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Thursday, April 08, 2004
In search of "Guts" pt. 2
Part one is here.
[WARNING: This blog post is rated "NC-50." If you read the following and you're under the age of 50, you'll turn into a one-eyed mutant orphan or a mysterious crab physician.]
Really, if you read the following you're going to regret it. Turn back now. Don't let curiosity get the better of you. This could be one of the most horrible things you'll read all day.
After 45 minutes of effort, I finally had a copy of "Guts" in my hands. I'd heard about the story back in November or so. Attendees at book signings for author Chuck Palahniuk were walking out and even fainting while hearing this story read aloud. Was this all a publicity stunt or was "Guts" really that nasty? Could a piece of writing have an immediate, physical effect on someone? What was in this thing? Would I faint?
In the contents of the March issue of Playboy, this description is given: "Author Chuck Palahniuk brings you a story that makes his best known work, Fight Club, look like Bambi." A bold statement indeed. Not believing the hype, I flipped to page 48.
Yes, it's that bad. I didn't faint but, good god, this is the single most disgusting and unpleasant thing I've ever read. Palahniuk is one sick little monkey. With that said, let me tell you all about it!
"Guts" begins with a simple request. Hold your breath for the duration of the story. Go ahead. Do this now. I'll spare you Palahniuk's wordplay so you (probably) won't faint.
From there, the narrator delves into a French phrase that means something along the lines of "the comeback at the bottom of the stairs." It's the ultimate remark or action you think of in hindsight, a minute or hour after it's too late. From there he delves into stories he's heard about bizarre masturbation habits and ensuing disasters. Then he relates his own.
What follows could probably make even Dan Savage puke. Hey, I never said Blog was a family-friendly. OK, if you absolutely must know what happens, highlight the inviso-text below.
As a teen, the narrator was a big fan of something called pearl diving (look it up). When his parents weren't around, he would run out to the pool in the backyard and spend hours at the bottom, occasionally coming up for air. One day, he discovered the cleaning valve on the edge. After having a little fun with it, his bum-bum became stuck to it. Quickly losing air, he struggled to make his way to the surface but couldn't move because of the hundreds pounds of pressure working against him. Terrified, he struggled and found his insides quickly becoming his outsides. With that, he had a nightmarish choice to make. Bite through his own lower intestines or die. He lives, leaving his father with a lot explaining to do when the pool guy shows up the next day.
I think I just lost 97% of my readership. Yippie! So was it all a publicity stunt or could people really faint while reading something like this? Blog reports, you decide.