When I was seven, my life was thrown into upheaval. For absolutely no justifiable reason and without any fault of my own, I was left with a deep wound that I think might still be healing to this day. The Saturday that it happened started like any other. I woke up and ate my Froot Loops, but didn’t brush my teeth like my mum said because I was a hardened public-school cunt. Then I sat in front of the TV and watched cartoons whilst eagerly awaiting a knock at the front door. It was a knock that I knew was coming, because it did every Saturday at around 9am.
It would be the kid from the end of the street who was my best friend at the time. But that was about to end very soon. I’ll call him Buck Wheat, because it almost rhymes with fuckwit. Do I sound bitter yet? Please, hear me out and consider the devastation that follows.
So Buck was a real bad seed. He was the kind of child that called Kids Help Line just to take the piss. He used to tell them his grandpa was getting him to suck his nipples. Another thing he liked to do on the weekends was to walk over to the Coles and break apart every Cadbury Yowie on the shelf to get the little toys out of them. If you grew up in the 90s you’d remember that Yowie toys were a fucking world apart in design and manufacturing excellence from the ones in Kinder Surprises. They were always a species of a native Australian animal or something like that.
But Buck didn’t steal them for those. Right next to the Coles was a hobby shop which bought the limited edition animals for a dollar each. Only one in four chocolates contained them. And Buck and I destroyed so many Yowies that we made about $10 every weekend. We used to get Happy Meals with the profits. But when the heat got to us (meaning the senior citizens pretending to be shopping who supermarkets used to hire to spot thieves), we’d switch to Woolworths for a while.
But on this fateful morning, Buck didn’t want to do any of that. He simply smiled and said, “Do you wanna watch a video?”
“What is it?” I asked. Buck thought about it for a while like it was a surprise. But I yanked his arm and annoyed him for long enough to get it out of him.
“Ghostbusters Two,” he told me.
I was thinking, Cunt. Is that even a question? I can do GB2 any fucking time. But I just said, “Cool.”
As we walked over to his place, Buck said, “No one’s home, so we can watch it really loud.”
I wanted to read the back of the video cover when we got there because I liked to do that. But Buck told me, “I’ve only got the tape. It’s already in the player.” So I jumped up on the couch and planted myself in the corner with a cushion on my lap. By any standard, Ghostbusters 2 was a true masterpiece in my mind, and I couldn’t wait to revisit its brilliance. Then Buck pressed play on the remote.
The first thing I saw was a doctor’s office and a blonde woman sitting in a chair, waiting. After what I thought was a slow and very boring up-and-down view of the lady, not one but two doctors walked into the room. They didn’t take a seat and just stood around her, and she looked up to acknowledge them. I remember thinking I’d never seen a male doctor with waist-length hair before. It was beach blonde and poodle permed. He looked like a guy from my brother’s Guns N’ Roses poster. But the other one was completely bald and the lighting caught his head at just the right angle and I swear it was reflecting onto one of the walls. I realised I wasn’t watching Ghostbusters 2. But what I was seeing was so perplexing that I forgot to ask Buck what was going on.
The lady proceeded to describe her symptoms. The doctors looked very concerned as they stroked their chins and nodded earnestly. I was emotionally invested in the film at this point and I too wanted them to find the best solution for her ailment. What she described sounded like a classic case of migraine to me, but of course the doctors would know better. Yet instead of getting the booklet out and writing her a prescription, a long row of giant wooden beads emerged from one of their pockets. I thought maybe this was some Chinese herbal medicine shit. But it wasn’t. It really fucking wasn’t.
I remember the feeling so clearly. I’d never seen anything even remotely pornographic in my life. I was seven-years-old and didn’t even know how babies were made. But as I watched those beads being pushed, one by one, into a bleached anus that resembled the mouth of a deep sea creature, my entire world crumbled beneath me. It was like reading the scariest edition of Goosebumps while watching National Geographic at the very same time. It was like staring into a solar eclipse, but if the sun was an asshole and the moon was an anal bead. Needless to say, a wound had been made inside my soul.
I turned to Buck to ask him a question. And I’m telling you, to this day, I don’t think I’ve ever been as serious as I was in that moment when I said, “Buck… What is this?”
He had a packet of chips in his hand and had to wolf down his mouthful before saying, “It’s Dr. Butt.”
I ran home with tears running down my face. When my mum asked me what was wrong, I was speechless. There were no words in existence that could faithfully reflect the ordeal I’d just been through. So I went into my room and tried to play with my Hot Wheels. But all I could see was anus. Just anus fucking everywhere. It was probably the worst day of my life.
For the next six months or so, I fiercely refused to go to the doctors without any explanation to my parents. I didn’t trust those people anymore – simple as that. But one time I was so weak from the flu that my mum was able to carry me there against my wishes. I’d been projectile vomiting all week but still told her, “I’d rather die than go to the doctor’s.” I sat there in the office with my arms crossed, regarding the doctor sideways with a look of suspicion and disquiet. The whole time my asshole was clenched like the fist of a freedom fighter. But the doctor gave me antibiotics instead of putting beads in my anus. And that was the end of that phase.
But the past never lets go that easily. Many years later, I met a really cute girl at a bar. She told me she was an army brat and had spent most of her life traveling from town to town with her dad. But now she’d finally settled in on the Gold Coast, and wanted to have a big night out on the town. I left the bar with her and we club hopped until the early hours of the morning. Then she asked me to come back to her apartment.
When we got there, I had to take a piss and regain my composure. She was by far the hottest girl I had ever and probably would ever sleep with. How often does a lonely, ten out of ten army brat harbouring a wealth of sexual frustration from being raised by an overprotective father ask you to come back to her apartment? Once in a lifetime, that’s how often.
So I acknowledged the responsibility to do my utmost and walked back out to the bedroom. She was already naked on the bed. After she ate my face for a while and I realised she was probably a sex addict, I thought we were going to follow the natural progression of a one night stand. But she sat up and whispered in my ear, “Do you wanna use my beads?”
I backed off a bit—it was a reflex from the past. “What?”
“In there,” she said and pointed at a drawer. “I want you to use my beads.”
“Um… Like, beads?”
A foreboding feeling started at my asshole and travelled up my spine. “What for?”
She kissed me again. “Put them in my ass.”
Five minutes later I told her that my friend had gotten in a fight somewhere and I had to go to pick him up. She shook her head and gave me the coldest look. I think her anus really wanted those beads. That girl could’ve been the love of my life. And it was the little boy inside me that let her get away.
As I drove home, I could only think about the tragedy of what happened 15 years ago. If only I hadn’t been home that morning. Or if only Buck hadn’t found Dr. Butt in his dad’s wardrobe — things would’ve been so different. Had fate not been so cruel, I wouldn’t be an adult with such an aversion to both large, wooden beads and assholes, in no particular order, together or separately. But I guess when you’re born into a strange world, it’d be a sin not to have a few demons.