The Glorious L.B.K.E.N.M.

Written by Jonathan Wojcik

   So I was prowling google for things with the word "maggots" in them one day when I stumbled upon what I immediately recognized as the seven most beautiful words in the English language:

   I think we've all seen this type of toy by now; these rubber, squishy bubbles filled with an inedible novelty stew are a staple of dollar stores, gas stations and discount aisles. It's not even that uncommon for them to contain imitation blood and maggots, but the moment my eyes met The Luminous Big Kito Extrusion Nausea Maggots, I knew it was something special. So special, I daresay that minimum $37 for ten of them would have started to look perfectly reasonable, had I not immediately found them on the shifty for individual sale, and the God, the pictures:

   Can you believe how beautiful they made these look? They're like if harlequin fetuses could have harlequin fetuses. Cheap manufacturing seems to only enhance their rugged charm, and Everbuying was kind enough to include these essential product specs:

   You mean to tell me that a Luminous Large Maggots Big Ghost Head is a unisex product you can use to reduce pressure? Practical and progressive! And they're made of 100% pure flexible glue.

   Alternative listings offer their own perspective on the Big Ghost Head's unique merits, reminding us twice that this practical joke tool is a realistic rubber skeleton, even vivid, like a real one! Look at him, lying on his vivid little face. Precious

Unfortunately, is merely one deceptive facet of a single vast, Chinese wholesale network notorious for lost packages and misrepresented merchandise. I ordered three of these little cuties, but would they really arrive? Even then, could they ever be as glamorous as their internet photographs implied? I couldn't have known how much airbrushing, photoshopping and camera angle voodoo they may have pulled, here. In person, these little rascals could even look like effort was put into them!

   Thankfully, my fears were squashed when my package finally arrived an agonizing eight weeks later, and I pulled the first Nauseous Ghost Head Maggots Tool from its bubble-wrap chrysalis. Every bit as radiant as its JPEGs promised, I immediately deliberated over a long list of baby names before settling on Morag, which is an awesome real name for little girls.

   Morag functions exactly as specified; her realistic rubber skeleton is vivid, like the real thing, and when expressed by hand, will come out maggots. I love the way her nub-like tongue protrudes rudely from the fleshy ring of her perfectly circular mouth, like an inverted nipple trying not to regurgitate.

   Sparing no expense, little Morag's cranium comes stocked with no less than two species of insect larvae; both fat, limbless grubs characteristic of true Diptera and more elongate specimens whose physiology at first implies a Lepidopteran lineage, but complete lack of prolegs has me leaning more towards the Coleoptera. Her secrets thoroughly laid bare, it was time to set Morag aside and fish out the next Shimmering Practical Face Worms Cadaver.

   Much to my surprise, Morag's first of two siblings had a slightly different design, sporting pointed, well developed ears, pronounced cheek bones and a gaping, lipless mouth. I decided arbitrarily that this one was a boy, and that he should be named Milburn.

   Again, the mouth is one of the most endearing features. In Milburn's case, little more than a depression in his bulbous visage, grown over with a membrane of skin. As bloated insect larvae twist and roll in the juices that were once his brain, Milburn can only scream silently behind a prison of his own flesh, filling me with a sense of nostalgia for early childhood.

   It seemed at first as though Milburn had expended his bag of tricks, but as I rigorously prolapsed his squelching eyes, a sort of vestigial eyelid unfurled itself, followed by another. The manufacturing process no doubt discards the vast majority of these ocular membranes, possibly to melt down into more Morags, but rebellious little Milburn somehow managed to slip through the fingers of his oppressive masters.

   Things took an intriguing new turn as I finally unpacked my third Vivid Ghost Tool Prank Head, an identical twin to Morag with something subtly amiss!

   Morag II...what's the matter with your eye-bubbles? Do you need a bath? Was there an unforseen impurity when they poured your Flexible Glue? Why are you so damn oily, anyway? Like all of life's most tantalizing mysteries, this one would only be solved by pulling the contents of this boneless, embryonic cranium out through its eye sockets.

   Lo and behold, our Unisex Cranial Myiasis Ghouls were shipped with one free, bonus biome! There's no mistaking what we're seeing here for anything other than live bacterial colonies. Not just any bacterial colonies, but the best kind of bacterial colonies: unidentified bacterial colonies, from an unknown, untraceable source! We could be looking at just about anything, here; common Salmonella, the gentle Clostridium botulinum, perhaps even the coveted Bacillus anthracis! We may never know, until I erupt with weeping lesions, and even then, I may have difficulty telling those apart from my face.


   In the meantime, we'll have to find a suitable replacement for Morag II's wormsack. She's having trouble sleeping with nothing in her eye sockets...she can see far too much.