Vagina Boy.

It was three months ago to the day that they first opened my leg to scrape out the rot within. Just this week I received the jpeg of that initial exploratory incision:

Photo credit: Someone on Brett Beber's team. Maybe even Brett Beber. It's kind of hard to tell. I was unconscious at the time.

As it turned out, it wasn’t big enough. This is what my leg looked like a few hours later (and, for that matter, more or less what it looked like for the following month):

See previous caption.

Those of you squicked out by previous installments of this thread probably shouldn’t be reading this. (Maybe I should have started with that, actually.)

Anyway, that was then. This is what my leg looked like on Tuesday, back at East General to get the staples removed (those of you who’ve just joined us, feel free to browse back through prior entries on this topic to see all the things it looked like in between). This is also what my thumb looked like; that’s me, yanking out the leftover staples from last month’s skin graft.

And this is what my leg looks like now:

Not exactly good as new. I’ll be wearing a therapeutic knee-high pressure sock for a year or so, to keep the scar from getting too gnarly. And after all this invalidity, my fitness and stamina have gone to shit; I ran a measly two miles the day the staples popped, managed three the day after that, and would have gone for four today if my calves hadn’t wussed out and got all stiff and sore overnight. I’ve obviously got a ways to come back.


No mandatory immobility. No crutches. No nasty physio, no thirty-thousand-dollar Shop-Vac hanging around my neck slurping gore through three meters of clear plastic tubing while the maître d’ discreetly slides a standing screen between our table and the other guests. No sadistic nurses shouting How’s it going, Hop-along? as I make my way to outpatient admitting. Not even any bandages. Just a pressure sock, and a few litres of moisturizer, and a whole damn summer to get my groove back.

Barring some catastrophic and ironic relapse, this will be the last entry under the Flesh-Fest heading. But before I bring this latest chapter to a close, I’d like to thank all of you — or rather, I’d like to thank some of you. I’d like to thank all of those who sent me swag such as this:

The books, the cards, the graphic novel. The home-brewed liqueur and the plushy cuttlefish. The pears from California and the marzipan from New York and the marzipan from Boston and the marzipan (and beers!) at Ad Astra and the marzipan from somewhere local but I’m not sure where because someone just left it on the doorstep. The chocolates from Vancouver. The balloons from Scotland.

This picture doesn’t actually do you justice by a long shot. I’d snarfed most of the treats and candies before it ever occurred to me to document them for posterity. There are at least three or four other books that I didn’t want to risk shooting, because that would mean extracting them from under a mountain of backed-up paperwork and probably killing myself in the resulting avalanche just as I was getting back on my feet. You get the idea, though. My fan base may be small, but it is fierce, and I am intensely grateful to all of you.

I would like to draw special attention to one delivery, though, a collection of home-made sympathy cards that appeared in the mail back when I was comatose and bedridden and drug-addled and sentient for maybe half the day, tops. For all these reasons I’m not entirely sure who put them together; I recognize some of the signatures, not others, and I have vague memories of an e-mail from someone telling me that something like this was on the way. But I can’t find that particular bit of correspondence right now, so I don’t know who masterminded them.

Whoever you are, thank you (and speak up; I’d like to relearn where these came from). I hope you don’t mind me sharing these.

They’re great, really. And good luck when Universal Press comes after you for copyright infringement.

So that about wraps it up for this year’s disaster. Still taking bets on what next year’s will be. In the meantime, I have a new semisecret identity. Yes, I am still the Giant Squid, and always will be. But henceforth, when the pressure sock comes down, I shall be known by a different moniker.

I am … Vagina Boy1.


1Still trying to work out what the superpower might be. Hopefully it doesn’t involve bleeding.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 12:15 pm and is filed under Flesh-Eating Fest '11. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

39 Responses to “Vagina Boy.”

  1. Matt McCormick

    Congrats on a recomplete leg. Bitchin scar. The chicks will love that.

  2. V

    I hope statistics says no more historymaking, except perhaps in booksales.

    May you run many, many more miles . . . by choice, not fleeing incoming aliens or such.

  3. Steve Halter

    Congratulations! Hopefully the recovery continues apace.

  4. Joris M

    I am utterly impressed with how well it seems to have healed so far.
    Your picture portfolio should now be fine for free drinks in the foreseeable future.

  5. Bastien

    I concur with Mr McCormick, as said scar is indeed quite bitchin’. I also agree with the “You > House” card.

    I mean, get better and don’t get any more fucking weird diseases. You really don’t need to convince us you’re Hardcore Giant Man, we believe you now.

  6. Soon Lee


    To the recuperative powers of the human body, the efficacy of modern medical science & the coolness of fans.

  7. Thomas Hardman

    Gah. That’s nasty. The superpower is probably nastier. 😉

    But, as the Mad Doctor says in Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein Rated X (in 3D): “To know life, you must fuck Death in the gall bladder”.

    Noted in passing, “Bedbugs May Spread MRSA”.

    To make it worse, the study was done in “a poor neighborhood in Canada”.

  8. jrronimo

    What a great tale. I’m really glad it’s finally coming to a close for you; I can only imagine how I’d have dealt with the same thing.

    Congratulations on your recovery, Peter. I hope it continues unabated.

  9. seruko

    this is exactly the reason I just cant quit you; well this and the amazing reading.

  10. Geoffrey Dow

    I guess it would be pretty damned tacky to claim responsibility to the card (on account of I had nothing to do with it).

    Your adventures have really put my (rather mild) case of psoriasis into perspective. And I hope it stays that way.

    Glad you’re feeling better and rather amazed that you’re running. If you’re ever feeling a little lost in our nation’s capital, I’d be delighted to buy you a pint or three.

  11. Hljóðlegur

    Hey, what a recovery! And the scar is kinda cool, isn’t it?

    The way to test how bad the scar is – go show it to a small child? If they start crying, you have a seriously bad-assed scar.

  12. ScottC

    Oh. I see you’ve abandoned the “after the cut” courtesy feature. I almost hosed my monitor after those first couple pics took me by surprise. Those are by far the most gruesome I’ve seen yet of your initial episode.

    Very glad to see how far your leg has come though. FWIW, I would rethink that “vagina boy” moniker. It conjures up an entirely different mental image than a leg wound.

  13. Dirk Flinthart

    I’d like to think “Vagina Boy” comes with a spandex costume in shades of pink and lavender, with a mask, a cape, and some kind of appropriate crimefighting warcry.

    And superpowers. But I don’t want to think about them.

    Good to see you back on two feet!

  14. Deckard

    Ewwwwwww ….. Kewl! The human body’s ability to heal is pretty freakin amazing – if you are a tough enough sonofabitch to MAKE it heal – running after three months?! That’s (much as I hate the term) hardcore. Congrats on your recovery – but seriously, you no longer have to prove you’re a tough sonofabitch – so that’s enough “adventure” of that sort for a while!

  15. Anonymous

    First thought that came into mind:

    David Cronenberg’s Crash

  16. Alan Baxter

    Vagina Boy – other men will do pretty much anything for him.

    Great to see a (more or less) end to the saga. And that is one great scar.


    Not sure why, but i get a hankering for roast…

  18. Nestor

    I expected more black in the before pictures though maybe they removed the infected bits before making the photos?

    The graft looks really nice, congratulations to your Dr. and his team, if I ever get necrotizing fasciitis I hope it happens to me in Canada. Though given the circumstances in which you got it in the first place, I think I’ll stick to my policy of “avoid doctors at all costs unless bits are hanging off by a thread”

    cool cards too

  19. Brashley

    Gross factor is low. The doc has been holding out on the pics of… that? I’m sure your toilet bowl has looked worse.

    Cool factor is high. They scraped out a chunk of leg, vacuum-packed you, took a cheese grater to your thigh, and covered up a gaping wound with flesh mesh! And you’re running on it!

    Congrats on the bacterial vaginosis of your calf healing, mate 😀

  20. Lynn

    The first pic was disturbingly close to looking like a horrendous yeast infection. Sorry for conjuring that image, but I can definitely see where the Vagina-Boy theme comes from.

    In the meantime, the graft looks pretty decent. Thankfully, all the little holes have filled in to cover the innards of your leg.

    I can’t imagine running 10 feet, let alone 2 miles with an injury like that. Okay, okay, you get more Mighty Sasquatch points.

  21. Ross

    The crowd cheers wildly! It thinks you’re terrific.

    Question: how come you write how far you run in miles, not km? I thought only us doofy Amurricans stuck to our miles and feet.

  22. et

    I think you mean Labia Lad.

    Look up vagina in an anatomy text – its internal.

    Best wishes for a complete and swift recovery!

  23. mtm

    I’m glad the leg seems to be healing well and you are up and about.

  24. Paul Graham Raven

    Third get-well card down from the top must be from Sarah Ennals and family; I know this, because her visual style is pretty distinctive, and I see it every week when she sends me the latest instalment of Personal Information to be published at Futurismic.

    Very glad to hear you’re on the mend, even if you totally suckered me with the pastry shot a few weeks back. Watts, 1; NF, 0. *high five*

    (As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, if you’re ever in the UK for a convention or somesuch, it would be my very great pleasure to get you roaring drunk.)

  25. Lanius

    About your superpower…. maybe now you’re immune to necrotizing fasciitis but if you bite someone, they’ll develop it…

    So, hands up who’s gonna abduct Beaudry and let Peter deliver a few deft bites to his various extremities?

  26. Lanius

    Or maybe you have a bite more infectious than that of a Komodo dragon (they only need to bite something once, it dies within a few days..and they’re immune to the very nasty bacteria that live in their perpetually bleeding* jaws.

    *so they bugs have something to eat at all times..

  27. Peter Watts: Science Fiction Writer, Badass Superhero « Interesting Things

    […] to take pictures along the road to recovery and clean the gaping 10 inch wound. On his blog post yesterday after three months of recovery he show’s us first and final pictures of his own removal of […]

  28. Mike Tevee

    Ha! Be sure to get a cape and paint a big V on your shirt.
    If Beaudry and the border goons could just see you now.

  29. Sheila

    I just had a great idea! You should get to the point where the area is healed up enough so that you can tattoo it. Think of the super amazing tattoos you could design. maybe something with teeth.

  30. Branko Collin

    Still trying to work out what the superpower might be. Hopefully it doesn’t involve bleeding.

    Maybe you’ll be ticklish. Or you’ll scare men.

  31. Anna Haynes

    +1 Sheila

  32. Elsa

    I’m glad to know you’re going to be ok now. 🙂

  33. Rrr

    Some groove to get back, to, be, sure!
    So good luck and break a leg — oh, already been there, done that, even deeper, haven’t you?
    Happy healing, hopalong! Yeah, that’s what I mean, eh?

    * All commas are optional

  34. agajiogja

    Alright Watts. Time to come clean. Did you fucking give yourself this disgusting affliction? I mean seriously, of all the people in the world who would go out of their way to contract flesh eating bacteria, I’d put the author of a science fiction book about a primal bacteria that comes out of the ocean to decimate humanity on the top of the list. In fact, I’d put him as the only person on the list. You let those border patrol people kick your ass too, didn’t you? DIDNT YOU. DAMNIT WATTS, YOU ARENT. FUCKING. LENIE CLARK.

    I rest my case.

  35. Andrew C.

    Vagina boy.

    Hmmm, I can’t claim to be an expert but as Inigo Montoya famously said, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”


  36. Sarah Ennals

    Paul Graham Raven is correct. I plead guilty to the cards. If Universal Press gets me I expect you to bust me out, using your newfound superpowers and “inside knowledge” of the U.S. legal system.

  37. Peter Watts

    They will not put you in jail. They will merely garnish every bit of income you make for the next twenty years. But I shall do what I can.

    Those cards rock. I am saving them.

  38. Anony Mouse

    Vagina Boy? Didn’t Eddie Murphy pick one of them up in a bar? I think Danny Bonaducci did as well, if TMZ can be believed. Are you sure that you want that as a secret identity?

  39. LittleSpinne

    Oh my…I just read through all of your entries, here, and it’s absolutely amazing that you made it out alive and able to run! I live in the US, but I’ve been thinking about moving to Canada for years. Anyway, I was completely and utterly blown away by all of this. I’ve heard of NF before, but I haven’t seen a first-hand account by someone with it. I came across your page by chance, when I just had a simple question about the disease.

    The pictures and detail were, don’t take this the wrong way, really cool. Not for you, obviously, with all the pain you were in, but to the outside viewer, it’s astonishing. I just wanted to see more and more, to understand and observe.

    Kudos, this is probably the most interesting blog I’ve seen to date. Hope you’re doing well, of course, and keep on keepin’ on.