Nov 4, 2009

My Public School Gay Sex Indoctrination

One of the primary reasons given for their opposition to marriage equality by the 53% of the Maine electorate who voted yes on Question 1 yesterday was the boogeyman of gay marriage being taught in school as part of a larger effort on the part of those conniving 'mos to indoctrinate our innocent offspring. This is of course despicable fearmongering, but it also got me thinking about an event that took place waaayyy back in the misty fall of 1981, when even Liberace was still pretending to be straight.

I was in my 8th-grade algebra class at West Middle School in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where between intense Rubik's Cube competitions with Calin Pintilie I was reading a book called Bored of the Rings, a deliciously vulgar little spoof on Tolkien's masterpiece done by the editors and cronies of the Harvard Lampoon (whose magazine we all used to covet for its inevitable topless shot somewhere toward the back).

The main character of the early part of Bored of the Rings is none other than Dildo Bugger. One day after lunch (algebra happened after lunch) I was reading a funny bit from the book to my algebra teacher, a witty but mercurial Vietnam vet we'll call Mr. G. Another student was in the room, I forget who, and he laughed at one point when I said Dildo's name. I stopped because I didn't get the joke. Mr. G looked at me and said, "Do you know what his name means?"

I said no.

Mr. G explained what a dildo was, first noting women's uses for them and then adding, "and gay men like to stick them in their boodie holes." (This was how we spelled 'booty' in Ypsi then.)

Huh, I thought. People do that?

And then I forgot all about it, because Bored of the Rings was funny as hell to my nerdy 12-year-old self and that was far from the best joke in it. (My favorite, I think, is either the footnote in which it is asserted that a great historical deed was done by "either King Arglebargle IV or somebody else" or the character of Tim Benzedrine.)

I see now, of course, that not only the National Lampoon, but Harvard University itself--and of course Mr. G and the entire teaching profession--were trying to indoctrinate me, nay bamboozle me, nay seduce me on the spot!

It's a miracle I survived.

Or did I? Twenty-eight years later, I have become that thing most devoutly to be feared...a teacher.
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