Editors’ note: “The Crabbiest Day” is a non-fiction short story written by one of our writers who wishes to remain anonymous. Marc White is the nom de plume he uses for stories like this.
My senior year of college was going great. After a semester of what I considered whore-ish behavior, I was back on track. I was a the gym every morning working my ass off, running and lifting weights while watching Matt Lauer’s sexy ass on The Today Show and trying to avoid the over-Axed smell of the kid next to me stomping on the treadmill in his basketball shoes.
It was a morning ritual I was beginning to enjoy, and I was, in fact, pretty proud of myself. Little did I know that an entire colony of critters had plotted against me about five weeks in. This particular day, after arriving home from the gym, I undress in my room to get ready for my shower, checking myself out in the mirror like any normal 20-something would do after a tough Tuesday workout. “Damn. Looking good, boy,” I think to myself. “Sexy.” Then I notice a bit of fuzz in my pubic hair. I pull it out and toss it, only to find another.
“What the hell?” I say out loud as I pick the second little fuzz out and lifted my finger to my face to get a better look.
I scream the girlish scream that has long plagued gay stereotypes. “I do not have fucking crabs.” I immediately call my housemate, two floors away from me to tell her about my discovery. Still naked. Suddenly, very itchy. She, of course, doesn’t answer. Hell no. Hell fucking no.
Still naked, I throw open my laptop, search “crabs” in the Google search bar. Once the photo evidence is there for me, I grab my cell phone to call the 24-hour university nurse hotline. They, of course, force me to leave a message because all the nurses are busy at the moment. “Um. I think I have crabs. I mean, I looked it up on the Internet. I have crabs.” My only thought is the horror and disgust on the receptionist face as she takes down the message:
Dear Nurse So-and-so,
This kid, Marc White, tells me he has crabs. Gross. Call him back NOW!!!!
So I wait, naked, standing in my room, legs spread apart so that nothing of any part of myself or of anything else ever touches my Joe’s Crab Shack. I turn on my chat and promptly message my best friend in New York a long dramatic message:
“I HAVE FUCKING CRABSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Only I don’t message my friend, but rather my old boss, who promptly replies with an appropriate, “Oh, well, how is that?”
Stay cool man. Shit. Think.
“HAHAH!” I type. “OMG. How funny, that clearly wasn’t meant for you! Haha.”
She “laughs” back. I tell her it was an inside joke between a best friend and me, always interrupting and starting conversations with crude sexual diseases or other utterly repulsing statements. Meanwhile, I’m still naked. I still have crabs. The nurse has still not called me back and I have class in an hour. My ex-boss seems to take the whole as a joke, believes me and tells me I made her morning, no doubt sharing with the rest of the office the little pretend-but-actually-real mistake I made exclaiming I had a colony living in my pubes.
[jordan]Finally, sub-crisis averted, the nurse calls me back and has me describe the crabs to her. I had left it squirming on a tissue on my bed while trying to keep down the vomit from the thought that I was keeping a live pubic bug in my bed. She decides I need to come in to confirm that they are what I think they are. I’m wondering, how many little squirmy bugs can possibly live in a person’s pubic hair? The nurse refuses to get me out of my class, not realizing my completely insane state of mind, and I get dressed as slowly as possible. I slip a couple of the little crawly critters into a plastic bag. I tell my disgusted roommates to thank their Brazilian vaginas they don’t have to go to class with critters in their crotch while discussing gender issues from around the world for three hours. And I leave for class, crabs in tow, even with a few in the little baggie in my school bag, and head off to class.
All throughout class, my mind wanders. Sure, I had been a little slutty the semester before, but I haven’t even gotten laid in two months. Where did these little munchers come from? I think back to how dirty my last hook up had been at three in the morning on his almost sheet-less mattress. Something about a bare mattress just screams dirty pube bugs. But it’s a little crazy those guys had been tagging along multiplying for two whole months.
Finally class ends and I head to my appointment. They’re clearly running behind as I squirm in the waiting room. The nurse later informs me, that she hopes I would have noticed them in the past 60 days and I might have gotten them some other way. After informing me to go buy a kit with a comb and some special shampoo, the nurse sends all of us on our way, to walk home and continue to wonder where my new roommates had come from.
I know the only ones who knew would be the crabs themselves and I wasn’t going to quit until I got a straight answer out of them.
I took my little torture comb and crab poison up to the bathroom, bid my human roommates goodbye and told them it would be a while. I had some business to take care of. I felt like I was in one of those cop movies where they turn the cameras off and the cop beats the shit out of some dude in order to get a confession. I wanted that confession.
Come on, bitches. Did you sneak off of someone from the gym? Comb, comb. Shampoo, shampoo. How long have you been up to no good? Comb. Who do you work for? Shampoo. Comb. Shampoo. Shave. What the fuck? Why are there so many of you? Razor. Razor. Comb. Razor. Shampoo. Shampoo. Die, bitches, die.
Turns out I’m not much of a bad cop but maybe went a little Rambo on their asses. Sure, the critters are gone, but so is almost every inch of hair on my body after finding the little special surprise that is crab lice eggs near my ankle. Four and a half hours later, freshly shaven and freshly traumatized, I step out of the bathroom with a garbage bag full of my current day’s underwear, a towel with god knows what on it, two completely dull razors and any humility I had ever had before this day.
I find my roommates in the hallway, itching themselves all over, clearly a side-effect of my gross little visitors who have now passed on. I tell them all that they don’t have any hair so they have nothing to worry about, and currently, I guess I don’t either. Just to be sure, I have my roommates double-check my oddly trimmed, combed and somewhat shaved legs for any tiny little eggs.
My roommates and I load the car and two of us leave for the laundry mat, cleaning every blanket sheet and piece of clothing that I owned, costing me a good $50 worth of washing and drying.
And as I sit there, with my roommate, playing Candyland, eating Kentucky Fried Chicken, washing the pubic bugs out of all my clothes, I realize, this is what life is all about.