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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Apocalypse Now 

This morning on my desk was an employee memo reminding us of proper procedure if we should encounter biohazardous and infectious materials in the library. The gist of the memo is that if we come across lice infested clothing and blankets, needles, materials soaked in blood or other body fluids, piles of human feces or puddles of vomit, we should not attempt to pick any of this up with our hands. I was reminded of the joke H.I.’s wife swapping, bigoted boss tells him.

Say, did you hear about the person of the Polish persuasion who walked into a bar with a big 'ol pile of shit in his hands and he says, "Look what I almost stepped in"?

It’s distressing that biohazard encounters are frequent enough in the library to warrant a memo, but I’ve accepted it as an occupational hazard. Besides, this job has pushed me so far off the OCD spectrum that it really doesn’t bother me any more.

When I was talking to my stepfather about some fecal incident at the library he began acting squeamish and confessed to me that he couldn't tolerate the smell, to the point where he couldn't even change his own child’s diapers. I began giving him a hard time, saying things like "Isn't that just like a man! You think you’re so tough. Are you sure this isn’t a clever ploy to get out of diaper duty? Hah-Hah, you big baby."

Later E pulled me aside and told me that the reason my stepfather couldn’t tolerate the smell stemmed back from when he was in 'Nam. He was on a river patrol boat when the bloated body of an African American service man floated by. The crew fished the body out and when they plunked it down on deck the body, grotesquely swollen and taut with gasses, exploded. Immediately every single soldier on the boat was bent over projectile vomiting. Since that incident, my stepfather has suffered from in intense case of olfactory PSTD and cannot stand anything that reminds him of the smell of the dead soldier. Boy, did I feel like an asshole.

Comments:
Oooohhh, suuuuuuuuuuure. The old "mentally scarred fighting for my country in a terrible war" ploy.

(sarcasm)
 
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