Collie

Collie: (n) a sheepdog of a breed originating in Scotland

I was eleven years old before I realized they were not supposed to stink.

I’m talking about dogs.

Up to that point, I knew one dog–and this dog stunk. Ironically, her name was “Queenie.” Any pomp and circumstance associated with that name were purely accidental. She stunk. I could tell very time I drew near.

And near I drew.

Queenie was my Grandpa George’s animal. She was his favorite beast, person and thing.

Queenie felt great security in her job, and so pursued no personal hygiene. Half the day she wandered through the woods, living the life of a wild dog, to come
home to the little A-frame house as night was falling, to spend time with my grandpa.

I had jobs to do with Queenie. I kept praying that my grandpa would get old enough that he would become forgetful, and therefore fail to remember to ask me to do the job.

It was a two-parter.

Because Queenie was a collie, she had long fur which might have been lovely had it not been matted with dirt and grime, and filled with little stickers (which my grandpa referred to as “nettles”).

Grandpa wanted me to sit there during the visit, with Queenie’s snout lying in my lap, stinking up the room, and remove these little thistles from her fur. That was the first part.

The second part was that Queenie was a wild-type dog, and did not know how to get all the poop out of her butt with each bowel movement. So dangling from her backside were little sprinkles of dried turds, which Grandpa allowed me to remove by snipping them off with a small pair of scissors.

I will give Queenie one kudo: she never objected to any of the processes. Matter of fact, it reached a point that whenever I came into the room, she came over and laid her head on my knee, awaiting the treatment.

She smelled like everything bad that no one should ever inhale.

Her nettles always yanked out little pieces of hair, and the clippings from the back end–well, fortunately, time has healed me of the vision (as long as I don’t talk about it).

That is my experience with a collie. So you can see why, under no circumstances whatsoever, could I enjoy watching “Lassie.”

 

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Bran

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bran: (n) pieces of grain husk separated from flour after milling

I’m sorry to admit that I’ve reached an age when, for some reason or another, I feel comfortable to discuss my bowel movements in public.

Not with everybody.Dictionary B

There has to be some intimacy that’s been exchanged between us in order for me to uncork information on my flow.

I used to go to the toilet without reservation or comment. Often it happened too quickly or too frequently, but I always felt like I was just a “regular guy.”

Then suddenly the large and small intestine became territorial–perhaps because for many years they had been in competition with each other over size.

So the food I now place in my mouth has become like a reluctant old man who has found his favorite park bench and believes there are squirrels yet unfed.

It has become necessary for me to introduce bran–usually in the form of cereal–for my breakfast, without allowing it to look like I have done so because I have been overtaken by a cloud of decrepit.

Especially when I get around my children or younger humans, I will lamely attempt to offer the possibility that the cereal is to my liking and I would choose it over Lucky Charms any day.

Yet I can see it in their eyes–a mingling of mischief and pity which lets me know that they are aware that this consumption of bran products is necessary to unclog my dam.

Oh, damn.

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Bowel Movement

Bowel movement: (n) an act of defecation.

We aren’t supposed to talk about it.Dictionary B

Matter of fact, it could be the definition of friendship. A friend is someone who has joined you in lengthy discussions about bowel movements.

Since it is the forbidden fruit of human dialogue, generally speaking, you have to develop a very close relationship with a fellow-bowel-mover to actually feel comfortable to open yourself up.

And once you get started, you can’t stop talking about it. It’s as if you’ve been culturally constipated and suddenly are granted the free flow of expression.

Uncorked, as it were.

And it is so enlightening when you hear other people discuss their “seated times,” and realize how much you have in common with them–with some delightful differences. It can nearly bring you to tears.

But we are told not to speak of such things and certainly not to joke about them. Otherwise we’ll be accused of “bathroom humor.”

It is amazing that something done by most people at least once a day is relegated to conversational obscurity.

So if you’re ever around me and I start sharing about “b.m.” you can be certain of two things:

  1. It’s on my mind
  2. You must be a damn good friend.

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