The Great Prophylactic Embarrassment


When I was in the 11th grade I was still pretty much a virgin.  I mean I had experimented with sex but it never really worked out.  Nevertheless I had a long relationship with a girl the year before.  She was a senior and I was a sophomore.  Her name was Tina.  Anyway we never really got through doing the “grown up” but nevertheless I bought a single condom at a local confectionary “just in case.”  I kept it in my wallet.

We did the prom and everything – no sex.  Even after she graduated we agreed NOT to have sex as a way of saving and respecting ourselves.  However, this guy she met who lived next to her dad’s house convinced her otherwise.  They were hitting the sheets on the regular behind my back – and soon she was pregnant.  I was in pieces – but we remained friends.  She married the guy and he went to the Army to support his new family.

The next year I was a junior.  I had no girlfriend but I was cool enjoying my time at school.  During that time my niece Crystal was born.  I was so proud of her.  One day I was walking the halls and I ran into one of the hall monitors at the time – an English teacher named Miss Bonner.  We got along great!  I figured she was looking to bust me for not having a hall pass during class.  So I was ready to proudly display it.  She didn’t go there.  She asked how I was doing and I said, “GREAT!”  I told her about my new niece and asked if she wanted to see the picture.  “Sure!” she blurted out sharing my excitement. 

I pulled the wallet out of my back pocket and began to flip through the pictures – the thing turned upside down and I showed  her the picture.  To my surprise however her eyes darted to something else.  Unknown to me while I was flipping the wallet looking for the pics, BAM!  The condom hits the floor.  Mind you there is no one in the hallway but me and the teacher.  MY TEACHER whom I had to see everyday!  She said, “Uhhh, you dropped something.”  I looked down and saw the poor unused thing that was of no use to me.  The jenk was so old and crusty it was starting to come out the packet.  I had forgotten all about it.  It was hidden in a secret department mind you.  Needless to say, as a friend of mine likes to say, “You could have bought me for a penny!” 

The look of embarrassment on my face was evident.  To get busted by my teacher by telling her I was having sex was bad enough.  She simply smiled and said, “Thats ok, at least your using safe sex.”  I sure as hell wasn’t going to bother trying to explain to her that, “No this old thing was something was gonna use had I had the chance to have sex with the girlfriend I had last year.”  I didn’t even know how to put the thing on I was so inexperienced.  It was a no win situation.  No explanation needed. 

As I began to sweat and feel the weight of the world upon my shoulders, I said something about having to go to class and tucked my tail between my legs and got ghost!  And what is the moral of this story?  I don’t know if there is one.  But I did learn that sometimes you just have to walk away and be misunderstood. 

An Undeserved Punishment

As a parent discipline can be a funny thing to administer.  I came from a generation of spankers so I was spanked.  Dare I say it, I was “whooped” even when it came to my mother’s ultimate form of capital punishment.  I won’t get into the gory details of how she administered such punishments, but usually the reasons varied from bad grades, or something having to do with getting in trouble at school.  This was the worst you could get from me cause I was a “good kid.”  I didn’t drink, drug, or blatenly disobey unlike my sister who was a glutton for punishment and did everything she could to tempt the beck and call of “The Belt!”  She wasn’t a nice sister either.  But thats another blog. 

Most whoopins I got I couldn’t argue with.  I was smart in school so I was expected to get good grades.  Behaving was also mandatory.  But there was one whoopin I got that I will never ever agree with; neither will I ever forget.  Let’s call it, “The Case of the Microwave.”

At the time we were living in South Bend, Indiana.  We had that middle class type of family that got most everything that came out when it was new.  For instance, for those of us old enough to remember, when cable first came out it wasn’t called cable.  It was called HBO.  And if you had cable all we said was that you had an HBO Box.  The other channels came in later.   Living in South Bend we were  able to get WGN and WBBM which was a local CBS station in Chicago.  That was just a result of the extra power from the reception that allowed HBO.  WGN was not a Superstation like it is now.  We even used the cable to the HBO box to plug into the back of the stereo in order to get the radio stations from Chicago so we could listen to Black artist.  South Bend was nothing but pop, rock, and country.  We had one radio station that played the likes or Parliament, Heatwave, The O’Jays etc. and it was only from 6-11pm on Saturday nights.  But I digress.

This wonderful thing called a microwave oven came on the scene.   As a pre-teen, my sister (almost four years my senior) and I were expected to cook more on our own cause our mom was not cooking as much as she used to.  Normally I didn’t care about cooking cause I could eat cold cereal any freaggin time of the day.  No time was a bad time for Coco Puffs or Captain Crunch with Crunchberries.  As long as I had access to my favorite breakfast treat, some milk and a tupperware bowl big enough to satisfy my appetite it was all good.  But I wanted to have more choices.  Not being skilled in the kitchen beyond the huge brontosaurus burgers I made on Saturday nights, the microwave provied the perfect tool.  I loved baked potatos and it was awsome to think that I would throw that lil thing in the “mic” for just 5 minutes and “Damn!” out pops a nice warm “papa” that I could smother with butter salt and pepper.  Not to mention I could reheat stuff without turning on the oven.  Are you kidding?  It was nothing to come home from McDonalds and throw that Big Mac in this wonderful invention and have it come out smokin – pipin hot!

One day after school me and some friends went to Wendy’s.  I got whatever burger my allowance provided for, and brought the thing home.  I couldn’t wait to throw that thing in the “mic”.  And I did.  After I put the timer on 30-45 seconds or whatever it was, I walked away to use the restroom.  All of a sudden I heard this loud scream and whale from the kitchen as my loving sister Darcel quickly turned the microwave off.  What was the problem I wondered?  She was always bitching at me about something anyway.  What now?  Obviously she doesn’t think I am worthy of using the microwave or something. 

Seems the problem was that Wendy’s wraps their burgers in aluminum foil – and you can’t put foil in the microwave.  The foil began to shoot sparks all around and the thing damn near caught fire.  “Damn boy, don’t you know you ain’t supposed to put aluminum foil in the microwave,” my sister yelled.  “Uhh, no.  No one ever told me that.  Ok, I won’t do it again.”  Normally this would be enough of explanation.  No one gave me instructions about what not to put in a microwave.  But since I was now informed I would easily correct that mishap.  Oh no not to my dear sister.  She pressed on.  “YOU WERE GOING TO BLOW UP THE WHOLE HOUSE!” 

Of course I’m thinking this girl is such a drama queen and obviously overreacting.  No biggie right?  Wrong!  She picked up the phone and called my mother at work.  “MOMMA, CHRIS IS ABOUT TO BLOW UP THE WHOLE HOUSE BY PUTTING ALUMINUM FOIL IN THE MICROWAVE!!!”  I wasn’t trippin at all.  I knew I was totally ignorant of foil/microwave procedures, and now that I know I never have to do it again.  My mom was reasonable and would surely understand this – and understand that my sister ever telling on me about something early and often was just up to her normal spouting.  Wrong again!  My momma came home and whopped my ass regardless of my ignorance.  I remember pleading, “Momma, how you gone whoop me when I didn’t know?”  She said, “Your going to know from now on!”  Oh man!

Till this day I am sure that my mom overreacted because my sister overreacted.  And to this day I will never ever believe that whoopin was justified.  Mom and I are super cool these days and she is one of my hero’s.  But the woman doesn’t even remember giving me that whoopin or the microwave incident at all.  Go figure.