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Turn The Other Cheek
by Mark Stowers

I've heard traumatic events can affect one's physical body.

Maybe you go blind, or you're paralyzed. I can't smell.

If a herd of skunks has taken up residence in my bed with their southern extremities aimed at my useless nostrils, then I vaguely get a scent. But I continue my tale with caution, for I have kept this secret for more than 20 years. That was until I felt this silly burden of telling my wife my lifelong secret that I thought would just remain "between us."


I am now the "story du jour" of every party or friendly gathering. I now allow you to continue without my dignity intact.

A country boy's best friend is his dog. I raised several, but my favorite was a cross breed named Patch. She was part walker hound, part beagle, but all mine. We were inseparable. I would bike and she would run like the wind ahead of me; I could never catch up with her. I taught her how to swim and she bailed me out of many a leftover at dinner time. Patch was cool and smart. She was an inside/outside dog. She would scratch the door to go in and out of the house and every night she took her portion of my bunk bed.

This is where my life changed, at least my senses.

I had gone to bed and had neglected to maintain Patch's routine of going outside before bed. I was tired, she could hold it, my 10-year-old brain reasoned. Ten-year-olds should not make decisions of this magnitude, much less a tired one. But, I did. About 2:00 AM, I felt someone scratching me and digging me. It was Patch, gently reminding me that we had not followed proper dog owner procedure before procuring sleep time. I pushed her away and rolled over. I don't remember how many times she bugged me to take care of this matter.

The next time I awoke, I felt pinned to the bed. Four legs straddled my body as I slept on my side. I couldn't move. I didn't outweigh Patch by a whole lot. I kind of opened my left eye to gather information. The left eye reported a hairy item towering over my head area. I immediately put in a request for the right eye to confirm and identify this item. Opening widely, the right eye confirmed that my loving pet had pinned me to the bed and was straddling my head with her rear in the proximity of my forehead.

"Uh, brain, we've got a problem," left eye screamed. "The tail is in the air, I repeat, the tail is in the air!"

"Move, now!" my brain screamed to the rest of my sleepy body.

"I can't!" the hands responded. "We're trapped."

"There's nothing we can do," replied the legs.

Looking up at a lifelong friend, straining above me to relieve her situation, unable to move, I just turned my head as far as I could. But not enough to get out of the line of fire.

In what seemed an eternity but only took nanoseconds, my whole world changed. Innocence was lost. A friendship altered. My sense of smell permanently removed along with some body hair.

My faithful friend had pooped on me.

On my head!

But that's not all. She had diarrhea. I didn't know that diarrhea is hot.

I am now an expert.

It is hot.

I don't recommend doing research on this fact. Just take it as fact.

It's hot.

No one asked me the next day why I was washing sheets and bathing at 2:00 AM. I didn't tell. Until now. So, it's out of the bag. My most embarrassing moment. And I haven't smelled a thing since I was 10.


Mark Stowers lives "up yonder,"
although he still calls himself a Mississippi Delta Man-Boy . . .


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