My Daughter Said She'd Burn This Book! -- by L. David Mark

Chapter 113 - P.O.T.B.

      P.O.T.B. -- that's the acronym for Parts of the Body." It probably shouldn't have those periods in there -- just be POTB -- but somehow they seem to belong. So I'll leave them.

      This is my own acronym -- made up possibly (altho we don't know for sure since my memory nowadays is sometimes murky) before I joined the Government & learned to speak, not in tongues, but in acronyms. (If you didn't know the acronym "code," you could go to an hour-long meeting and not have the faintest idea of what anybody was talking about!)

      ACRONYM -- that stands for Americans Concerned Regarding Overeating of Name Your Meal..... But I digress.

      At any rate, even though I've had the P.O.T.B. acronym for some time, it wasn't until just recently that I developed a theory to go with it. That being that most of us take our body parts for granted & more or less accept them as "o.k." -- neither great nor measly.

      Now please realize that the "most" I referred to above means men -- not women. When God gave out vanity, man thought he said "sanity" & replied, "I already have plenty of that; give it all to her!" Thus women, being by nature vain, are highly cognizant of the big butt, the graceful hands, the small bust, the shapely ears & all their other body parts.

      Men, by contrast, take all these things for granted & are not really that aware. Until someone points them out -- & then you are enlightened.

      My hair, for instance. I've always thought I had nice hair. My mother always told me so. And this was reinforced when Marty Beach, a secretary & former co-worker at Agriculture, told me the same thing. A couple of others strengthened this opinion by also commenting favorably on my hair. So, at sixty-eight with only a trace of grey here & there, I take a little pride in my hair.

      And then there are my legs. I took my legs for granted. Nice, ordinary, functional legs, o.k? They one day a few years ago, my daughter Cindy made a reference to "Larry legs" -- & I looked down & realized that these legs, while still functional, were rather skinny & puny. Egad, I have "Larry legs!"

      Finally, there's two-thirds of a yard.

      That's two feet. And, when you stop to think about it, about the only people who think about feet are podiatrists, folks with a foot fetish & carpenters.

      The rest of us never give these little devils a second thought, unless you have problems like a sore toe or something like that. I was among these thoughtless devils until a chance comment one day on a Mediterranean beach.

      It was the spring of '96 -- actually it was more like winter when it started. Mary came back from church & said the parish priest was going on a trip to Israel & two people on the tour had canceled so there were openings. Was I interested?

      "Sure," I said.

      "Well," she replied, "it's a religious tour, so there will be Mass every day."

      "That's o.k.," I said. "I can live with that."

      And the clincher was that on the way back, we'd stop in Rome for a couple days -- and maybe we could revisit that fantastic restaurant where we'd had such a lovely feast the year before!

      So, anyway, here it was our first full day in Israel.

      A beautiful day & there we were in Caesarea on the shores of the blue Mediterranean right next to a 2,000-year-old aqueduct built by the Romans. So I took my shoes & socks off, waded into the water & luxuriated. A little later after I came out, Heidi, our guide, was standing next to the me.

      Heidi looked down at my bare feet. "You have nice feet," she said.

      I looked down. She was right. Though I had never thought about it -- who thinks about feet? -- I do have nice feet.

      And ever since then, I do think about feet & other P.O.T.B. -- not constantly, but every once in a while. And when I do & it's feet, I think -- with perhaps just a little bit of pride -- "I have nice feet!"


      (I just realized that in a few months, it will be 10 years that I've been working on this blasted book!)

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