25 August 2009

The Chickens and the Bees

I had no idea how much a person could learn just by teaching their kid about sex.

Friends were appalled that I just TOLD my kids about it.

"What if they ask questions?"

Answer them.

"What is they ask, you know, personal questions."

Tell them that the answer is “Nunya” Nunya Business. Next Question.

"What if they want to know about your past?"
See above answer. Repeat as necessary.

Just don’t do what my mom did and give your kid James Dobson’s book Preparing For Adolescence. The way he described sex made it sound like the man has to pivot on his toes. I had no idea at that time that legs could move around at all, despite my brief flirtation with gymnastics. I just knew that if his most masculine part was sticking out at a right angle and my Orifice to all Things Feminine was parallel to my feet, well, it doesn’t take a degree in Engineering to know that that sort of arrangement just isn’t meant to be.

I told my boss Kenny that I wanted to get chickens. He told me to keep the rooster out of there. I asked why.

He blinked and looked as if he had been thoroughly stunned by my apparent stupidity. It seems Kenny grew up knowing farm stuff. I stop short of calling his knowledge Animal Husbandry as that term makes me feel vaguely icky. I think that animals should just stick to marrying each other and humans can do the same.

So, Kenny grew up with this country grandma who, according to his recollections, would strangle the errant rooster when he was “making trouble”. I asked why she would do that. He replied, “because they wouldn’t leave the chickens alone”. I asked why they were hanging out with the chickens in the first place.

He said, “once the roosters have sex with the chickens they always want back into the coop!”

I said, completely incredulous and probably WAY too loud for the interior of a Blockbuster store, “OHMYGOD!!! ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT ROOSTERS HAVE SEX WITH CHICKENS?!?!”

I don’t think I have ever seen that man laugh that hard.

Or that loud.

Or, for the matter, that long. I always thought of roosters and chickens as competing groups, not so much as fodder for dating each other. I kinda’ pictured a West Side Story of the chicken coop going on. I just didn’t realize that in that scenario the roosters are wearing the black leather jackets and the chickens are wearing the twirly dresses.

Kids who grow up in the suburbs are clearly at a disadvantage when it comes to this kind of knowledge. I was in middle school before I learned what a cowlick was. I had been told for years that my hair “had a cowlick in it”. I thought that it meant that just when my hair was coming in (as my people are born pale and bald) a cow licked my head just in that spot over my right eye and that is why my hair lies funny and why that Dorothy Hammill haircut never looked quite right on me.