You may remember my friend Tony who regaled us with that shocking and classic tale from his youth, "The Poopacy."
I'm happy to report he has decided to share another story from his tortured childhood, for us all to enjoy...
"Yes, Vagina . . ."
My dad was a slight man who mowed the lawn in his dress shoes, and sometimes a tie. His favorite fast food was KFC, but he never had it because he insisted on using a knife and fork and was tired of the other patrons laughing at him. Once, he got so mad at me for not doing my homework, that he woke me up early the next day and stood with me at the curb as the garbage truck approached, informing me that I was to be collected that morning to go live with the garbage men.
He was a little uptight.
When I was in sixth grade, I was having dinner with my mother and he when I blurted out "What's a Maxi Pad?"
Silence. My mother and father both turned crimson and kept eating, eyes pointed down.
Maybe they hadn't heard me?
"What's a Maxi Pad?"
My mother was visibly in distress, looking sideways at my father, who was fast approaching purple.
Earlier that day, I had been at school when a classmate dropped her bag and something called a “Maxi Pad” fell out. Apparently, this item was very amusing, because my colleagues proceeded to laugh at and torment the young lady, as sixth graders are wont to do.
Torment and ridicule was usually reserved for me, so I was grateful for the reprieve, but I honestly did not get it. What was a Maxi Pad, and what was so funny about it?
“We don’t talk about that at dinner.” Said my father, finally.
“Why?” I asked innocently.
“No, why? Just tell me what a Maxi Pad is.”
I was completely bewildered as my father smashed his hand into the table. He took a deep breath.
“Come with me.”
I followed him out of the kitchen and noticed, as I left, that my mother could not bring herself to look at me.
We walked toward his bedroom, where, by now, I was fairly sure I was about to receive a beating. The only question was whether it would be a full-body belt whipping, or just a back-of-the-hand around the head and neck dealy.
Instead, my dad closed the door and told me to have a seat. True to birds and bees tradition, he began clearing his throat and pacing.
“Now, you know,” he said to nobody in particular, “that ladies grow babies in their tummies.”
“Of course!” How naïve did he think I was?
”Well, you see, if a lady doesn’t have a baby, she needs to get rid of the egg that makes the baby.”
“Get rid of...?”
“Right, yes,” he was accelerating now, seeing light at the end of the tunnel “a woman has to go through this every month. And that is what Maxi Pads are for.”
He moved toward the door.
“I don’t understand. How do they ‘get rid of’ it?”
“Well, actually, they, uh, bleed it out.”
“They bleed every month??”
“Yes.” Inching ever closer to the door.
“From, uh, from between their legs.” My father said through gritted teeth.
Thunderstruck, I sat there.
“You mean,” I said, incredulous and horrified “they bleed right through their skin??”
As may have guessed by now, I had never actually seen an unclothed female (it would be a few months before I found a discarded Hustler magazine in the bushes around the corner), and while I knew that women did not have penises, I logically deduced that this meant they were smooth like a doll down there.
My ignorance of this important detail was now dawning on my father, and an agonizingly long silence followed as he fell deep into thought, as if he were making some kind of important decision.
I was gazing at him intently, and he finally turned to me, resolved.
“Yes. Yes, that is exactly what I mean.”