The View from Land's End.
"The Condom Lectures"
"The Condom Lectures"
When my son was ten or eleven he came home, having spent the day at Lands End, a sort of Visitor Attraction, on the South West tip of Cornwall. A sort of Mini Disneyland of West Penwith!
I waited eagerly for news. The most startling of which was, "Dad, I've got a girl-friend now!"
"Oh really!" I replied, slightly taken aback, "What did you do all day?" Imagining playing on swings or some such. "We went on the Road-Train and did French-kissing!"
"Oh God/dess!" I thought, "It's not time for the Condom Lectures already, is it?" I knew my boy needed little instruction in the birds and the bees etc. He was country born and bred, neither of us would have thought twice about reaching out and helping a bull or a stallion with his "aim!" Proof positive, in my view that God must be a woman with a sense of humour. Had He been a man he would have given us something better to aim with!
Anyway. I decided rather than launch into the Condom Lectures unannounced I'd better enquire gently as to the extent of my son's interest in the opposite sex, i.e. how aroused he had become without embarrassing him with words like stiffie, woody or hard-on etc.
Very gently, with a finesse that amazed even me, I enquired how the experience of spending the day French-kissing a young maid had made him feel. After long and careful thought his reply delighted me, making me feel he was perhaps the perfect son and heir, to carry on my life long love-affair with the fairer sex.
"Well, Dad," he replied, "It did make me feel gentler!" God/dess I have always adored that child but at that moment he could do no wrong!.
Time passed and it eventually became time for the "Condom Lectures" in earnest. One day I was toiling up the last hill before dropping down into the valley where our little cottage nestled among the trees when I was overtaken by the school bus which screeched to a halt and out jumped my boy, getting off early to walk home with me. "Perfect moment, " I thought.
There was little embarrassment between us over things like that, but I felt I had to carefully state all the pros and cons of the situation and the need to be prepared, both for good manners, to prevent the chance of an unwanted pregnancy and to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
I thought I'd covered all bases so I finished up by telling him that if he ever needed condoms I always had one in my wallet and there were some in my desk.
This boy, who was the apple of my eye and up to this moment had thought I was the most wonderful Dad in the world, hero of forgotten wars, tree climber extraordinaire, builder of the most thrilling Commando Slides in the district, repairer of scrambling motor cycles which could then be ridden cross-country to destruction again, then asked one more question. The one question that I hadn't anticipated, the question that heralded the end of the days of innocent childhood and the start of the teenage surly years!
"But Dad, why do you have condoms in your wallet and in your desk?" he asked.
"Well," I replied, "You never know, I might get lucky!"
"You'll never get lucky," he insisted, with all the worldly wisdom of a teenager, "You wear glasses!"
Oh, little did he know!
Copyright © Res JFB 11th April 2008