Being A Husband Means You Kill The Maggots


Like many other public speakers, the pastor at my church loves to use metaphors and analogies when he speaks. A reading from scripture where Jesus played pick-up basketball with Paul is really a lesson about sacrifice. A story about that time John the Baptist got sick after eating too much kettle corn is really an allegory about God's will. The entire book of Ecclesiastes is really a prequel to Chasing Amy. Etcetera, etcetera.


I also enjoy using analogies to provide context for certain points. Because it can help people better understand what you're talking about. And also because they're fun. I'm sure of few of you reading this looked at the title and assumed it was a contrived metaphor about marriage. "Kill the maggots" really means "not allowing little stuff to harm your relationship" or "making sure all exes are out the picture" or "taking care of problems before they grow into larger problems" or "keeping jealous people out of your circle" or something.

And if you did make that assumption, you were wrong.

"Kill the maggots" is not an analogy. It means that when you're a husband and you go shopping with your wife and you buy dog food and you empty the dog food in the dog food bin just like you always do and your wife gives the dog some water in his bowl a few minutes later and she just says "Hell no" real calm three times in a row like she's in a trance and you ask her what's wrong and she says "There are maggots in the dog food, Damon. MAGGOTS!" and the "Hell no"s turn into "Fuck no"s, you know it's your job to throw away the maggot-infested pack of dog food, empty the maggot-infested dog food bin and dog bowl into a garbage bag without spilling any of the contents, throw all of that away, and clean the bin and the bowl.

One of the most underrated parts about being a single man is that it kinda allows you to be a bitch about certain things you wouldn't be a bitch about if there was a woman around. For instance, let me tell you about the first time I saw a stink bug. It was 2007, and I saw one sitting on a chair in my dining room. Remember, I'd never seen one before. And, if you'd never seen a stink bug before, the first time you saw one you'd probably assume it was roach. Which is what I did. And since I assumed it was a roach, I just said "Fuck it" and took the entire chair to the dumpster. There was no chair cleaning. Just "Oh shit. A roach is on my chair, and this means this chair needs to get thrown the fuck away." I'd rather deal with the cost of a new chair than be a roach assassin.

I'm a husband now, though. And this means that when maggots are in the dog food bin and bowl, I can't just throw everything away. Because married people put themselves on budgets so they can buy that nice rolling bar for their alcohol they saw at West Elm last weekend, so they can't buy new shit they don't need to be buying. Nope. I have to clean the bin and bowl, which means I have to kill the maggots myself. Because being a husband means you have a wife. Which means you can't be a bitch anymore.

(Oh, and fuck Beneful.)

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



You literally don't wear any other shirt. like ever. it's pretty impressive. lol