Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste


Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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October 27, 2013

I don’t usually do follow-up posts but Al Penwasser (check out his hilarious blog here) left this comment on my last post Man Up! Al reminded me of one other instance where someone asked me for a piercing. Al commented, “Coulda been worse. She coulda wanted you to pierce something other than her ear.” The following happened a few years after the first piercing incident when I’d become manager of the jewelry store.


Jerry was one of my best customers. He and his lovely wife Mary Anne had purchased a small fortune in bling from me over the years. I was polite with all of my customers but over the years I developed a real fondness for Jerry and Mary Anne. It helped that Mary Anne was a beautiful woman, shapely with cascading Pre-Raphaelite red hair.


One day when they were browsing in the store Jerry slid up to me while Mary Anne was on the far side of the store. “There’s something Mary Anne and I want you to do for us,” he said.


“What?” I blurted out, wondering why he was whispering.


“I want you to pierce Mary Anne’s nipple.”


At first I wasn’t sure I’d heard him correctly. “Her nipple?”


Mary Anne wandered up to us and smiled at me.


Flummoxed, I wondered if Mary Anne knew what her husband had just requested. Did she really want her nipple pierced or was this all his idea? The answers came quickly.


“Jerry and I didn’t want just anyone to do the piercing,” she explained. “We know several people who might do it, but we selected you.”


I think I mumbled, “I’m honored,” but I’m not sure.


I was trapped between a rock and a hard place; much of that hardness came from the fact that Mary Anne was a lovely, well-endowed woman and she and her husband were giving me permission to examine one of her best attributes in a highly intimate fashion. But I shivered to think of what I’d say to Mrs. Chatterbox when I got home from work and she asked, as she was inclined to do, “Did anything interesting happen at work today?”


Telling her I fondled a beautiful woman’s breasts while attaching a nipple ring was an option not worth considering. Besides, the memory of the one and only time I’d tried to pierce someone—a hard-bitten biker chick—didn’t go well when the stud didn’t pierce the cartilage of her ear. Yet these were outstanding customers and the last thing I wanted to do was offend them.


I’ve little doubt that my response will offend many of my readers, and over the years I’ve thought about Jerry and Mary Anne’s request more than I care to admit, but back then I chose to give the limpest answer possible. “I don’t think my wife will let me.”






Hope you're having a terrific weekend.


Hah! It was a cop-out, but you avoided various potential pitfalls. Not bad for being put on the spot like that.
By: Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma on October 27, 2013
How do you need to be reminded of a story that good? BTW...Good answer!
By: Cranky on October 27, 2013
HA!HA! I'm sure your wife and your mom were proud.
By: David Walston on October 27, 2013
That's a story I'll NEVER forget!!
By: fishducky on October 27, 2013
Oh my stars....you are a devoted and informed husband and a gentleman. And I shall never forget this story....it is quite memorable. Oma Linda
By: Oma Linda on October 27, 2013
hey, it works! :)
By: TexWisGirl on October 27, 2013
It just confirms what I've always said: If you can't do an ear, you surely can't do a nipple. But it got me wondering, when you pierce a nipple doesn't it have to be -- well, you know, kind of hard and sticking out? And how would you, the professional, get it that way? The more I think about this, the more interesting the topic becomes.
By: tom sightings on October 27, 2013
I think whatever excuse that would get you out of doing the piercing was the right excuse. A nipple is full of nerve endings that make some things really pleasurable. Having a piece of metal piercing it isn't one of those things. Poking a hole through a nipple isn't for amateurs.
By: Cheryl P. on October 27, 2013
You definitely couldn't have made it at one of those tattoo parlors.
By: PT Dilloway on October 27, 2013
There are so many great stories on the Chubby Chatterbox blog, it makes me smile every time I visit. Thank you, Stephen. I enjoyed reading this one, the request you'll never forget!
By: Sharon Bradshaw on October 27, 2013
I think it was also the smartest possible answer!
By: Shelly on October 27, 2013
Oh, no -you did well. And also it might have been true :). I do think anyone who wants this done must be a masochist, truly. Makes me wince just to think about t.
By: Jenny Woolf on October 27, 2013
You did what you felt was right at that moment. Although I bet you've played various scenarios over an over several times. For example: ice would likely be needed to numb the nipple and also give it additional surface area to work with. It would have made for an interesting entry to your blog had you proceeded with the 'procedure'.
By: Daniel LaFrance on October 27, 2013
Yeah, I think you gave the right answer. If you had t tell Mrs. C. otherwise, you'd have been busted for sure. ;)
By: Hilary on October 27, 2013
I would have just signed on as a consultant. ;)
By: Scott Park on October 27, 2013
Thank goodness neither of them wanted to be skewered south of the border.
By: Val on October 27, 2013
Be glad you could use her as that excuse -- with my Sweetie, if someone asked, i'd tell him go ahead! LOL
By: mimi on October 27, 2013
I think you did some great thinking on your feet! My stock answer for situations like this is: "I would if I could, but I don't want to."
By: Pixel Peeper on October 27, 2013
Being as that is a pretty sensitive area and could be prone to infection...I hope she went to a doctor.
By: Tabor on October 27, 2013
Your intro really caught my attention. Sorry, but with your skill you made the right decision!
By: red on October 27, 2013
I applaud your decision :)
By: jenny_o on October 27, 2013
Never fear â i shall not request such a piercing. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on October 27, 2013
Probably both a wise and brave decision.
By: Tom Cochrun on October 27, 2013
Congratulations on thinking of the right thing to say!
By: The Broad on October 28, 2013
You foolish man. ;)
By: AC on October 28, 2013
Perfect answer- got you off the hook...oops ....and in a very diplomatic and truthful way. A scholar and a gentleman! Have a great week!
By: Kathe W. on October 28, 2013
If you had gone ahead and done the job you would have felt a bit of a tit. (Sorry, Stephen, but I couldn't resist).
By: Bryan Jones on October 28, 2013
You know, I gotta hand it to you. You're a pretty honest guy! You could have gladly grabbed and held on to her boob and never said a word...at least to Mrs. C. anyway!! haha You get a thumb up in my book.
By: Bouncin Barb on October 28, 2013
In a way you mad a 'clean breast' of it. What a position to be in!
By: John on October 29, 2013
What's worse is that Mary Anne had inverted nipples. LIMPEST answer!? Well played.
By: Al Penwasser on October 30, 2013
These are just toooooo funny. Pinocchil and then the cow with the piercings...you have made my afternoon. Thanks for the info on the containers. genie
By: genie on October 31, 2013

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