Stephen McQuiggan

Charlie’s Chunky Munching Meat

Murder…

Charlie rolled the word around his mouth like a hot chip but could not bring himself to utter it. He looked around the drab confines of his cell and tried to take it all in, but he would have a lifetime to do that and there really wasn’t that much to see. He prayed for his sister’s visit, checking his watch constantly, but time crawled by more slowly now he was aware of it. Charlie had lots of time; he had been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and all because of a Spam sandwich.

When some men take alcohol they turn into wife-beaters. When some men take drugs they turn into thieves. When Charlie Walls took a Spam sandwich he turned into a pair of panties; one slice of the sickly pink meat was sufficient to transform him into the nearest female’s undergarments, and in that form he would stay until she deigned to remove them.

It hadn’t always been this way.

He could remember childhood picnics, fighting off ants and aunts from the sandwiches, wolfing down Spam with youthful gluttonous abandon and remaining the fat little boy he awoke as. Countless weddings of poor relations where Spam was compulsory fare and he had scoffed it all through the reception between rivers of cheap German beer, and nothing untoward had happened to make the bride blush further.

But one day as he sat working late in the office, swamped by the accounts of wealthier and happier men, he nibbled errantly at a Spam and lettuce on rye and found himself wrapped inexplicably around the hips of big Donna, the office slut.

Donna, like most fat people, was a stranger to the concept of personal hygiene, and it was over a week later before Charlie found himself stuffed inside her laundry basket. He climbed unseen from her bathroom window that night, putting his misadventure down to sleepwalking. For the next few days he suffered from vivid uncanny nightmares where he tottered perilously on the edge of a vast and hair-strewn canyon.

He explained away his absence from work by feigning illness, and his colleagues were quick to comment on how pale and drawn he still looked. By the time Donna arrived in late, hitching at her skirt and announcing that her panties were simply eating her, they wondered if perhaps they should call a doctor for him.

He took some time off instead, visiting his mother to placate her habitual animosity toward his bachelor status and to save his phone from melting from all the visceral pleas she poured upon it like boiling oil every other night.

She asked politely, as is a mother’s way, of his job (are) and his flat (you) and his plants (seeing) and his friends (anyone) and was he eating enough? He looked rather thin, and did you know primrose oil would clear up that spot malarkey on your nose in a trice? A million inane, inept questions that were the vanguard for the great assault (When are you going to get married and give me grandchildren you selfish little bastard?) that was always left unsaid.

Charlie didn’t mind the head games. All in all he was genuinely pleased to see the old girl; it was nice to be made a fuss of, and she was still the best damn cook a man could wish for. A few years away from home, living on a steady diet of microwave noodles and boil in the bag curries had left him with the physical attributes usually reserved for people on Oxfam posters.

A dream of roast potatoes had lured him here, of chicken and sprouts and mum’s homemade gravy, and perhaps a sherry trifle for afters, but with one wayward slip of the tongue he lost all hope of those culinary delights.

When asked what his immediate plans were he had replied without thinking, ‘Oh, the usual, pissing the weekend up the wall.’ He noticed his mother’s stern set of jaw too late to turn back; mother didn’t like smutty words, and ‘pissing’ was smutty bordering on filthy in her well-thumbed book.

She stormed off into the kitchen to whip up two rounds of spam and tomato (a double act in the same vein as Hitler and Himmler) and brought them to him with a look that said, ‘If I wasn’t worried about breaking one of my good plates I’d thump you up the snot-box with this’.

She went back into the kitchen to wash up some of the crockery she seemed to keep perpetually dirty in anticipation of family upheaval; he could hear her clanking the plates together, spelling out ‘piss indeed’ in Morse code, and sighing to herself in the confines of her lino martyrdom. Charlie ate the sandwiches as quickly as he could. The last thing he needed was the ‘people starving in Biafra’ lecture which would surely get an airing at the waste of so much as a crumb.

Charlie wasn’t sure where Biafra was, or if it even still existed, but to his mother it was synonymous with hunger; if a child from Calais appeared on the news looking a little on the thin side, then Biafra would be a stone’s throw from Dover.

But before he had time to chew his crusts he found himself wrapped around the loins of his origin. He felt his mother pluck him hastily from between her butt cheeks (smutty place!) and issue a little sigh.

It was a dreadful experience and one that left Charlie frantically trying to recall if his mother ever did have that bowel operation, the one she said would tighten her stool. Even if the smell was familiar and strangely comforting, he could not wait to be free; it was one thing to be close to your mother, but…

He finally came to in her muddy back garden, clothes pegs still attached to his shoulders. Finding him in such a state, nude in a mess of her washing, she could only assume he’d made good on his threat of getting pissed the night before. With how suddenly he’d vanished from her parlour, just like his no good drunk of a father, she hadn’t even had time to tell him about the lovely clean girl who’d just moved in next door, and how single she appeared to be.

He fled before she could vent the full force of her Christian spleen upon him. He had more than a few things to think about, but a life of tea totalitarianism was definitely not one of them. As obnoxious as spending an entire day girded around his mother’s festering love hole had been, he simply could not put it down to sleepwalking this time, like he’d done with his experience as Donna’s putrid panties.

No, this had been real. He looked for connections, and it didn’t take him long to put two and two together, coming up with Spam.

Over the next few days he began experimenting with a feverish intensity he had never felt before. As with all great endeavours though, his first efforts at reproducing the Kafkaesque transformation proved utter, abject failures.

First there was Tracey from the upstairs flat. One night as he watched her leave, rather than hiding behind the drapes and rubbing himself like usual, he decided to follow her out instead.

When she stopped off at a shop for a pack of fags, he produced a tin of Spam from inside his coat pocket, palming it nervously as he watched her from across the street. ‘I’m Popeye the Pervert man’, he hummed to himself for courage, devouring the poor man’s steak as he marched off after her.

When suddenly he found himself nuzzled up against his neighbour’s voluminous arse, it was pure heaven. For about half an hour.

Some greasy tool monkey from the local garage gave her a lift, and in no time at all Charlie had been discarded and stuffed into her handbag.

He exploded from the faux leather in a storm of sanitary towels and lipsticks, almost causing Tracey to miss her stroke in the backseat. Bolting from the car for a nearby thicket, he tried to convince himself that although he’d likely frightened them both into premature post-coital smokes, he had not been recognised.

Then came Sara, who worked in accounts and whose thighs were the talk of the toilets. He snuck up behind her in the stationery cupboard and, one bite of salty processed ham product later, finally got to see just how she kept those thighs of hers so firm.

He spent the rest of the morning being slowly suffocated by lycra as Sara indulged her passion for exercise bikes, rowing machines, and countless other forms of unnatural madness down at the local gym. Later, back at her flat, he waited breathlessly as she prised him from her sweat-sodden bangle, discarding him mercifully under her bed.

Charlie was off work for a fortnight after that whole experience; he simply couldn’t move his aching body. But, though his muscles had been torn and his back seemed all but broken, his pioneering spirit remained intact.

He discovered Malandra on the bus home one evening; she was the kind of perfection he had only ever seen before in adverts. He followed her for the remainder of the week, convinced that he had finally found his special one. She lived in a lovely little suburb ten miles from the city centre, catching the bus every day to the shop where she worked. Lingering Lingerie was an establishment that catered to every red-blooded male’s (or pink-blooded transvestite’s) taste in feminine undergarments, be it lace, satin, rubber or shaving foam.

Charlie hung around the shop watching her avidly, peeking out from behind the peek-a-boo bras, sweating frantically behind a rack of latex cat-suits. It was all too good to be true. Not only would he become the panties of a sex siren, he would also be the hottest pair of panties imaginable.

After a week of trailing her to make sure she had no bad habits (such as heavy exercise or mood swings brought on by PMS), Charlie made his move.

It would be nice to think he got his wish, that he spent the remainder of his days adorning Malandra’s creamy hips, caressing her peachy buttocks, and grazing her holiest of holies whilst wolfing down untold tins of Spam between changings. Yes, it would be nice to think he finally made it, living happily ever after in the golden-snatched cottage of his making. But, let’s just say that’s not exactly what happened.

Life’s kinda like that; deal with it.

Not two blissful days into his vulvar vacation, Charlie’s idyllic little world all came crashing down. As it turned out, Malandra’s Greek boyfriend had just returned from visiting relatives at a Soho strip joint, and he spent his entire first day back attempting to rewrite the Kama Sutra.

At first this didn’t overly bother Charlie; it was obvious that a girl like Malandra would have a plague of male admirers. In fact, during his surveillance, he had seen a long procession of vermin accompany her home, rattling her headboard long into the night. He really didn’t mind she was such a pied piper, and if truth be told it quite excited him; there was sure to be a surplus of bodily fluids bubbling all Jacuzzi-like around him whenever she slipped him back on. If he had wanted a virgin, he would have snuck into a convent with an entire hamper full of his precious pink meat.

But what Charlie hadn’t counted on was the peculiar kink harboured by Manos, Malandra’s Mediterranean lover.

On the night that was to change his life forever, Charlie lay draped invitingly over his beloved’s pudenda, bathing in her juices. Manos, his jeans jutting out alarmingly, leapt on top of her and tried to swallow her face as Charlie felt himself dampen, praying that the lusty Greek would probe his fingers through him before he was removed.

‘Oh Malandra!’ moaned Manos. ‘You so sexy, I’m gonna EAT THOSE PANTIES RIGHT OFFA YOU!!!’

The last thing Charlie remembered, before his rebirth in the stomach of the doomed, hungry horn-dog, was a scream, an explosion, and a muffled ‘Ohh, SHEEEET!!!’

Later, the police found him curled on the floor, wrapped in a tangle of innards.

‘Spam,’ Charlie told them.

‘Porridge,’ they replied.

***

Murder…

He still couldn’t bear to think about the word, but he’d have a nice, long time to practice. A lifetime, in fact.

Where the hell was his sister? She was late, and the guards were strict about visiting times. He needed to see her, needed someone to say they understood and loved him no matter what.

And then there she was, Eileen, sweet Eileen.

There she sat before him, her lips all aquiver; her glistening Bambi eyes… Raising her hand to the shatterproof glass (the way she’d seen them do in all the prison movies), she was just able to whimper, ‘Oh, Charles…’

‘Oh Eiuurrruurrhhg,’ Charlie gurgled in response, his mouth full of Spam he’d smuggled from the commissary.

What the hell, he thought; Eileen always had a cute ass.

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