by John Goodrich
It started, for me anyway, with organic milk. Most people seem
to find it better–tasting, but I found it a bit, well, bland.
Too dull. I’m a naturally curious person, so I tried to figure
out what it was that made non-organic milk, the stuff that’s not
supposed to be good for you, taste better to me.
I found out that cows that are treated with rBGH have a high
incidence of mastitis, or udder inflamation, which causes open
sores in the udders. So the difference I could taste turned out
to be cow pus. I'd call the taste sweet, but it's not. It’s just
very appealing. And don’t give me that look – how the hell do you
stomach that bitter muck you call coffee?
Once I got over myself, and I will admit to a bit of
self-loathing at the beginning, I sat back and wondered—well,
where do I go from here? I did what every modern person does – I
went looking for stuff on the Internet. It turns out there’s a
small but quite dynamic group of pus aficionados. They got me to
accept my particular quirk, told me how to be careful and not
get caught licking some random guy’s pustule on a bus.
That small group — no I’m not going to tell you where to find
them. If you really want to find us, you will. Anyway — our little
group is a delight, and a real help to someone with my
particular dietary interest. I no longer felt like I was alone.
Turns out there have been pus-drinkers for a very long time. You
know how some people will rave about a hundred-year-old vintage
port or that coffee they make from beans they pick out of Civet
shit? Well, the pus from different sources tastes different,
some of it is sharper, others more mellow. Some even has a sort
of nutty flavor to it. Really, it depends on the species and
body chemistry of the donor, as well as exactly what their
neutrophils have been attacking. Each disease or infection has a
slightly different taste – it’s almost ethereal like the waft of a
I stay with humans. They’re easier to access than most forms of
livestock, since I live in a city. I once felated a homeless man
for the walnut-sized pocket of smegma that had accumulated under
his foreskin. What a thrill – the gooey and slightly chunky
yellowish fluid filling my mouth. I still don’t know what
cocktail of diseases the guy had, but what it produced was just
But of course, you can only go so long on the regular stuff,
right? Like a lot of people, I eventually got bored with what I
could get, no matter how good it was, and went out looking for
the exotic. P aeruginosa infections cause blue
discharge, which doesn’t actually taste much different from the
regular stuff, but there are just some things that you have to
experience for yourself.
The brown pus you get when someone has liver flukes is a bit
more gamey than the more usual infection seepage. The best
analogy I can think of is the difference between actual cheddar
cheese and Velveeta. One just has more complex character to it.
But my palette is sensitive; you probably wouldn’t be able to
tell the difference.
Humans seem to have a yen for what they cannot have. Plunk them
down in a garden of Eden and tell them they can have anything
but the apple, and you know damn well that apple’s going to turn
up missing one day.
Of course the Internet group talked about what they’d had, and
their best finds. Everyone over fifty agreed that the best
vintage was something that hadn’t been around for thirty years.
I’m sure that there was an element of nostalgia involved – you
don’t have a drink for thirty years, and it either fades from
memory, or becomes the best thing you can remember tasting. I
tried to put it out of my mind. Some things are best left
And yet, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’d be doing
something, like drinking a McDonald’s milkshake, and the desire
for Variola pus would just leap on me and claw at the
back of my brain like an angry cat. What was it like? Smooth and
creamy, they said, and more than a hint of an exotic flavor that
is supposed to be unlike anything else. My other activities
seemed bland. I kept waiting for this notion to go away, but it
didn’t. Eventually, I decided to act on it.
I’m not going to tell you how I managed to get my sample. Let’s
just say that while money can’t buy everything, it can make many
things significantly easier. It took time and patience and
planning in addition, but in the end, I got my sample. Nor is it
as difficult as you might think to find and secure someone that
no one will notice. In fact, it’s rather easy.
I didn’t think of them as people – they were the dregs of
humanity, the most repulsive individuals I could find. The sort
who make the world a brighter place with their absence.
I spend a few weeks in an isolated room watching – once the
pustules appeared on the palms and soles of her feet, I knew I’d
gotten my hands on the real deal. You couldn’t imagine my
excitement. Here I was watching someone come down with a disease
that hadn’t been seen since 1978.
As I watched in almost giddy anticipation as the pustules rose
on my victim’s skin, I realized why they called it champagne . They rose everywhere, until the
body looked like it had been boiled–blisters rising thickly on
every conceivable surface. It would be a lot of work to get all
the pus from each of these little containers. And yet, even as I
watched, my ambition grew. Now that I had the means within my
grasp, I would not be satisfied with just any champagne – I wanted the Dom Perigon.
I disposed of the body carefully and thoroughly. No sense in
causing the nasty smallpox outbreak just because I’ve got a
little twitch in my system. And so I procured another victim.
The same result – the raised welts, discreet pustules. Medical
articles do not tell you how to produce a specific effect or
infection of a disease. It was just going to be a case of trial
and error for me. And so went my third, with the by-now familiar
and ordinary pustules. My thirst was quiet now, and I was
focused. Nothing would stop me, all I needed was time.
My patience was rewarded on my fourth try; a confluent
infection. I’m not ashamed to admit that I did a little dance
when I found that the small red rings on the woman’s skin were
not rising into pustules. Instead of forming discreet,
individual blisters on the surface of the skin, confluent
smallpox pustules erupt inward. They would grow thickly, and
eventually burst, forming a layer of pus just below the skin.
Eventually, entire sections of skin would slough off, followed
by a draining rush of glorious pus. Confluent smallpox pus was
abundant and easy to get to. I just had to pick a time.
I touched her skin – it was unnaturally, velvety soft. She was
I had considered drilling a hole in her belly and just sucking
the delightful liquor out through a straw like she was a giant
milkshake, but I didn’t want the taste of the plastic straw to
interfere with what was surely going to be a unique and refined
I reached up and ran a scalpel down the taut skin in her back,
and abruptly the skin ruptured, dumping in excess of a quart of
viscid, yellowish fluid into the trough I had prepared. From
there, it dribbled slowly, heightening my sense of anticipation,
into a glass pitcher.
I held myself back until it was all in the pitcher, but the
smell was driving me to madness. The bouquet was powerful, and
unique. I poured myself some, admiring the thick liquid. It was
primarily dead neutrophils, rather than the oily suspension
fluid, and but surprisingly pure. It swirled easily, without
chunks of inclusions of any sort as I trembled with
It was the moment of my life to put the glass to my lips. And
the first taste confirmed what the old timers had said. Utterly
unique, and with a heavenly taste. I did not gorge myself, but
rather made a day of it, sipping my treasure when the last
aftertaste of the previous sip was gone. Some pus is simply
meant to be savored.