CM3 (as he likes to be called, which is kind of dumb) is one of the top “weirdos” in the “bizarro” fiction “world.” He’s written 24 books and is best known for Satan Burger and its sequel, Punk Land. However, we’d be remiss not to recommend The Haunted Vagina, Adolf in Wonderland, and his latest, The Faggiest Vampire. Go read some excerpts at carltonmellick.com if you’re into burrowing through a wormhole of disturbing surrealism and absurd satire.
Story read by:
Madelyn Burgess, the girl who tells you which register to use at Whole Foods over the PA. Knob Tyler thinks he’s the strongest, toughest, most badass motherfucker on Mill Avenue. Unfortunately, Knob has a lollipop for a head. This makes him not quite as badass as he thinks he is.
While he’s strutting down the street with his white muscle shirt tossed over his sweat-drenched shoulder, Knob likes to flex his pectorals at the ladies. Whenever he says ladies, he pronounces it laydaaays. But for some reason the laydaaays are never impressed by the size of his pecs. They are too creeped out by his weird lollipop head to notice anything special about his muscles.
Knob’s lollipop head is the size of a bowling ball and light orange in color. The flavor of the lollipop is Tropical Sensation, which is a mixture of pineapple, mango, and star fruit. His tiny candy eyes, nose, and mouth are clustered together in the center of his large round face. His eyebrows are always curled downward to show how fucking serious he is about shit.
Oftentimes, when the sun is shining hard on Mill Avenue, Knob’s lollipop head will begin to sweat, filling the air with tropical sweetness. This smell attracts flies that stick to the side of his face and squirm around his ear holes. Knob tries to wipe them away, but for every fly he frees, three more take its place. This isn’t good for picking up the laydaaays.
What also isn’t good for picking them up is the gang of bearded truckers that always follow him around, trying to lick his head. It isn’t easy to pick up laydaaays when there are bearded truckers licking your head.
But you have to understand, truckers really love Tropical Sensation–flavored lollipops. They are addicted to them. There’s something about driving a big rig down the interstate, listening to “Kansas City Lights,” and sucking a Tropical Sensation lollipop down to the gooey paper stick that really makes them feel at peace with the universe. Now that Tropical Sensation is a discontinued flavor, these truckers can’t do this anymore. The only way they can satisfy their tropical fix is to go down to Mill Avenue, sneak up behind Knob Tyler, and lick the back of his bald candy head.
But even this is becoming a limited resource for their Tropical Sensation needs. There is only so much licking a lollipop can take. Knob has not realized any difference while flexing in front of his mirror each morning. He is too busy watching the size of his muscles increase to notice the size of his head decreasing.
The truckers, on the other hand, have noticed the difference in size as of late. And the thought that his head might shrink away to nothing has sent a wave of panic through the trucker community.
Knob is a connoisseur of fine cheeses. Today, he is at a cheese tasting at the fancy cheesery on Mill Avenue. He holds a tiny chunk of Raclette Poivre on a toothpick, nibbling the edges with his sticky orange lips.
The shop is filled with cheese enthusiasts, gathering together for the weekly tasting. Knob struts by goateed men in gray business-casual attire, sizes them up, then moves on. Knob knows that he’s the buffest cheese taster in the room. He thinks this will give him an advantage over the competition when picking up the laydaaays.
While cruising the cheesery, Knob realizes that most of the women in the room are with other guys. But this doesn’t stop him from flirting at a distance. He goes to a turtleneck-sweatered woman speaking to a shrimpy, goateed man. Standing behind the man’s shoulder, Knob flexes a single pectoral muscle at the woman as if it is asking her a question.
The woman knows Knob is there but she does not make eye contact, so he raises his pec even higher, then higher. The woman does not acknowledge him. He blames it on the cheesery’s absurd no-shirt, no-service policy. He knows she would be much more impressed if he didn’t have his shirt on.
Knob gets himself a glass of Nebbiolo and samples a Piave Vecchio. He smiles and bobs his head at the taste.
“This is a good cheese,” he says to a woman breast-feeding a baby in a sling. Then he looks down at her bare breast and raises a candy eyebrow. The woman covers the baby’s head and steps away.
Knob shrugs and moves on.
After five more failed attempts, Knob decides to focus on the cheeses. He has an extra-aged Mimolette, which he learns goes very well with a Zinfandel or Syrah. He then tries the Emmenthaler, which has hints of flowers, raisins, and wood fires.
“You have to try the Banon,” says a voice behind his shoulder.
Knob turns around to see a woman with short blond hair, square glasses, and a baseball cap. He recognizes her from previous tastings. She’s one of the few regulars he hasn’t had the chance to hit on yet, because she’s always watching old Flash Gordon serials on her iPod and never seems aware of her surroundings. He’s checked her out, of course, and thought she was quite the hottie but a little too flat-chested for his taste.
“It was aged in a chestnut leaf,” she says, biting into a piece of cheese on a water cracker.
Knob looks to see if there is anybody standing behind him, just in case she might be talking to somebody else. There isn’t. He raises one shoulder and slowly flexes a pectoral muscle.
“Try it,” she says, pointing her cheese in his face.
Knob opens his mouth. She drops in the cheese. He chews and swallows.
“It’s good,” he says, his throat crusty with powdered cracker.
“I see you in here all the time,” she says. “Are you really into gourmet cheeses?”
He nods his lollipop head.
“I live for cheese,” she says.
“Yeah, me too,” he says, his pectoral muscles dancing for her.
They turn back to the cheese table. Knob checks out the girl while she examines the cheeses. Her purple skirt wiggles when she spreads a Brie de Nangis on a slice of crusty bread. He leans in to get a better look at her front, when something wets the back of his head.
Knob turns around. There is a beefy, tattooed, potbellied trucker standing behind him holding up a piece of Port-Salut on a toothpick. Knob glares at him.
“What?” says the trucker, licking his lips through a wiry gray beard.
Knob turns back to the girl. Of all the times to have a trucker licking his head, this one is the worst.
“I’m Alisa,” says the girl, grabbing his hand to shake.
With his free hand, Knob feels the wet spot on his head and pulls away a few curly gray hairs.
“Knobert Tyler,” he says, and bows slightly at her.
While leaning down for the bow, Knob feels two more licks on his head. He turns around. There are two more truckers behind him. These two are fatter and hairier than the first. They smile at him, holding glasses of wine and chewing on cheeses.
Knob sizes up the truckers. The truckers size up Knob. Before they get a chance to confront him, Knob turns to Alisa. He isn’t sure if Alisa witnessed the truckers licking him, so he decides to play it off as if nothing happened.
“Try this Stilton,” Alisa says, holding a bite of cheese to his face.
Knob opens his mouth. As he bites into the cheese, he feels wide tongues lapping at the back of his head. They squirm against his candy scalp like fat greasy snakes.
While the truckers lick his head, Knob pretends that nothing is wrong. This is his first big chance at scoring in a long time and he doesn’t want to mess it up. He chews the cheese and nods at the flavor, as the bearded truckers slobber all over him.
“It tastes like ginger,” he says, cringing at the curly hairs that caress the back of his neck.
“Yeah, it has mango and ginger,” Alisa says.
Knob doesn’t know why Alisa hasn’t noticed the truckers yet. He just plays it off cool, hoping that his dancing pectoral muscles have hypnotized her. Many of the other cheese tasters have noticed the licking truckers, however, and are now politely inching away from him. Knob flexes his muscles as tightly as he can, to prove to them that he is not gay no matter how many truckers are licking his head.
“They had a five-year Gouda here last time that was really good,” he says, as a warm wetness coils into his right ear hole.
Knob casually breaks away from the worming tongues and switches to the other side of Alisa.
“Yeah, yeah,” she says, blinking her blue eyes. “That was terrific. I bought some to take home.”
Knob feels another lick, and he turns around. The number of customers in the cheesery has suddenly doubled. Over half of them are overweight truckers who have sneaked in under Knob’s radar like stealthy obese ninjas. They are spread throughout the shop, mingling with the other cheese enthusiasts. Knob can see them ogling him from across the room, winking at him between sips of chardonnay.
“They always have the most interesting cheeses at this place,” Alisa says.
When she turns her back to grab some more wine, a dozen truckers charge the back of Knob’s head. They hold him by the shoulders and take turns slurping on him as hard as they can. Knob tenses up like he just hopped into a freezing-cold shower. He retains a manly posture while being gang-licked by the truckers, so that none of the laydaaays watching think he’s gay.
The truckers stop licking once Alisa returns to Knob. She notices that his orange head is soaked and his muscles are tensed.
“What happened to you?” she asks.
Knob slicks his hand across his lollipop head, collecting a mass of orange slime. Alisa examines his head.
“What’s this?” she says, wiping her finger across a tender spot on the back of his lollipop.
Knob feels the area her finger wiped. There is a lump.
“It looks like... bone,” she says.
Knob can feel it. His lollipop head has been licked down so far that it has finally degraded to the bone.
“It’s your skull,” she says. “Your skull is showing.”
The truckers notice the white lump sticking out of the orange candy like the Tootsie of a half-eaten Tootsie Roll Pop. They bow their heads in shame. Knob fingers his head frantically, wondering what has happened to the rest of it. The other cheese enthusiasts wince at the sight of him.
“We need to get you to the hospital,” Alisa says.
She sits him down in a chair. As his head lowers to her level, she gets a whiff of pineapple, mango, and star fruit.
“That smell...” She suddenly forgets about the hospital and becomes lost in the fragrance.
Then she licks his head.
“Is this...” She licks again. “Tropical Sensation?”
Before Knob has a chance to ask her what she’s doing, Alisa takes a few more licks and then bites down on his skull, cracking open the bone.
“I’m sorry,” she says, wiping orange sauce from her lips. “I’ve never been able to stop myself from biting.”
Everyone in the shop freezes. Yuppies and truckers alike have their eyes locked on Knob and Alisa, their mouths drooped in horror at Knob’s cracked-open lollipop head. Unlike his head, Knob’s brain looks the same as any normal person’s brain, only it sweats a deep mahogany fluid that resembles a tawny port.
The taste of this brain fluid mingles with the tropical flavor in Alisa’s mouth. Her eyes become distant as she rolls the mahogany liquid across her palate. Then she swallows slowly and smiles.
Knob’s pecs cower toward his armpits. He holds back the pain as best as he can so that nobody thinks he’s a wimp. But the crowd is no longer paying attention to Knob. Their eyes are glued on Alisa.
“Wow,” she says. “It tastes even better on the inside.”
Alisa takes another lick of Knob’s brain, slower, really trying to get a good taste. She savors the fluid in her mouth, exploring the complexities.
She explains what she is tasting to the crowd: “It’s nutty... and sweet. I can taste hints of vanilla... raisins... tobacco... strawberry...”
Then she stabs a piece of cheese with a toothpick and puts it in her mouth. Her eyes roll in euphoric bliss. “And it’s just amazing with this Stilton.”
Knob gawks at the crazy woman, wondering what is wrong with her, but the rest of cheese tasters now seem more curious than shocked.
“You have to try it,” she says to the cheese tasters.
The manager of the shop nudges his way through the crowd to them. Alisa arches the back of Knob’s head toward the manager’s nicely manicured goatee. The man dabs his tongue quickly against Knob’s brain, catching only a drop of the fluid. Alisa pops a piece of Stilton through his lips and the man bites down. His eyes light up.
“Oh, my...” says the manager. “Yes, yes.” He waves his wife over to Knob’s head. “It is fantastic!”
After the man’s wife gives it a try, she says, “This is divine!”
Knob becomes the hit of the cheesery and a hit with the laydaaays. Everyone wants to take a lick at Knob’s brain, especially the truckers. They start a line that winds through the entire shop and stretches out the door.
There is not a woman in the room who doesn’t want to lick him. The turtleneck-sweatered yuppie girl who had ignored him earlier slips her phone number into his pocket when her goateed boyfriend isn’t looking. Knob just nods his head and pumps his pectoral muscles to the rhythm of “Kansas City Lights.” The truckers raise their wineglasses in approval.
Alisa wraps her arm around Knob’s neck and kisses his hard candy cheek.
“Why don’t we grab a bottle of wine and go back to my place?” she says.
Knob gives her a wink. Then she cuts through the crowd to the wine section to find something special for them.
“Score,” he says to himself, as the truckers and the cheese enthusiasts break off more of his candy coating to get to the tastier flavor within.
This story is over 5 years old
The Fiction Issue 2008