Third Degree Chafing

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Many years ago, they built a major highway just a half of a mile from my neighborhood. My brother, Dave, our neighbor Chip, and I decided to check it out one weekend, after about a week of rain.

We put our boots on. Mine were missing, so I grabbed my mother’s. Chip took the lead. He was tall and lean, with long legs. Dave was next and I was last. I was as wide as I was tall. Following them through the mud was fun, until I began to sink into the puddle they had just trudged through.
“Dave! Help–I’m sinking! It’s quicksand mud!”

They came back and carefully grabbed my hands without stepping too close, but I was going in deeper. Then the inevitable happened: because of the fear and straining, I pooped my pants.
The smell was suffocating. Chip and Dave must have caught a whiff, because they let my hands go, turned and started walking.
Hadn’t they watched old Tarzan movies were somebody dies in the quicksand?!?

I realized this was a life or death situation. With all my effort, I jumped, I jumped right out of my mother’s boots. I landed on my side, rolled to my back and did a backstroke with a hard kick, moving maybe three feet to safety. That was the longest walk home ever: uphill in only socks and soiled pants. I made it through, even though I did suffer some third degree chafing. Thank God for petroleum jelly.
I was tough. I didn’t cry until after I told Mom I lost her boots.

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