October 18, 2021

Celebrating the Coolest Local Stuff

By Shawn Murphy

It’s a beautiful evening. The sun is setting in the west (which is a good thing – if it was setting in the east I would be in an alternate universe and I kind of like this one). I just made myself a nice dinner which is a bagel smeared with a thick slice of Braunschweiger and half a brick of cream cheese, basically a heart attack on a paper plate. I read somewhere yesterday that Braunschweiger is a good source of iron or B12 or something I’m deficient in (there are so many things). That was all I needed to justify my purchase of the “big” roll of the fat laden liver sausage that I love. I am now sitting on the couch with my dog, watching the sun set behind the cemetery across the street, devouring my special creation and wondering how life could get any better. Well, if my dog would quit farting, that would be nice. It kind of ruins my meditative mood, you know what I mean? 

dog closeup

I’m home alone, with quiet sounds of birds chirping outside, a beautiful sunset and a smell like something crawled up next to me and died, not a real Zen experience. My dog gazes up at me with that totally innocent look like he just loves me so much. Of course I am holding liver sausage 12 inches from his bird dog nose so I am his best friend for now. Later, when I have to put him in the kennel, I will get that pathetic look as if to say, “If you just let me stay outside while you’re gone I promise not to eat grass and then throw up on your bed and I won’t roll in my poop. I promise.” 

The one thing that Attila likes more than eating Kleenex and chasing birds is rolling in poop. Not only does he like to roll in it, he eats it, too. It doesn’t have to be his poop either. Oh no, he is not poo particular, any poo will do. I Googled this, what I thought was obscure dog behavior, because I was certain that my dog was probably retarded or psychologically damaged in some way, but as it turns out this is a quite common thing for dogs to do. It even has a name. The medical term for dining on poop is coprophagia. Apparently even though a steaming pile of fresh excrement is abhorrent to us humans, to our four legged friends it’s like finding a treasure, a delicacy of immeasurable proportion. Oh my, I feel a story coming on… 

It was back in those days on Dorcas Street in Omaha. My roommate Julie had a friend named Pam. Pam’s family had a rather large gray shaggy dog named Beowulf who loved to lick Pam right in the face. Not exactly my cup of tea, but some people are not bothered by, and actually enjoy, being licked across the face by a big slobbery dog. 

I don’t remember the particulars of this story, but I do remember that Pam’s sister had a new baby and they were all together somewhere, probably at Christmas or something. 

During this visit, the baby had a dirty diaper, as babies sometimes do. So into the bedroom the two sisters went, laid the baby on the bed and changed the dirty diaper for a clean one. Mom takes the baby into the bathroom for a bit of final clean up and Pam goes back to the kitchen to refill the iced teas. 

About this time, down the hallway and into the room bounds Beowulf. He jumps up on Pam and he’s just licking her face all over like he always does. “Geez, Beowulf,” Pam says, “Your breath is disgusting.” 

“Hey, Pam, ” her sister calls from the bathroom, “Can you get that dirty diaper and put it in one of those plastic baggy things?” …Can you see where this is going? Pam goes back to the bedroom to retrieve the stinky diaper. The diaper is there on the bed all right, but it’s not dirty any more…nope…it’s clean as a whistle. Pam thought, “What the heck? Am I in the Twilight Zone? Is my sister trying to Gaslight me?” 

She turned around and there was Beowulf sitting innocently on the floor at her feet, gazing lovingly up at his beloved Pam. That’s when she noticed something kind of brown stuck on his shaggy grey beard. “Beowulf, what the heck did you get into?” she asked as she reached out and pulled the brown substance from his face. It felt sticky. “Surely not,” Pam thought as she held her fingers up to her nose and inhaled. “Oh, God,” she exclaimed as it dawned on her. Beowulf had found the canine crack irresistible and licked the diaper clean, hence his horrible breath. Pam almost threw up, maybe she did, I don’t remember. I know I almost did just hearing the story.