Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I confess that I’ve always been afraid of touching my belly button. When I wash my belly button, I only give it a cursory wash, trying not to delve deep into it. I avoid looking at it because it scares me; it might tell me something I didn't want to know about myself, like my BELLY BUTTON IS DIRTY.

I have an semi-outie which means that it doesn't stick out like an Asian in Martha's Vineyard, but is not deep enough to hold a tequila shot. It is barely a thimble-full. If I shot my wad on myself, it wouldn't be enough to keep all of it in there, unless it's my third wad of the morning.

When I was younger, my great-aunt told me that if I played with my belly button too much, I could give myself a stomachache or worse--it could burst, my entrails spilling out of my gut. It's one of the many things that adults tell you as a kid not to do to yourself: pick your nose, bite your nails or stick your finger in your ass because awful things are going to happen. Of course, I have learned since then that nothing awful is going to happen if you pick your nose, although if you stick a finger up your ass, you turn gay.

It seems to me that since God never provided humans with an instruction manual to our bodies, we decided to write our own, many times to illogical or comical results. Masturbation will cause you to go blind; spitting on a new baseball bat will make it lucky; going to sleep with your hair wet can cause a bad hair day. Some of these are blatantly ridiculous. But really, don't sleep with your hair wet or your day will be totally ruined. Bad hair has been known to wreck lives and careers, remember Justin Guarini? Exactly.

These are the things I think about when I wash my semi-outie belly button, which right now, looks like an opened shrimp with the black vein still in place. I am afraid to pick at the black, dried crusts stuck in there because my belly button might unravel, the crusts being the only thing keeping it together.

I am not really sure why this happens anyway. I bathe regularly and as a rule, I don't roll around in unsterilized mud. It's gotta be pure, clean, unadulterated mud and then I spray Lysol all over it before I dip even a little toe into it.

In the shower, I steeled myself, preparing to clean the area. I gird my loins as I soap my fingers. I hope my stomach doesn't burst.

Wait, should I find a cork just in case?

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