#64 Popping a giant zit

You know you love it.

When those red bumpy mountains erupt out of the ground called Your Face, you suddenly notice them in the mirror and cast an evil eye. “Bastard, I’m gonna get you,” you say out loud with vengeance, startling the girls putting mascara on beside you at the bathroom sinks. “You’re all mine.”

Now there are five levels of Popping Zit Satisfaction so let’s break it down in China Town:

Level 1: Cheek Pain 101. I was stuck at this level for many years. It involves grunting, gritting your teeth, and squeezing that zit in the mirror, only to have … nothing happen. You probably didn’t wait till the zit ripened so now you’re just stuck with severe cheek pain and a bright red bullseye over the zit. This will come in handy when you try finding it again in two days.

Level 2: The Pop That Doesn’t Stop. You did it! You waited till the whitehead, waited till after the shower, used two fingers, and… went too far. Now you got a drippy pop but with it comes a tidal wave of blood. Your new nickname is Toilet Paper On Your Forehead For Half An Hour Guy.

Level 3: The Classic Pop. After many years you become a zit expert. For some people it’s years of bathroom practice, others take a course down at the Y, and some study in distant forest retreats under Zit Gurus. (Sort of like Pai Mei in Kill Bill, but for zits.) Either way, you’re in the zone now, and it’s time for the classic pop. Freshly washed face, two gently squeezing fingers, and a satisfying ooze. Congratulations!

Level 4: Share the love. I was at my friend Matt’s house a couple years back when I noticed his wife Sam just staring hard at my face. “What is it?,” I asked. And she said “I’ve been staring at that giant zit on your forehead for half an hour. I have to pop it. You have no choice in the matter.” This is when I first learned about Zit Obsessives — people who must pop any zit they see regardless of whose body it happens to be on. There isn’t much literature on ZO’s, but we do know that, for them, the big pop on someone else’s face leads to Total Zit Actualization.

Level 5: 3D Surround Sound. My friend Mike gave me a lecture once on Level 5 of Zit Popping. “It’s when you can actually hear the pop and it squirts all over your bathroom mirror.” Now what on earth makes somebody enjoy this level of zit popitude? Scientists are currently studying caveman brain stems to figure it out.

Sure, if you listen to your doctor, nurse, or guidance counselor they’ll tell you all the risks of popping zits. “You don’t need to do it,” they’ll start. “You look beautiful anyway.” Plus, it could scar, it could hurt, and it’s pretty gross besides. But there’s something so primal and deeply satisfying about this level of Disgusting Grooming that we’re here today to tell all the experts to just lay off.

We say pop ’em loud and pop ’em proud.


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Photos from: here, here, and here