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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Reason for the Season of Christmas (12/04/08)

TITLE: Finding Proof in Poop
By TJ Nickel


Finding Proof in Poop

We humans consume food and liquid to satisfy our basic, biological needs. The food and liquid is transformed into energy, enabling us to move throughout our day. The energy we don’t use is excreted in the form of a new liquid and a new mass. This excess energy carries the stench of wasted potential. Even the most motivated humans have wasted potential. The proof is in the toilet.

During my first year as a family counselor, I spent Christmas break with my wife, Kristen, and our two dogs. I thought dogs would be a good way to delay children, so I bought two. Children were too heavy for me, especially this week. On my last day before break, I met Timmy Thompson and his parents for the first time. By Christmas Eve, I couldn’t join my wife in her holiday cheer. I could only think about Timmy. I hated the thought of families. I couldn’t be joyous about our home being filled with family the following day. Grandparents, parents, and children would all be coming over to celebrate. We’d watch Christmas movies and I was supposed to, once again, read How the Grinch Stole Christmas to all of the children. I couldn’t get ten year-old Timmy Too Who off my mind, and I was suffering from a case of diarrhea.

The weather wasn’t cooperating in the least. Expecting a white Christmas to cover the wasted potential of my dogs, I procrastinated and hoped my chore would be completed for me. The snow hadn’t come. I’d have to face the mess.

Kristen was dancing nimbly about our Christmas home in Who-ville. I Grinch-ish-ly passed her as I took to the backyard, working my way to the shed by tip toeing my way through the land mines of wasted potential my dogs had gifted me this Christmas season. I grabbed the shovel from the shed and began scooping wasted energy from my lawn. The excrement caused dark green patches in the places it rested. My dogs sat perched on the deck watching me scoop and toss their inability to maximize food and liquid intake over the fence and into the deep brush behind my home.

I scooped, and I scooped, and I scooped up their poop. That was when the flashbacks started with images of little Timmy Thompson. Timmy was in therapy because he had cost his parents the sale of their home and a new job for Mr. Thompson. In the first two years of Timmy’s bad habit, his mother never confronted Timmy or told Timmy’s dad about his problem. Timmy didn’t like to put his proof of wasted potential in the toilet. Instead, he left his soiled underwear around the house for his parents to find. His criminal mind wanted to be caught and he begged for a bright detective to come upon the scene and find his clues. Instead, his clues simply disappeared, presumably by the same magic that stole his parent’s affection. Timmy didn’t give up after two years. Instead, he began hiding his wasted potential in the wall next to his bed. He’d cut into the drywall just below the mattress level of his bed and stored over one hundred pair of waste-filled underwear in the walls. It took the feedback from their realtor for Timmy’s dad to finally investigate. There would be no move, and there would be no new job. There would be therapy.

“What is Christmas all about…especially in a world with Timmy Thompson’s?” I asked myself as I scooped and flung another load. The shot misfired and landed in the line of trees I had planted earlier in the year. I paused for a moment and looked at the brown land mines surrounding me. That’s when I “got a wonderful, awful idea.”* I filled the shovel once again and tossed the wasted potential into the tree line. I cleaned the rest of the yard in the same fashion before telling the trees, “Maybe, Christmas, little Timmy, means a little bit more.”*

I stood and faced the collection of waste and finally saw the potential of new life growing through it. The snow began to fall upon my art. With a heart now three sizes larger, I nimbly danced indoors.

I lived a constipated life for the remainder of Christmas break, assured that even Timmy Thompson’s wasted potential could be redeemed. The Proof was born in a manger laced with brown land mines. Behold, he makes all things new.**


Author’s Notes:
* Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas
** Revelation 21:5, revised

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This article has been read 705 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Colin Swann12/13/08
My pet hate is treading in dog muck. Sorry couldn't get into it! Thanks all the same! Col.

Blessings for Christmas!
Laury Hubrich 12/14/08
Okay, this is very different. Extremely different. I'm not sure how on-topic you were. I do have to say, though, it was out-of-the-box. Not your usual Christmas story.
Lyn Churchyard12/16/08
Yes, this definitely was just a tad different. Maybe a little too 'out of the box'. However, I can see what you are getting at; and yes, Christ came because of the 'mess' we got ourselves into and don't have the ability to clean ourselves up.

Catrina Bradley 12/16/08
I love the clever wordplay, and the Seuss-Grinch-like phrases. It took me two reads but I think I see where you are coming from. We have to look at - really see - the crap in our lives before the potential for new life can be realized. And Christ covers up our crap, washes us white as snow.

I did find it hard to believe that Timmy had been storing his...potential...in the wall for years and his parents never smelled the evidence? Small matter - doesn't affect the meaning of your story..or does it? I never know with you, brother. :)
Jan Ackerson 12/17/08
Humanity involves sweat and poo and snot and all sorts of ickiness--or it wouldn't be a true Incarnation, would it? I gotcha.
Teresa Lee Rainey12/17/08
Once I got past the title, which drew my interest and grossed me out at the same time. . . , I actually really like this. It is an interesting way to sum up the "reason for the season", but I absolutely appreciate the intentional message here.
Karlene Jacobsen12/17/08
Very interesting POV. The message is right on. I got it.