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*Not* just another wondrous part of pregnancy
November 14, 2012 8:03 AM   Subscribe

"Then one of the nurses calls me and says, “The doctor would like to know why you’re rolling around on a table full of semen.” And I say, “TELL HIM THAT’S NOT HOW I NORMALLY SPEND MY SATURDAYS.”
Author Pamela "Pamie" Ribon: "How I Might Have Just Become the Newest Urban Legend" posted by zarq (63 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not loading. Did we already crash the site?
posted by mochapickle at 8:14 AM on November 14, 2012


Oh good, I'm not the only one having trouble loading the site....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:15 AM on November 14, 2012


It loads. Eventually. Go make lunch while you wait.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:16 AM on November 14, 2012


No, we broked it. Here's the Google cache.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:17 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


"You shouldn't have bought that mood music CD from that flea market, Bob. I told you no one misspells Jazz that way."
posted by tilde at 8:22 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's still loading for me. Just s l o w l y.
posted by zarq at 8:22 AM on November 14, 2012


Or listen to her recount the story in this podcast, from about 39m30 onwards. As Ribon herself recommends, it is more fun with the audience screeching and cringing alongside you.
posted by notionoriety at 8:22 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah this sounds like fiction to me.

Not saying that it's impossible but why in god's name would you go to what is probably a sketchy massage parlor for a pre-natal massage?
posted by vuron at 8:28 AM on November 14, 2012


One day we will have a metafilter thread in which a woman describes something gross and creepy and violating that happened to her, and no man will decide to comment about how it couldn't possibly have happened in the way that the woman said it did.

Today is not that day.
posted by elizardbits at 8:31 AM on November 14, 2012 [146 favorites]


why in god's name would you go to what is probably a sketchy massage parlor for a pre-natal massage?

Sometimes you don't know what it looks like until you get back there behind the curtain.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:32 AM on November 14, 2012


the only part I couldn't believe is that she didn't shake down the owner for all the money in the register. The rest, I believe.
posted by boo_radley at 8:32 AM on November 14, 2012


why in god's name would you go to what is probably a sketchy massage parlor for a pre-natal massage?

She said in her post that she had been there before. "We went to this place I’d been to a few times in my neighborhood. It’s no-frills, but tries to be serene [etc.]" She probably doesn't frequent sketchy massage parlors, but who am I to stop you from victim blaming.
posted by Flamingo at 8:35 AM on November 14, 2012 [17 favorites]


I actually don't think it's that unlikely a story. I had a girlfriend from Wyoming, and we went back to Laramie for a wedding, where we met her friend who had stayed, working cutting hair in a salon. They had a regular customer, male, who was known to try to jerk off under the hair cutting cape (their solution was to have the one goth girl in all of Wyoming cut the guy's hair).

Then there's this guy.

Some men get off on masturbating in risky, public ways. Cumming during a massage without twigging the masseuse strikes me as exactly the sort of *ahem* challenge guys like this would enjoy.

Googling 'judge suspended for masturbating with penis enlarger in court' brings up a surprisingly large number of disparate results
posted by fatbird at 8:35 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why in god's name would you go to what is probably a sketchy massage parlor for a pre-natal massage?

Ya, I don't know if I was just a super-prissy pregnant lady, but there's no way in hell I'd go to any place that wasn't specifically recommended for pre-natal massages. My regular place actually flat out told me they weren't certified in it and wouldn't do it (something about possibly triggering labor if they did the wrong thing). The ones that are certified have fancy pillows and shit so you're as comfortable as you can be in your beached whale state.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:39 AM on November 14, 2012


the only part I couldn't believe is that she didn't shake down the owner for all the money in the register

Then the manager initially attempts to buy her off with a 50% discount, while I was wondering when the negotiations would start for how much of a bribe it would take not to sue them out of business.
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:39 AM on November 14, 2012


How was this massage parlor obviously "sketchy?"
posted by brundlefly at 8:41 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for reminding me about Pamie. I used to read her back when she lived in Austin and did improv part time.

I have no doubt the story is true. She has a knack for being candid, observant, and able to make everyday life funny as hell. To this day, I cannot look at a bamboo back scratcher or a nose hair trimmer without thinking of her blog.
posted by cross_impact at 8:42 AM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


They had a regular customer, male, who was known to try to jerk off under the hair cutting cape (their solution was to have the one goth girl in all of Wyoming cut the guy's hair).

I... don't understand this solution.
posted by brundlefly at 8:44 AM on November 14, 2012 [49 favorites]


Heh, I've been reading Pamie for over a decade and I had sorta lapsed into reading once every few months (not as many posts as way back when, either). I read this yesterday and though that it was a classic Pamie story. Like someone in the comments mentioned, if it was going to happen to someone, it had to happen to her.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 8:45 AM on November 14, 2012


I cannot look at a bamboo back scratcher

Heh, I instantly knew what you meant.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 8:46 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I... don't understand this solution.

The goth in question went the whole distance, down to the white face paint. In Laramie, Wyoming, she was a sufficiently weird presence that they guy apparently couldn't do his thing with her hovering there, chatting about dead kittens.

I actually talked to her at the wedding, and mentioned the story, and she was like "yeah... no big deal". You could tell she enjoyed being the only goth in a five hundred mile radius.
posted by fatbird at 8:47 AM on November 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Prissy pregnant lady reaction aside, I also think it's true, and I that it would only happen to Pamie.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:48 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Googling 'judge suspended for masturbating with penis enlarger in court' brings up a surprisingly large number of disparate results

Well, it is one of those jobs where nobody can tell whether or not you are wearing pants.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:49 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


ceribus peribus: "Then the manager initially attempts to buy her off with a 50% discount, while I was wondering when the negotiations would start for how much of a bribe it would take not to sue them out of business."

Yes, exactly. "oh, you don't think it was worth everything you have? Let's ask the health department. Also gimme your watch."

brundlefly: "I... don't understand this solution."

I'm just assuming she'd be all "I am the Kwisatz Haderach" and just slow-knife a pair of shears into his ears at the first sign of trouble.
posted by boo_radley at 8:49 AM on November 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


She should do this on the crappy Nick Moms* standup thing.

* something I have now watched several hours of due to a few bouts of end of day exhaustion and channel changing apathy. It's better background noise than Wow Wow Wubsy I guess.
posted by Artw at 8:51 AM on November 14, 2012


Cumming during a massage without twigging the masseuse strikes me as exactly the sort of *ahem* challenge guys like this would enjoy.

Wasn't the implication that Pamie made that the massseuse had actually jacked the guy off?

I feel about Pamie sort of like I do about some of the other humor bloggers. You either find her thing super funny or you don't. I happen you find her particular brand of allcaps LIFE IS GROSS. CARRY A FLASHLIGHT. exposition hilarious. And she's one of those old skool Original Bloggers and so I don't spend any time second-guessing her reports of stuff. She's neat, this story was super funny, and check the cache if you can't load it because it's worth it.
posted by jessamyn at 8:55 AM on November 14, 2012 [14 favorites]


Wasn't the implication that Pamie made that the massseuse had actually jacked the guy off?

Perhaps, but the same masseuse came to the front to tell the manager "we need to X that guy's name", and later delivering a crappy makeup massage to Pamie, he was obviously as flustered as she was. I guess I read it as Pamie assuming that the masseuse was as surprised and freaked out as she was. Also, if the masseuse had jacked the guy off, he would have cleaned up properly, wouldn't he?
posted by fatbird at 8:58 AM on November 14, 2012


This is hilarious and awful and awesome, and the only part of it I don't believe is that she would ever even consider going back there for a massage, let alone a lifetime supply of massages.

I have no problem with sperm. Hey, some of my best friends are full of sperm! [NOT SPERMIST!] I've come into contact with sperm myself, on numerous occasions, and for the most part those have been really positive experiences for me.

But this? No. Because EWWWWW.

Her friend is a great friend. Still, an even better friend might have said, "Okay, you want a massage? Let's go someplace that isn't shady and disgusting like this place and get one instead!"

I can not even imagine getting back up on a massage table in that place, not even if there were flourescent lights illuminating the entire room from corner to corner and police dogs trained to detect body emissions sniffing out every square inch of floor, table, wall and hell, even ceiling space before I went in there.

And how absolutely absurd is it that they gave her, and she accepted, the same masseuse?!

I don't think she should get free massages for life. I don't even think she should sue. I think maybe she should get the authorities involved, like the police, because this was obviously not just a massage parlor but a "massage" parlor. If she can't determine who licensed that place, they ought to be able to help her out with that.

But going back to that place? No power in the 'verse could compel me.
posted by misha at 9:00 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Has no one in this entire story ever heard of Yelp?
posted by enn at 9:03 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yelp is mentioned in the story by name.
posted by blue t-shirt at 9:06 AM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


A male masseuse? That would be a masseur.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:06 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm still trying to stop being squicked out by discovering that a used Q-tip had somehow adhered to my sweater while it hung in a gym locker. Reading this, I realize that if I were in her place, I'd be looking for a hot tub full of industrial bleach.
posted by COBRA! at 9:07 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you would never ever want to go anyplace where someone has clandestinely masturbated then you should probably never leave the house again. One time when I went to pee in the ER at Beth Israel, there was a big old slimy glob of spunk on the wall. I guess it wasn't a hospital but a "hospital" then? LOL those "nurses" with their side business!
posted by elizardbits at 9:09 AM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


A massage therapist friend once told me something similar happened to her a couple times. Not the pregnant lady rolling in semen, but the creepoid surreptitiously masturbating during massage. She said one in particular had trained himself so that he could orgasm without touching himself through, I don't know, Kegel contractions or something. I never googled it because it's not a search engine blackhole I want to disappear into.
posted by ga$money at 9:10 AM on November 14, 2012


LIFE IS GROSS. CARRY A FLASHLIGHT

Words of wisdom!

And how absolutely absurd is it that they gave her, and she accepted, the same masseuse?!

I dunno. I just don't know. Weird. How is that a good idea? Just - it's massage time, you're in massage place, no matter wtf just happened, keep pressing on! I was expecting pregnant-massage-extortion, like a few others. to wit:

"Well, that was really fucked up."

"I'm sorry, I really am - can, can we offer you 50% off?"

"How much cash do you have?"

"Ex-excuse me?"

"I mean, this doesn't have to be a thing, with cops and tv cameras and news reporters. How much cash is here?"

"What are you - "

"This is the kind of story that leads the nine-o-clock news, isn't it? 'Pregnant lady assaulted by sperm at local massage parlor, manager unrepentant.' Got a bank bag?"

"I don't think I can-"

"Yeah, OK, let's just sit here and wait with this signed confession for the cops to arrive, they can figure all this out."

"Uh... I, I have about a hundred ... "

"Yeah, that's not NEAR enough."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:13 AM on November 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


oh. my. god. that's ... wow.

Is it safe for a pregnant woman to AUTOCLAVE HER ENTIRE BODY?

also, if they're not changing the sheets between clients, that's super icky. LICE AND BEDBUGS, ANYBODY?
posted by rmd1023 at 9:18 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just want to make sure that people know that you can hear her read this story and it is even better (starts at around 40:00.) Pamie is my favorite ever.

(She gave me a lap dance once! Well, a "lap dance" anyway. During her standup routine. And then remembered me three years later at a book signing. I love Pamie.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:30 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


“You are a beautiful goddess creating life in your most special vessel."
I am sorry I didn't know this phrase when one of my best friends of the most-special-vesseled variety was creating life in aforementioned vessel. I would have, at the right moment, told her it with proper eyebrow-waggling at the final clause, and she probably would have hit me. I'm definitely going to remember it for any future opportunities.
posted by Drastic at 9:47 AM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think anyone questioning why she didn't immediately go on the offensive at the cash register has never found themselves in one of these gross/weird/wtf sort of situations. It's amazing just how hard it is to deal when you suddenly find that your typical day has turned into a Penthouse Letter written by Kafka.
posted by phearlez at 9:51 AM on November 14, 2012 [37 favorites]


phearlez: "I think anyone questioning why she didn't immediately go on the offensive at the cash register has never found themselves in one of these gross/weird/wtf sort of situations. It's amazing just how hard it is to deal when you suddenly find that your typical day has turned into a Penthouse Letter written by Kafka."

hmmm. That's fair. I've done similar things, and have had one accident where somebody said "here, take my insurance information, but also here's $600 to get that ding taken care of. " $600 took care of the ding pretty well.
posted by boo_radley at 10:11 AM on November 14, 2012


If anyone knows the location of this massage place and lives nearby, you should go in there and request the "slip 'n slide" massage while winking excessively. Then run away.
posted by orme at 10:15 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


She has all my admiration for simply holding it together. Under the same circumstances, I'm not sure I would ever stop throwing up.
posted by Space Kitty at 10:16 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think anyone questioning why she didn't immediately go on the offensive at the cash register has never found themselves in one of these gross/weird/wtf sort of situations.

Amen. I mean, hell, I have trouble coming up with the right response when someone flirts with me inappropriately — and that's, like, a mundane thing that does sometimes happen to normal people in the normal world. When shit goes all Weekly World News on you like this I suspect it gets harder to find the right reaction rather than easier.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:24 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's this funny awful sort of self-gaslighting that people do when really weird shit happens, you know? Like, "If this is real then I ought to take it seriously and react to it like something important just happened but what the fuck how could this even be real I must be imagining things."

When I read this I imagine every single person in the story feeling that way: the protagonist all "Wait maybe my water just broke that would make more sense right?" and the employees like "Dear lord this must be a bad dream we did not cover this in training" and everyone she calls like "WTF I must have misunderstood the story that can't really be what she's trying to tell me" and so on down the line. It sucks — and what sucks worse is that it's basically the default human reaction to surprises, and it's hard as hell to talk yourself out of the reaction and really respond appropriately.

(A lot of "should I see a doctor" AskMes seem to be coming from the same place. Not really "Hypothetically speaking would radiating pain in the left side of my chest be a medical problem that I should do something about?" — because, duh, yes — but rather "Please help me convince myself that this horrible surprise is real so that I can bring myself to do something instead of just sitting here pinching myself.")
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:46 AM on November 14, 2012 [18 favorites]


I found that practically unreadable. Or is it part of the humour that it sounds like a breathless 13 year old? "and he’s like, “Do you need more time?” And I’m like, “Uh! Um… no, it’s just… uh… there’s something… But instead I’m like, “Uh.."
posted by Pericles at 11:00 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is part of the humor, I think - but as I said, it works particularly well spoken. Pamie started as a stand-up comedian and she's clearly still got it.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:02 AM on November 14, 2012


Like, "If this is real then I ought to take it seriously and react to it like something important just happened but what the fuck how could this even be real I must be imagining things."

I've been in situations where part of me is going 'What, what? Did that ? - Are they ? - What just ? -" And another part is saying 'Keep moving, nothing to see, do what you came to do, just hurry up and move along!'

This was pretty damn funny!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:07 AM on November 14, 2012


This reminds me of a trip to a Cinema 2000 on Yonge Street in Toronto when I was a curious kid with fake ID.

My friend said "Check your seat before you sit down".

It seemed like sound advice at the time but afterwards all I could think was that if I 'found' something it would have been all over my hand.
posted by srboisvert at 11:12 AM on November 14, 2012


MetaFilter: Sometimes you don't know what it looks like until you get back there behind the curtain.

Yeah. Totally believable. Thinking about some of the weird ass situations I've been in ... nothing even touches this. I can also see that if it had been me, I am dumb ass enough that I would have been apologizing to the manager like it was my fault, but then that's a personal reaction I'm trying to break myself of ....
posted by tilde at 12:21 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


my favorite Pamie Valentine's poem. . .

Don't.
No.
No, I mean yes.
Yes, no.
No.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
oh, yes.
right
there
no
there
yes.
left.
left.
left.
too far
too far
warmer
warmer
warmer
burning
BURNING!
no, the good burning.
don't stop.
don't
stop
don't
stop
no, i meant don't stop
not
don't stop
jesus.
oh, forget it.
just go away.
jesus.
just forget it.
stupid dog.
posted by Danf at 12:57 PM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Woebetide (probably) the questioner of the many-favorited elizardbits comment, but hold on a second there. That puddle of semen was an equal opportunity victimizer; this wasn't a man exposing himself to a woman, or throwing cum at her, this was a puddle of genetic material waiting to slime the next person at a co-ed massage place. People expressing doubt are not necessarily questioning the veracity of a woman in the face of an assailant. If I, as a man, told this story, people would doubt me, because it is just so outrageous and weird. If you put it in a fiction story, happening to either a man or woman, I'm sure more than a few people would say, "ah, that's farfetched."

Not saying that women are not doubted and their victimization not minimized, but I don't think that is happening here.

And now I am ready like Leon. (SLYT) (yes I know that movie has problems of its own)
posted by oneironaut at 3:16 PM on November 14, 2012


My friend comes out from her massage and was like, “Yo, you know I Helen Kellered the shit out of my massage table before I got up there.”
I want to hang out with her and her friend so bad.
posted by funkiwan at 3:19 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


If I, as a man, told this story, people would doubt me, because it is just so outrageous and weird.

Huh? It's hella gross, and the story is remarkable because she tells it well, but someone somewhere by mistake getting semen on themselves on a table upon which people get bodily pleasured all day doesn't seem like some sort of hundred-year event.
posted by threeants at 5:47 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've done similar things, and have had one accident where somebody said "here, take my insurance information, but also here's $600 to get that ding taken care of.

That sounds an awful lot to me like "here's my details if you really need them, but please don't call the police."
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:07 PM on November 14, 2012


elizardbits: If you would never ever want to go anyplace where someone has clandestinely masturbated then you should probably never leave the house again. One time when I went to pee in the ER at Beth Israel, there was a big old slimy glob of spunk on the wall. I guess it wasn't a hospital but a "hospital" then? LOL those "nurses" with their side business!

I think sitting, nude, on a puddle of semen, is a little more harrowing than just going where someone has clandestinely masturbated.

There are licensed spas with trained masseuses/masseurs, and then there are prostitution rings and hand job places masquerading as 'massage parlors', and I assume Pam at least thought the place she was going to was more "pampery day spa" and less "that place where Liam Neeson's daughter ended up in Taken."

threeants: "someone somewhere by mistake getting semen on themselves on a table upon which people get bodily pleasured all day doesn't seem like some sort of hundred-year event."

Huh. I mean, yeah, I guess it is certainly possible.

This is probably my invisible privilege rearing its head, but my personal experiences of massages are in day spas, where you have appointments for specific services, and the idea is that you are there to be pampered. So they're very professional, and they work hard to create this atmosphere of soothing tranquility. Which, for a lot of people, means the massage tables need to be, you know, clean.

It's not like you're hanging out in some little booth at the XXX ALL NUDE ALL THE TIME XXX SHOW, is what I'm saying.

So I probably would have just avoided Ye Olde Warehouse Full O' Pitch Black Massage Tents all together, but then, unlike elizardbits, I live a pretty sheltered life.
posted by misha at 7:12 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sounds kind of far fetched to me, but I can see it happening.

My 60 something year old Mom told me last Christmas about going to a nondescript strip mall massage parlor in her town because she found a coupon somewhere for a discount massage. She walked into a small dingy room with a chair and a closed door. A small portal slides open, as if it were a speakeasy, asking what she wants. My Mom says she has a coupon for discount. The voice behind the portal brusquely tells her "No massage!" and closes shut. Now, my Mom isn't one to give up a discount so easily, so she tries to argue with a closed door. The portal slides open once more and the voice says more forcefully, "No massage. Go!"

I can't do justice to her delivery, as she wasn't doing shtick here, just telling me what happened, indignation still in her voice, for being refused an opportunity to redeem the coupon, as if she'd been turned away from a whites-only diner. Then she tells me she thinks it might have been a nasty place.

It didn't really occur to her that this event was all that amusing, until she saw me and my sister rolling on the ground when she told us all about it.
posted by 2N2222 at 7:59 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is getting a massage in the dark a normal thing in day spas?
posted by Mitheral at 10:32 PM on November 14, 2012


In a dimly-lit room, yeah.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:09 AM on November 15, 2012


a Penthouse Letter written by Kafka

I feel like this needs its own website.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:26 AM on November 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's amazing just how hard it is to deal when you suddenly find that your typical day has turned into a Penthouse Letter written by Kafka.

I dunno, you kinda get used to it after a while. One morning at a Holiday Inn, as I was waking up from anxious dreams, I discovered that in my bed I had been changed into a monstrous cock. I talked to the hotel manager, got refunded for the room, comped for a continental breakfast, and a little hush money to boot. Took that cash and went to get a massage to take the stress off, and then... well, you guys know the rest of the story.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:35 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


neuromodulator: a Penthouse Letter written by Kafka

I feel like this needs its own website.
You beat me to it.

Fine. Sit in this.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:20 AM on November 15, 2012


Perhaps whether you think that place sounds shady or not depends on where you live. I've had many massages in rooms just like she described - they aren't shady and don't specialize in happy endings or anything. I wouldn't think twice going there even if I was pregnant. Well, maybe now I would! SO GROSS!

(I, too, want to hang out with her and her friend.)
posted by valeries at 11:50 AM on November 15, 2012


"No massage. Go!"

I once got a massage in a place that I later realized was a massage parlor. The masseuse was fine, after we got over some initial awkwardness that I thought was just because of the language barrier. It was a vigorous massage -- at one point she climbed on to the table not in a sexy way but to better pummel me -- but not in the least bit sexual, and it was very relaxing (other than the pummeling bit). I imagine it was a pleasant break in the routine for her.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:33 AM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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