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Slim Jim: A Small Tubular Tale of Cured Meaty Horror

December 12, 2011

I have a brief, pointless Slim Jim story for you.

While I was in college my roommate and I were pretty big wrestling fans. This was back during the infamous Monday Night Wars, when the WWF and WCW staged rival programs on the same night and you’d have to have the “previous channel” button on your remote in good working order. OR ELSE. It was the golden age of pro wrestling, with Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock ascendant, with Bill Goldberg and Sting and the NWO rolling. It was all good homoerotic carnie fun.

Anyway, I opened up my mailbox at the campus post office one day during my senior year (2000) and found a slip telling me I had a package to pick up. I went to the window not knowing what in hell it could possibly be. I wasn’t expecting a parcel, and my parents weren’t the type to mail care packages.

There was a brown wrapped cylinder. Picture a can of Pringles on steroids — that was about the size of it. My name was on the paper, so it really was mine. No mistake. Believe me, the thought SOMEONE HAS MAILED ME A PIPE BOMB THEY CAUGHT THAT UNABOMBER GUY RIGHT? passed through me head.

I went to a nearby bench, sat down and opened it up. This is what I found (journalistic note:this is a picture culled from the web, not the actual item mailed to me):

Yes. A tin of Slim Jims with product spokeswrestler Macho Man Randy Savage on it, along with his valet at the time, Gorgeous George. Well. When I got over the WHAT IN THE NAME OF HEAVEN IS THIS AND WHY WAS IT SENT TO ME surprise, I had a good laugh about Macho. Look at him. He’s so proud. He has Slim Jims, a skank crammed into some tight leather and new hair plugs (no more neon hats for Macho). What more could a man want? OOOOOOOOOOH YEEEEEAAAAAAAAH.

The explanation for this monstrosity’s delivery was fairly simple, which I learned when I got home and slammed it down on the table in front of my roommate and leveled a withering IS THIS YOUR DOING stare. It turned out he had entered his name in some dopey wrestling-themed online contest. God only knows what the grand prize was, maybe Macho came to your house and dropped an elbow on you from the second story. Or Gorgeous George blew you. I’m not sure which would be more appealing. Whatever the lure might have been, he had entered my name as well to double the chances, like a lonely old man buying two Powerball tickets. OUR HOUSEHOLD MUST HAVE FREE WRESTLING MERCHANDISE. And here I was, the recipient of one of the stellar consolation prizes.

Here’s where the horror comes in.

I was never much of a Slim Jim fan (they’re like hot dogs but without the nutritional value), but I started eating one here and snapping into another there. So did my roommate. Then one night, stumbling home from the bars sloppy drunk, I found our cupboards bare and the freezer devoid of the Hot Pockets and frozen pizza that were the sodium laden saturated fat staples of my undergraduate diet. In the dim kitchen light I saw the tin sitting on the counter.

And that’s the last thing I remember until I awoke (I kid you not), all kicked back in my old Archie Bunker recliner with its torn upholstery, the uncapped tin in my lap and empty wrappers around me like autumn leaves. I looked into it. Empty. The abyss stared back at me. Keep in mind, there were dozens of the damn things left before this binge. Dozens upon dozens upon dozens.

I felt like Ellen Ripley in Aliens when she was in that lab and saw that the jars with the facehuggers had been overturned. OH MY GOD WHAT’S GOING ON. And, to keep with that theme, my next sensation was a John Hurt degree of gastrointestinal distress.

It was bad. BAD bad. Both ends bad. “Maybe I should call the poison control center and hope they don’t laugh me off the line” bad. And-

And that’s where our cautionary tale shall terminate, though I assure you, my suffering did not resolve itself so neatly.

When I heard the sad news this year that the Macho Man had died, my grief about the loss of such a great entertainer (he was — don’t let any anti-wrestling prejudices fool you) was mixed with this terrible memory, when his treasured Slim Jims invaded my home and almost killed me. And every time I see an ad in a comic like the one above, I feel that phantom knife in my gut trying to stab its way out.

One Comment leave one →
  1. bluekatt permalink
    November 8, 2012 1:58 pm

    damn ti dont leave us hangin
    tell us more about your suffering !
    …i mean inform us how this tale of woe and suffering resolved it self so we can all endavour to avoid such a terrible fate

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