Day the Mules Went Crazy
by Jim Foreman
EVERYTHING THAT I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT SEX
At birth, girls and boys are very different, not just because girls don't have a penis but in many other ways. The moment that babies are old enough to grasp something, girls reach for their dad's finger and boys reach for their penis. Little girls are able to totally control their fathers by holding on to a single finger but boys soon discover that they are totally unable to effect the slightest amount of control over that appendage which falls so readily to hand. While boys are able to produce an erection at the slightest whim, there is no way that they can get one to go away. It seemed to delight in springing to attention at the worst possible places and times.
The accumulated misinformation believed by boys my age about the subject of sex would fill volumes. It was probably one of the most talked-about subjects among prepubescent boys and it also seemed that those who knew the least about the subject had the most to say about it. Our knowledge of sex was limited to cats and dogs. We knew that sex between cats involved lots of screaming, yowling and scratching while dogs usually resulted in their getting hung together and the larger one dragging the smaller one around the neighborhood backward. Also, any time that our mothers saw cats or dogs in the act, they would throw a bucket of cold water on them. The thought of any one, much less all three of these things happening to one of us was enough for us to commit to a life of celibacy
Preachers always had something to say about sex and sin, which seemed to be as inseparable as the Siamese twins we saw in the National Geographic. According to him, only married people should ever have sex and then only if absolutely necessary and they did it only to have babies. About the only thing that we knew for sure about sex was that it was both dirty and sinful, and you should throw a bucket of cold water on cats and dogs if you saw them doing it.
We kept hearing adults talk about the birds and bees until most of us began to believe that, except for chickens, birds could only do it in trees and if a girl got stung by a bee, she would have a baby. Some boys even believed that if you did it in a tree, the girl couldn't get pregnant, even though that was another word which rated right along with the dreaded F word which flowed freely among us boys but was never mentioned around adults. About the only reference you would ever hear concerning a pregnant woman was either that she was in the family way or had swallowed a watermelon seed. This also caused a lot of misinformation about the connection between eating watermelons and having babies.
Every boy my age knew that nice girls didn't do it and only really bad girls did. We were never sure of which girls were good ones and which were bad ones, because those who might have gone bad and done it once or twice kept it pretty much a secret. It was an accepted fact that girls would only do it with someone that they liked a lot or planned to marry, but even then the boy had to wear a rubber. Little did we realize that since girls tended to mature faster than boys, most of them knew about sex at least a couple years before it became such a big part of our lives. Neither did we realize that the sex drive is often stronger among girls than among boys of the same age.
Even though the main subject of conversation any time that boys got together was which girls in school would do it and which ones wouldn't, we didn't have the slightest idea of why they would or would not do it. In fact, we weren't entirely sure of why we wanted to do it either. From our animal observations, it was over within a couple seconds and seemed to hardly be worth all the effort. About the only animals which took any real amount of time when they did it were dogs when they would get hung up and one of them would drag the other one down the street. We certainly didn't want something like that to happen to us.
While our minds weren't totally aware of what was really going on in our bodies, our basic instincts were. I suppose that it is now an accepted fact that the arrival of puberty and playing with one's self comes at about the same time. Back when I was a kid, boys were told that masturbation, although they never used that word, would drive them crazy, make them go blind or both. If this fable bore the slightest bit of truth, the world would surely be populated by nothing but blind, crazy people. We were also told that playing with ourselves would cause warts to grow in the palms of our hands. Boys were constantly checking their palms for the telltale signs of what they had been doing.
Along with puberty comes another very real problem, especially for boys, because they seemed to go around in a constant state of erection. Any time that we talked about girls, thought about girls, looked at a picture of a girl or even saw a girl walking by, the thing would leap to attention. It seemed to have a mind and will of its own and would spring up the most inopportune times. While there was a certain amount of sexual frustration involved with our condition, it often led to a considerable amount of embarrassment.
Mrs. Higgins, who worked in the school lunch room, had always had a rather low opinion of men, which certainly didn't improve any when she caught her husband, who was the janitor at the school, and the girls gym teacher going at it like a pair of monkeys on the wrestling mats stored in a closet behind the stage. Neither her errant husband nor the gym teacher were ever seen again but after the story got out, all the boys experienced a certain vicarious thrill each time that they used the mats. Mrs. Higgins was also something of a religious fanatic who vowed to bring Mary Beth up with her same fervor and devotion to the church, God and hatred of men.
On the occasion of Mary Beth's thirteenth birthday, instead of ordering the brassiere from the Sears Roebuck catalog that she not only wanted but certainly needed to contain her budding breasts, Mrs. Higgins bought her a new bible in a white leather case with a zipper around it. Her mother also chose this occasion to tell her about the facts of life. Instead of telling Mary Beth about growing up, boys, love, sex, babies and thing like that, she decided that the best way to keep her daughter pure was to scare the hell out of her. Although her lecture may have been well-intended, it was hardly accurate.
She told Mary Beth, "When the Bible tells the story of Adam and Eve and speaks of the serpent of sin which caused them to be cast out of the Garden of Eden, it isn't talking about the same sort of snake that we find in the garden. The bible is referring to a serpent of sin every man is born with. This serpent of sin is driven by uncontrollable lust to escape from men's pants so it can attack and enter the bodies of young women. If this serpent ever enters your body, it is the ultimate sin and you will be damned to hell forever."
She continued her lecture on men, "This serpent of sin has the ability to tempt young women and cast a spell over them which will make them so weak that they will submit and allow it to do terrible things to them. To even think about this serpent, much less look at one, is the most unspeakable of all sins. To allow it to touch your body will sentence you to a life of eternal damnation."
It was often the case when both boys and girls would have to use the gymnasium at the same time and the teachers would do their best to keep them separated by having the boys play at one end and the girls at the other. No matter how hard the teachers tried to maintain a safe and proper separation between the boys and girls, it seemed that a ball would accidentally bounce to the wrong end of the gym and in retrieving it, there would be a certain amount of playing the old game of tickle, feel and slap.
It also seemed that in the heat of play, gym shorts and tops had a habit of slipping in such a way that the opposite side would be rewarded with a quick glimpse of a bare breast or exposed penis. Mary Beth was always so afraid that she might commit the mortal sin of seeing a serpent of sin that she would always keep her back turned when boys were playing at the other end of the gym.
One day in class, David Keller, who sat directly across the aisle from Mary Beth and had a case of puppy love for her that raged like a grass fire driven by a southwest wind, finally worked up the courage to slip her a note which said, "Can I carry your books home after school?"
Mary Beth, who really liked David a lot, was about to agree when the teacher called on David to stand and read from that day's lesson. David, who had been thinking quite a bit about how nice Mary Beth's breasts looked as her nipples pressed against her starched white blouse like the noses of a pair of puppies and day dreaming about what it would be like to touch them, stood up to read. As David rose from his seat, he and most of the other kids in the class realized that he wasn't the only thing standing erect. Tom Cotter, who was always able to say the wrong thing at the worst possible time, whispered in a voice loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, "Look, Davey's got a boner."
Mary Beth turned her head to see what he was talking about and found herself face to face with the huge bulge in David's pants. She leaped to her feet, her face white as a sheet, and holding her geography book over her crotch she raced to the other side of the room, screaming, "Oh please Dear God, save and protect me from David's serpent of sin. It's lusting for me and wants to enter my body."
It's sufficient to say that while David never carried Mary Beth's books home that day or any other, he was the main topic of conversation around school for the next several weeks.
In those days, about the most available forms of erotic literature available to boys my age was the National Geographic magazine and the women's underwear section of the Sears Roebuck catalog. As soon as the latest copy of the National Geographic arrived, we would rush off to our rooms with it to see if there were any photos of bare-chested native girls. If it did happen to contain any erotic photos, every boy in town would know about them within an hour. With a little imagination, those photos were equal to the best that Penthouse or Playboy can come up with today.
One day Gary Cotter, Tom's older brother, came home after finishing boot camp in the Navy. He had dropped out of high school the day he turned sixteen and his parents signed the papers to let him join the Navy. Along with some great stories about the things that they did during basic training, he also had a roll of 8mm movie film that he had bought in Tijuana the night after finishing boot camp. That was the only time they let them off the base, and naturally they headed straight for the border. He had never seen the film because he hadn't been able to find a projector but the man who sold it to him said that it was really hot stuff and it showed people doing all sorts of things with one another. Not only did he buy the roll of film, but he also got drunk and had a tattoo of an anchor put on his arm. Across the anchor was a red ribbon with "Anita" on it. Anita was a girl that he had dated a few times before he left. By the time he got home, the tattoo was all swelled up and full of puss but he said that was normal because it happened to everyone who got a tattoo in Mexico. He said that you had to be a real man to get a tattoo.
Not only did he bring home that roll of film, but he let all of us see the real condom, or rubber as it was euphemistically known, that the Navy had issued to all the new boots before they went off the base on a pass. He said that along with giving everyone a rubber, they made them watch what they called personal hygiene movies. He said that you wouldn't believe some of the things that they saw in those movies. He had taken the rubber with him when he went to Tijuana but after buying the film, picking up the tab for several shots of tequila and paying for the tattoo, he didn't have enough money to pay for a girl to use it on. We wanted him to unroll the rubber to see how long it was but he said that he was saving it in case Anita decided to let him do it for good luck before he was shipped off to the war.
When Gary left to go back to his ship, he let Tom have his rubber because he said that Anita told him that she wasn't going do it until she got married. We all knew the reason why she wouldn't let him do it was because ever since he joined the Navy she had been doing it every day in the back seat of Brad Trent's car behind the bleachers at the football field right after practice. Brad was the starting quarterback and Anita was the head cheerleader. Almost every boy in school knew what was going on because each time Brad and Anita drove around behind the bleachers, we would climb up the framework above the bathrooms under the bleachers and watch through the cracks in the Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco sign that covered the back wall.
The football coach caught them one afternoon, naked as Jay Birds, and kicked Brad off the team because he said that doing it with a girl saps all your strength and it was no wonder that they lost the last six games of the season. It was a rather stupid and useless thing for the coach to kick him off the team because the season was already over and Brad was a senior and wouldn't be back next year anyway.
A month or two later when Anita showed up a little bit pregnant, her folks took Brad to court to make him pay child support. Brad got all his football buddies to swear to the judge that every one of them had been with Anita so no one was sure who the baby belonged to. Anita became known as the town slut and had to go live with an aunt in Billings, Montana for the next several months.
We finally borrowed a projector which fit the film from Mr. Zzikxz and went down in Tom's basement to see it. The film broke two or three times before we got it threaded right but when it finally ran, it was a total disappointment. It was only about a minute long and so faded and scratched that you could barely make out that there were people in it but you couldn't tell what they were doing. We ran it ten or fifteen times because there was one place where we thought we could see a bare breast but we were never sure. It was probably nothing more than a water spot. When Tom's mother found out about the film, she took it away and burned it.
Having possession of a genuine Navy-issued condom made Tom a special celebrity among all the boys as soon as the word got around. In almost no time at all, the girls also heard about Tom's rubber and each time that they saw him, they would whisper, point and giggle. The story got started that it had an anchor and USN stamped on it and was over a foot long when unrolled. Everyone wanted to see if it was true, including the girls who were as interested in seeing the genuine Navy condom as we boys were. The only difference was that they were too embarrassed come right out and ask to see it.
One day when Tom was showing us his rubber under the stairs leading down to the basement, a couple of the older girls in high school came along and told him that it was against the law for anyone under sixteen years old to have one of those things and suggested that he give it to them. Tom was about to hand it over when the janitor came walking by and frightened the girls away. That was probably the only thing which saved him from losing his precious rubber.
One day, Tom was showing the rubber to several boys under the stairs when they suggested that he blow it up to see how big it got. Tom unrolled the rubber and started blowing it up like a giant balloon. It got bigger, and bigger, and bigger until it was eight inches across and long as your arm. Tom's face was red and his eyes bugged out from all the huffing and puffing. Suddenly it slipped out of his fingers and rocketed up the stairs with Tom in hot pursuit. As he reached the top of the stairs and bent down to pick up the deflated rubber, he came face to face with Mrs. Weaver who was coming downstairs from her music class. She took one look at the limp blob at her feet, shook her finger in his face and shouted, "Tom Cotter! You are a filthy minded, disgusting little urchin!"
In the days before rubber vending machines found their way into service station restrooms, the only place to buy rubbers was at the drug store. The only problem was Mr. Black kept them locked in a drawer in the prescription department and not out in the open where you could just pick them up. We had gone into Black's Drug Store a number of times with the intention of buying a rubber but Mrs. Black always seemed to be working back there where they were kept and there was no way that we were going to ask a woman for a rubber. Even when Mr. Black was alone in the store, we were never able to work up the courage.
There was another down side associated with buying rubbers at the drug store. Mr. Black had four daughters and I shudder to think what would happen if a boy who had bought a rubber at the drug store ever turned up at his door to take one of his daughters out. I did date Barbara Black several times while in high school and Mr. Black was always nice to me when I came to pick her up. I guess he figured that since I had never bought a rubber, she was relatively safe with me.
Barbara did introduce me to the benefits of double dating with several other couples in a car. In order to get six horny teenagers in the back seat of a car, the girls had to sit on the boy's laps. This could lead to some very interesting situations, especially when the driver went over big bumps that bounced everyone around. Barbara seemed to delight in bouncing and squirming on my lap long after the bump was past.
Every boy our age is well aware that the reason why a you had an erection was to make it stiff enough so you could stick it into something, preferably a girl. Since we were having absolutely no success in finding willing girls, we were always looking for a suitable alternative to practice on. Often, those substitutes proved to be totally unsuitable for the purpose. Take the situation of my cousin and the Log Cabin Bank.
Back in those days, the Log Cabin Syrup Company sold their maple pancake syrup in cans which were shaped and painted to look like little log cabins. You unscrewed a cap on the chimney to pour the syrup out. As an advertising promotion, when you bought a can of their syrup, you also got a bank which looked just like one of their regular syrup cans except that it had a coin slot in the top and a little square door in the bottom that locked with a small brass key.
I was spending a week or two with my cousin up in Guymon, Oklahoma. He had the neatest tree house. It wasn't really a tree house even though we called it that. It was more like a windmill house since it was built about half way up in an old windmill derrick. There were few trees around Guymon big enough to hold a bird's a nest, much less strong enough for a kid to build a tree house. When the city extended water and sewer service into that neighborhood, they took down the windmill wheel but left the derrick. With indoor plumbing, the outhouse was no longer needed, so we tore it down for the lumber to build the tree house. To get into the tree house, you had to climb up the ladder on the outside of the derrick and crawl through a window in one wall.
Boys build tree houses so they can have a place of their own where they can do secret things without fear of girls finding out what they were doing. This always struck me as being a bit asinine because girls were usually the main subject of conversation when boys gathered in their tree houses. Had we possessed the slightest amount of basic intelligence, we would have known that inviting girls to join us in these conversations about sex would probably have led to a much better knowledge of the subject for all of us.
We were up in the tree house one day and the topic of discussion naturally came around to doing it with a girl. Since we were never able to find a willing girl to do it with, my cousin decided to show me how to do it with the next best thing available, a Log Cabin Bank. Evidently, he underestimated either the size of the square hole cut in the bottom of the bank or his own size because when he stuck his penis into the bank and had an erection, things quickly became very uncomfortable. In fact, the sharp edges of the hole in the bank were making the situation extremely painful.
His mother heard him screaming in pain and thinking that something really awful had happened to him, she and her younger sister, who was about nineteen and had just gotten married, rushed out to see what was the matter. When they discovered the problem, they knew that there was only one sure way of getting him out of his rather awkward and embarrassing predicament. The funniest thing I can remember ever seeing in all my life was my cousin laying on his back and his mother and aunt weeping tears of laughter as they poured ice water through the coin slot in the bank.
I suppose that you could say that while I was growing up, I was never very lucky in love, and especially unlucky when it came to sex. I had been going with this sweet young sophomore for some time during my junior year in high school and I was beginning to get the impression that things were progressing very nicely in the direction dictated by my raging hormones and very possibly the ending of my virginity. If one was to believe the claims of all the other boys my age, I seemed to be the only boy in high school who had never had sex. In retrospect, I'm certain that their accomplishments were far more fantasy than fact.
My anticipation of a successful carnal conquest was based on the fact that I was well past what was termed second base with a girl. She had become far more liberal in allowing me to rest my hand on her breast when I drove with my arm around her shoulders and didn't seem to mind when I put my hand on her knee. When we first began dating and I would casually brush my hand against her breast or touch her knee while shifting gears, she would deftly move it away. Now, not only did she allow me to casually feel her breasts but I could do all the cuddling and fondling that I liked. In fact, she seemed to be enjoying it as much as I was because I could feel her breasts get firm and her nipples stand straight out when I touched them. On our last couple dates, just before we kissed goodnight and I walked her to the door, she had let me release the hooks on her bra and slip my hand under her sweater for a better feel. However, no matter how much progress I was making above her waist, everything between her belt and the hem on her skirt was still forbidden territory.
On this particular Saturday night I got my dad's car, picked up my date and we headed to Borger to the movies. I had four dollars in my pocket, love in my heart, lust in my pants and my hand on a firm breast. Life couldn't get much better than that. We stopped by the Jolly Pig Drive-In for their famous Pig Hip sandwiches, fries and cokes. That took a fair amount of my money, then two tickets to the movie took some more. A big sack of popcorn and a giant Coke with two straws used up the rest of it except for a quarter.
We climbed to the back row of seats in the balcony to watch the movie. That's where the couples who were going steady and guys with one of the town sluts and didn't want to be seen always sat. It was a Gene Autry movie and most of the kids our age were sitting close to the screen so they could see all the action. The balcony was vacant except for us and three nine year old boys who had come up there so they could throw popcorn and spitwads at the people below. In between the cartoons and an advertisement for the local funeral home, the usher came up and chased the boys out, leaving us all alone.
She placed the popcorn bag between her legs so we could both reach in to get some. As the level of the popcorn dropped, I suddenly realized that I was getting much more than popcorn each time that I reached into the bag, I was also getting a good feel between her warm legs. When the sack was almost empty and I had to do a considerable amount of feeling and searching around to find those last few kernels, she responded by giving me a lingering kiss like none that I had ever had before.
There in the seclusion and darkness of the deserted balcony, while Gene Autry played his guitar and sang to his horse, I found myself making progress like nothing I had ever imagined. There was a considerable amount of mutual groping, feeling and fumbling in places neither of us had dared venture before. She offered no resistance when I slipped my hand between her legs and inside her panties and responded by exploring the bulge in my pants with her hand.
In the midst of all this unbridled passion, she laid a French kiss on me that kept my toenails curled for the next two weeks. I had never even imagined what it would be like to have another tongue in my mouth. It also failed to occurred to me to wonder where she had learned to kiss like that. Then I received the shock of my life when she whispered, "I wish we could do it right now."
I had rounded third base in a dead run and was sliding for home plate. After hearing her say something like that, there was no way that I had the slightest interest in what Gene was doing, except that how long was it going to take him to wipe out all the bad guys and ride off into the sunset so we could get out of there. We couldn't simply walk out in the middle of the movie because everyone would know why we were leaving early and what we were going to do. As our burning passion reached inferno proportions, Gene sang his final song and we stood up to leave. The only problem was that my anticipation was so high that our intentions would be obvious to anyone within a block of us. She thoughtfully handed me her coat to carry over my arm to conceal my enthusiasm.
This was no time to waste precious seconds, so with my arm around her shoulder and my hand on her firm breast, I headed out of town, bound for a dark country road I had long before scouted out as the perfect place for a seduction. I could feel her warm body next to mine and her skirt was pulled up to give me a good view of her creamy white legs. She snuggled very close, slipped her hand inside my fly and gave me a gentle squeeze, then she whispered, "You know we can't do anything unless you use a rubber so you don't make me pregnant."
At this point in my life, I seldom planned very far ahead for anything, and while I had given my first sexual encounter a great amount of thought and anticipation, I had failed to make even the slightest preparations for accomplishing it. Unlike most boys my age, I didn't carry a rubber around in my wallet. I figured that most of them just did that to bolster their egos and give them something to brag about. If the truth was known, most of the rubbers lurking in those wallets were so old that they would crumble and provide absolutely no protection even if they happened to get a chance to be used.
Obtaining a rubber when you needed one no longer involved the embarrassment of having to ask the druggist because vending machines dispensing three rubbers for a quarter could be found in the men's bathroom in nearly every service station. Not only were rubbers available from these machines, but one could also buy playing cards with pictures of naked girls on them as well as those little comic books like the ones kept under the counter at the pool hall. In addition to the strictly carnal merchandise, one could obtain all sorts of personal items from these machines. Items which normally sold for a quarter or less; like razor blades, pocket knives, nail clippers, cigarette lighters, flashlights and even tooth brushes found their way into these machines. Some bathrooms had so many vending machines that they were almost a Woolworth store on a wall.
The rubber machines in service station bathrooms usually provided a choice of at least three styles of rubbers. Regular rubbers were three for a quarter, those in exotic colors came two to a package but you got only one genuine French Tickler which was supposed to drive a woman wild. Each selection was illustrated by a picture of a naked woman consumed in the erotic pleasures provided by that particular style. In order to escape the wrath of preachers and other do-gooders who claimed that rubbers in vending machines promoted fornication and sin, each machine contained a notice that they should be used only for protection against disease.
Who did they think they were fooling? Using a rubber was the sure way to prevent girls from having babies and if a girl knew that she was safe, she might be more likely to let you do it. Tonight, the girl snuggled beside me with her hand in my pants was going to let me do it as soon as she was assured of safety from pregnancy. Not only was she going to let me have the ultimate thrill, she was going to be an enthusiastic participant.
Tonight was going to be the night to end all nights; the night when I would become a man, the night when I would shed my dreaded virginity. It never occurred to me that she might also be giving up her virginity, but in retrospect it would be my guess that she had done that several boyfriends before me because she was far more knowledgeable about the situation than I was.
I pulled up next to a service station at the north edge of town, zipped up my fly and walked casually into the bathroom so the people inside wouldn't suspect that I was really there to buy rubbers. Since I was far more interested in seminal protection than sensual qualities, I didn't bother to read the sales literature describing what was available from each of the various compartments of the machine. My fingers trembled with excited anticipation as I deposited my last quarter in a slot, turned the knob and out dropped a comb.
As we pulled away, she whispered, "Did you get them?"
I was too embarrassed to admit not only my stupidity in putting my last quarter in the wrong machine but also that I had no more money. "Not exactly," I replied. "I got a comb."
She gave me the most incredulous look I had ever seen, slid over next to the door and didn't say a word all the way home. There was no goodnight kiss, much less any breast fondling. She didn't even wait for me to walk her to the door, the moment I stopped the car, she was out the door and gone.
With a foil packages of three brand new rubbers safely tucked away in my wallet, I was ready to pick up where our plans had been so abruptly squelched on our last date. I called her on Thursday and asked her for a date that Saturday night.
"No," she said. "I'm going steady with Gary Cotter now. He got home from the Navy on Monday and has a new Studebaker."
"Are you going to change your name to Anita?" I asked.
"Of course not, why should I?" came her shocked reply.
"Because that's the name he has tattooed on his arm."
"Go to hell!" she said and hung up the phone.