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by Lily Mulholland

You had always wanted to be famous. At thirty-seven, with two kids and stretch marks, you thought you’d missed out. That was until a chance incident made you the most famous woman in the world in the short space of forty-eight hours.

What had started as a headline beloved by sub-editors of newspapers quickly became the story of the year, with interview requests rolling in from around Australia. As new media journos awoke to their multiple feeds, you started receiving calls from all over Europe, and, several hours later, the United States, Canada, and a ragtag bunch of South American countries. You even took a call from a news outlet in Karachi. You were big on the sub-continent! Fortunately your melting mobile phone was saved by a call from Max Wiltshire, mega-PR to the stars. He offered to take you on for the special cut-rate fee of twenty per cent of your earnings. You were clearly out of your depth and Max offered to handle everything on your behalf. Although you later discovered his fee structure was reprehensible, you were nonetheless pleased to hand over your media responsibilities to someone of his vast experience, and girth.

You shudder at the mention of body shape. That’s what started this media hurricane. You were walking along the street on one of your rare days away from the kids, swinging your shopping bags containing loot from an even rarer retail therapy session when bammo! Looming before you was a man wider than he was tall, his belly bulging against the yellow cotton of his polo shirt, attempting a daring escape. This was a belly that moved to its own rhythm; a tummy that could influence tides. As he lumbered closer, you saw it. He had an outie. You were swept away with the moment and before you could stop yourself your free hand reached out, forefinger extended and you poked that protruding navel.

The man’s face registered shock and surprise for the nanosecond that hung suspended between you before he exploded. Fleshy shrapnel coated you, your shopping bags, the pavement and buildings to the left of you. The duco of cars parked against the curb would never be the same again. And neither would you, forever more known as the Belly Button Bomber. You always wanted to be famous.