21 March, 2001
TRUE CONFESSIONS FROM THE FIELD (because not everything need be serious or about owls; Rated PG-13).
Here's what people are saying about this post:
"Owlman has captured the essence of the human organism." C. Darwin, Galapagos Islands.
"It's all true. Finally, someone is brave enough to come forward with this information." B. Lane, Tofte, MN.
"You are correct sir!" E. McMahon, Hollywood, CA.
"Owlman has nothing on me." A. Bancroft, Antarctica.
"He did not ask permission to use the term lock-box." A. Gore, ex-govt. worker.
"Just what did this terms biology meant? Dick?" G.W. Bush, Wal-Mart greeter.
"Owlman stands alone on the island of truth. E.O. Wilson, Harvard, MA.
"I could pile-drive that smell from him forever." J. Ventura, Wal-Mart greeter.
"This story was better than Viagra." E. Dole, Kansas.
"I could have written that." B. Gates, Seattle, WA.
"You want stink? Come join my tribe." O. Bin-Laden, Afghanistan.
"I was moved by your story." C. Manson, Chino State Prison.
"Owlman is in complete charge of malfactorous digressions." A. Haig, Washington, D.C.
"Hey, who left the seat up?" S. Helms, Space Station Alpha.
"Owlman has raised everyone's interest in this topic." A. Greenspan, Wal-Mart greeter.
"Stink is not now, and never has been a part of biology." G. Ford, ex Wal-Mart greeter.
"There is a reason for the chaos you are experiencing." S. Hawking, Oxford, U.K.
"I am removing my link to your site!!!!" M. Theresa, Calcutta and beyond.
And now......True Confessions:
It's not like my social calendar is teeming with appointments these days. I go to work at sunset and sleep at daybreak. That in itself puts me out of kilter with the rest of the world. Just once though, I would like a dinner invitation to dispel the notion that "it must be me".
The other day, I saw an old friend and was about to give her a hug but had to preface it with a warning: "Renee, I'm a little bit stinky". She shrugged it off with a wave of the hand, gave me a hug, and dropped to the floor. When she came to, I cupped her head in my hand and asked, "are you okay?" Her eyes rolled back and when they returned, she drew me near and said quietly, "Bill, you need to wash your fleece". It isn't me. Itís my fleece.
Any biologist who spends time in the field that says they don't personally revel in their own stink is either not a biologist or is lying. Well, let me speak for male biologists. I don't know about female biologists since I am not brave enough to open that topic of conversation. Guys love it. We breathe it and relish it. The smellier the better. Feet, pits, butt. Our musk is what biology is all about. It's a personal thing. Everyone else reeks, but I am the proverbial spring flower.
The shower where I stay provides steaming hot water and the towels are fluffy. Yet, they remain largely unused. My hair sports a sheen that is pure, 100%, dirt and grease. No need to brush because I am sporting the latest fashion rage: nature's perm. The peaks and waves just never go away. Don't like today's style? Just put on a hat for a couple of minutes and viola! You are a fashion maven. My finger- and toe-nails have become down-sized petri dishes. Bacteria are my friends.
And the fleece. Oh the fleece. When I awake mid-afternoon, the first thing I do is make sure that the fleece has not moved on its own since I took it off. I believe we have come to terms with each other. I don't wash it and it doesn't abandon me. Fleece is an amazing fabric. It insulates, wicks, layers; does everything but slices and dices. It also retains odor like a lock-box (I had to use that term).
When I am in the woods, I can imagine every mammal within 10 miles downwind has its lips curled, its nose to the air, wondering "what the hell is that?" It is an acknowledgement of sorts; they know I am here and I know that wherever I go, I am a mobile scent post. For 7 weeks each spring, I am the "potpourri of funk".
Eventually, I will break down and send a stream of coffee-brown water from the washing machine into the drain, and will bask in the flow of cascading, hot water. I will be clean, but then the clock will begin ticking to a new and improved batch of stink. Will it top the last? One can only hope.
For now though, call the hazardous materials specialists. My fleece (and me) may require a government warning. And if you happen to see me on my rounds and want to give me a hug, that would be nice, but you may want to think twice about it.
© W.H. Lane