Sunday, June 19, 2011

Part 6, Question and answer

Now I don't want you to get the idea that the question-and-answer session was a total bust, and we just all sat around in Mr. Hoezel's room in awkward silence after the lights came on. No, we actually had quite a lively discussion period after the movie. Or were there two movies? Looking back, LuAnn's wardrobe and hairstyle and the NASAesque penis animation seem to have come from two different eras.

In any event, the lights came up, and as Mr. Hoezel rewound the movie (in those days a somewhat technically demanding procedure), the Principal, now perched on a built-in storage unit in the rear of the classroom, reiterated the ground rules for asking questions. I don't remember the exact words, but the gist of it was "If you have a question about the kind of ordinary garden variety sex that normal people have, then wait until you get home and ask your parents, but if you have a question about some bizarre aspect of sex that you would feel uncomfortable talking about at home, then ask away. Just bring it on. Mr. Hoezel and I are at your service."

I know. Seems like it should be the other way around, right? Were our parents cool with the idea of us learning about kinky sex from the Principal? I wouldn't think so. I would think that could lead to some heated PTA meetings. "What are you teaching the children?! We took little Timmy to Sears, and he asked the salesman where they keep the nipple clamps!"

By the same token, did any of us sixth grade boys have a clear idea of what constituted a question about normal sex? "What do Mr. and Mrs. Brady do for foreplay? Do they take off their pajamas first?" Would that have been a normal sex question? Even today I'm not so sure.

As things turned out, the point was moot. Nobody had a normal sex question. Of course not. We were 11 and 12 year old boys. We didn't want to learn about normal anything. We had an instinctive attraction to the macabre, the outlandish and grotesque. We shared a rich tradition of urban myths that began with the words "This guy caught a twenty-foot shark, and he starts cutting it open…"

I wish I could remember more of the questions, but I only remember one, and I guess it wasn't so much a question as a sort of a color commentary, like Howard Cosell used to throw out in the middle of Monday Night Football. "A lot of people don't know this about Roosevelt Grier, but he knits his own socks."

Anyway, the question. Mike H. (a troublemaker, whom I'd once taken a swing at for trying to steal my apple during lunch period) raised his hand and said "I heard about this guy who had an operation and they turned him into a woman."

All eyes turned to the Principal, and I can only assume every boy in the room was thinking the same thing I was: "There's no way he's going to tell us to go home and ask our parents about that one."

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