When Miss Vasey gave her 8th grade English class an assignment to give a "How To" speech on any topic in which they knew a great deal, several guys immediately made covert hand gestures to indicate their chosen topic, and while we snickered Miss Vasey continued, talking to the windows at the back of the room, face flushing purple.
A few weeks went by and the parade of speeches began. Oh, the things we learned! How to change your plugs. How to change a diaper. How to care for an infected pierced ear. How to squeeze a zit and erase it with makeup. How to make pancakes. Mine was how to draw a face. I was the resident artist at Bryan Jr. High School, famous for caricatures and sign-making. But mostly I was famous for Miss O'Laney.
Miss O'Laney was a pin-up character I created using an ordinary Sears catalog and tracing paper. Basically, I omitted the clothes of an underwear model, gave her a Mad Magazine type of name, and watched my friends go crazy over it while I stood back amused. She was rather fetching. They all wanted copies, and so Miss O'Laney improved, draft by draft, and I became the go-to guy for what lies beyond green doors.
Sex was different back then. Many people weren't allowed to even know about it until they were too old to have it. That might sound impossible, but this was before the internet. The first time I ejaculated — excuse me, I wouldn't normally mention this, but I'm trying to make a point — I thought I was dying. Pus was shooting out of me, and it hurt like hell, or something, whatever it was there sure was a lot of it, so I tried to make it happen again and again, and it did, until I was so swollen I had to tell somebody, but who'd understand? So I told my older brother because I didn't know, it could have been apenisitis. My brother had a very loud, very high-pitched giggle, and he found this to be the funniest thing he'd ever heard, so he called up his pal Ricky and they depantsed me, threw my underwear out the window and onto the roof, forced me to go out and get them, then locked me out and laughed like chimpanzees. My point is, this never would have happened if somebody'd told me the facts of life.
Today any grade school child with the ability to steer a mouse — and enough curiosity — can quickly develop more carnal knowledge than is contained in all the Kama Sutra. Not our children, of course. We wonder. But we know.