skinema book

Skinema Review / Interview

[ by Jessica McMenamin ]

Writer Chris Nieratko, author of the recently released Vice Books-published tome, Skinema, is no stranger to controversy. Not only is the latter all about NA-rating worthy alcohol and drug-induced antics that actually occurred throughout his life, the New Jersey-based newlywed is also a former Jackass alum perhaps best remembered for gorging hard-boiled eggs until he threw up.

So, when faced with a Kiki de Montparnasse Massage Candle, whose wax turns to oil after burning, we figured Nieratko, who has seen it all go down in the bedroom [and beyond] wouldn’t play coy. Having just celebrated his one-year wedding anniversary, we assumed he could handle an extra-special night with his wife and then give a full report. Like his book, the road-test is full of the kind of stuff you only hear about, but never believed a person really did. In his own words:

So, how did Vice approach you to do the book?

Years prior, I had gone to London to sell this book to Bizarre Magazine, because the majority of the reviews are from that magazine and not from Vice. Unfortunately, what they offered wasn’t the kind of deal and contract I was looking for. About a year ago, my good friend, Gavin McInnes [one of the founders of Vice] made me aware that they signed a book deal with MTV Books, not knowing that I had this book already on ice. So I said, ‘Well, that’s funny, I already have your first book right here.’ It was as simple as that. It happened right before my wedding in July 2006. I literately signed the contracts as I was exiting the church after my wedding!

Wow. Okay, onto the candle, what did you think when you first opened it?

I thought it was caviar at first, because it comes in this interesting packaging. I wish my wife opened it, because she knew what it was supposed to be and knew it was coming. I have a bad memory, so right after I was told about doing the interview, I immediately forgot. I have lots of things to remember, like my upcoming book tour, my two skateboard shops, knocking my wife up, taking out the garbage, getting drunk and changing my socks…. occasionally.

What about a shower?

No time! Sometimes though, when I do remember to take out the trash, my wife power-washes me with the hose!

So… the candle…

Ok, I was actually annoyed because I had to open the box and my wife didn’t get to do it. It’s in fancy packing and it’s got words in a different language or something.

I think it’s French…

Well, whatever. I’m not down with that French scene; I’m not Jerry Lewis. So anyway, I opened it and there’s a little spoon inside and I thought, 'Oh, it’s sorbet!' And so… I tried some… and well it was disgusting and not sorbet.

When did you realize it was indeed a candle?

I saw a wick as I was chewing and it has a distinct aroma that’s very hard to get out of your mouth. Seriously, I was just spitting it. I was putting seltzer and beer into my mouth; just trying to get the taste out! Right off the bat, the candle was on my shit list. Also, the day it arrived, I was cleaning up after the one-year anniversary party of my wife and me. Which didn’t help matters, because we have these tiki-torches with citronella oil in them. Unfortunately, my nephews, when they were over for the party, tipped the tiki-torches all over. So, I had to clean them up. As I was doing so, I was getting citronella oil all over my hands. Sooooooo, when my I finally did light the fancy candle, my hands went up in a blaze! It wasn’t like Michael Jackson with a crazy, crazy blaze or something, but my hands were hot!

No! I don’t believe you!

I’m dead serious! I was charred in the face. My shirt got a hole in it. This company owes me one T-shirt; white, Fruit of the Loom, in size large, by the way.

When did you and your wife actually get to use it?

When we did attempt to use it on ourselves, we were on our leather couch applying the massage oil.

Well…what happened?

She slipped off me and then fell to the ground. Honestly, we did try to use the candle. It’s a very dangerous product. It should be kept away from people who are childish. Children probably could use this item more so than me.

What did the actual oil/wax combination feel like?

I can’t imagine that it felt like when the Romans burned people in oil or something. It wasn’t waxy and it wasn’t burning – it was just really, really, really slick.

I wish you had photos while you were lighting the candle.

Well, it would’ve been difficult to do so since I was burning and on fire! I know this story seems absolutely ridiculous, but if you spent five minutes with my wife, you’d know that this is a daily occurrence in my household where I find new and retarded ways to do things incorrectly.

Any advice for someone using this product for the first time?

First off, I’d suggest wearing flame-resistant outfits; even layer up with ‘em. I’m sure that’s not a sexy look but, you know, safety first. Function over fashion. Check with your local fire inspector before using. I think it’s safest to do it outdoors, and away from trees.

Who would’ve thought…

I feel like I let you down…

No, no…well done, Chris.

Thanks, I try.


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