A Change Of Pace

Yuk . . . No more French kisses . . .

By Steele Coddington | November 19, 2008

I knew it. I just knew it was trouble when I read the headline of the latest health study – “Women have more varieties of bacteria than men.” The study was done by the University of Colorado’s Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and measured the numbers and diversity of bacteria on men’s and women’s hands. Women won hands down. That observation will inevitably earn the enmity of NOW, a counter-revolutionary covey of women originally established to debate any findings that could be favorably used by a gender opposition group known as NOM (National Organization for Men) – organized by a band of whale hunting Eskimos living in the all male city of Nom, Alaska.

But I digress. All that stuff is merely background of a gender war of which I want no part except for an occasional smooch from a strange woman hopefully wearing a surgical mask. The study, however, is an epidemiological crisis that needs to be addressed by the new administration. If they can redistribute income, they can redistribute bacteria. If Pelosi, Franks and Reid are going to bail out their favorite Detroit labor unions, they can damn well bail out bacteria from women who as mothers know more about labor than any idiot in Detroit or Washington, or most of those louts who will be the recipients of wealth distribution.

The study however, does give pause for a lot of disturbing thought. Since my MD degree was recinded last year for performing illegal liposuction on Javelinas, I’m not even sure if a bacteria is the same as a germ. “Germ” is defined as “a microorganism” whereas a “bacteria” is “a ubiquitous one-celled organism, etc, etc comprising the Schizomycota.” The question therefore is, if a woman has a flock of bacteria on her hand, could she have a herd in her mouth? College students are quite concerned that a positive answer could diminish advanced participation in a particular student activity described indelicately as swapping spit (SS) – previously known in earlier generations as French kissing or soul kissing.

I don’t mean to elevate a subject to the bright light of introspection that might embarrass parents, but my experts on matters sexual (my college age granddaughters) have reassured me that SS has been a prerequisite for even high school sex education classes.

So I can proceed knowing SS is not a taboo subject eschewed even by parents who deny experiencing such a practice in front of their teenage kids, while winking at their spouse.
Wow. I remember my first French kiss. It was in high school and her name was Lucy. She initiated it. I was ecstatic. Good grief, if my parents had given me a new car for my birthday, I couldn’t have been more excited. The trouble with your first French kiss of course, is the urgent propensity to immediately afterward go tell every other dirty little sex maniac about it in gross detail, because the exquisite experience smacks of forbidden fruit too juicy not to share. But that youthful indiscretion screwed up any repeat performances because Lucy got too busy dating my friends to go out with me any more.

Does it really matter if women have more bacteria on their hands? No! We don’t have to hold hands, but we sure as hell ain’t gonna stop SS. Yuk. Maybe we should go back to hugging where there’s no Schizomycota involved.


There is a God at the Post Office

This is one of the kindest things I've ever experienced. I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US Postal Service.

Our 14-year-old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her. You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith, and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, “To Meredith” ... in an unfamiliar handwriting. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, “When a Pet Dies.” Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven.
Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away.
Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.
By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love.
Love, God