscription, put my webcam under the bed, and smashed my cell phone with a ball peen hammer.

I was ready to try the loofah.

What happened next will be debated by experts and conspiracy theorists for years to come. My recollection of it is still hazy. There are gaps in my memory that will probably never fully be recovered. Here’s what I do know:

I got in the shower. I moistened the loofah and applied the Bumbleberry Frost. Flash forward to me laying on the bathroom floor in a puddle of my own excrement, all hair shorn from my body. I was soaking wet and shivering from the cold air blowing through the basketball-size hole punched in the cinderblock wall of my bathroom. All of the lightbulbs had exploded, leaving me shrouded in darkness save for a single small candle shaped like Betty Boop burning on the bathroom counter. A stuffed racoon floated face-down in a bathtub full of dead leaves and rose petals. Someone had scrawled the words “Fear Zod, eater of souls” on the ceiling in what looked like human faeces.

And that’s when things started to get weird.

Oddly, my first thought upon waking was, “There’s a clearance sale at Nordstorm Rack.”  That was followed by a bout of projectile vomiting, as well as an unsually strong urge to reorganize my shoes. I toweled myself off. Brushed my teeth. Placed the brown leather pumps next to the black strappy heels, but behind the purple Ugg boots. Then I looked in the mirror.

What I saw will be burned into my memory until my dying day. My penis and testicles — all of which are well above the national average in size and girth, I should mention — had been replaced with a vagina.

My initial inclination was to scream. But at the same time, I felt an odd impulse to take myself to dinner and a movie, and to get myself drunk on cheap wine.

My wife knocked on the door. “Honey, everything okay?” she asked.

What was I supposed to say? “Yeah, fine. Just checkin’ out my new vag.” No. Instead, I mumbled something about basketball. “Goddamn referee has his head up his ass.” That was enough for her. She went away.

As I studied my new genitalia in the mirror, I had a horrifying realization …

To be continued

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