It was 7th grade. All of the boys and girls were split up for a special “science class.” With a room full of hyper-charged and sexually curious kids, our science teacher, Mr. Berger began his lesson with: “Today is sex ed. We will be talking about our bodies, which includes, the penis.”
Ahhh-hahahaha – penis. Why is that word so funny? This spawned a quick game of “penis” -the game where two or more people take turns progressively saying the word “penis” at an increased volume until someone balks at the challenge of screaming PENIS! You’d be shocked at how few venues exist for appropriately shouting the word penis. My favorites are bar mitzvahs, weddings and funerals.
This round didn’t last long as Mr. Berger announced: “If the word penis is too funny for you to handle – you can leave right now. In fact – first person to laugh can wait for class to end in the principal’s office.”
What a penis head.
I liken the next 45 minutes to holding in a sneeze. Some kids buried their heads in their arms and silently convulsed from suppressed laughter. Other kids met the challenge head on and pretended to take notes. My brain was short circuiting. All I heard was: penis, testicle, erection, penis, testicle and erection. Why is he doing this to us? He’s trying to make me pass out. Mr. Berger – if you don’t want us to laugh – stop being so funny.
Then Mr. Berger took questions.
Student: “Mr. Berger – can you break your boner?”
Straight faced – and clearly making shit up, Mr. Berger responded with: “Yes.”
What? Was this true? You could break your boner? At that time in my life, I spent nearly half of everyday with an uncontrolled erection, and now I was learning that it was breakable?
Mr. Berger: “Even though you know it as a “boner” there isn’t an actual bone in it. However, if it get’s bent in half while erect, it will stop working.”
Jesus. H. Christ. Not only did I have to worry about being called to the chalk board in my sweats with a boner to solve a math question – I had to worry about tripping, falling on it and breaking my penis? He definitely should have led with this factoid if he wanted everyone’s attention. There was no more laughter. There was panic. The logical question of: “How would you bend your erection in half?” never came up – we just all imagined frightful scenarios – ones involving dirt bikes and dodge balls.
Student: “Can you pee while you’re having sex?”
Mr. Berger: “No. It is impossible.”
Phew – one less thing to worry about.
Student: “What’s masturbation?”
Mr. Berger: “Ask your parents.”
Student: “Do you masturbate”
Mr. Berger: “Next Question. Scratch that. No more questions. Here’s a slide show on STDs. Don’t have sex yet.”
Well, I can’t say I learned a lot that day. I’m still weary of the frightful “broken boner” but at least I’ve learned not to laugh at the word penis… Who am I joking? No I haven’t.
Thanks for nothing Mr. Berger.
The Big Avocado.