Once upon a time, during the Great Recession, a baby was born to two young parents in California. The parents were very poor, and had left the disapproval of friends and family in their hometown in order to have the baby. They were excited about the new life they were about to welcome into the world, but they were very scared as well.

The baby was born next to a dumpster behind a Wal-Mart in Bakersfield. His mother rinsed him off with a gallon of distilled water, and swaddled him in a roll of Brawny paper towels. She nursed him in the back seat of their 1992 Hyundai Excel, which was also where they were living and sleeping, while the father went into the Wal-Mart to shoplift some diapers.

They lived behind the Wal-Mart for several days, moving when they needed to, and eating cheap fast food. After two days, the baby had his first bowel movement, which was audible, and began to cry. His mother gave him a blind wipe with the remainder of the Brawny paper towels and threw the wad into an empty dumpster.

It landed with the clang of metal on metal. The boy’s father jumped in to investigate.

This baby’s body, through its own unique process of digestion, defecated pure 24-karat gold. It exited his body in a malleable form, but solidified within seconds; that first lump of gold was in the cast of his tiny buttocks and legs, and was imprinted with the repeating BRAWNY logo on the other side.

The baby’s father went into the Wal-Mart and weighed the gold in a produce scale. It amounted to nearly a quarter of a pound. He bought two apples and a hammer so as not to seem suspicious. Out in the parking lot, he used the hammer to pound the gold into two lumps, breaking it in half along the seam, and the two of them drove along the drag until they found a seedy store offering cash for gold and silver. The clerk offered them $900 for one of the lumps and $600 for the other, a pitifully offensive lowball which they happily accepted.

They slept in a hotel that night.

The baby consumed nothing but breastmilk for four years. His parents were afraid that his diet was the main reason for his output, and were afraid to make any change, until eventually his mother’s supply dried up. Over those four years, the price of gold had nearly doubled; the family lived in a nice house, and had nice cars, and owned a “gold mine” in Alaska, which was the purported source of their seemingly endless supply of pure gold. They had enough money that they could stop. So they fed him his first hamburger, fries and shake, and that was the end of the breastmilk.

The next morning, a twelve-ounce gold bolus clanked into the special plastic basin that they had set up to catch all of his leavings. So they fed him more hamburgers. In this way, their coffers filled, and their child became very large: the more they put into him, the more they got out.

When the time came, the family opted to have their son home-schooled by tutors; they had food delivered, and they only let him leave the house rarely, to limit the chances that they would need to fish in a public toilet for their profit, or explain their situation to an angry McDonald’s manager with a flooded bathroom.

When puberty came, the child was huge and angry and hairy and smelly and surly. He hated living in his house with his mother and father. He hated wearing Depends adult diapers every time he left the house, and he hated most of all the feeling of his bowel movements hardening and scratching him once he filled those Depends adult diapers. The sight of their basement vault filled with the smelted ingots of his feces made him sick to his stomach.

So he planned his escape. He gathered ten pounds of gold, in small nuggets. He paid one of his unscrupulous tutors to get him false identification, and a car, and a very nice tent.

The night he was to leave, he waited until his parents went to sleep, drank a whole bottle of laxative, and waited as long as he could. When he couldn’t wait any longer, he ran through the house, leaving a gold streak across all the furniture, the carpet, the nice hardwood floors. He got the counters, the wet bar, the trophy room; he painted the inset speakers, the leather sofa, the bookcases. He left a trail to the front door, put on his pants, and ran into the night, never to return.

That was the last time he shat pure gold.

He settled down in Canada, became a CPA. He married, and had children of his own, all of whom poop normally. Once in a blue moon, as he’s perched on his stool, he hears a small clink; when he does, he just sighs and flushes.

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