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I am a writer but I suffer from severe jock-itch. I wonder if it impedes my output: it could hinder it, but it could also stoke the fires of my art.

Let me explain. My balls, the base of my shaft and about 37% of the inside, upper part of my thigh-groin have been covered for 17 years, since I first hit puberty, by a welted, uneven, red rash. It is a unique shade of red; I have named it “Itch-Red.” I used to grow my nails long so I could really scratch away at it. As the almost orgasmic relief spread from my affected areas I didn't care that my blood would run and fill the shallow rash-ruts. I would get blood and bits of what I called “Rash-Skin” under my nails and the next day I would have an ugly looking scab. At times it became difficult to tell the difference between scab and rash; it was a “Scab-Rash.” There was also a great deal of pain. And the itch never receded. I called it “Itch-Pain.”

Eventually I cut my nails so short I couldn’t scratch the rash. [I then suffered serious cuticle-rending, but more about that later.] Shorn of what I called my “Scratch-Nails” I had to resort to other, more severe methods of relieving my suffering. I would remove my pants, sit backwards on the toilet and pour boiling water directly from the kettle all over my man-package and groin. As my flesh turned red like a boiled lobster and blistered with 2nd and 3rd degree burns, pain and relief would mingle. I would become glassy-eyed and a dreamy look of perverse pleasure would emerge from the depths of my soul and spread across my face; I would gaze at the ceiling without seeing anything but the bright sunburst of itch-relief. Incidentally, my sac would both expand and recede and, therefore, stay the same size, a condition I called my “Boiling-Sac.”

Date Written: September 26, 2004
Author: John Slocum
Average Vote: 4.25

09/29/2004 Joe Frankenstone (4): Exquisitely uncomfortable. What I like most is that there's no reversal (nor recognition) at the end. This also reminds me of the original Star Trek series episode "Space Seed": in thirty years, we'll have a movie called The Wrath of Cuticle-Rending.
09/29/2004 Joe Frankenstone: Sorry, 15 years later.
09/29/2004 Will Disney (5): wonderful use of vocabulary!
09/29/2004 qualcomm (3): guh
09/29/2004 qualcomm: not as good a psychotic scratch story as this cool guest short i found.
09/29/2004 anonymous: OSS: 2 incomparable shorts. Different. You're wrong to compare them. But you're cute and cuddly.
09/29/2004 Mr. Pony (4): That particular percentage smacks of Maniacs.
09/29/2004 Litcube (5): I couldn’t decide on whether to give this short a 4 or a 5, so I read this twice. The character’s naming of his sub-conditions added a touch of authenticity for me; as the shaping of an identity for a chronic disease seems natural when you feel alone and driven mad by the futility of it all. And also because I’ve named my 17 pound neck tumor “Doug”.
09/29/2004 qualcomm: wow, you other voters are really off-base here.
09/29/2004 qualcomm: by the way, author, your "man-package AND your groin"? wow.
09/29/2004 anonymous: Poke fun all you'd like, brother. Purposeful excess verbiage for MY fun.
09/29/2004 anonymous: Also, 'guh' and 'off-base' voters aren't so illuminating. Perhaps a bit of sincere critique here, lustre, robust-situation, improvement, community, discourse, nurturing. Suckle me at your teat-fountain of knowledge. Or don't. Up to you.
09/29/2004 Jon Matza (4): Why aren't there any black characters here? Why has no one else pointed out this omission? Racists, much?
09/29/2004 qualcomm: 1) "I am a writer but I suffer from jock-itch." -- What's with the "but"? Is having jock-itch unusual for a writer? Normally, I wouldn't care too much about this kind of sloppiness, but since it's the first sentence in the short, it kind of jumps up and says, "Hey, I was written by a sloppy idiot trying to be gross!" I also would have let it go if I had found the subsequent text funny.

2) Speaking of which, I didn't think the subsequent text was funny. It feels like you're trying for an overall gross-out effect, and it's just not working.

3) As I mentioned in an earlier post, "man-package and groin" is redundant. One mistake, yes, but part of a larger mosaic...

4) Now that I think of it, the first graf is totally unnecessary. Especially the second sentence, whose thesis, that this jock itch stokes the fires of your art, you don't go on to support in the subsequent text. Again, I would let this kind of non-sequitur, never-followed-up-on sort of thing go, but coming in the first graf, it feels like an introduction that never comes to fruition (especially considering that the next sentence is "Let me explain."). Also, 'stoking the fires of my art' is an unoriginal, unfunny entry in the already very played-out 'self-important artist' joke category

5) Structurally, the third graf is unnecesary. I already know by the end of the second graf that you go to outrageous, painful lengths to scratch your groin. Then in the third graf, you go to more outrageous, painful lengths. I guess if I found the descriptions of these lengths funny, I wouldn't mind. I concede that my not finding them funny is a judgment call, but it's one I stand by. I challenge anyone to cogently explain why they're funny. As I said before, they seem to be going for a fun gross-out factor (through sheer quantity and detailedness of description) that's already been far surpassed in other shorts on this site and in other humor bits elsewhere.

6) For me, this whole short is a flat-line. You start off with uninspired gross-out descriptions and then build up to more uninspired gross-out descriptions.
09/29/2004 Ewan Snow: Well the "but" in point #1 was a joke, I thought.
09/29/2004 qualcomm: yeah, i can see that being possible. BUT, it still has that lame gross-out element.
09/29/2004 anonymous: Will respond point for point anon.
09/29/2004 qualcomm: thank you.
09/29/2004 Ewan Snow: I am a longshoreman, but I suffer from severe croup.
09/29/2004 qualcomm: the only good part's where you sit backward on the toilet.
09/29/2004 qualcomm: "pour boiling water directly from the kettle" -- wow, right from kettle? you didn't put the boiling water into an intermediary chamber of some sort first? why not?
09/29/2004 James K. Polk: Ha!
09/29/2004 Litcube: Man-package and groin, two separate entities in this case, describe the two different areas upon which the water was poured. Isn't it conceivable that he would pour the water exclusively on his groin as to avoid exposing that particularly sensitive area? The inclusion of this detail, that he mentions his pee-pee-purse (a particularly sensitive area that he's scalding), adds to the humour.
09/29/2004 qualcomm: litcube, i made an assumption that the author was using "groin" in its most common layperson sense: the general, crothcy area (which would include the man-package). i apologize deeply if he meant the more precise definition of the word, which most people don't use: the crease between the crotchy area and the thigh.
09/29/2004 qualcomm: i.e., i didn't think the author didn't know what groin meant, i thought he just wasn't paying much attention when he wrote this, and so put "man-package and groin".
09/29/2004 anonymous: 1. snow's right about point 1. It's a joke. 2. was trying for gross out effect, but also trying to add more. But sounds like point 2 for you is mostly a subjective opinion. more later.
09/29/2004 anonymous: 3. man package is cock and balls, groin is upper inner part of thigh where ligaments attach to tendons which attach to hip, etc. Not sloppy, not careless, more excess crap for my fun.
09/29/2004 anonymous: 4. this is a semi-hommage to the pederast series, that is to say I liked those shorts where a character named the pederast never gets shown doing pederasty. It's not the same, of course. But I like the idea of introducing a subject and never explaining it. Unfortunately, as those careful readers will find out, I've done it before.
09/29/2004 Ewan Snow: It's funny. I agree with OSS's criticisms to some degree, but they just don't seem such sever problems to me. I know it was simple gross out stuff, and not the best gross out stuf at that, but this short still amused me. I thought the naming of the "Itch-Red", etc. was somewhat non-hodgkins, though.
09/29/2004 anonymous: Ewan, could you cogently explain why that's funny?
09/29/2004 anonymous: I thought the last graf was pure creme fraiche!
09/29/2004 anonymous: 4b. I used 'stoke the fires of my art' in the first graf, first of all to introduce something I never get back to, and second to start the red visuals in the readers mind to prepare them for the red rash.
09/29/2004 anonymous: 5. can't really respond to that one. You just don't find it funny. I wanted to keep going and was having fun. Agreed there are funnier shorts on this site.
09/29/2004 anonymous: Now go and write some lyrics to your songs, I'm coming back.
09/29/2004 TheBuyer: OSS pulled the teeth out of the first graph entirely, it's better if you only read it from "My balls..." or if the first graph was at the end instead. Also, can you even get a third degree burn from boiling water? I thought that 3rd means the skin is charred down to the fatty layer.
09/29/2004 TheBuyer (4):
09/29/2004 Mr. Pony: It seems that Summer's dislike (or at least criticism) of this short stems from an assumption that nearly everything in the short was unintentional. I feel like all the dumbyness is on purpose, and it reads pretty good like that.
09/29/2004 anonymous: The other grafs in this short are Armonk.
09/29/2004 The F?nch: According to the site, this short is comprised of an odd number of words.

The Finch
09/29/2004 Benny Maniacs (5): I do believe I suffer from almost exactly the same ailment.
09/29/2004 Benny Maniacs: I'm not backing up my vote with any rational assessment. This is Slocum. I know because he's hairy, and would suffer from jock-itch (and he writes).
09/30/2004 John Slocum: What's Armonk?
10/1/2004 John Slocum: WHAT THE FUCK IS ARMONK!!??!!?
10/1/2004 scoop: It's sort of like "Lerpa" in that it's name has an article. So I think the question should be What the fuck is THE Armonk. Me personally, I know nothing of The Armonk.
10/1/2004 John Slocum: Does it inspire with a rough, raspy wheeze?
10/1/2004 TheBuyer: Armonk is also a city in New York state, 916 area code. They have a Western Union on Main St. Armok is the god of blood, or fuck or something.
10/1/2004 Dylan Danko: All your comments are armonk, guys.
10/1/2004 Dylan Danko: disney, what the fuck? The anon box was clearly checked!!! I'm coming to Boston and I'm not going to call you.
10/1/2004 The Armonk: why don't you all shut the fuck up and let me sleep
10/1/2004 qualcomm: well, now that your secret's out, danko, do you mind explaining: why the fuck were you trying to make your bland, inconsequential comment anonymous?
10/1/2004 Dylan Danko: To annoy you, you idiot.
10/1/2004 qualcomm: so why did you make all those anonymous comments before you knew they annoyed me?
10/1/2004 Dylan Danko: To annoy you, you idiot.
10/1/2004 Dylan Danko: Why do you masturbate from tip to base instead of base to tip? Why are black babies cuter than white babies? I too want answers.
10/1/2004 The Armonk: sometimes I'm invisible
10/1/2004 qualcomm: hey didn't you quit the site? maybe you and frankenstone can commiserate.
10/1/2004 The Armonk: sometimes my balls itch too, but you don't hear me fucking complaining about it
10/1/2004 Dylan Danko: No that was Benny. I simply said I think I've had it with Acme out of frustration at such a boring short. Your next shorts made up for it, Sport.
10/1/2004 qualcomm: no you didn't just say that, danko. you're krugmanning the facts. you followed up your threat with a simple "Bye", after which you were not heard from for about a week. listen, i'm not criticizing your decision to come crawling back - i'm only asking because as acme treasurer, i need to know if i still need to make the monthly emotional blackmail payments to the same p.o. box.
10/1/2004 Dylan Danko: I was saying bye to Benny you drooling cretin. I end up signing those checks over to your Mom so you can go ahead and mail them straight to her. Thanks!
10/1/2004 anonymous: This latest exchange between OSS and Danko is totally gorp!
10/1/2004 qualcomm: danko: my mother is dead.
10/1/2004 John Slocum: She wasn't dead last night, I can tell you that much, OSS.
10/1/2004 scoop: No seriously, she died. Last week. That's why OSS went to Connecticut.
10/1/2004 Dylan Danko: I want my damn money back! How old's your sister again?