Eww Factor

OK, I admit it: I knew the tagline on a story this week would make a lot of readers squirm. I have the story — and the guy’s mug shot — plus some reader comments. The story is from True’s 14 August 2011 issue:

Picky, Picky, Picky

Customers at a McDonald’s restaurant in Cape Coral, Fla., were getting irate because for at least 10 minutes, a man standing by the door was popping pimples on his back. An off-duty police officer asked him to leave. When the man discovered he was being addressed by a cop, he ran, just as an on-duty officer arrived to investigate reports of a disturbance. The cops chased down Owen Lemire Kato, 23, and found he had a warrant out for his arrest. That gave them a solid reason to arrest him, and a search revealed drug paraphernalia. He was also charged with resisting arrest, and giving a false name to officers. (RC/Fort Myers News-Press) …And with revealing the main ingredient of “secret sauce”.

The Mug Shot

Owen Lemire Kato's mug shot
Thank goodness he kept his shirt on for the mug shot. Photo: Lee County Sheriff’s Office

One Thing Still Puzzles Me

OK, my Columbo Moment: How was he able to reach pimples on his back? Sure, a young guy could reach at least some of them, but ten minutes’ worth?

Here’s the “lede” (newspaper jargon for the “lead paragraph” on a news story; they spell it differently to make sure it’s never mistaken for the metal, “lead” — which is what printer’s type used to be made out of — nor for the current typesetting term, “leading”) — the lede of the local newspaper’s story I used as my source:

A Port Charlotte man was arrested by Cape Coral police Monday after an incident at McDonald’s in which he allegedly repulsed customers by squeezing pimples on his back.

Pretty clear, isn’t it? That’s reinforced farther down, where they add:

…after standing near the north entrance for more than 10 minutes and attracting the ire of customers, who had complained someone was popping pimples on his back, according to a police report.

Case closed: the guy’s a contortionist, right? But wait! Then there’s this detail:

While searching him, officers reportedly found a syringe in his pocket, which Kato’s girlfriend said he used to inject “blues,” or Oxycontin.

(Gosh: the guy just might be a druggie? Who could have ever guessed such a thing?!)

But wait: his girlfriend was there? (Wait: he has a girlfriend? Just more proof that “there’s someone for everyone”!) So might it be that his girlfriend was popping his pimples at the restaurant, in public, in front of other customers? (Oh, don’t retch: this page is titled “Eww Factor” after all!)

Well, maybe she was, but that’s not what the source story says, so I went with what it actually said in my write-up.

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15 Comments on “Eww Factor

  1. You’ve done it this time! I’ve done a tour in the Marines, another 20 years in the Navy, 15 years in the public schools here in Texas (including five teaching freshmen), I’m 67 years old and I’ve never been so grossed out. I may never eat another Big Mac…well, not before Friday, anyway. “Secret Sauce!” I LOVED IT.

    Which is, I have to admit, pretty much the response I expected! -rc

  2. Ok, that’s a first. Yes, a first. The first time I actually had a physical squirm/shiver of disgust response to one of your stories. Congratualations! 🙂

  3. Well, not exactly meal time entertainment for the masses. However, I read this while eating my supper and wasn’t faze at all; I guess after 7 years working with 2 and 3 years in a daycare my ewww factor has been desensitized.

    I’m desensitized too. My just telling you what I’ve eaten through would probably make a significant percentage of readers puke. So yeah, this story was really mild for me! -rc

  4. Well… Gee, even Alfred Hitchcock wouldn’t put this in a movie. Did not Holmes tell us, that truth is stranger than fiction? Kudos!

  5. I just read this whole thing while eating pizza for dinner, didn’t bother me one bit. As a mom of 3, I’ve just about seen everything there is to see regarding grossness, bodily fluids, etc.

  6. I wondered how he was squeezing his own pimples. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Secret sauce? Indeed.

    I have it on good authority from ex pizza deliverers that on a repeat visit, if the people didn’t tip them last time, then they either spit on the pizza or swipe some of the goodies on top of it.

    We buy frozen pizza now.

  7. Poppin’Fresh, the When the Cops Come Go Boy.

    Wellll, he popped one and the customers started runnin’, There wasn’t quite as many as there was awhile ago.
    He popped one more and the cops came a’gunnin’,
    Sent Poppin’ Fresh a’ runnin’
    Lookin’for a place to hide where his pimples wouldn’t show.
    (RIP Johnny Horton)

    I can’t believe I didn’t think of calling him “Poppin’ Fresh D’oh Boy” myself! -rc

  8. I prefer to gross McDonald’s out. Usually I’ll ask for their Fried Carcass, or maybe some Scorched Animal Flesh On a Bun. Let me tell you, they got NO sense of humor.

  9. I not only wasn’t squicked by the tag line, but I saw it coming as soon as I saw “McDonald’s” and “pimples”.

    My guess is that he had just one serious pimple, in a spot that’s possible to reach but too awkward to get enough leverage to properly clean it out, which is why he kept at it for several minutes. (I’ve been there.)

  10. “I’m desensitized too. My just telling you what I’ve eaten through would probably make a significant percentage of readers puke. So yeah, this story was really mild for me! -rc”

    I lived with a couple for a year: a biologist and a nurse. We had fascinating dinner conversations. Once, the biologist unwittingly cleared about 1/3 of a restaurant on the biomechanics of rigor mortis — while he was speaking very low. It was just a quiet place and his back was to the room. I would watch folks eavesdrop, blanch, and get the check. Except for one guy — who interrupted at one point with “can you back up”. The biologist was in full didactic mode, answered the question, and the guy said “Please continue”. A very fond memory.

    I’m still trying to figure out how the guy was popping them on his back — detachable arm? (If so, I want one!!)

  11. I interpreted from the combination of “standing by the door” and “popping pimples” that he was using the sharp corners of the door frame to scratch back and forth to pop them ONTO the door frame.

    Eww! -rc


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