Of birds, bees and babiesBottom Highlights, Bill's Briefs Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
The older we get the more we realize even simple phrases heard in our youth have an actuality of surprising contradiction: “He lived life to the fullest” often equals, “He was a lush and womanizer.” And we all know what “confirmed bachelor” really means.
One hears, “I wish I knew then what I know now.” And young people ask, “What was it you didn’t know?” Where do we begin the endless answers? Such knowledge comes when the time is right.
For example, I was intrigued by the whispers, snickers and winks surrounding something called sex and its mysterious mix-up with birds, bees and somehow babies.
Questioning my elementary school friends brought contradictory and shocking information. The details were too absurd to be taken seriously. My mother and father never did any such thing.
At the age of 12, I discovered a mildewed treasure in our attic titled What Every Young Man Should Know. It had been deemed suitable in 1916 to enlighten my father and other innocent Christian youths because it was written by a woman doctor; shown stern-faced and glaring at the camera daring anyone to question her right to have penned a book on this topic. She was a maiden lady, as the term was then, and I suspect this resulted in the book’s paucity of useful information.
Page after incomprehensible page left me more befuddled than before. Horrendous examples were given of what I would suffer if I let the devil take control of me. Not so much me, it seemed, as my hand. I must never relax my guard or I would be dragged to the deepest, darkest depths of hell. My hand was my sin-filled enemy and I must never let Satan take control of it.
The good doctor never explained what it was my hand was in danger of doing and I couldn’t imagine what the hell-forever-deserving activity was. And what happened to the birds, bees, babies and sex? None of these words were ever mentioned. The mystery continued.
Eventually enlightenment as to the sex/baby question occurred; the details reaped, as usual, from older kids and school restroom graffiti. As to realizing the connection between a young man’s hand and sin, that’s another story. About a year later the answer came.
Doing the opposite
I am amazed at the trouble we get ourselves into merely by not doing simple things we have been asked to do or not do. “Don’t look over there.” Guess what? You look. Instantly. We do. I do. I did. Sunday.
What a kerfuffle. I was dining quietly with a friend when suddenly he gasped, grabbed my arm and pleadingly croaked, “Don’t look at the door.” My head swiveled so fast my glasses flew off.
In the doorway was my friend’s 65-year-old ex-partner with a muscular stud-muffin bordering on 19. Our eyes met and he boldly paraded his companion over. Pointedly ignoring his former partner, he beamed and introduced Mr. Taut Tight Tanned to me. The young innocent seemed perfectly nice, but the tension level was fast approaching the head-for-cover point. My friend suddenly spoke up. Smiling sweetly he enquired loudly enough to turn heads in the kitchen, “Is this your grandson come to visit.” Then the fur flew. The Adonis and I looked at each other and kept mum. Normally every eye would have been on the two screaming queens, but it was Hillcrest. Ho hum. Finally, in a flurry of shrill invectives both combatants grandly turned their backs dismissing each other as unworthy of further comment. They left. We stayed. Naturally all was my fault. True. I looked. Mea culpa.
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