Otto Burnwell

Tarzan’s Torments

She had Gordo playing Tarzan every time his mother called her over to “babysit.” Gordo was too old for a babysitter, but just old enough for an ankle monitor. Part of his parole, and it kept him out of juvey. Gordo was impressionable, what his mother called “young for his age.” She wanted someone older in the house to keep him out of trouble.

Tarzan’s Torments is what the babysitter called it, with Gordo as Tarzan, and her playing a lion or an alligator or a python or a cannibal warrior or antelope priestess or whatever. She always mixed it up.

But it meant Tarzan would be naked, tied to a chair or chained to the ottoman, dangling from mom’s chin-up bar wedged in the closet doorframe, or stretched out on the ironing board. Sometimes Tarzan had to be the sacrifice to a ravenous animal, or the main course for an after-battle feast. Tarzan had to fetch his own ropes and chains from the garage while she stripped off her clothes and left them piled in the bathroom.

The cannibal warrior would use one of dad’s best paint brushes to baste Tarzan with canola oil, pinching and squeezing Tarzan’s delectables, telling the gathering of imaginary diners how she planned to prepare his tastiest parts for the hungry crowd. She made him hold an apple in his teeth and greased up all kinds of cucumbers or carrots for sticking into Tarzan to see if the rump roast was ready to serve. Despite all the butter, Tarzan hated that part, and was glad when she got around to nibbling his jungle delicacies.

On nights she was the wild animal, she went straight for the nuts and sausage, which could get scary the way the lion and the alligator took his balls in her mouth, whipping her head back and forth, pretending to tear them off. Of course it was pretend. She didn’t want to be explaining how Tarzan’s bloody balls ended up detached from Tarzan and rolling on the floor.

The python was different. She would lock her legs around Tarzan’s head, her crotch mashed into Tarzan’s face. She would swivel and twist trying to crush the life out of Tarzan, which she nearly managed to do every time. Tarzan yodeled and huffed great hot breaths, inhaling her smell that reminded Gordo of tuna fish left too long on the picnic table. Tarzan’s struggles to breathe seemed to drive the python into a lashing frenzy. Once the pretend life had been totally squeezed out of Tarzan, she would slither down the length of him, stopping to taste-test him with flicks of her serpentish tongue. She’d rear up, arched to strike, then lunge, gulping him like a snake working its prey down her gullet pretending to devour him entirely, boner first.

Sometimes she’d let Tarzan buy his freedom from the cannibal warrior if he would submit to the antelope priestess who demanded Tarzan pay a tribute. Tarzan, being naked except for the ankle monitor, didn’t have anything to give the antelope priestess, so she settled for milking him for any gold or jewels he might be carrying in his scrotal sack. Sticking her finger into his rectum as far as she could reach, worming around for any hidden gold coins, made it easy for Tarzan to come up with lots of tribute.

When the babysitter finished playing Tarzan, she’d retreat to the bathroom to do her homework—she said—running the shower the whole time.

Playing Tarzan never got old. She was full of ideas. The last time they played Tarzan, the cannibal warrior drizzled Tarzan’s ass with honey, making his butt cheeks stick together. After licking up all the honey, she went to snag a shot of dad’s whiskey kept in the broom closet, leaving Tarzan spread-eagled on the dining room table. Mom came home early and that was the end of Tarzan’s Torments.

Gordo missed playing Tarzan. It took his mind off the ankle monitor.

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