THE HUMAN WORM BABY DEPARTMENT
Another story I scraped out of my old fanzine Sour Notes via WaybackMachine. Its a true story.
|(YOU JUST CANT MAKE THIS SHIT UP.) Along about 1984 or so, I was still living in Topeka Kansas. At that time I was working as a delivery driver for Pizza Hut. |
I actually liked that job in many ways. For one thing, I was in my car (a ’78 chevette with the words “FEAR” stenciled in the window..just like the band logo…that got some great reactions on the streets from people who weren’t hip to the punkrawk.)
Another thing I discovered, was that wearing that red jacket, and hat was the best “All Areas Access” pass that you could have…especially when you’ve got a big red bag with food in it. No one fucks with the guy with the food. I got to see the inner workings of a lot of ‘high security’ places…like when the narco dept at the cop-shop would order food. (we always joked about ‘extra mushrooms’)
Now I should explain one of Topeka’s many fine mental health agencies. KNI, Kansas Neurological Institute. It sits over at 21st and Randolph…just a few blocks down from my parents house. The place is weird from the get-go.Way back in the day…I’m guessing in the ’30’s or ’40’s…it was Kansas’ largest Naval base…Yes, that’s right, a NAVY base in the bustling port city of…TOPEKA!
Now KNI has Big Shunga Creek running through its back 40 (the whole place is probably 300 or 400 acres..maybe more.) Big Shunga Creek is maybe 5 feet deep at the deepest…so unless the NAVY was training an elite corps of canoeists, I have no idea what its gig was. Its also right next to a huge VA hospital. (Probably to help service the wounded and bumped heads of the super-elite diving corps of this elite canoe corps.)
ANYHOW…this Naval base got decommissioned along about the early ’50s or so. (maybe the late ’40s, once they figured out that the enemy wasn’t going to fly this far inland to bomb our Navy base.) So it sat there for a while, with its rows of stark barracks and buildings.
Then someone gets the idea that this would be a great place to start dumping and warehousing retarded folks. (And go ahead and get offended by my use of that term. I am using it in its historically correct usage. Even up into the 80s people were refering to developmentally disabled people as “retarded”, go ahead and get just as mad as you want at ME about that, but its not my fault. I am writing what happened, and the language used at the time.)
Families back then (and still) didn’t want to deal with their retarded kids, and family members, it was a big time stigma. So the state set up “KNI” to take in these people that people where unable, and usually, unwilling to take care of. They housed them in those old barracks.
The big joke, or insult around Topeka was: “Hey man, your so stupid, you belong in KNI.” or one of my moms threats if we didn’t do well in school. “You are going to end up in KNI.” As time ground by slowly, as it always does in Topeka. (Topeka does about one year to the rest of the worlds five) In the ’70’s people began getting a little more concerned about the retarded folks, and figured “cheap slave labor is better then none…so lets start seeing what we can train them to do.”….They also started to build newer facilities, and better buildings to keep these folks in.
These new buildings have cute names like “Honey Bee Lodge.” and “Sunflower Lodge.” They started tearing out the old barracks buildings…yet some of them still remain, as storage and whatever. So here I am, buzzing around in my FEAR-mobile, delivering pizzas. I get a delivery out to KNI. KNI was usually a pain to deliver to, cause whoever ordered the pizza usually made you wait around for them to come out and get it. And KNI was always sort of uptight about letting you just cruise into the area where the person who ordered the pizza was.
So I’m standing in one of these newer buildings, waiting for the employee to show up to get the pizza. (Its like a reception area near the front of the building) I decide that I am going to take a look around. And seeing as I’ve got my “All-Access pizza hat” I figured I could get away with it. So I go cruising down this hall way. Doors with square glass windows line the long hallway.
I peak in to a few of them. Yup, there they are, retarded people sitting around in wheel chairs, swaying back and forth, and drooling. I go down the hallway a bit further until I hit a door. A sign on the door says. “Absolutely NO entry beyond this point without this or that kind of authority.” So I open the door and go through, figuring that PEPSI-CO is about the highest authority you can have.
I come to a door that’s open. I peek inside, then step inside…and then I did behold one of the weirdest, strangest, most bizarre sights that I have ever seen. (And I’ve seen some weird shit, both with and without chemical help).
There where two rows of ‘tables’..well, they weren’t really tables, they where like gurneys…hospital bed sort of things like you’d see in an emergency room. Only these where more like big trays, with thin mattresses in them. A row against each, opposite wall. And in each of these gurneys, lay some of the most fucked-up lumps of not even human flesh I have ever seen.
Some of the forms where just vaguely human…you could make out like torso’s, and some sort of deranged version of limbs.Elongated heads, with an eyeball on each side…like a fish, a drawn out mouth, with a snaggled arrangement of teeth. flat noses that took up an obscene amount of the face…drooling and slobbering, dripping snot. Some where wearing diapers. Some had catheters, draining into collection containers beneath the gurney. And it is in that room that I laid eyes on the largest penis I have ever seen. (save maybe a zoo-animals) Believe me, it wasn’t the least bit sexually exciting…but it did seem to be erect…I stared at it for a while, thinking that it was some sort of deformed leg, sticking skyward.
Nope, this one didn’t really have legs, it had flipper-things. Its torso was about the size of a 5 or six year old…but the appearance of pubic hair told me that this thing was much older. Skinny, gangly arms writhered and writhed about. Eyeballs, loosely lolling in their sockets rolled towards me and stared. Spooky…I got the creeps.
Gurgling and mewling noises rose and fell in that room. I was transfixed, couldn’t move, and couldn’t stop staring. There where about a dozen in all…all different. (collect them all!) A gangling arm..long and skinny, and looking like it possessed more then one elbow began stroking the giant erect penis, while the eyes stared at me.
Thalidomide? Hmmm…I don’t think so…That usually caused your standard flipper-baby mutations…This was light-years beyond that. Grotesque, twisted, deformed bodies…only these where not the sad results of industrial accidents, or high-speed collision. Some looked like they could be in there 30’s some barely infantile…but it was so hard to tell, and aside from the one enormous penis, you couldn’t really tell what sex they where.
Some of them looked like they could be a brand-new sex that I hadn’t heard of, much less tried yet…and wasn’t about to. Some had orifices, strange and unrecognizable, in their flesh. The pale, slimy, un weathered by any exposure to sunlight flesh…Oh yeah, that’s another thing, there where several sunlamps set up in the room, shining on to these things.
And was warm, and humid in that room, with the smell of the school boys restroom when some kid had decided to piss on the radiator…Like these things where being baked under the lights, and any moment someone would come in with a giant spatula and flip them over to brown on both sides. But they weren’t brown at all…slick, translucent skin, some stretched tight across bones that couldn’t be labeled in standard Latin medical terms….they weren’t the least bit humorous.
One had a tiny tiny head, like a pinhead…a brain pan that couldn’t hold much more of a wal-nut brain. No chin and a gaping leering grin, exposing teeth like a horse. Fingers like tentacles, maybe an illusion but they looked about ten inches long. Pools of saliva. A loneliness in that room, the aura of souls that knew nothing of their own alien existence, comparing it to nothing, with no frame of reference…that is if there where enough braincells to develop an awareness higher then;’Breath in, breath out, swallow, piss, shit, perchance to sleep.’
But some of them had enormous heads…room for TWO brains!, and yet so little, and such useless flesh and bone to drive with those brains, I actually wondered later if they had an awareness so far beyond our own arrogant sense of being that its unfathomable. One of them farted, and sighed. Another burbled a lonely whales-song of solitude, and I wondered if they could communicate with one another. I remember when that alien autopsy footage hit the screen, I remember thinking “That could be a worm baby.”.
A hand clamped down on my shoulder, gripping tight. A voice boomed “What are you doing back here…didn’t you see the sign? You cant be here!” I was spun around to meet a guy in a lab-coat, with a name-tag, looking really pissed off.”Uh, I uh…I gotta pizza for…””Yes, and you should be waiting up front.”
He escorted me down the hallway, back the way I had came. He bitched me out for trespassing, and told me that if I ever did it again, I could be prosecuted. I made up a lie that I had a retarded brother here at KNI, and I was wondering if he might be in this building.”We have NO retarded people here.” He said. I got to the front waiting room, the customer was waiting there, looking a bit pissed and nervous…as if she was being held responsible for my trespassing.
I took her money, then left.
So what the fuck WAS all of that? Those weren’t your garden-variety thalidomide flipper-babies. Those things where barely recognizable as having body parts even analogous to human forms. DNA testing? Building a better pilot? …If you think about it, all of our war toys..Jets, tanks, etc, are built around the human form. What if they re-designed the pilot to fit a much better designed vehicle that didn’t depend on ergonomics to interface with its pay-load?
Why keep these things alive? Surely if they where just hideous genetic mutations, then why weren’t they just given the salt-bath at birth? A weird guilt-trip on traumatized parents? Keep them alive for what? If they even had the capacity to conceive of there own being? (and how could we tell?)What do you give a kid like that for its birthday?
When I was being invaded and searched by the raccoons, One of the thoughts that crossed my mind was that perhaps the human worm babies had escaped…and tracked me down…or where being used by the NSA as more efficient spies…better at squirming through AC ducts, slithering under doors, tiny hands on spindly stalks to reach through keyholes and unlock doors.
Little eyeballs on the ends of tentacles, able to reach into boxes and envelopes and read the contents…Forms of physical sensory that we haven’t conceived of yet.The Human Worm Baby Department could only exist on an old Navy base in Topeka Kansas. Hath the heaven and stars gotten bored with us?
bob fuckin cutler….mine eyes have seen the gory.