Tales From the Vault: The Men I Have Known
Here we are again, with another tale from the vault… You may have heard this story before, as I wasn’t nearly as shy about sharing it as I was the butter story. But then, I didn’t date this particular guy for a year and a half, so it doesn’t seem to reflect on my character as much. You can decide what you think for yourself. Enjoy!
Tale # 2: You put What?! Where?!
When I was in college I lived in a little studio apartment downtown, worked full time, and went to school at night. Certainly not the easiest or most carefree existence, but it was getting me a college degree and I was living outside of my parents’ house where all sorts of craziness was known to take place. I figured my little apartment had to keep me safer from the craziness than I had been up to that point in my life, and so I lived there with happiness and (clearly false) confidence in my ability to fend off the crazies.
One of my friends from high school had a boyfriend who lived in the same apartment building as me. We’ll call her Bev and we’ll call her boyfriend Ben. I personally didn’t care for Ben all that much, for reasons I’d rather not delve into here. Let it suffice to say that I thought he was, in the words of a dear, dear friend of mine, a real douche bag. One of the first things about Ben that struck me as a huge red flag was that neither Bev or I met any of his friends until she had been dating him for nearly a year. Did he not have friends? Were his friends so freaky he was afraid to introduce us? Was he keeping his relationship with Bev a secret from them? I didn’t know what it was, but something about this seemed off to me. There were plenty of other red flags – like the way he refused to tell his parents when Bev moved in with him, the fact that he didn’t want her to come over to my place and hang out with me, that he’d commit to doing things and then never do them, etc., etc., etc. But one of the first red flags was the apparent total lack of friends.
Fast forward a bit. Ben finally decided to introduce us to one of his friends, a guy we will call Stan. I have no idea where he knew Stan from, but their friendship seemed to go back aways. It seemed odd to me that it took so long for us to meet him. Time went on. We hung out with Stan a bit more. He was a little odd – he was a librarian who didn’t own a television and was uber religious in kind of a weird way – but he seemed like a nice guy. I even went on a date with him. It was, admittedly, a strange date. He took me to church, and then took me to meet his parents. On our first date. After our date he complained to Ben that I’d been dressed too provocatively (which no one else seemed to notice when I wore that same outfit to work) and decided he wanted nothing to do with me. Okay, fine. If you’re going to be weird about my shirt, you’re probably going to be weird about the gay bars and Rocky Horror Picture Show parties and everything else about my life, so it’s probably better if you go now anyhow. My feelings were not hurt.
Ben, Bev, and I continued to hang out with Stan on a periodic basis. He continued to seem strange. One of my clearest memories of Stan is in Ben’s apartment. We are getting ready to watch the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. Stan is sitting on the sofa and suddenly has this reaction:
Stan: Ooooh! The Nightmare Before Christmas?!
Stan: That is my favorite!! (slaps knees with both hands),
Favorite!! (slaps knees again),
Favorite!! (stop with the knee slapping already!)
movie! (claps hands together like a teenage girl watching N’Sync and does the gayest shoulder shrug I have ever seen)
Me, Ben, Bev: (look on in amazed silence)
Anyhow, let me get to the point of this story.
One day Stan tells Ben and Bev that he had to go to the Dr. for an appointment. It’s just said in passing, something like, ‘Oh, and after I went to the Dr.’s office, I had to stop at the store to get stamps,’ or something like that. No one thinks anything of it. Then, a few weeks later, Stan mentions that he was at the Dr.’s office again. Again, it’s just said in passing, and no one thinks anything of it. A few weeks later, it comes up again. Most of us don’t go to the Dr. three times within a span of a few months, so it is starting to seem strange and a little bit alarming. But Stan doesn’t seem to be overly worried about it, so no one questions him.
Again, a few weeks later, Stan mentions that he’s been to the Dr.’s office. By this time Bev is getting annoyed. She is not the kind of person to wait for you to say whatever you need to say. If she suspects there is a story, she wants it, and she wants it now! So Bev decides that dammit! if Stan is going to keep bringing up these random Dr. visits without any explanation, she’s just going to ask him why he’s going and get it over with. A few more weeks go by. Again, Ben and Bev make plans to hang out with Stan and again, Stan mentions that he’s been to the Dr.’s office. Bev can’t stand it anymore. She asks him why in the hell he keeps coming over and saying he’s been to the Dr.’s office without telling anybody what’s wrong with him. Stan then reveals his great affliction.
Stan tells Bev that he was worried that his ass smelled bad. At first thought, one might think, duh! of course your ass smells bad. You sit on it and sweat on it all day long, it’s confined in your boxers or tighty-whities 24 hours a day, you fart in there, and God knows what else. At first glance, one would not think this is an affliction worthy of medical intervention. Then you hear the rest of the story.
Apparently Stan thought he had an excellent home remedy for the case of the stinky ass. He decided deodorant would do the trick. Yes, you read that right. Deodorant. On his ass. According to Stan, this did alleviate the problem of the smell. I guess that’s not surprising, if you think about it. But Stan was not anticipating the adverse affects of putting deodorant on one’s ass (sorry to interrupt, but what is it with the men I know slathering weird substances on their bodies? Is it just me? Am I a magnet for this crap?). And who would? Deodorant works fine for my armpits, which are also very smelly and confined on a normal day, and it doesn’t cause any weird side effects there. Why would it behave differently in an ass environment? I simply don’t know. What I do know is that when Stan started to regularly apply deodorant to his anal-regions, he grew himself a nice crop of ass fungus. This new and interesting fungus was the reason for Stan’s repeated visits to his physician. Ass Fungus. Didn’t even know you could put those two words together, did you?
Now that you know the story, I’ve simply got to make a few points:
First of all, who smells their own ass? Are any of you out there even that flexible? I’m not. And who is worried about it enough to even try? Let me just say this: there is no way in hell that any straight man on this planet is that worried about the condition of his ass. No way. Perhaps there was another reason Stan was upset about my supposedly ‘revealing’ shirt. Perhaps he doesn’t like boobs. Come on, Stan, just admit it. I’ll love you all the more for it.
Secondly, if you have a medical condition that makes you want to die of embarrassment, like, say, a self-induced, homegrown fungus on your ass, you might not want to announce your every Dr.’s appointment to the world. Really, Stan, if you didn’t want us to know, you shouldn’t have made it so completely obvious something was wrong.
Thirdly, I’d really like to know whether the offending product was a deodorant or an anti-perspirant, just for the record. And maybe the brand name too.
One can never be too careful.