Vomit-Porn Fiction

Repost from old blog, 1/5/2007

It began. The shaking that always hits when I’m most afraid. And at the same time my stomach began the warm-up for the blew magoo.

“He’s gonna blow!” Hedley cried out triumphantly.

My guts began to do the wiggle. My throat began the gack dance. It was five seconds to launch. Four…three…

Hugghgh huhhgh huhhgh-” I began.

“He can’t stop it now!” Hedley yelled joyously.

He was right. Two…one…

I blew chunks. I magooed. I showed everyone my breakfast. “Huhhghg b-b-bub-bleeeeeaaaaah!

The barf poured from my mouth like Niagara Falls.

It shot out, then dribbled down my face. Into my hair. Into my nose. I was temporarily blinded by half-digested oatmeal.

“Now let him go!” Hedley cried gleefully.

Hands released my ankles. Gravity took over.

Down I fell into the toilet. Into a soup of steaming barf and reeking brown substance. The sound of my own cries echoed in the toilet bowl.

– From Barf-O-Rama: The Legend of Bigfart by Pat Pollari

Katherine Alice Applegate writes books for kids. In fact, K.A. Applegate writes a fuckload of books for kids – writes them as if it were a compulsion, or perhaps an obsession.

In 1999 alone, she published twenty-two teen novels in the Animorphs, Everworld, and Making Out series. The year before that, she published eighteen novels. And that’s just by my count. Now, obviously we’re not talking about great American novels here. These are large-print teen novels of around a hundred pages (and it’s impossible to know whether some of these volumes were in fact ghostwritten). But the fact remains: bitch writes. A lot.

What happens when a writer takes license to exhume her child-like id into the form of hundreds of teen narratives, not unlike the proverbial monkey locked in a room with a typewriter? Well, it would seem that you get something like the Barf-O-Rama series, which Applegate wrote fifteen installments of in 1996-1997 under the pseudonym Pat Pollari.

The Barf-O-Rama books consist of just what the title and above excerpt would imply: they are structured around vomit scenes. They are vomit porn for pre-teens. Scenes are constructed just as the prototypical erotic scene is – the situation presented, the build-up, endless description, until the final, inevitable climax – an ejaculation of vomit instead of cum.

Of course, Applegate can’t be entirely blamed for the series, as she did not conceive of it originally. The series was the brainchild of editor Ann Brashares – she of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And though I’ve owned two Barf-O-Rama books for the past ten years, I only became aware that Applegate wrote them after coming across the first novel in her Ocean City series in the thrift store. That book was a sweet (though badly characterized) teen novel that gives little hint of what Applegate’s alter ego is capable of.

Can I just say – these books are fucking disgusting. Though I used to get a kind of astonished kick from them in my late-teen years, I can barely look at the covers now.

As far as I know, there is nothing else like them. I don’t know if they were popular, but one book in the series is going for an inexplicable $75.23 on Amazon. One reviewer writes, “If I had kids, I’d just as soon let them watch South Park or Showgirls before actually encouraging them to delve into this nonesense [sic].”

I see nothing wrong with kids reading this stuff, but he does have a point: Showgirls is a fucking awesome movie.

K.A. Applegate’ s Wikipedia page
Article on the Barf-O-Rama series by Warren St. John