Thursday, July 17, 2008


A friend of mine just told me the most horrifying story, told to him by another friend years ago. This particular friend of a friend worked at a hospital for a few years and managed to accumulate several disgusting gag-inducing stories that are always fun to tell at parties. Or, you know, on Wednesday mornings over coffee.

As most of these stories go, the particular patient being dealt with had engaged in something they shouldn’t have, which landed them in the hospital. This patient had a long-term bad habit with a slow descent into eventual hospitalization: over-eating. Think Gilbert Grape’s mom. We’ll call her Mama Grape.

They brought Mama Grape into the hospital for heart problems but, as she was laying in the hospital bed watching television, the hospital staff realized that her problems extended into the personal hygiene arena as well. They prepared a sponge bath and started with her feet, working their way up.

It came time for them to care for her abdomen and chest and, as they were professional hospital staff members, they didn’t think anything of her nudity and continued to clean. One of them lifted up one of her breasts to clean underneath and immediately had to stifle a gasp. Right where a bra under-wire should rest, they found a colony of mushrooms.

Mama Grape had mushrooms growing under her breasts.

I can’t help but imagine being one of those hospital workers, going about their already-uncomfortable business of having to deal with nudity on a regular basis, only to discover that things had been taken up a notch. There was actual fungi to be scraped off and cleaned. And how do you go about telling someone who’s sitting back, quietly waiting for the humiliation of a sponge bath to be over, that they had things growing on them that would have to be picked off and thrown in the trash? How did they not make an awkward “what, I’m a fun guy!” joke to break the horrified silence? How did they not give in to their gag reflex? How did they manage the situation without insulting Mama Grape and her hot son Gilbert? Do you ask if anyone thinks they're psychedelic?

I have no words. I wish I knew what theirs were.

It’s stories like these that make me such a sucker for programs like “The 200 Pound Tumor” and “The Man Whose Arms Exploded”. In case you’re wondering about those two, The Tumor did not disappoint. However, the Arm Explosion was really more of a slow bicep leak – LAME.


Jamie said...

To think for awhile I wanted to be a nurse. I wouldn't be able to deal with that!

Anonymous said...

Um - Crazy?!?! I watch those shows too, and honestly have to wonder what I would do/say/look like if I had been in that room. When I read the "mushroom" title I was expecting to hear about pretty lights floating around the room while everyone sang kumbaya (or however you spell it). Haha - this was much more entertaining.