In 1520 the Pope got mad at Martin Luther for putting holes in a perfectly good church door, so he ordered the new Holy Roman Emperor to form a diet (pronounced “DEE-it”) in the town of Worms (pronounced “Ewwww!“) to discuss how they should punish ol’ Marty. Out of sheer formality they also invited Mr. Luther so that he could either defend his position, or nervously laugh that it was all a big misunderstanding and could they allow him to keep his head on his shoulders a little while longer please?
So the Diet of Worms formed in 1521, and yes, they did invite Martin. To their surprise though, Martin was having none of it. “I don’t eat worms” he wrote by way of refusal.
The diet wrote back, “Mr. Luther, ‘Worms’ with a capital ‘W’ is a town in Germany, not the squirmy thing on your fishing pole. We thought you knew that, seeing as how you’re German. So please, show up so we can decide if you need a flaming poker shoved up your arsch to cure you of your heresy. Yours, etc.”
It didn’t work. “I don’t believe them” he told a friend. “I still think they’re gonna make me eat a worm. They’re just trying to lure me with the hot poker thing.”
The diet was pissed. There they were, miles from home in a city called “Ewwww!“, and the guy they were throwing the party for was standing them up. They told the Holy Roman Emperor, who told the Pope, who told the diet to write up an edict (conveniently called “The Edict of Ewwww!“). The edict said in all caps and huge font with frowny face emojis that Martin was now an outlaw, and if they caught him they were gonna make him eat worms. THEN ram a flaming poker up his arsch. THEN remove his head from his shoulders.
Martin just laughed when he heard this. “They wrote the edict in German” he wrote to his sister. “By the time they finish reading all those 230-syllable German words out loud I’ll be long dead. Oh well. I guess I’ll go start a new religion and have people fight to the death over who’s version of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is the correct one.”
So he did. Then he wrote a book called “On the Jews and Their Lies“. And then he died, still never having eaten a worm.
Until 5 centuries later when….
In January year of our lord 2018 NewWifey(tm) stepped on our bathroom scale and started crying. “You bastard!” she screamed at me. “Your stupid gourmet cooking made me fat!”
I didn’t hear her though. I was 50 miles away at work, and her voice only carries 40.
But I sure heard it when I got home.
In a very real way this all goes back to our original marriage contract, specifically the clause which states NewWifey(tm) is not to weigh more than 135 pounds sopping wet. If she balloons beyond that I get to have sex with any woman I want who has not let herself go. (She probably only agreed to that because she knows no such woman would ever consent once they saw me. But still.)
Before you tear into me, let it be known that NewWifey(tm) knew of my predilection for willowy waifs back when we were just friends, never objected to it when we were courting, and she proposed the clause and penalty as an inducement to marriage. So she has no one to blame but herself if I end up in the arms of some gracile sylph because she blimped to a size 8.
Therefor she was very upset when she saw that needle threaten to touch 140. She knows a deal’s a deal.
“IT’S ONLY FOUR ORANGES!” she screamed at me when I got home. “EIGHTEEN JUMBO SHRIMP! SIX PAIRS OF SOCKS! TWO POUNDS! PLEASE DON’T FUCK KATE MOSS!!!”
To say this caught me off guard would be an understatement. I didn’t even have my trailing leg through the door yet and my wife was already bellowing random numbers, random items, and a plea not to shag a has-been model. Normally I get at least an obligatory “Hi honey, how was your day?” before the insanity starts.
I had to assume the worst.
“Honey, get in the car – you’re having a stroke!”
“I’m not having a stroke” she almost sobbed, “I WEIGH 137 POUNDS!”
“That can’t be. You’re talking nonsense. You MUST be having a stroke. Please let it be a stroke….”
She hung her head. “I wish it was too. But look.”
She took me by the hand and led me to the bathroom. She dropped her robe and stepped on the scale. The dial spun up to 150, back to 122, up to 146, down to 131, up to 140 then down to
where it stopped.
We both stared at the impossible number between NewWifey(tm)’s feet.
She started crying.
“Two pounds! I’m only two pounds over our agreement! That’s just four baby ducks! FOUR BABY DUCKS!”
I felt cold.
There was one hope though.
“Did it all go to your boobs?”
She glanced down. “You tell me.”
I looked, then turned and walked out of the room.
She ran past me in the hall and spun around. “Please” she begged, “I never ask you for anything, and I’ve done everything you’ve asked me to do. Please, just this once….”
I thought about it. True, NewWifey(tm) has been remarkably low maintenance. Other than food and a new Hitachi Magic Wand every couple of years, I really don’t have to lay out much. And she does fix our cars, shovel the drive, mow the lawn, re-shingle the house (bonus for clicking any of those links: pics of NewWifey(tm) in action!), race motorcycles, boink, play Mario Cart, and run her own business.
But…137. That’s tough.
Still, ever since we got married NewWifey(tm) has been practically like a wife to me. I’m not totally heartless. I decided to go against the Guy Code and – just this once – give her a break.
I took a deep breath. “Ok” I said, “I won’t fuck Kate Moss. This time. But I’m putting you on a diet so you can get back down to human weight as soon as possible. And this time, you better stay there.”
She dropped to her knees in relief.
“Don’t” I said. “Too many calories.”
Later that night we discussed what diet she should go on.
“I’m kinda liking the ‘Binge and Purge’ thing” said NewWifey(tm). “You can eat however much you want of whatever you want, and never gain any weight. I can’t stand the idea of having to eat diet food. Blech. Kale.”
“I dunno” I said. “I really don’t want to see my gourmet creations projectile vomited five minutes after I serve them. Besides, that hogs up the the bathroom. How about Atkins? I lost a ton of flabbage when I tried that a couple of years ago, remember?”
“Yeah, you did” she said. “But Marie Osmond endorses it, so no way. All those kids!”
I’m not sure I understood the connection, but I knew better than to ask. That would only be opening a can of worms.
Wait – that was it!
“Say honey, have you ever heard of the ‘Diet of Worms’?” I asked, knowing full well she’d had an American public school education so the answer would be ‘no’.
“The diet of…worms? Ewwww! Tell me you’re joking!” she said.
“No joke. It’s one of the oldest recorded diets in the world. In fact, it’s the diet that inspired Dr. Atkins in the first place. Back in the middle ages they discovered that eating an all-meat diet made you lose weight. But poorer people couldn’t afford beef, pork, or really anything else in the quantities needed. However they had plenty of worms. So….”
She stared at me with her mouth open for probably 15 seconds. What little natural color she has drained from her face.
“Fine” she said finally. “If it keeps me from getting Kate Moss’s sloppy seconds, I’ll try it.”
“Great!” I said. “I’ll stop off at the bait store tomorrow and pick up a bucket of night crawlers.” (They do a lot of ice fishing up here, and “night crawlers” are the preferred species of annelid to use for bait.)
I headed for the kitchen to make my dinner. It took every bit of self control I had not to laugh the entire way.
The next day I stopped at WalMart on my way home from work for a bag of gummy worms.
I was hoping to get one of those novelty 3-foot long ones because it would scare the crap out of her when I threw it in her lap. But also because-
Hey, you have fantasies too. Don’t judge.
Alas, all they had was the usual:
But that would do. I grabbed two bags, along with a Tupperware container and a package of Oreo cookies. Back in the car I dumped the worms in the container and poured crushed Oreos over them. It looked perfect.
I couldn’t wait to hand NewWifey(tm) the container and watch her pop that first “night crawler” in her mouth. This was gonna be one of the best pranks I ever played on her, and that’s saying a lot.
I pulled into the driveway and gave a last check to make sure her “diet food” looked authentic. It did. I opened the door and walked in to DangerHouse for the big reveal.
“Honey, I’m home!” I called cheerily. “C’mon out – I brought dinner.”
I peeked into the living room. No wife. Kitchen? Nope. Maybe she’s in her office in the basement working on one of her designs. But nope again.
That was odd. Her car was in the driveway, so I knew she wasn’t trying to escape. Maybe she was hiding in the attic. I went back upstairs to check.
On my way down the hall I glanced towards the bathroom. I’d passed by it before, but didn’t see anything amiss. The door was cracked open, something NewWifey(tm) would never do if she was dropping a friend off at the pool. So previously I just kept walking. But this time something caught my eye.
At the base of the door, poking out from under the gap, was a…toe? I walked to the door and bent over. It WAS a toe!
I figured the toe had to be attached to something, so I gently pushed open the door to look. And immediately wished I hadn’t.
The toe was attached to NewWifey(tm), who was on her knees on the other side of the door, sprawled over the bathtub.
There was vomit everywhere.
Not only was there an inch of vomit lining the bottom of the tub, but all four walls were spattered, the light switch was coated, puke was dripping off the curtains, and there were even blotches on the ceiling. Chunks of bacon and pasta studded her hair – last night’s spaghetti carbonara. A wad of decomposing Pâte à choux from the profiteroles I made the night before was stuck to her ankle.
I thought she was dead.
Much as I hated the idea of wading through the emptied contents of her stomach, I had to check. I lifted my pants cuffs and gingerly tiptoed over.
“Honey…?” I said. “Are you dead?”
From the bottom of the tub came a low groan.
I gingerly lifted NewWifey(tm)’s head above the rim of the tub and waited for her eyes to stop spinning in opposite directions.
“Baby! Sweetie! What happened??”
She didn’t say anything, just feebly pointed to a spot on the floor near the toilet. I looked over and saw a red plastic Solo cup on its side with what looked like a pile of dirt next to it. Around it were what appeared to be more strands of spaghetti, but when I looked closer….
“Honey!” I said. “Did you…did you eat a worm?”
“Worms” she said weakly. “Plural.”
“But…why? I thought you were gonna wait til I got home.”
“Didn’t want to wait…went to the bait store…Kate Moss….” Her head dropped back into the tub. I stared at her back, mouth open.
“Ok” I said, “let’s get some fluids in you. Do you think you can stand?” She gave a nod and I helped her up. I half carried, half dragged her to the living room where I plunked her down in the recliner. Five minutes later I handed her a cup of weak camomile tea with honey, and a cracker.
While she regained her bearings I went and troweled out the glop in the bathroom. Tub and walls went fairly quickly, but the bath mat and curtains were a lost cause, and the ceiling stains are permanent I’m pretty sure. When I was done I fetched NewWifey(tm) and helped her into the shower, then threw her clothes out.
Finally she was able to talk.
“I can see why this diet works” she said. “More calories come out of you than go in. That was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever put in mouth in my life.”
I was marginally relieved to hear that.
She continued. “It’s gotta get better though, right? I mean, poor fat people in 14th Century England didn’t die en masse on this diet, did they? So maybe in a day or two my entire alimentary tract won’t try to escape my body when I put another worm in my mouth? You think? Cause I really thought I was gonna die there.”
I took a deep breath. “Honey. Baby. Pookie…I have a confession to make. See, I stopped at the store on my way home from work today and picked you up a surprise.”
I reached over the counter and grabbed the prepared Tupperware, the one with the faux wrigglers. “See, the ‘Diet of Worms’ was actually -”
But she couldn’t wait. She grabbed the container out of my hands and tore the lid off.
I really have to compliment the Haribo people on the quality of their product. From even a fairly close distance, the resemblance of their gummy worms to real worms is striking, particularly if you – as I did – bury the majority of each one in the cookie “dirt” so the brightly colored portions are hidden. Well done, I say.
NewWifey(tm) looked down and immediately froze. Her eyes bugged like a Graves Disease patient, and her breath started coming in ragged sobs.
“Wait, honey, let me explain! See, I was going to play a joke on you by substituting -”
But it was too late.
Whatever somehow managed to stay down during Round 1 now came up for Round 2. Old snails shells from the first time she tried escargot (“They’re crunchy!“), a plastic fork tine from Taco Bell (that was 5 years ago!), a petrified wad of circa-1980’s bubble gum (it’s not a myth!!), a wheat penny she downed when she was two! All of it shot out of her with the force of a water cannon trained on civil rights marchers, and caused almost as much disgust to anyone watching. Which in this case happened to be just me.
Finally there was nothing left that could come up. She lay there retching for a little while longer, but it was all dry heaving. When either exhaustion or fluid loss caused her to stop shaking I picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. I laid her down without even bothering to sponge her face. I could wash the pillow tomorrow. She didn’t move.
Back to the living room, and the trowel. It took a good hour, but I finally managed to squeegee all the hard surfaces clean, and blot most of the fabric dry. There will definitely be some stains to remember this by, but at least there’s no structural damage.
When I was done I made another cup of camomile and honey tea and brought it in to NewWifey(tm). I figured she’d be conscious by now.
She was, and had already wiped the puke off her face with one of my shirts from the hamper. ‘Atta girl.
“Here ya go, honey.” I said, handing her the mug. “Now listen, I have to explain something here. That whole ‘Diet of Worms’ thing was just something I made up to…hey, where are you going?”
NewWifey(tm) pushed the teacup aside, hopped out of bed, and started sprinting for the door.
I took off after her. She ran straight down the hall and into the bathroom, tearing all her clothes off as she went.
Fully nude, she reached down under the vanity and slid the scale out.
She hopped on.
The dial spun to 148, back to 120, up to 143, down to 128, up to 139 then down to
We both stared at the impossible number between NewWifey(tm)’s feet.
She started crying.
“Yes! YES! In your face, Kate Moss!” She grabbed me by the face and kissed me hard. “THANK YOU! That is the best diet in the world! C’mon, let’s fuck!”
The next day I took the Gummy Worm Oreo container to work and left it in the kitchen for people to help themselves. It was gone in an hour.
I don’t think I’m gonna tell NewWifey(tm). Who knows, she might balloon up again one day and need to go back on her now favorite diet for a while. I don’t want to spoil it for her. I mean, it’s not like she’s ever gonna research the Protestant Reformation on her own and find out it was all a ruse. So keeping mum is probably the kindest thing to do. I know, I’m a helluva husband. I know.
Oh, just do me one favor, will you? If you happen to see Kate Moss, tell I said “Sorry, babe. Maybe next time.”
I hate breaking hearts, but that’s life. Sometimes you eat fish, sometimes you eat worm. She’ll get over it. Eventually.
ps. You know what word I hate? “Tardy“. But it’s the Word of the Day today and I’m determined to get this entry onto that list. If only I could find somewhere to insert it without it sounding contrived….
pss. Might as well get a photo up here for that list too.
The Photo Word of the Day, silence, certainly describes the -10 degree woods I was standing in when I took this sunrise shot last Sunday:
I probably shot 190 pictures one after the other, a second or two apart, from the time the sky first started to glow until the full orb was over the horizon. This was my favorite of the bunch.
When I showed NewWifey(tm) though, she said “Pfff. I can do better. Give me that memory card.”
She downloaded that picture onto her laptop, opened some editing program, and emailed me back this:
Ok, yeah, that’s pretty. Especially if you like blue. Or have something against orange. But I dunno. I kinda still like the first one more since it looks EXACTLY the way the sunrise looked, and I’m proud I was able to get a shot like that on full manual all by myself. Manipulating it like that after the fact is…is…is an indication I’m becoming an old fogy, I think. Everyone in the photography blogosphere tells me I’m an idiot for carrying a torch about this when I bring it up. Maybe I should sell out too….
Which version do you prefer? I’m really curious, so leave me a comment. Thanks!
Ok, gotta go crawl off to bed now. With a 133 pound hottie. (Hottie again, that is.)