The Poop Story That Almost Was

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Editor's Note: Sometimes we are so afraid that we almost shit ourselves. Almost. Here is one of those times in the life of our beloved and venerable Chief Thunderbutt.

This isn't actually a poop story . . . but it almost was. It was many years ago, shortly after I had left the air force. I was attending a small community college and lived several miles down a country road that had hardly any houses on it. I raised most of my own food and saved a bit of money by not owning a car. The nearest grocery store was a ten-mile walk, round trip, but I was in good health and welcomed the exercise; besides, I had a good friend who drove me to the store once a month so that I could stock up on the few nonperishable items that I did require.

It was spring break and there would be no school for two weeks, so I was working in my friend's father's metal fabrication business to pick up a few extra dollars. A very few dollars I might add--the old man was a rather cheap old bastard. The shop was located next to the railroad track in a nearby town. My friend usually picked me up in the mornings and drove us to work, but the weather was so pleasant that I told him I would just walk in on this particular day. I did decide to shorten the trip by a half-mile or so by walking down the railroad track.

I set out early with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. Birds were tweeting amorously to each other and young half-grown rabbits were hopping about joyously. None of us had a care in the world; the day was absolutely drenched in glory. I turned down the railroad track, and was about halfway across a bridge that spanned a small stream, when I heard the sound: the baying of the hounds of Baskerville. (This was particularly unsettling since the town I was entering was named Hendersonville and not Baskerville.) I scanned the scene ahead of me and about 100 yards ahead I saw a pack of dogs hurtling down a hill, straight toward the railroad track. Their destination next to the track was obscured by brush and lay in a slight depression, but I had no doubt that they would be on me in a mere matter of seconds.

These were not little ankle-chewing chihuahuas, nor were they little mop-topped poodles with names like Pierre and Fifi: no, these were huge slobbering Dobermans approximately the size of grizzly bears. As they charged down the hill, ropes of saliva dripped from their massive jaws and trailed behind them, like the wake of Bull Halsey's fleet as it steamed through the Pacific, looking for unsuspecting Japanese ships to send to Davy Jones' Locker. They were probably salivating at the thought of swallowing the succulent chunks of flesh they would soon be ripping from my plump buttocks. If there is a merciful God, I opined, I will go into shock immediately and my being eaten alive will be relatively painless.

But I wasn't ready to surrender to this fate quite yet. I scanned my surroundings for an avenue of escape. Where was one of those little metal towers with the lights on top that you often see along railways? I have seen many of then in my lifetime. If one were around I could scurry up the ladder, and the dogs would only be able to gnaw my feet off. Modern medicine has done miracles with prosthetic limbs and I'm sure I could live a somewhat fulfilling life with fake feet. I wracked my brain but I could not form an image of someone with either a prosthetic ass or head. Looks like it was either flight or fight.

I am not a particularly fast individual; I run the 100 yard dash in a time comparable to that of a trained athlete running a mile. Perhaps, I thought, if I shit I will weigh less and be able to distance myself from these carnivorous monsters. No . . . I don't have a flap in the seat of my overalls, so I will be running with be-shitted pants that will make me easier to track. I will have to fight.

I scanned the nearby terrain for a possible weapon. Where was a good stout stick when you needed it most? There were a few blackberry canes in the brush at track side, but the thorns would probably have been more of a deterrent to whoever tried to wield them as a weapon than to the pack of frenzied canines who were preparing to indulge themselves in the meal of a lifetime. Rocks! I was on a railroad track that contained countless rocks! Unfortunately, they were all of the pebble variety. I could imagine doggy laughter when they saw me picking up pebbles to try and deter their attack. It would have been like the Japanese Army shooting at Godzilla with BB guns as he rampaged through the streets of Tokyo, knocking buildings asunder with swipes of his mighty forearms. I was doomed. Death was eminent.

Then I heard a magical sound. The dogs had gone out of sight in the dip just before the tracks, and I heard the sound of their bodies smacking into a chain link fence that was hidden from my view. I would not be torn into chunks. I had a chance of growing old with my ass intact. I wasn't sure how sturdy the fence was, so I didn't pause to taunt the dogs as I passed their yard. I never walked that way again either!

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