Famous by a Nose
When I was in Jr. High, or Middle School as it has come to be known, I found a dead body. It wasn't just a dead body, but it was the body of a man that had been stripped and tied and left in the Arizona desert for a week.
Just between you and me, bodies stink. Seriously, I've smelled a lot of bad things in my life, most of them since then, and nothing has ever come close.
I was in college for 7 great years, on and off. You smell a lot of things in college- mostly puke and crap, but there are some other lovely mediums available, and when I say lovely I really mean disgusting and when I say available I really mean forced upon you. The world is your oyster and it smells like it.
I found the body while "hunting" with my cousin and a friend. "Hunting" was basically us shooting each other with BB guns, which is one reason I won't let my boys own one- the other being that they'll shoot their eye out. Is that the same reason? What about the time that I shot a sparrow and it died and I buried it in a Pop Tart box in the backyard and then felt all dark and emoish even though emo didn't exist yet? Is that a good enough reason?
Whatever? Like what you think matters in this matter (unless you agreed with me, then it most certainly is important, thank you).
We were "hunting" and we smelled it. It was the smell of death, and to be honest I don't know that I knew what death smelled like prior to that moment, but the minute it hit our nostrils we knew that that was what we were smelling.
We were in a dry riverbed that doubled as a grazing area for cattle. We assumed that we had stumbled upon a cow that had finally decided to end it all. We followed our noses.
That's why I don't care for Fruit Loops. Sure, the cereal is fine, but every time Toucan Sam tells people to follow their respective nose because "it always knows" I want to punch him in that big, beautiful beak. Don't follow your nose! Especially if what you're smelling isn't fake fruit.
We found the body. His hands were tied behind his back. We looked at each other, the three of us armed to the teeth with BB guns and dull Rambo knives. We looked at each other and then we ran like hell.
Your mind plays tricks on you when you're 13 and you are running through the Arizona desert on a summer afternoon. Your mind plays tricks on you when you're miles from the nearest house and you have just found a body that had obviously been murdered. It makes you see things, like murderers for instance.
Cut to scene- three young boys, screaming about murderers and running as fast as they could around rocks and cacti, all the while pumping their BB guns with a vigor that would set the standard for future pump-action activities unobtainably high.
Everyone knows that when faced with a murderer there is only one option for a boy armed to the teeth with a BB gun and a dull Rambo knife, and that is to shoot the bastard's eye out and hope to hell that someone else was aiming at the other eye. Then you continue to run like hell.
We ran to the nearest house and proceeded to scream our lungs out while banging on the door. At this point the murderer must have been right behind us. We were sure of it.
The owner of the house listened to our story and somehow understood what we were saying. They called the police and we continued our journey to the home of my cousin. His parents had been called and they were waiting for us. All of our parents were there within minutes.
The police arrived shortly after that and my cousin took them back to the body. It was an easy trail to follow, as we had been very thorough in exercising our survival skills. There was a path of trampled brush for miles. It glistened with tears and BB's.
Hansel and Gretel had nothing on us.
It wasn't long after the police came back that we had to speak to the media. There was an angle and some spin, and suddenly we were being patted on the back for things that any idiot with a nose would have done.
We were told that the body belonged to a drug dealer. A deal had gone bad. The body had been dumped in the riverbed and the murderer was long gone. Or. Right. Behind. You! (Just seeing if you're still here).
The three of us played on a little league team and we had a game that afternoon. We went to it and we talked as kids are prone to do. We were famous because some poor guy made some bad decisions- or bad decisions were made for him. We never took it lightly, that part of the story. Sure, the further removed we were from our fear the funnier that became, but death leaves scars on a boy, and some memories linger forever.