Things people have suddenly and enthusiastically decided it’s time to show you

One time I was at my friend‘s house. I was in the kitchen talking with her and her sister about I don’t remember what. Suddenly there was a shift in the tone of the conversation, like I had accidentally said some special code word. My friend said to her sister “Hey Leticia, why don't you show Matt that one book?” and Leticia (my friend‘s sister) was like “Ok!” and ran away to her room. She came back carrying a big ol’ book with a drawing on the cover of anime Paul McCartney, naked, getting spanked by some kind of succubus. They started flipping through the pages, which were all different variations of Paul McCartney getting tortured by sex demons.

"Why is Paul McCartney getting tortured?" I asked.

My friend very loudly retorted "It's not Paul McCartney!"

It was most certainly Paul McCartney. We sat there debating for awhile about this, looking up pictures of Paul McCartney on our phones and comparing. I offered that maybe it was Proust after shaving off his mustache. She seemed to like that possibility even less.

Then Leticia snapped shut the book and took it back to her room, and I never saw it again.

This whole story feels like a prototypical instance of a certain situation that often happens once reaching a certain level of familiarity with someone. Out of nowhere they will decide it's time for you to see this slightly weird aspect of themself that seems completely unconnected with anything else you've seen of them. It feels like triggering a special event in a dating sim or Harvest Moon game.

Is this a general phenomenon? I feel like it has to be, right? I am curious if anyone else has any stories like this. Hopefully what I'm describing makes enough sense that you can think of similar stories from your own life?


It took my GF like a year to let me in on the old tumblr fan blog she used to run for this very obscure actor. Also, she is familiar with someone who is part of an online group that is dedicated to shipping two characters from the show Fargo, and they have like, got together to travel together and stuff.

can I see that book?

@yeso#14530 I‘ll have to ask my friend for the name of it. I can’t find it after any of my various Googling attempts.

@Jtwo#14529 Have they hosted any of their Fargo gatherings in Fargo, North Dakota yet?

Ok, she just sent it to me. It turns out the cover is not spanking – but there is definitely a spanking picture in there somewhere! The DeviantArt page for the artist is here. It is, in fact, cool art!

@saddleblasters#14528 My primary response to this is, please publish a collection of short fiction (if you haven't already). You are a talented storyteller.

Secondly, yes, I know exactly the phenomenon you're describing. It has happened to me more than once.

The most memorable episode occurred when I was in the first or second grade. I have always been a bit overly sensitive, especially when it comes to graphic depictions of violence, and my parents always sheltered me from watching or reading anything I wasn't yet ready for.

So, one day, I was at my across-the-street friend's house, and we had reached a lull in the afternoon, once we'd played enough NES Ninja Turtles and battled WWF wrasslin' figures. That's when he decided it was time to show me his [Nightmare on Elm Street]( trading card collection. I had no idea what a Freddy Krueger was. My response was to immediately get up and without uttering a word, jog to the front door, put my shoes on, and leave my friend's house. This would have been around 1992, before "noping out" was a concept people talked about, but that is absolutely how I handled it.

kind of a paul mccartney+jarvis cocker I'd say

short and sweet example here but my partner took many years to admit to me that they had a high school Jimmy Buffett phase

@Gaagaagiins#14595 This made me lol right out loud, no kidding around.


@Gaagaagiins#14595 they had a high school Jimmy Buffett phase of the first albums I ever owned was a Jimmy Buffett greatest hits compilation. Apparently I had expressed some positive feelings towards the song Cheeseburger in Paradise at some point as an 7 or 8 year old, so my dad had decided I was ready to be introduced to the broader Jimmy Buffett universe and bought me the album. I distinctly remember it being the first CD I ever ripped once I got my own computer three or four years later, simply because I only had like two other CDs. I didn't start actually listening to music until I was, like, 14ish.


@yeso#14590 kind of a paul mccartney+jarvis cocker I’d say

There's a lot more variation than I remembered! Some of the drawings are very Paul McCartney-ish, others less so. The droopy eyelids are what made me think of Proust.

@whatsarobot#14558 Thanks! though I have to say writing fiction is one of the most difficult things I've ever attempted. I've managed to finish \~5 stories in my whole life, and they were all pretty terrible. But maybe someday!

Freddy Krueger is pretty disturbing! I remember as a kid being very terrified by the VHS cover of Nightmare on Elm Street that I found in a drawer of our living room entertainment center. To this day I still haven't seen the movie itself.

The first "horror" movie I ever saw was Planet of the Apes. To this day, anytime the word "ape" comes up in conversation, my mom makes fun of me for waking up the next night screaming and running to her room after having nightmares about my brain being removed by ape scientists.


Dude one of my best friends had a jimmy buffett phase in high school. He wore hawaiian shirts and everything.

@milo#14602 I asked my partner if they did, sadly they said they did not, but may have if they had any.


@saddleblasters#14599 Cheeseburger in Paradise

It is impossible to argue with a song called Cheeseburger in Paradise.

@whatsarobot#14596 it certainly made me laugh too, but my partner is like, the most charismatic person in the world, so I just now roll with it. Jimmy Buffett is probably pretty chill

@Gaagaagiins#14607 I mean those McElroy podcast brothers are always talking about how they legitimately enjoy his musical stylings, which I guess sums up the whole Jimmy Buffet experience pretty well. The whole brand aesthetic of both the McElroys and the Buffet is, like, Effusively Inoffensive and Likeable.