Hutch: You can’t stand a little competition.
Starsky: Competition? Under normal circumstances, I’d wipe the floor with ya!
Hutch: You’re getting a little green behind the gills there, partner.
“Starsky Vs. Hutch”
One terrified yelp from Starsky, and Hutch was off the couch and into the bathroom. He skidded to a halt at the sight of
his partner staring down at his...
“I think something’s wrong Hutch! Look at this...”
Hutch covered his eyes. “Jesus, put it away!”
“I don’t want to look!”
“It’s not supposed to be this color!”
Hutch peeked between his fingers. The organ in question hadn’t turned green. There were no purple spots. He lowered
his hands and tilted his head to the side. It looked... pretty much like his own.
He took a deep breath. “Starsky, please tell me why I’m staring at your dick?”
Starsky shoved himself back into his shorts, flushing with sudden embarrassment. “Oh hell, Hutch! I’m sorry.”
“No, don’t apologize. Just tell me what the problem is.” Hutch leaned on the door frame and crossed his
arms. Starsky had turned so red he looked as if he might spontaneously combust at any moment.
“There was...” Starsky’s voice dropped to an almost inaudible level, “… stuff.”
“Stuff,” repeated Hutch.
“Coming out of...” He gestured downward.
Hutch raised an eyebrow. “Beyond the usual, ah... stuff?”
“It was... green.” Starsky’s voice cracked on the least word. His eyes were large and frightened
as he added, “Like snot.”
Hutch winced, suddenly feeling nauseous. “Er...”
“It really hurt when I tried to pee.” Starsky stared down at the toilet miserably. “And I still have to
go. But I can’t... Aw, hell. I’ve got something, don’t I?”
“Sure sounds like it, buddy.”
“And I thought crabs were bad,” said Starsky, sadly.
* * *
The doctor’s office was crowded but silent, except for the sounds of a teenaged girl turning pages of a Reader’s
Digest and an old man wheezing damply in the corner. Starsky slouched in and sat down in the first empty seat by the door,
the collar of his sweater pulled up to his ears.
Hutch sighed and walked over to the receptionist. “David Starsky.”
“We’re a little backed up,” said the girl, with a glance at her appointment book. “Sit down, and
the doctor will be with you in about thirty minutes.” The phone rang.
An hour, Hutch mentally translated. He stepped over the legs of a woman holding a baby, and sat next to Starsky.
Hutch looked around the room. The baby was – hopefully – asleep, and his mother looked like she could use a few
hours herself. An old lady sitting across from him met his gaze suspiciously. The minute hand on the wall clock moved forward
with an audible click.
“Do you want a magazine?” he asked his partner, spotting a couple on the table on the other side of the woman
with the baby.
“No,” growled Starsky, from inside his sweater.
He’s sulking, thought Hutch, feeling a flash of irritation. He didn’t have to take the day off with Starsky.
He didn’t have to come to the doctor’s office with him either. He’d only agreed to do it because he’d
wanted to be supportive.
He dropped his voice. “The only person you’ve got to blame is yourself. You should have been more careful.”
Starsky’s head surfaced from his collar, and he glared at Hutch. “I was careful!”
Several heads turned towards them, and Hutch made a shushing noise at Starsky. “Obviously not careful enough,”
he whispered. “You know...” He silently mouthed the word ‘condoms’. “They only work if you
use them every time.”
“Says you,” whispered Starsky, furiously. “Don’t give me that hypocritical bull.”
“Every time,” said Hutch. “Because my body is a temple.”
“Wait a minute.” Starsky looked at him suspiciously. “I’ve heard that before. The last time you
started in on that whole ‘my body is a temple’ stuff was...”
“Hey,” said Hutch, reaching past the woman and her baby. “Here’s a Cosmo. Want to read some porn?”
Considering the circumstances, Hutch had to admit it wasn’t at all surprising that Starsky didn’t go for the bait.
“...was when you were trying to give up junk food.”
Still, the only other magazine on the table was Highlights, and Hutch doubted Starsky was in any kind of mood for the moral
adventures of Goofus and Gallant. Hutch flipped open the Cosmo and held it up. “Look, it’s ‘Secrets of
Male Arousal’. Want to find out what turns us on?”
“And before that,” continued Starsky, “it was when you were giving up smoking.”
“Apparently what turns us on,” said Hutch, desperately, “is sexy lingerie.”
“But do they sell it in your size?” asked Starsky.
Hutch suddenly realized that every person in the room was staring at him. He gave them a weak smile, and nudged Starsky with
his elbow. “Keep it down, will you?”
Starsky’s eyes narrowed as he leaned in close to Hutch’s ear. “Right, because you wouldn’t want them
all to know that you’ve also had... whatever the hell it is I’ve got.”
“I never did!” yelped Hutch.
The old lady across from him shushed him severely. He thought he heard the teenager giggle behind her magazine.
“You did,” said Starsky. “Because that’s how you operate. When you jump on a bandwagon, you don’t
just climb on. You grab the reins and start driving. And the only reason you’d be on this one is if you’d had
painful personal experience with green snot coming out of your own d–”
Hutch slapped his hand over Starsky’s mouth, muffling the rest of his diatribe. “Okay, okay. Maybe I did. Once.
Now will you please shut up?”
Starsky pulled Hutch’s hand away. “So what have I got, Hutch?” His expression was pleading. “I
mean, they can fix it. Right?”
“I don’t know, but I’m sure they can. After all, that’s why God gave us penicillin.” Hutch
freed his hand and gave Starsky a reassuring pat on the knee. He tried to ignore the speculative glances from the rest of
After a few minutes of silence, Hutch said, “Do you want to read my magazine?”
“No,” said Starsky. “I’m thinking of taking a vow of chastity.”
“Can Jews do that?”
“Either that, or I’m going to have to get married,” said Starsky.
“I could, if I wanted to!” protested Starsky, indignantly.
“No,” said Hutch, quickly. “It’s just the way you put the two of them together. Chastity and marriage,
like they were the same thing.”
The old lady got to her feet, grumbling as she stomped up to the reception desk.
“Anyway, who would you marry?” asked Hutch.
“Well, ah...” Starsky paused, clearly considering the possibilities, and just as obviously rejecting them one
by one. Finally he said, “What about that new transfer? Kira seems like a nice girl. And she’s a detective,
too. So she’s smart and pretty and...”
“Absolutely not the marrying kind.” Hutch shook his head. He hadn’t had much of a chance to get to know
Kira – a situation he intended to rectify as soon as humanly possible – but from the few words he’d exchanged
with her, she was anything but ‘nice’. She had a razor sharp sense of humor and a taste for sexual innuendo that
he hoped would translate well into the bedroom.
“How would you know?” asked Starsky. “She probably just hasn’t met the right guy.”
“You’re going to be off the market for the next few weeks, Romeo.” And by the time he was back in it, Hutch
figured he’d have things well in hand with Kira. So to speak.
Now the old lady was leaning over the counter, talking to the receptionist. And both of them kept looking over at Starsky.
Hutch ducked his head and rubbed the bridge of his nose.
Starsky frowned at him. “So what? The kind of girl you marry isn’t the kind of girl who’d... you
“No, I don’t know.” He just wanted this conversation to end. Everyone in the room was listening, and for
some inexplicable reason he was feeling guilty about his plans concerning Kira. Even though she was obviously not Starsky’s
type, and Starsky would figure that out any day now, and...
Starsky punched him in the thigh. Hard. “Kira’s the kind of girl you got to get to know first. Take things
slow, and really make a commitment.”
“Have you even met her?”
“David Starsky!” said the receptionist, loudly. “You’re next.”
Hutch checked his watch. Ten minutes. That had to be some kind of record.
* * *
“I’ve got the clap,” said Starsky, in a tone of deep disbelief, and not for the first time that day.
Hutch opened the booklet the pharmacist had given Starsky with his prescriptions. “Says here gonorrhea’s one
of the most common venereal diseases there is.”
“My ass hurts,” said Starsky. He was lying on his stomach on the couch, his sneakers up on the arm. He reached
back to rub his rear, gingerly. “That doctor’s a sadist.”
“I’d say it’s a small price to pay for...” Hutch turned a page and read aloud. “Something
which if left untreated can cause you to go sterile.” He paused, and peered at the small color photo which accompanied
the text. “Oh, dear God.”
“No, you don’t want to see this,” said Hutch, closing the booklet.
“What? C’mon, Hutch! I can take it. What’s the bad news?”
“It’s a picture of what could have happened, if you hadn’t got treated. Are you sure you want to see it?”
Starsky stuck his arm out. “Hand it over.”
Silently, Hutch complied. Starsky propped himself up on his elbows, and opened the booklet. “Oh, dear God.”
“I need a beer,” said Hutch.
Starsky nodded emphatically, still staring at the picture. “Get me one, too.”
* * *
By the time Hutch got back with two cold beers, Starsky was sitting up. The booklet was in front of him on the coffee table,
and he was staring at it as if he was worried it might suddenly jump up and attack him. “If they’d told me not
wearing a raincoat could make my balls explode...”
Hutch sat down next to him and handed him one of the beers. “You’d have used a condom every time?”
“Damn right. I’d have double bagged it!” Starsky took a long drink from his bottle, before putting it
down on the table next to the booklet. “How the hell can that poor guy walk? They’re bigger than softballs!”
“One of them, anyway.”
“And I’m damn sure they’re never supposed to be that color.”
“Hell of a punishment for cheating on his wife,” said Hutch. That picture would be giving him nightmares for
weeks to come, he just knew it.
“Aw, he wasn’t married!” Starsky shifted uncomfortably on the couch, crossing his legs. “If he’d
been married, his wife would have gotten him to a doctor long before it got that bad. That poor bastard was single.”
“And not getting any,” said Hutch. “One look at that, and any girl would run screaming.”
“Right, because the one who gave it to him in the first place was long gone.” Starsky paused, and retrieved the
booklet. Carefully avoiding the page with the picture, he folded it back. “Says here gon... er, the clap... has an
incubation period of up to thirty days. How the hell do I know who gave it to me?”
“Well, who did you sleep with?”
“Let’s see…” Starsky chewed his bottom lip thoughtfully. Then he straightened and with a challenging
glance at Hutch, began ticking names off on his fingers. “There was Barbie, Cindy, Linda, Janet... and Max... and,
“Max!” Hutch was sure he couldn’t have heard that last name right.
Starsky gave him a disgusted look. “Maxine. You know her. She’s the pretty red-headed stenographer.
She always works in bail court.”
“Yeah? And what were you doing there? It’s not like we ever have to testify at bail court.”
“For your information, I met her in the cafeteria.”
“And took her home for lunch.”
Starsky smirked. “She’s nutritious and delicious.”
“And maybe she’s the one who gave you your little bacterial surprise.”
Starsky’s smile disappeared. “You don’t think...”
“Or you could have given it to her, after one of the others gave it to you.”
“Don’t say it...” Starsky buried his head in his hands.
“You have to call them, buddy.”
“All of them.”
“Hutch...” said Starsky, pleadingly.
“No,” said Hutch. “No, no, no. You’re going to have to call them yourself. There’s no way
I’m getting involved with any of this.”
“But Barbie’s a stewardess! She’s probably cruising at ten thousand feet right now.”
“And possibly passing on to some other guy the gift that keeps on giving,” said Hutch, sternly.
Starsky kicked leg of the coffee table and caught his beer before it tipped over. “Anyway, I don’t need to call
Linda or Janet, now that I think about it.” He took another swig.
“Did you have sex with them or not?”
“But you said...” Hutch shook his head, resignedly. “I should just be glad you didn’t pull out your
little black book and claim you’d slept with them all.”
Starsky made a disgusted noise. “It’s a big black book, and how many did you sleep with this month, buddy?”
One. “More than you,” lied Hutch, smoothly.
“Yeah, pull the other one. It’s got bells on it.”
Hutch leaned forward and slid the phone over in front of Starsky. “Stop stalling.”
“I really don’t have to call Cindy, either. I’m pretty sure you can’t get gonorrhea from a kiss on
a cheek.” Starsky sighed, defeated. “So it’s Barbie and Max. An’ I got it from one of them and
probably gave it to the other. They’re never going to talk to me again.”
Starsky looked so sad, Hutch couldn’t resist leaning over and ruffling his curls. “I’m still here for you,
“Yeah, but you’re not quite what I want to roll over and find on my pillow in the morning, you know?” Starsky
“Nah, I just camp out on your couch every now and then.”
“I’m sticking to nice girls from now on, Hutch,” said Starsky.
Thinking of Kira, Hutch felt a stab of apprehension. “Just make sure they’re actually nice, hey?”
Starsky gave him a quick smile, as he reached for the phone. “Oh, I think I know the difference.”