Dick pics often happen when you least expect them. You’re scrolling through your Tumblr feed and out of the blue there’s a pretty graphic (fan-drawn) money shot of fictional characters getting it on across your screen, likely when there’s a nun or your boss walking behind you. Standing in a line at the deli there’s a Snapchat from a questionable acquaintance you met on Tinder who decides to get extra friendly by inviting you to dine on his gentlemen’s sausage. In this digital age, it’s an (unfortunate) fact of life that our generation has grown to grudgingly accept.
But then, there’s the dick pic you never saw coming. The one that redefines the genre and changes your whole life.
The Snail Mail Dick Pic.
Addressed to your mother.
Yes, that’s right; little did you know, dick pics are in fact backward-compatible to the analog world, and they can be just as unsolicited through the good ol’ USPS as your iPhone.
So pull up a chair, darlings, and let me tell you the tale of the time my mother got mailed a dick pic.
Our story begins at the mailbox on a chilly grey afternoon of Valentine’s Day Eve, as an innocuous square envelope tumbles out with familiar handwriting addressed to my mother. Walking back into the house I holler for her:
“Mom, I think your dad sent you something; it looks like his handwriting.”
Being unapologetically nosey, I stand over her shoulder as she opens it and pulls out a folded square of your typical cheap office inkjet paper. Unfolding it reveals a deep red rectangle with black print (which seriously, design this better, it’s hard to read) with white hearts and a rather strange Valentine’s Day message:
my eyes happy
my lips happy
my heart happy
We glance at each other, sincerely hoping this isn’t from her father now, because we may be Southern, but ain’t nobody’s got time for this Deliverance shit. Apprehensively, Mom opens the card and out slides an insert, (because what Valentine’s Day card is complete without one?) and there it is.
The surprise dick pic.
Flittering out of my mother’s hands to the floor is a black and white photo from the crotch up of a naked man, loosely gripping his trouser snake and staring straight at the camera. To make matters even stranger, the head has clearly been photoshopped onto the body.
And when I say photoshopped, I mean someone did it ransom-note-serial-killer-style and cut out the head with ragged scissors, glued it on the body and then photocopied it. Because when you’re kicking it so old school as to mail a dick pic, let’s face it, advanced graphic design skills are likely not your forte.
There’s no message on this delightfully perverted insert except a first name in carefully constructed cursive up the arm (holding the dick) that does not match the handwriting on the envelope. And that’s it. No return address (which would’ve been thoughtful), no clear evidence of which post office it was sent from, no threats or boiled bunnies. Just a dick-pic Valentine’s Day card with a chopped-up head. It was almost kind of sweet in a mating ritual of old people who want to be hip (and pervy) kind of way, if it weren’t for the fact that it was to my mother.
My mother has gone whiter than the black-and-white pencil peen pictured and is staring at me with every worst-case scenario (helpfully provided by years of watching “Criminal Minds”) written clearly across her face. Her spine is straight, but her hands are shaking and her paranoia is running rampant. Without a word I can see her making plans to lock the gates, pull the curtains, and secure the doors. In her mind, she’s already decided she’s got a stalker and we’re absurdly lax on our security. The James Van Der Beek serial killer will lead a home invasion to gauge our eyeballs out with teaspoons and feed us to his dogs at any moment now.
Clearly it was time for me to put my five years of watching Sher-cock Holmes to good use and strap on my dick-tecting cap before things got out of hand. Gathering the evidence before me I snapped a picture of it and sent it to my father and sister, updating my fellow Private Dicks on the situation. Something about the photo was eerily familiar. I knew that face. Was it a politician? A newscaster? It was someone I see regularly but not often enough (and within that context) to be able to rapidly place.
When the dog brushed against my leg, my den of iniquity mind palace made the necessary cognitive leap. It was our veterinarian. That was his face on the card, and cocksure with the accuracy of my deduction, I followed up on my first lead.
Now, for you amateur dick-tectives, the first step was clearly a (highly scientific) handwriting analysis to see if our family vet of three generations and 30 years had snapped. Finding the condolence card sent from the vet when we lost our Lab in November, I searched for his note. There, amidst the chicken scrawl of the various vet technicians was a rather elegant script with his signature. Could it actually be him? Our kind, mild-mannered, supportive vet whom I’ve known since before I was born? The same who had been my sister’s boss throughout all of high school while she worked as a kennel technician?
There was no way; I called shenanigans. The handwriting was not a match, the arcs were all wrong, the slant was off, and it had a distinct air of trying too hard. My sister texted back to the family group conversation, and after a string of “WTF?! OMFG! WHY ARE YOU SENDING THIS TO ME?”, she joined the investigation:
“I recognize that handwriting. It’s from the vet clinic; it was on all the intake forms.”
So the dick pic came from inside the vet, but not from THE vet. It seems the phallic-picture plot had thickened. There was intrigue at the vet and someone was trying to frame the Doc.
Over the next few hours speculation ran wild. Mom took turns being relieved she didn’t have a stalker to horrified that someone would do this to our well-respected vet. Dad turned into Mad-Eye Moody and demanded CONSTANT VIGILANCE because someone was after his wife and he didn’t believe the pic was of the vet (“The teeth are all wrong”). My sister was not so secretly planning to use her old key to break in and conduct an internal review of all employees. And I was living the dream of being inside my own British murder-mystery and was waiting for a poisoned parakeet to turn up in the hedges with the Doc’s name tag next to it (which was clearly the next step).
Eventually it became clear I had to alert the vet of the situation, it was the only (legal) way I could gain access to the witnesses I needed. I put on my most professional and intimidating voice to say, “Hey, we got a dick pic with your face on it; thought you ought to know,” without ever actually using any words related to private parts. It was kind of like a game of verbal “THE FLOOR IS LAVA,” but with genitals.
So bright and early on Valentines Day, I dressed for the part. Black stove-pipe pants, patent leather flats, and cashmere sweater and scarf, Adele side-bun, pearls, dark glasses, and my trench coat (collar popped of course), because it’s important to look appropriately sleuth-tastic and fabulous. As the clock chimed half-past eight, I threw the doors open of the vet, slid my glasses down my nose and announced, “I’m here to see the Doctor,” and slid my manilla envelope on the counter. (Yes, the M in my middle initial stands for Melodramatic.)
Despite my dramatic flair and conviction to getting to the bottom of this dastardly con-cock-tion someone had thought up, there was no way to avoid this being awkward as fuck when the vet came out. Because no matter what, I knew that he knew that we were both thinking about the fact that I’ve seen “his” dick.
“Is the… uh, pic… item, in here?”, the Doc stumbles over asking, pointing to the seemingly poisonous envelope. I nod, and so begins our awkward dick-pic dance. He queries me on when it arrived, how much it was handled, and then, blushing outrageously, asks why I’m here and my mother isn’t, since she received it.
Internally I’m picturing how this scene would’ve gone if Mom had come instead of me, and even the mental picture has me cringing. Mom would lose the genital lava game in a hot second. There is no way “I KNOW IT’S NOT YOUR PENIS” would not have been inadvertently shouted Turrets-style across the office. Mom would’ve been so dick-matized that between her and the Doc’s embarrassment, we likely would never have been able to set foot in there again, because in her world, dicks should never be a surprise delivered by a Federal employee.
I covered for her as gracefully as I could and reiterated that we of course know that he didn’t send the picture, conveyed how sorry we are he is going through this, and then tried to surreptitiously dig for answers.
“We immediately knew this had to be an internal issue and thought you ought to be aware of it…” I said, trying to lead the witness.
“Yes, yes we’ve had some, er, issues around the office. Things haven’t been pleasant. These things have been happening,” he lamented.
My dick-tecting nose perked up; “DICKS have been happening around the office?”, I wondered to myself. What the hell is going on behind closed doors here?
He continued: “If it’s OK, I’m going to turn this over to my office manager, who will give it to the authorities for fingerprinting.”
I nodded acquiescence and asked about elimination prints. I knew I should’ve made Mom provide a set first. I made a note in my mental Moleskine to be better prepared for my next investigation.
Fortunately they didn’t need my prints; the Doc confirmed they already pretty much knew who did it. It’s just time to pin the dick on the pic for confirmation. Perhaps he said, this is the big break they’ve been waiting for to finally nail the culprit. Before he leaves, we reiterated all the same things, because nothing fills an awkward silence better than repetition: “I’m so sorry you’re going through this,” I said. “At least it’s me and not someone else here” he sadly reflected, and then he turns to hug me. The approach is off, there’s about five feet of space between us, and eye contact is strictly avoided. It’s the attempt of a man who’s consoled my family through many pet illnesses and death, been on call when we needed him, and who has been the doctor to not only all our animals, but also to my grandparents, my aunt, godmother, and half of my neighbors. It was him trying to say, “Let’s not let my not-dick get between us, OK?”, and suddenly a hilariously awkward highlight to my weekend became unbearably sad.
While I was sleuthing and carrying on, enjoying my mother’s prudish embarrassment and the generally lacking intrigue in a small town, it was easy to forget that someone was trying to ruin a good man. If these pictures went out to other clients besides my mother who don’t know the Doc as well as we do, it could be the end of his career. And ain’t that just the kick in the (maybe not his) teeth? There you are, minding your own business, neutering dogs, and saving kitty lives and bam! a dick pic unceremoniously ruins your life. I left the vet, a bit less enthused for sleuthing than when I entered it.
Mid-afternoon Monday, after a few days of letting the dicks get me down, the culprit was revealed. All thoughts of rising above the situation were squashed. Who was I kidding, reason is not mastered by compassion, I needed to know.
The clinic rang us up, and while they tried to remain professional and let us know, “No, you don’t have a stalker, it was in fact an internal vet issue,” they couldn’t resist the urge to gossip either. Dick pics, thy are a temptation that no one can resist.
It seems our tale ends on a classic case of a spurned employee. Two years ago, the former Hagrid of the kennels, our own pet sitter, and my sister’s direct boss, left the practice. With the buyout by a national chain of vets, so ended She-Hagrid’s reign over the kennels and with it her elaborate craft projects to create sets for her cat calendars, the creepy nepotism of her stalkery nephew being head kennel-boy, and her side business doing lord knows what in the back. (Admit it, you’re never going to look at your vet without wondering about its seedy underbelly now, are you?).
She-Hagrid, though, is the former employee who never quite leaves. Over the years, she’s escalated her attacks on the vet, each subsequently stranger than the last, but none that they can ever quite prove. Like a Kraken, she rises from the deep when you least expect it, eager to wreak mayhem, destruction, and unsuspecting dick pics on the innocent.
When the call ended, it was with bittersweet satisfaction. Fortunately no other clients reported receiving dick pics, and it seems we were blessed with her attention because she already knew our address, having pet-sat for us many times in the past. I was pleased she didn’t manage to ruin a man’s career with her bizarre, antiquated revenge plots, but still feel unsettled she remains unapprehended. The mystery was solved, but the case wasn’t closed.
I sat back at my desk as questions ran rampant through my mind. Did I fail as a dick-tective if I didn’t catch the perp with her hands below the table? Should I have handled the fingerprinting myself? Would a late-night break in to inspect employee files been the better move than a head-on confrontation?
And most importantly, as I heard a noise at the front door:
Did we ever get our key back from She-Hagrid?