Crab Caked: I Got a Bad Itch in My Basement; plus CD Reviews

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"Get your hand out of your pants," Wendy yells at me for the umpteenth time that day. I remove it, grab the clicker and change the channel. As Alex Trebek starts the first round of questions, I start to slowly move my hand down the inside front of my sweatpants. To my crotch.

"George!" Wendy suddenly yells. "Don't ignore me!"

I remove my hand again, and try to explain to her that I have jock itch, as usual, and it's itchy.

"Then scratch over your pants," she says as she glares at me.

I tell her I don't want to do that because it will make me look like some homeboy on the street who is always adjusting his wangdoodle for optimum viewing by chicks.

"Well, it's better then having your hand down your pants!" she exclaims.

"No it's not," I tell her. I explain that real men like to watch television with their hands down their pants. That it's normal. And that what isn't normal is her reaction.

"I bet my friend Laurel's husband doesn't put his hands down his pants when he's watching television," Wendy shoots back at me.

"Yeah," I say, "he puts them down other people's pants!"

"That's not funny," Wendy snaps at me.

"Neither is this fucking jock itch," I tell her. And it wasn't. I was so damn itchy it was driving me nuts. I figured it was from just working out and sweating too much. I scratched.

And scratched.

And scratched some more.

"What if we have children, and they see you with your hand down your pants?" Wendy asks me.

"I'll tell them I have jock itch," I say.

"No you won't, because you won't put your hand down your pants in front of our children," she tells me.

I look at her. Her eyes are on the brink of shedding tears.

"Okay, okay," I give in. "I won't do it in front of our kids!"

Wendy sighs with relief as I start to scratch again. As I do, I feel little bumps around the ends of my pubic hair. The end nearest the skin.

"I think I have pimples on my crotch," I tell Wendy.

"Let's see," she says, and I show her.

There are indeed pimples, but unlike the ones on my face, these are black.

"Looks like blackheads," Wendy says, examining me like my urologist.

"They itch like hell," I say. "I wonder if I could just pop them like zits!"

"Let's go into the bathroom where there's more light," Wendy says, and drags me in by my Oscar Mayer.

"Hmmm," she says as she looks at all the "pimples" near the ends of my now graying pubic hair.

"Hmmm, what?" I say to her.

"They don't look like pimples," she says. She takes out a pair of tweezers and pinches one of the "blackheads." It comes off real easy and she puts it on the sink counter to examine it. "Hmmm," she says as she looks at it.

"Hmmm, what?" I ask her again. She was about to answer me when suddenly the pimple got up on a bunch of teeny-tiny legs and crawled away.

Instead of answering me, she just screamed.


I guess it all had started about two months earlier. When we were vacationing in Cancun. We had been there a few times before and really liked it. The water was crystal clear, the sand white and the food great. If it didn't make you sick. And best of all, it was cheap. Almost free by New York standards.

We got this vacation deal where they'd fly us in and give us a choice of any hotel we wanted, as long as it was in their "program." We had stayed at the El Presidente before, and wanted to stay there again, but we'd heard that it had gone downhill with new owners. Plus, the beach had washed away with the last hurricane. We considered the Calinda, but it was too much of a party hotel. We were there as a couple.

So we chose the Sheraton. We'd seen it from the main strip many times, and it looked swell. It had a great view of both the coral reef and the lagoon.

We got to the hotel and checked in. We went up to the 10th floor and entered our highly air-conditioned room. The cool air against our hot skin felt so good, the first thing we decided to do was to take a nap. As Wendy turned down the sheets we saw something that I should have thought about more.

A bug.

A teeny-tiny bug.

It crawled around pretty quickly, and upon closer examination, it looked like a piece of sand with legs. And claws. "A sand lobster," I thought to myself, as I told Wendy not to worry, that it was nothing.

And that was the last I thought of it, then.


I also got a sunburn in Mexico. And a bad case of hives all over my chest. "You need to go to a doctor," Wendy sternly told me.

"We ain't wasting no money on some damn Mexican doctor," I told her.

"Okay Nick," Wendy said. She'd called me my stepdad's name because he was probably the only human being on Earth cheaper than myself. Except for the money he gives us.

After a really bad Big Mac in the Flamingo food court, we made our way to my favorite local pharmacy and tried to explain what was going on.

"My chest is itchy," I told the little local fellow behind the counter.

"Shest?" he asks.

"Chest," I say.

"Oh, what is shest?" he asks me.

Instead of explaining it to him, I lift up the front of my white Ramones shirt, and show him the hives.

"No good," he says.

"I know it is no good," I tell him. "It itches and hurts!"

"Ra-moan-aays" he says back to me.

"Excuse me?" I say.

"Ra-moan-aays," he says again as he points to my chest.

"No," I say, "my chest hurts. It itches. Help!"

Just as I was about to yell at the mustached little man, Wendy said, "I think he's talking about your t-shirt!"

"Ramones!" I say.

"Yes," he says, "Ra-moan-aays."

"Punk rock!" I exclaim.

The guy smiles and I smile back. I begin to like him.


"It's moving," Wendy screamed, as my pimple sprouted legs, crawled right past the sink and made its way toward the toilet.

I, usually the squeamish one, crushed the little bastard with my thumb.

"What the hell is that?" Wendy asked, totally freaked out.

"I have no clue," I told her. And I didn't.

"Let's call Nick!" we both then said at the same time. I dialed Nick's number and explained the situation to him. He started laughing.

"What's so fucking funny?" I asked him as I started to scratch myself harder and harder.

"You have crabs!" he told me.

"Impossible," I told him.

"I got them back in college," he explained, then went on to tell me this whole story about some girl. Nick explained to me that I had to go to the drug store and get some cream. He even knew the name of it.

"Same stuff I had to use way back when," he told me.

"Great," I mumbled.

I hung up the phone, ran to the drugstore, which was, thank God, still open, and got the stuff. As I applied it to my crotch and surrounding area, I read about how the crabs would come back in about a week because they'll lay eggs on the pubic hair, and the cream can't kill those. The very thought of bug eggs on my body freaked me out so much that I grabbed Wendy's Lady Bic, and, well, that was about the end of that. But for the next month, every time I went to take a leak, I felt like I was molesting a 12-year-old. With a really big dick.


Speaking of really big penises, Iron Cross just released a "best of" sort of CD, with songs dating back to the early 1980s. The disc is called Live for Now! and it's on GMM Records. Actually, "Live For Now" is one of the best punk anthems ever written. I remember singing along with it while I skanked and moshed with the best of 'em. This record also includes "Psycho Skin," "New Breed" and even "Death or Glory." Good strong skinhead stuff here, if you're into that sort of thing.

In the "Wishing They Had Big Penises" department comes the new Go-Go's CD, God Bless the Go-Go's, on Beyond Music. Actually, if it were titled Satan Bless the Go-Go's I'd probably really like it. They could sing about the Dark Prince, his phallic prong and their own deep, dark, hot and wet caverns of fire. Alas, they sing songs called "Apology," "Insincere" and "La La Land." Good stuff, but how can anyone take them seriously after seeing them bash each other on Behind the Music? Release that infamous blowjob video, I say!

Choking Victim is a good punk rock band, and their new one, Squatta's Paradise/Crack Rock Steady on Tent City Records, sounds so live that I swear I can smell these guys when I listen to it. They have always been able to write really singalongable songs, and nothing has changed. They are a lot like New York's great Hammerbrain. Only stinkier!

Dark Cloud is the name of a new PlayStation 2 game made by Sony. It rules. You play as this guy who looks an awful lot like Link from Nintendo's Zelda series, and you fight your way through dungeons, build towns and kill all sorts of bad thingies. The kicker is the graphics are totally, totally beautiful, just amazing to look at. This game is why the PS2 was made. Amazing.

Also amazing is Red Faction, for the PS2, made by THQ. This game is a first-person shooter ala Doom, Quake and Half-Life. Only this one features graphics that, again, will blow you away. You can also blow away anyone or anything else. With a new system called "Geo-Mod" your weapons allow you to blow holes in everything, creating new doors and tunnels. The plot has to do with escaping from a mining colony on Mars. While not as engrossing plot-wise as, let's say, Syphon Filter, this bad boy makes up for it in the "kick-ass" department. This, currently, is my favorite PlayStation 2 game.

I also just got Twisted Metal Black, by Sony, for the PlayStation 2. It's a lot like the original Twisted Metal and Twisted Metal 2, but nothing like Twisted Metal 3 or Twisted Metal 4, which both kinda blew dog dick. Once again you can play as any one of many crazy drivers who go around blowing shit up and killing innocent pedestrians. The graphics are superb, as are the sound and controls. And the plotlines?dead babies, heads on fire, skulls with eyes, a serial murderer chick and a redneck preacher dude who launches his "followers" at other cars?fuckin' punk rock!

Rebel Music: The Bob Marley Story is the title of some DVD I got from Palm Pictures. I watched this as I torched up a spliff and kicked back my heels, mon. I dug it. Good vibrations. Good interviews. Good music. Very interesting. This ganja is good. Oh my God, I'm getting too high. Fuck. I'm tripping. Time is flowing backwards. Help!

Weezer is the title of the latest Weezer album. Why do bands choose to do that later in their careers, instead of first? Like Metallica. What the fuck was up with that? Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and And Justice for All, never mind Garage Days, were all fucking rockin'. Then they go and call their album Metallica. Pussies. Well, thank God Weezer ain't pussies. On this album, anyway. "Hash-Pipe" fuckin' rules, even if it is a total ripoff of the Munsters theme and "Pipeline." Actually, the first two songs are really good as well. These guys are like the Beatles with loud guitars.

Crazy Taxi 2 by Sega is a new game for the Sega Dreamcast, a machine that is now on life-support and about to be unplugged. For what it's worth, the game is totally cool. This time, you drive a cab around New York City (well, it's a pseudo-New York City), and pick up passengers and make lots of money. Plus now you can pick up more than one passenger at a time and not get busted by the TLC. Just like in real life. My only gripe is you can't seem to drive over to Ave. A, where I really wanted to go, just to run over a few trendy fucks. Oh well.

Laurel Suspended is the name of a band fronted by my friend Alexandra. They just self-released a one-song disc called "Cemetery," and it's really groovy, if you are into that singer/songwriter type stuff. I saw these girls and guys recently at Don Hill's, and they blew me away. The music really reaches down and touches your soul. Oh fuck! Did I just write that? I'm a pussy!

Finally, from another old-time New York rocker comes an album called Blind Love Sees Tears. That CD, on 121st Records, is by none other than Mr. Bill Popp and his band, the Tapes. Bill has been playing around CBGB and other places for about as long as I can remember. One Christmas he even dressed as Santa Claus (a drunk Santa Claus) and gave out presents from the Bleecker and Bowery Stage. Anyway, Bill is a master songwriter, and his tunes are both catchy and haunting. Just listen to cuts like "Closest Friend" and "Better than Nothing" to hear what I mean. This guy rules. And of course, he's from New York and likes to hang around CBGB, so we all know what that means. He's got a huge penis! Yay!

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