Being a "random recollection" type of story.

Time: Early morning - 30 something years ago.

Place: My home, of that time, which was heated with a single wood stove.

I'd raked together the coals and loaded the stove with wood before showering and it was really cranking as I bathed. This was good because it was winter and the house was cold!. By the time I got out of the shower the side of the stove was starting to glow red and I rushed to the stove for the warmth, towel wrapped around me. Turning like a chicken on a rotisserie, I began drying off from my morning shower. With any luck, I'd make it to the time clock in time to keep from being docked for being late.

A small puddle of water had meanwhile collected around my feet onto the concrete floor. Facing away from the stove, I bent down to dry my legs while warming my rear and the backs of my legs next to that cherry-red glow. As I stood back up, my center of gravity shifted and my feet slipped on the puddle I had just created.

The rest happened very fast but basically I sat on the red hot stove with my bare ass.

I could hear and smell my flesh sizzle like a steak thrown on a smoking hot skillet. Mercifully, that part of the event only lasted for a fraction of a second. Trust me, that was long enough. I came down hard on the wet concrete as it sank in what had just occurred.

I carefully stood and assessed the damage. The burn was only on one butt cheek and covered about half of it. No way was I going to be able to work that morning.

I called Margo and, like an idiot, tried to explain what had happened. Margo was the old lady who worked the front desk at the hotel I worked at. I could tell she was trying to keep from laughing. I was trying to keep from crying. It was a very trying conversation. In hindsight, I should have just said I was sick and couldn't come to work. That would have cheated the staff there out of a lot of amusement at my expense.

My family doctor seemed to be trying to keep from laughing when I showed up. I was trying to keep from crying. I was beginning to see a pattern. He said the burn was second degree and gave me advice on first aid. At least I didn't get the third degree.

Driving was difficult but not quite impossible. I had to lay over on my "good side" to keep the burn from touching anything. Same goes for sitting down, which I pretty much avoided. Any kind of motion was, quite literally, a pain in the ass.

Once I got back to work, after a few days of sick leave, I tried to keep my head up and ignore the snickers. I was coming out of the break room as Smitty, the bookkeeper, was going in. We met in the doorway, I, with my cup of what passed for coffee there, and he, on his way to get his. I could tell he was dying to say something. Finally he did. "Well, npecom (he actually used that other name, the one reserved for non-noders), how's your ass?"

"Just fine", I said, "how's yours?".

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