Filthy Friday: A Little Extra Protein

I was in year three of the four years I spent at the World’s Worst Office job when I realized that my Big Girl Meeting Pants were feeling a bit … small. I couldn’t understand it! After all, it wasn’t like I was leaving work every night at five (or six, or seven, or a million o’clock) and going straight to bed, maybe with a short interlude of weeping in the bathtub. It wasn’t like I spent every weekend training for the How Much Cheap Wine Can You Drink On This Couch competition. It wasn’t like Gossip Girl and the guy on the other end of the Chinese delivery line were the only people who were still talking to me, because all I talked about was WORK and how AWFUL it was. (It was exactly like this. All of this.)

So I decided that the answer was Healthy Snacks. No more office birthday cake—and in an office of 65+ people, it was always somebody’s goddamn birthday. We must have kept Kroger’s sheet cake elves very busy. No more converging on the stale leftover meeting bagels like a carb piranha. No more sitting in the bathroom with my feet up on the bowl, hiding with a bag of Dove chocolates, reading the inspirational quote on each wrapper and whispering “THAT IS SO TRUE” to myself.

“Almonds!” I thought to myself. “Almonds and water!” In my hazy memories of my mom’s Self magazines, that’s what was usually printed next to the pictures of post-workout chicks. Friends, I hurried myself to the Nut Hut in the Randall’s near my house, which was staffed by the world’s most garrulous and creepy Mickey Rooney lookalike this side of an Our Gang cosplay sketch. After I listened to him talk about his many girlfriends for several minutes, he finally gave me half a pound of raw almonds in a plastic container. I even ate some on the way home. “These are kind of good,” I tried to convince myself. “They kind of taste like little bits of tree bark. Tree preemies! I’m eating tree preemies!!!”



But beneath, there lurks an unimaginable horror.


Well, I kept them in my snack drawer, next to the Smart Pop and Smart Chips and Pop Chips and every other goddamn lady chow brand that has “Smart” or “Pop” or “Skinny” in its name. And steadily, throughout the next couple of weeks, I’d down them for my afternoon snack.

One day, I was standing up in my cubicle, chatting with the girl next to me, when I noticed something … moving. On my blouse.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw this vague white … shape. And when I glanced down, there it was.

A maggot. A maggot just sitting there on my blouse. Although screaming the scream of a thousand girls inside, I ever so casually brushed it off onto the floor, then sat down and put my head on my keyboard. WHAT DID THIS MEAN. WHAT. Time to Nancy Drew it to it.

By the way, when you type “maggots in” into Google Images, here’s what comes up:

Maggots in nose

Maggots in mouth

Maggots in teeth

Plus a very popular story about a middle school warning kids that snorting Smarties could lead to maggots in your nose. That’s one for the ages.

Quickly, I scooped the offending insect off the carpet on a piece of printer paper and … threw it in the trash. What else? What else could I do with it?? Then, I peeped into the nut container.


Hello, my baby, hello, my darlin’, hello my snack time giiiiirl!


There, on what can only be described as a bed of husks, squirmed ten to fifteen maggots. My healthy tree-snack had turned, seemingly overnight, into DISCO RICE.

How many had I eaten? Did I even want to know?

Hyperventilating and retching at the same time is a real treat, let me tell you. I briefly considered barfing right into the trash can at my desk, but then I remembered there was one of THEM in there. If there’s anything worse than a maggot, it’s a maggot swimming in puke.

I ran to the bathroom, lost my snack, and vowed never to turn my back on pre-packed, non-organic, unhealthy snacks. And to write a sternly worded letter to the Randall’s, letting them know that the guy who mans the Nut Hut needs to spend a little more time waving the flies off the merchandise, and a little less time thinking about all his honeys.

Got a filthy story? Send it to Filthy Friday,



  • Ali

    “disco rice” I am both delighted & disgusted by this wonderful description. It is perfect.

    • Duni Arnold

      I’ve always been curious about the etymology of the term. It’s the closest thing in my mind possible to making maggots squee instead of squick.

      I mean, who can’t crack a smile when they imagine the bed of maggots that’s nesting in what was previously your almond supply as rice grains being groovy?

  • AlexisO

    Welp, on the top of my list is GO HOME AND CHECK THE NUT SUPPLY.

  • Blahblee

    “screaming the scream of a thousand little girls inside . . .” I LOVE YOU

  • Kat Pao

    I think I just screamed “the scream of a thousand little girls inside” too. This is the most horrifying thing! AT WORK?!?! NO! NO! NO! NOOO!!!

  • Ashlie

    Wait where did I read this before?

    • Waterbears

      In a comment section on, but I don’t remember whose story it was!

      • JulaiOhMy

        We’ll never tellllllll.

        • Ashlie

          Yeah I just found it a bit odd that this site is already re-using content that most readers have probably already read. I did enjoy the story, though.

          • Jen Pink

            Holy crap, do I have to run every anonymous submission against the xojane comment section from now on?


          • Ashlie

            This was a really defensive and rude reply, IMO. I’m sorry you feel so attacked, but I didn’t mean it that way. And this isn’t the first time you guys have acted like this in the comments, is it going to be like this here all the time?

          • Jen Pink

            No, and … probably not the last time. This is supposed to be fun. I was just kidding, like “shucks!” but “damnit.”

            I still have to be me. Even under the microscope. I was just kidding.

          • Ashlie

            ok sorry then. I didn’t get the sarcasm.

          • Jen Pink

            Well, internet. Plus, drama. I expect we’ll misread one another every now and then, at least until the dust settles.

            BUT IT SHALL SETTLE.

            I need cheesecake. Have a wonderful weekend!

          • periodic_sheep

            i love that excuse. just have to be me. covers all sorts of ills!

  • AnathemaD

    curiously, this made me nauseated, and also really crave those cocoa roasted almonds that I love. even though I doubt I would be able to eat them after this, I still inexplicably wish I had a big bag to nom.

    • JulaiOhMy

      The coconut ones are excellent, too. Without worms or with!

  • TheeLoveCats


  • Mung Beans


  • C_Mads_Go

    Oh my god. I read this as I was eating breakfast. For the love of God, WHY?! Also, raw almonds are largely to thank for my recent weight loss. Now I need to go inspect my own snack. After I vomit, of course…