There I was, waist deep and sinking fast in the fluorescent sands of the Pepper Desert.
My companion was Dr. Marilyn, whom I had become acquainted with a mere 12 hours beforehand. I would love to describe the details of our meeting but I only have 15 minutes left in this Internet cafe before the proprietor realizes there isn’t a grenade in his toilet, and the finer points aren’t significant to this story unless you consider a crow circus significant.
I will type as fast as I can to get to the point, unless I think of something else that’s interesting such as the ringleader of the crow circus who was not the feather master he appeared to be but rather a slave driver who controlled the birds by waving his gravy-dipped hands through the air to entice them like the conductor of a metropolitan orchestra where the musicians are birds, and rather than play instruments the sound is produced by the conductor pulling wires attached to the birds’ most sensitive areas to induce squawks that when played in succession produce a haunting melody that combines the natural and unnatural into a cyclone of otherworldly emotion.
I’m sorry. When I get a thought in my head I have to get it out or else I’ll forget a piece of Quentin Tarantino trivia which my psychic told me I’ll need one day. I must now skip the part about myself and the doctor buying ourselves valuable time by eating a snake like Lady and the Tramp ate spaghetti.
Anyway, we were stuck in the sand and she told me that she’s the only person ever who researched and categorized “The Scums of the Earth”, a grouping of Earthen flora that is shitty and stinky. Because she was about to be swallowed into sand she wanted me to know everything about her research in the event I survived to tell the tale. I asked if it was written down somewhere because I have a bad memory and she said that she burned all her journals when she was trying to impress a famous ball player by lighting a cigar with it.
Blah blah blah she died and I got out because I’m not a wiggler and eventually I was rescued by a wandering rookie solider who was engaged in a hazing ritual wherein he was not to return to the barracks until he had a sunburn so bad that he smelled like a really good chicken joint.
I would feel bad not fulfilling her second final request, that being the sharing of her findings to the world. Her FINAL request was that her body be stuffed and displayed in the window of her the first restaurant she tried fries in, which I cannot fulfil because the same army unit whom my saviour belonged to has already claimed her corpse as their mascot. Here are the scant details I remember from that dreadful (yet informative) afternoon. RIP Dr. Marilyn.
There are three kinds of scum (she wanted to divide the categories further but her patron cut off funding because she refused to marry his nephew, known locally as “The Zit Tzar”):
These scums are the most common, found in every bucket, hole, and seam indoors and out.
Identifiers: Not very wet, very similar to scuz but way heavier, a bit milky when blended.
Smell: Neutral to VERY piney.
Nutritional Value: You can eat these scums but their nutrition is equal to that of a swatch of cotton.
- Since they are abundant they should be utilized in any way possible. Dr. Marilyn suggests all nations forfeit their arms and fight future wars with safe scum being the only legal weaponry.
- I can’t remember this exact part but she said something about wrapping safe scum around a cucumber to make a brine-less pickle.
These scums are visible from outer space, thus the Earth’s topography is essentially scum. Dr. Marilyn pleaded with World Space Foundation to allow her passage into the stars to perform spectral analysis but her proposal was deemed “fucked”.
Identifiers: Will form pus when melted, dark, serrated leaves form in some varieties.
Smell: Like someone rubbed rotten soap in a piece of day old pepperoni.
Nutritional Value: Contains high amounts of Vitamin 2 BUT it is near impossible for humans to fully digest it. Consumption will cause barfing, which is a classification of scum that Dr. Marilyn was excited to study, playfully dubbing it “scum!” before she could think of anything better.
- Research would indicate this scum to be a distant cousin to slime.
- This scum may hold secrets to our universe including the answer to the question, “Why don’t humans lay eggs?”
- When injected into the eye of a laboratory rat, it went blind but gained the ability to fashion small shelters out of a common bell pepper.
Dr. Marilyn was very hesitant to share her findings on Scary Scum and it’s easy to understand why. When she was experimenting with it–eating it, licking it, sucking it, rubbing it–she went into a coma. While we were stuck she emailed me a pic of her journal right before she went down:
Identifiers: Found in dark and shaded areas, especially those formerly occupied by “dingbats” (I did not understand whether she was referring to a species of winged rodent or a type of person who’s kinda dumb). These scums are crispy and can manufacture their own crud as a form of reproduction.
Smell: These scums tend to absorb the sniffer’s own natural scent and then project a variant of that stink with added rot. Incredible.
Nutritional Value: Though not tested, Dr. Marilyn surmised that Scary Scum could make an effective additive to smoke machines.
*This is the part where she died so I didn’t get any extra notes but I can say that the stuff that came out of her nose after she croaked might very well have been this shit*
That’s it for me! I’m headed to the Cone Islands tonight to investigate an unknown band that apparently rocks! Will report back! Thank you Glenn for allowing me to publish this work on his website. And eat scum NYTimes.com, turns out we didn’t need you.