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OMG ITS SO GROSS EWWW!!1!
May 7, 2004 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Warning: this is possibly the worst story ever told. Ever wanted to know what it's like to have a beef tapeworm? (Fun fact: they're the kind that fills your whole intestinal tract!) A storyteller on The Fray helpfully clues us in to the experience of living with, and eventually destroying, his li'l parasite buddy. Don't read it if you don't want to wish for death at the end. (Blessedly, there are no photographs, though there are some toon-like illustrations.) Via Boing Boing.
posted by logovisual (40 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Umm.. gross.

Observations:
1. Steak tartare eaters get what they deserve.
2. When you take a magic pill that promises to evacuate a giant parasite, don't go out to lunch.
posted by PrinceValium at 11:43 AM on May 7, 2004


Yeah I saw this on Boing Boing earlier and was actually dissapointed there were no photographs.
posted by bobo123 at 11:47 AM on May 7, 2004


In a perfect world, toilets would have two speed levels: low-flush and vortex. Problem solved.
posted by maggieb at 11:51 AM on May 7, 2004


The tapeworm diet program - you can eat all you want and STILL loose weight!
posted by rough ashlar at 11:52 AM on May 7, 2004


I had just read that, considered posting it, and decided against it. Then I came here.

That was definitely more information than I needed on that topic.
posted by konolia at 11:56 AM on May 7, 2004


Mmmm, tartare.
Mmmm, rare beef.
Mmmm, tapeworm.

I think I will now start ordering my steaks and burgers well done from now on.
posted by brownpau at 11:59 AM on May 7, 2004


Ugh. I, too, wonder why the guy thought going out for lunch was a good idea. And how did he flush the toilet with all that toilet paper in it? Imagine - a toilet clogged with the remains of a 50-foot tapeworm.

Another reason never to eat steak tartare.
posted by Dasein at 12:01 PM on May 7, 2004


Sounds like Bob the Anal Fissure. An Internet classic.
posted by Aaorn at 12:03 PM on May 7, 2004


Yikes.
posted by bz at 12:03 PM on May 7, 2004


I thought the illustrations and story layout were quite compelling.

The story itself was amazingly well-written and funny: "... every time I ate, it ate; I drank, it swallowed; when I got caught in the rain, it stayed dry."
posted by tpl1212 at 12:05 PM on May 7, 2004


Content aside, the overall narration experience is really quite well done and enjoyable. Or maybe it just seems that way when standing next to its content.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:06 PM on May 7, 2004


I hadn't eaten breakfast this morning and downed a Red Bull between cups of coffee and then read this. I proceeded to have an adrenaline reaction that nearly brought me to the floor.

Lessons learned:don't eat raw beef and don't pass your tapeworm at a restaurant.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 12:11 PM on May 7, 2004


I have made it a very conscious point to cut down on red meat the past few months, but for the hell of it decided to order a roast beef sandwich today. I'm halfway through it when I open this link...I think someone's trying to warn me (but it's so delicious).
posted by adamms222 at 12:11 PM on May 7, 2004


I just noticed: Chris Bishop (of Her fame) illustrating. Beautiful.
posted by brownpau at 12:39 PM on May 7, 2004


It's just a story - it doesn't say it's true...
posted by dash_slot- at 12:40 PM on May 7, 2004


All Fray stories are true.
posted by fraying at 12:46 PM on May 7, 2004


I finished that story about five minutes ago and still have goosebumps. Truly disturbing.
posted by Samsonov14 at 1:13 PM on May 7, 2004


OK, tapeworm joke:
How do you kill a tapeworm?
1. Shove banana up your ass.
2. Five minutes later, shove a chocolate chip cookie up your ass.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 daily for a week.
4. On day 8, shove a banana up your ass, but do not follow with chocolate chip cookie. Have scissors ready.
5. When tapeworm sticks his head out and says, "Where's my chocolate chip cookie," cut off his head.
posted by beagle at 1:19 PM on May 7, 2004


Oh my gosh, the Anal Fissure Bob story is hilarious... I couldn't stop laughing... under my breath... trying not to call attention to myself in the office...

Joe : "Whatcha reading?"
Me : "Oh, nothing... "
Joe : "Anal Fissures! WTF!"
posted by psychotic_venom at 1:26 PM on May 7, 2004


Information seems wrong to what I know, and can find.

Beef Tapeworms generally grow to only around 20 feet in length: Beef tapeworm: Taenia saginata, the most common of the big tapeworms that parasitizes people, contracted from infected raw or rare beef. Can grow to be 12-25 feet (3.6-7.5 m) long in the human intestine. Also known as the African tapeworm.

Whereas fish tapeworms:

"Diphyllobothrium latum, the broad fish tapeworm is the largest (up to 18 m = 60 feet!) tapeworm found in humans. Historically, human infection has been most common in countries along the Baltic Coast and in the Great Lakes region, but the growing popularity of sushi and sashimi [...] has caused infections by the fish tapeworm to become more common throughout the U.S."

(On the plus side there's evidence to suggest that worms can alleviate irritable bowel syndrome and other allergies. Successful trials with whipworms).
posted by Blue Stone at 1:34 PM on May 7, 2004


Here's a nice photo.
posted by skallas at 1:41 PM on May 7, 2004


This is precisely why people who believe in "intelligent design" can kiss my (possibly) worm-laden rear quarters.

If there is a God, and he made these things to afflict us, I don't want a thing to do with him.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:04 PM on May 7, 2004


Beef Tapeworms generally grow to only around 20 feet in length

You know what, if I had to pull 20ft of tapeworm out of my ass in a restaurant bathroom I think it would feel like I could lasso the moon with it too.

I knew a girl who had a tapeworm, and although this story is played for dramatic effect, the basic details of this story aren't all that different from her experience, except I think she needed multiple treatments and it came out in pieces of the course of a few days.
posted by evilcupcakes at 2:11 PM on May 7, 2004


I was imagining some Eraserhead type worms. Those don't even look scary, like long pieces of white cloth or something.
posted by geoff. at 2:23 PM on May 7, 2004


I just had steak tartare one week ago today... buwahahaha

What's that string hanging out my ass?
posted by PigAlien at 2:42 PM on May 7, 2004


Oh, and here's a lovely picture of a tapeworm.
posted by PigAlien at 2:44 PM on May 7, 2004


If I were that guy I would have barricaded myself at home and consumed nothing but metamucil for about a day before sending the little bugger off.

But then that's just me.
posted by clevershark at 2:45 PM on May 7, 2004


pardon the pun, but SHIT! what a long read.

That was one of the best written and presented things I've recently seen on the Internet. The illustrations are fantastic, too. Thank you for posting that.

The illustrations reminded me of Jim Flora.

As with most fray stuff, my only complaint is the writing is meant to be performed so it has its faults as a written story. But it's very well done — which is, incidentally, a temperature I'll be cooking all beef and poultry from now on, heh.
posted by Peter H at 2:46 PM on May 7, 2004


If I were that guy I would have barricaded myself at home and consumed nothing but metamucil for about a day before sending the little bugger off. .

And then chasing it with Colon Blow, raw halapeno's, and a case of Blatz for good measure.
posted by WLW at 3:08 PM on May 7, 2004


This has made me thankful that I always order my steaks/hamburgers/viking-style sticks-of-beef well done. In fact, I ask them to burn the meat to a crisp. I prefer my foodstuffs covered with a thick coating of carbonic ash.

Also, this story reminds me of Palahniuk's short story "Guts", the one which has been causing people to faint at readings. You may have hear of it before, it's quite has a lot of memetic velocity. The story is available here. I feel compelled to warn everyone that if this story about the tapeworm made you even slightly uncomfortable, Palahniuk's horrific exploration of the intenstine will politely rip your face off and hand it to you in a carefully constructed aluminum swan, such that the left over remnants of your personage will look nice sitting in your fridge.
posted by mmcg at 3:16 PM on May 7, 2004


mmcg - You DO know that ordering a steak well done at any resturant will result in your ending up with the oldest, most inferior quality piece of meat they have, right? They know that carbon tastes like carbon no matter what so they get rid of that piece of gristle that's been hanging around the cooler for a few weeks by giving it to a "well done" customer.
posted by TungstenChef at 4:13 PM on May 7, 2004


My mom (a microbiologist) thought it would be hilarious to tell my first-ever boyfriend that I had a worm inside me. Which, for the record, was not true (although I do have one in a jar that I got her to smuggle out of her lab, don't know who it came out of). He thought it was fascinating although he was smart enough not to believe her.
posted by katieinshoes at 4:36 PM on May 7, 2004


I was imagining some Eraserhead type worms. Those don't even look scary, like long pieces of white cloth or something.

Ah, Eraserhead -- David Lynch seems to have accomplished the production of a mental tapeworm!
posted by namespan at 5:09 PM on May 7, 2004


(On the plus side there's evidence to suggest that worms can alleviate irritable bowel syndrome and other allergies. Successful trials with whipworms).

Next up: mercury treatments actually good for you.
posted by namespan at 5:14 PM on May 7, 2004


Pahlianuk's Guts is excellent, though I'd recommend searching for the mp3 of him reading it. It takes on a whole other dimension in audio.
posted by bobo123 at 6:03 PM on May 7, 2004


I had a similar experience as an elementary school student, although I guess my little friend had died of natural causes. I clearly remember thinking 'when did I swallow all this string?'

Reading that piece (and it was well done) brought back some disquieting old memories of the whizzing, unpleasant sensation deep inside while I diligently pulled the sucker out.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:12 AM on May 8, 2004


mmcg, I just puked a little bit in my mouth. And I still have goosebumps. I'd rather travel back in time and watch The Exorcist as a 10 year-old again than relive the memory of reading this thread and (foolishly) clicking on a few links that I found here.
posted by Samsonov14 at 5:51 AM on May 8, 2004


stavros - maybe you killed your little friend by eating some American fast food ?

Metafilter 29863 - My very own parasite : "....I swear it had two beady eyes on it. And it came out two or three inches, looked around and then retracted. I thought it was a dream, a vision of some sort."

" When Tanya Andrews returned from a recent family holiday in Costa Rica, she had no idea she had brought back a gruesome souvenir. A month later she developed an extremely painful lump on her head.

At first, she thought she had an abscess, but then it wriggled.
At the Hospital for Tropical Diseases they recognised the problem straight away - it was the living maggot larva of a botfly. "


OK, that's disgusting. But this was sublimely disgusting :

"Soon after travel writer, Broughton Coburn, returned from Nepal he began to experience regular, inexplicable nosebleeds.

They continued for three weeks until an embarrassing encounter in a teashop made him realise that something was seriously wrong.

As he was being served, the waiter took one look at him and fled in horror.

Broughton chased him down the street urging him to tell him what was wrong. But the boy would only point, wordlessly, at his nose.

Broughton returned home and sat in trepidation in front of a mirror.

His patience was rewarded when a brown worm-like creature emerged from his right nostril and looked around.

"I swear it had two beady eyes on it. And it came out two or three inches, looked around and then retracted. I thought it was a dream, a vision of some sort."
( Above quotes via the BBC )

That thread has links to a number of parasite resources on the net, and a few great personal parasite anecdotes. Some participants offered up their favorite parasites - such as grimgrin's "wandering" pencil-sized parasitic worm, Ascarias - which occasionally wanders through the brain, heart, or other such vital organ - usually resulting in death

Also, there was this classic mr_crash_davis quip :

"My wife has thrice suffered the indignity of being infested with a horrible parasite that attaches itself inside the body and feeds on the blood of its host, growing ever and ever larger as the host's body expands grotequesly to accomodate its never-satisfied hunger, until at last the parasite, having reached a length of ALMOST TWO FEET and a weight of NEARLY NINE POUNDS emerges...

FROM THE HOST'S VAGINA!

Sadly, the parasites then stick around for another 18 years, consuming nearly everything in the house."

posted by troutfishing at 6:47 AM on May 8, 2004 [1 favorite]


stavros - maybe you killed your little friend by eating some American fast food ?

Nope. McFood was not available in my isolated village when I was growing up (and in fact still isn't, other than gas station microwave burgers and such).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:15 PM on May 8, 2004


I was present when that story was told at Fray Cafe. It was possibly the most disturbing, uncomfortable thing I'd ever heard in relation to a foreign invader of the human body.

As a result, reading it over the weekend was less of a scare than it might have been...and I'm kinda sorry...
posted by tomcosgrave at 9:20 AM on May 10, 2004


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