Repackaged Goods


Hello, my darling. I see you there, your angelic façade floating behind a shroud of rich, satisfying tobacco smoke. Ashley Chambers, seventeen years old, Boca Linda senior, straight-A student, cheerleader, Naker, vlogger, local sweetheart and unplanned initiate into impending motherhood. But that’s the church-friendly version, isn’t it? That’s the polite summary we entered into your file. The truth: you’ve spread your legs for the horny boyfriend, and now you’ve come to my office that we might salvage what’s left of your waning academic career.

“Well, well,” I say after the obligatory lengthy pause. “Another student mom-to-be. Another victim of the runaway locomotive that is the adolescent male libido.” Yes, dear. Go ahead and cup your hand over your mouth and nose. Go head and glance down at your swollen belly, ever more obvious due to your skimpy fundoshi attire. “Needless to say, your class schedule is now woefully outdated. It says here in your permanent record that you had a ‘spontaneous pregnancy?’”

“My doctor told me it’s the sixth case he’s seen this week,” you say. “He can’t explain it. I can’t explain it, either. I mean, my boyfriend and I are abstinent. I don’t know how this possibly could’ve happened.”

Sounds like my first marriage. “Abstinence isn’t having him pull out at the last second, honey. Nor is it merely availing yourself of his prolific erections between your monthly cycle.”

“No, I mean we really are abstinent.”

“And yet somehow that burgeoning young body of yours has a bun in the oven.”

“Like, I know, right?”

I can wait all afternoon, precious.

But so can you, it would seem. Fair enough. “Very well. Let’s hear it. For posterity.”

Frowning and pretending to be offended by that particularly lovely-looking tendril of smoke caressing your porcelain cheek, off you go: “So, me and my friend Zoe are, like, having a sleepover, right? It’s all rainy outside. We’re in my bedroom and going through some old things to pass the time, and we find this cassette tape. We figure it’s got some old-timey music on it or whatever, so we play it just for kicks. After that…well, it’s funny. I can’t remember the music clearly, but I know it was like that stuff you hear in, um, Mexican neighborhoods during barbecues. It seemed to fill my head, even though I know it couldn’t have been that loud. Next thing I know, I’m, like, totally preggers.”

My cigarette smolders in my hand; a small chunk of ash breaks off and tumbles across the desktop. “Tell me, princess, have you ever heard of mass hysteria?”

“That’s a death metal band, right?”

“You’re not the first girl to come in here looking to change her class schedule because of a ‘spontaneous pregnancy.’”

“But that’s what happened. I swear.”

“And where is this tape now?”

“I don’t know. Zoe and I looked for it after we woke up from our trance or whatever it was, but we couldn’t find it.”

Look at you, all pouty as you lift your spray bottle and mist your arms and abdomen. So serious, so certain. But I can tell you right now, I’m not seeing anything new. Every other pregnant lass in my office as of late has tried to sell me the same story, but I’m not buying repackaged goods. Call these spontaneous pregnancies whatever you want, it’s all derivative of that age-old formula: girl wants to be loved, wants to rebel, simply wants a little friction between her legs. She says yes, yes, oh, God a handful of times, the boyfriend bottoms her out with a straightforward collection of affectionate keywords and feral pelvic thrusts, and before she can catch her breath, it’s over, he’s out the door and on his way. As the weeks and months pass, she realizes she’s stuck with an ever-expanding reminder of the wrong choice made at the wrong time. A few moments of good dick traded for nine months of bloating, nausea, stretch marks, mood swings and hot flashes…she can’t cope with the pregnancy being her choice, and so she offsets the blame, in this case placing it squarely on a mysterious cassette tape.

I light another cigarette. “Darling, what we have here is an urban myth. A tall tale. Something a seventh grader might tell her parents. So, let’s cut the crap, shall we? This is high school. No one actually believes in urban myths.”


School library.

Tabloid section.

Holy shit—this one’s got Bat Boy on the cover, so you know the headline is kosher:

“Scientist” discovers solid link between Gatorade consumption and penile atrophy…




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Jesse Gordon

Geek. Writer. Supreme overlord of the SUPERMEGANET pseudoverse. Author of THE OATMEAL MAN, DOOKIE, and other such wasteful nonsense.