Thursday, March 16, 2006


Our nephew William is looking forward to the impending arrival of a sibling.

Three-year-old boys are curious about such matters, which leads to all kinds of Tricky Questions. Questions like “How does the baby come out?” and (better yet) “How does the baby get in?”

In my case, I learned about the Facts of Life at the grand age of eight.

Some unknown wag had circulated a Fake Lunchroom Menu throughout our elementary school. It was jam-packed with grade-school Gross Humor, mostly based on various Unpleasant Substances. Featured items included such appetizing treats as “Mashed Monkey Meat,” “Pheasant Feces Flambé,” “Gopher Guts in Gravy,” retch-cetera. But one item in particular caught my prepubescent eye: “Cooked Canary Cunts.”

Walking home from school one afternoon, a group of us were having an animated discussion about the Fake Menu. And I asked, “What the hell is a ‘cunt,’ anyway?” For, indeed, I was as yet unacquainted with the term.

One of my little friends obligingly filled me in. “You know. It’s a lady’s vagina.”

Ahhh. That term, I was familiar with. But my friend volunteered a little extra information, information that showed he was already a Man of the World:

“Round peg in a round hole.”

I knew exactly what he meant, even though I hadn’t asked him about Sexual Mechanics. It was as though a Cartoony Overhead Lightbulb was suddenly switched on, filling my brain with Knowledge and Illumination. For, suddenly, everything made sense. It was as though I had discovered a Promised Land I hadn’t even known I had been searching for.

But our nephew William got his education a little differently.

Yesterday, William’s Mommy and Daddy took him to the petting zoo in Cowtown, the old touristy part of Foat Wuth. Suddenly, the scream of an animal in distress pierced the air. It was a nanny goat in the throes of labor.

The person running the place had no idea what to do. The goat was in a small pen and was unable to position herself properly to deliver her kid.

Rebecca, our sister-in-law, came to the rescue. She had the (clueless) Person in Charge move Momma Goat to a larger pen...and then she rolled up her sleeves and delivered the baby goat.

“You sure you know what you’re doing?”

“These things aren’t all that different from horses.”

By the time the baby goat had arrived and the stunned Momma Goat had recovered enough to begin nuzzling her new offspring, a crowd of about seventy people had gathered. The rugrats who went to the petting zoo that day got an eyeful they weren’t expecting...and little William got an education.

The rest of the day, William amused himself by playing Baby Goat. He would stagger around on shaky legs, fall down, get up, and wobble off, to the great amusement of all concerned.

So now he knows where babies come from. How soon before he wonders how they got in there?


Mommy and Baby Goat
Mother and baby, doing fine.

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