Gonna say at the top of this one that the following tale from my life bears plenty of funny inferences about graphic, adult themes and, in light of those, a significant risk of oversharing on my part. So, I guess what I mean to say is that if you find yourself squeamish about feces in any form, discussions about self-pleasure, awkward encounters with one’s mother (don’t read to far into that one), or other pulpy topics that shake the buckles off a Puritan’s shoes…
Maybe skip this one.
But if what you’re looking for is an NSFW-lite story of all the above elements and more, well then, saddle up, Buttercup.
Now, where to start…?
Really, it’s a story of two parts, so let’s start where most trauma bgins and take a brief trip into my childhood.
My mom is the coolest person on the planet in the best way, that being that she doesn’t try to be cool, she’s just naturally great. That said, there was a hiccup period when I was a teenager where she went a bit out of her way to be The Cool Mom.
What does a stereotypical teenage boy’s room look like? Probably has a bit of mess, a guitar or skateboard leaned against the corner, and posters of swimsuit models on the walls, yeah? If ever we wondered where the hypothetical teenage boy in the given model got these sexy posters from, I can tell you: single mothers making an effort to be The Cool Mom.
And it wasnt just that she got them for me, she also bragged about doing so to my friends (and girlfriends) who came over. “Yeah, you know who got him those?” she would ask. “I did. And it’s, heh, hey man. Whatever, you know? I’m cool.”
A touch awkward, you say? I agree, but I was fifteen with tasteful boobs n’ butts on my wall. I wasn’t going to argue.
Now, let’s fast-forward a few years to Christmas of 2011. I’m eighteen now, have a job, have a car, taking college classes, but do still have those posters up. It’s Christmas morning, and momand I are exchanging fits. In addition to her myriad talents, mom’s an awesome gift giver. And part of that is in how she would disguise said gift in its packaging. Once, as a kid, she got me a Game Boy Advance game (which weighs about 0.0002 oz) put it in a box the size of a small dog, and weighed it down with four jugs of vegetable stock. Suffice to say, I was well surprised – the box sloshed! But part of the genius is that other times, she wouldn’t disguise something at all, just wrap it messily in paper to keep you on your toes. Is this disguised to look like something else, or is it exactly what it looks like? I dunno! Part of the fun!
Anyway, Christmas. 2011. Job. Gifts.
So we’re exchanging presents, and she grabs one in particular from under the tree with a knowing, mischieveous grin. A thing about mom’s humor: it’s not terribly sophisticated. Loud farts, poop jokes, people getting hit in the balls, and plain idiocy are all guaranteed hitters. I say all this as context for my concern when, as she hands me this…object, she says, “Heehee, I think you’re gonna have some fun with this one.”
The object in question was shaped like a cylinder, about eight inches long, narrowing slightly toward one end while being soft and squishy on the other, about as wide around as an adult fist.
Is there anything that maybe…?
Do those dimensions remind anyone else of something like-
Okay. Yes. I was terrified in that moment just thinking, “Oh my God, don’t be a Fleshlight. Christ Almighty don’t be a Fleshlight. Just, Jesus please God don’t be a Fleshlight.”
And back me up, you can understand my logic, right? I’ve never owned one, but dammit if it didn’t look like the pictures. And that would be the escalation of the swimsuit poster principle. It’s what you’re supposed to do at eighteen in the States: buy a cigar, a lottery ticket or scratcher, and some pornography, all because you can now. You’re an adult in the law’s eyes. Flex your newfound power. Hoorah!
So it was while these thoughts raced in my mind and I broke out in a cold sweat that I shakily unwrapped my gift…
It was a thermos.
It was a plastic coffee cup with a lid. It was colored a light brown with white lettering that read, “Coffee Makes Me Poop!”
Mom bursts out in proud laughter at her own gag gift, and I loudly match with laughter that’s laced in profound relief. I just stare at it, eternally grateful that I ended up in the Good Timeline where my mother DIDN’T buy me a sex toy. Because that sh*t would change you as a person.
Anyway, a couple of years on, I’m still using the cup on a regular basis. I’m 22 now, my birthday having been maybe a week or two prior, and I’m at work during a standard morning meeting. We’re going over the day’s expectations and such when my manager looks over at me and, in front of the whole group goes, “You’re rocking a bit of a theme today, eh Evan?”
At first I raise my eyebrow, but then quickly see what he’s talking about.
I like to keep my birthdays pretty low-key, something I learned from my uncle. One year after his birthday I asked him what he got up to, and he said, “Oh, slept in a little bit. Then I tidied up the house, took myself out to lunch, got a haircut, and went a saw a movie. Nothing crazy.” And it was simple, but wow did that ever become my model for the perfect birthday.
So that week prior when I turned 22, I did damned near the same thing, but also went to a flea market that was going on a town over and picked up a few quirky things for really cheap, one item being the shirt I was wearing in this morning meeting during the call-out.
It was black with white lettering and a stick figure that was holding its arms up in celebration. It read, “I Pooped Today!”
I look at my shirt, then to my coffee cup, and realize my mistake. So I grabbed a piece of masking tape, put it over the “Poop!” part of “Coffee Makes Me Poop!” on my cup, and scribbled in marker “Smile!” instead. It was great. It cleaned up the message, but if you looked carefully through the tape you could still read the Poop! part of the cup, and there was this funny anecdote out of it now.
So, there you have it. A true coming-of-age tale with feces, sex toys, and light workplace scandals.