A Child of the Fifties

by Paul Schroder

Chapter 16

The second day of school has my teacher, Missus Sweeney, explaining how to tell time. Now, none of those sissy LCD clocks in those days. We had to figure out what those blasted pointy thingies meant on a clock face. There's a big one and a little one and a skinny one that speeds around like it's trying to get the other two to race.

She draws the clock on her chalkboard and explains "after" and "before" and something called "AM" and "PM". Then she brings out this big ol' clock made outa cardboard and hangs it over the blackboard. She turns the short dial thingy pointing to one number and the longer dial thingy to a different number and asks, "what time is it?" My answer never changed, "it's time for you to read us a story."

"We will do that right after recess, Paul. In the meantime, I'll let anyone leave early for recess if they come up and whisper the time on the class clock," and she points to the real clock hanging above the door.

Well, the kids line up, pushing and shoving but when they get to Missus Sweeney they whisper in her ear and she waves them out the door. I think me and Jimmy and the girl that's sweet on Jimmy are looking to be the lone hold outs. Dang, I just know these kids musta learned this stuff in kindergarten.

Jimmy's pissed! I can see him screw his face up into a frown and he just stares daggers at Missus Sweeney. He crosses his arms resolutely and plunks his bum down hard into his chair. Jimmy's unintended, and unwanted, sweetheart just sighs, walks up to the teacher, whispers in her ear and is waved out the door.

I got my arms crossed like Jimmy and we're both kinda feeling like we must be the dumb ones in the class when Missus Sweeney says, "well boys, I'll have someone help you on this after recess. In the meantime, it's still 3 minutes early, go on out with the others."

Me n' Jimmy hit the door like a hurricane headed for Florida! And once out on the asphalt play area, we look around to see what's happening.

There are some girls playing jacks with their sing-song 'picksy-upsy' chant. Other girls are reciting some weird poetry while skipping rope, and, looking afar, we see some boys playing something with a ball. We dash across the field in their direction.

Well, they've just introduced us to the the grand game of dodge-ball, and both of us now have purple bruises to prove it. Before we are able to seek retribution, we hear Missus Sweeney calling class back into session.

Tomorrow is another day and, though I may not be able to tell you what time recess starts, I can tell you that me n' Jimmy are gonna kick some ass playing dodge ball! We do a pinky shake after recess to establish it. Me n' Jimmy both got balls and kids are just gonna have to dodge em tomorrow!

True to her word, Missus Sweeney has Janice Teller help us, after recess, with learning to tell time. Now Janice seems to explain it so that it makes sense. In the next half hour we've both got a pretty good grasp on how it works. The teacher calls Janice back to her desk and Jimmy hollers out...

"Hey teacher! You should hire this girl. She teaches good. She smells nice too!" Janice both smiled and blushed at the same time. I think Jimmy has another girl in the class interested in him now. Ewwww... he should stick with collecting bugs.

Mother and Father went somewhere together Friday night and said they wouldn't be back until early in the morning. Brother Billy had a date and was going to be away until late so Dick was appointed to babysit me once again.

Dick invites his girlfriend Shiela over to the house when our parents leave. Prior to this he had cornered me in our bedroom and said, "listen Paul, if you stay in our room and look at your comics or something all night, I'll give you fifty cents.

Whooa... fifty cents? That's like enough money for a five comic books! I wonder why he is gonna pay me so much? And my brother, inadvertently, by offering me so much, piqued my curiosity level sky high. I figured they were gonna do some of that sex stuff I'd heard him and my oldest brother talking about.

So, Dick is gonna pork Sheila tonight. Now, how exactly do they use pork to sex a girl? And why should this make him so anxious and sweaty anyway? I swear, sex is so confusing.

Mother and Father haven't left yet and I see Dick mumbling into the phone. I'm pretty sure he's talking to Sheila.

"Hey Dick, who you talkin' to?" I yell out.

"Shhh...never mind, kid! Just watch the darn TV!" Then he whispers to me "it's none of your damn business, cockroach."

"Ohhh... you said damn! Mother is gonna have Father spank you good!"

"Oh crap! Listen kid, leave me the hell alone and your fifty cents will magically turn into a dollar in the morning! Okay?"

I stared at him like "give me a break. I trust you NOT."

He interprets my stare and sighs, "okay, here's your buck. But you screw me over and I take it back, understand?" My grin says yes and I stick my newly earned dollar in my pocket.

Mom gives me a big smooch as they go out the door and she warns Dick "NO visitors, understand?"

"Of course, Mom. Me and the rug rat are just gonna watch TV and then I'm gonna chop him up with an ax and flush the pieces down the toilet."

That earns an appreciative "Ha-ha" from my father and a finger shake from my mother. Then they are out the door.

"Okay, you little anal licker, go to the bedroom and disappear for the night."

"But you told Mother we were gonna watch television together." I knew that was a load of taco meat but I just wanted to tease my brother.

There's a knock on the door and Dick looks at me like he's gonna go look for that ax.

"I wanna say hi to Shiela first. Then I'll go into the bedroom. But if you hear me yell out 'WATER', you bring me a glass or I come out. If I yell out 'MONSTER', you come look in our closet. And, if I yell out 'WHISKEY' then you...."

"Screw you, you little shit! Take a glass of water to bed with you. And then use it to pee in if you have to go later on."

He's swung the door open and the sweet young lady my mother refers to as the neighborhood slut, to my Aunt Rowana, is standing on the porch, snapping her gum and smiling.

"Hi Sheila" I yell out. "I gotta go to bed now because my brother wants to play 'this little piggy' with you. Good night!"

"Good night, Paulypoo" she intones.

Yech... Paulypoo.

So I walk back to our bedroom and put on my pajamas. I look at comics for awhile and then use my slingshot to launch toy soldiers across the room. I just fill in the time until I can hear the talking stop in the living room. Of course I have no intention of staying in our bedroom. After Sheila's been here for awhile I'm gonna sneak out into the hallway, tiptoe into the kitchen where I can peek at what's happening in the living room. I haven't seen sex yet but I've heard a lot about it. I mean, it's the one thing both of my brothers talk about almost continuously to one another.

I let things cool for a little while longer and then after a little bit I turn out the room light and tip toe out into the kitchen. Sitting at the kitchen table I can hear everything in the living room just perfectly.

Now, Samantha told me n' Jimmy that men use their wieners to make sex. I've only used my wiener to make puddles so I don't know what she means. But, I certainly intend to find out tonight. I don't care if it costs me my whole dollar, I wanna know what a boy does with his wiener.

It's been kinda quite in the living room for awhile so I peek around the corner. My brother is sitting on the couch with his head tilted way back. This is good, because he won't be able to see me. Sheila is kneeling down between my brother's legs. She has her hands on his knees and her head is face first into his lap.

I can't for the life of me figure out what is going on. If this is sex, what does this have to do with his wiener? And then it hits me... OH MY GOSH... SHE'S KISSING HIS WEENY!

I sorta wished I'd stayed in the bedroom now. I suddenly felt a little urpy!

I was deciding that, if this was sex, then I didn't want anything to do with it! I'll kiss a baby's forehead. I'll kiss a dog's nose. But I ain't kissing no weeny, nooo how! (Little did I know I'd change my mind just a few years down the line.)

I tip-toed back down the hallway to the bedroom and climbed up onto my bed. I lay there, for awhile, without pulling the blankets over me, just letting things run through my mind. Kissing a weeny can't be all that sex is about. After all, Sheila doesn't have a wiener. And why in the world would you want anyone to kiss your wiener in the first place? Yuck!

Sigh, me n' Jimmy and Samantha are gonna have to talk about this tomorrow.

I pull the covers over myself and feel myself slowly sliding into unconsciousness.

I swear, I dreamed that night that me and my friends were piggy back ridding on the backs of real piggies and then we were running away from Sheila cuz she wanted to kiss our wieners. I don't know why Samantha was running, she doesn't even have a wiener. Patches licked my face until I woke out of my nightmare.

Well, the sun had just barely come up when I climbed out of bed. I figured I couldn't go back to sleep so I just went into the kitchen and poured a bowl of Wheaties and even got most of the milk to go into the bowl too. Six heaping spoons of sugar made it really really good. (Mother was still asleep so I could get away with that.)

After I got dressed I walked over to Jimmy's, Patches following along. I knew he would still be asleep so I just walked in and went into his bedroom. (None of us locked our doors in those days. Most people even left their ignition keys in their cars!)

I walked into his and Suzie's bedroom and he was flat on his back snoring a little bit. Suzie was over on her bed all twisted up in her sheets. But Jimmy tends to fall asleep in one position and stay that way all night. That's why, in the morning, you can hear his body snap and crackle like a bowl of Rice Crispys.

I lean close to one of his ears and say... "Missus Sweeney, Janice and Jimmy are hugging and kissing each other!"

He immediately sits straight up in bed, eyes still glued shut and yells... "that's a damn lie, teacher. She's kissing ME!"

Susie snorts and leans up on one elbow. Jimmy's eyes slowly open and focus on me. They both, simultaneously say, "hey Paul," and then they both fall back and pull the covers up over their heads.

"Wow, two peas in a pod" I'm thinking.

"I watched Dick do sex last night" I whispered into Jimmy's ear.

I swore I spoke ultra softly, just for Jimmy's ear alone. But Suzie pops up like someone had twisted her handle. She jumps outa bed, rushes over to us and jumps up onto her brother's bed. Jimmy had started coming awake but when his sister landed on his crotch he was definitely wide awake.

"Ummmph... oooh, Suzie, I'm gonna kill you."

"Shush... Jimmy. Paul's gonna tell us about his big brother having sex."

Now Suzie might be a year younger than me n' Jimmy, but, I swear, she has made it her ambition to learn all about sex. She ain't learned much but she's like that cat that curiosity killed. She's gonna keep going till she's used up all nine lives.

"I can't tell no girl nuthin bout no sex" I reply, indignantly.

"Yes you will," she replied, resolutely. "Or do I tell your mother you watched your brother while he did sex?"

Dang and damnation... that girl is 5 going on 12, I swear!

"SO," she says, eyes as large as a hoot owl, face beaming, "don't leave nuthin out!"

I look at Jimmy like 'what do I do?' and he just shrugs his shoulders.

"Okay then," speaking to both of them. I snuck into the kitchen while Dick and Sheila was doing it. I looked around the corner to watch and... guess what?"

"WHAT?" They both reply, wide eyed and intrigued.

Porking a girl doesn't have anything to do with a pork chop.

They both look at me like my idiot tank is full. "Who cares?" From Suzie.

"Okay, Dick is sitting on the couch with his head tilted way back. Sheila is kneeling between Dick's legs and is kissing his wiener!"

They're both quiet for a minute and then Jimmy asks "are they naked?"

"Umm.. no. Dick still has his pants on but he's pulled them down a ways."

They're silent for a minute and then Suzie says, "that's it? That's sex? You kiss a boy's wiener and that's sex?"

Having observed it firsthand, I nod my head emphatically. "Yep, that's sex."

They both sit there in their own private thoughts for a minute and then Suzie tells us... "boys are pigs." She slides down off Jimmy's bed and goes back to her own bed. With a big sigh she lays down and covers herself with her blankets.

Jimmy and I been buds for a long time and he reads me as good as Sam can read a book. He can tell I haven't said everything and it's because of you know who.

"I gotta pee" he announces. He slides outta bed and he's wearing his Superman jammy bottoms. They're too small for him as they end about two inches above his ankles. But this also makes them really tight, which makes them look like Superman's tight costume. All he needs now are a few muscles. Err... I mean, all he needs now are any muscles at all.

But he peels the jammys off while he's standing there and he's just in his tighty whities.

"Talk to me while I pee," he says, and starts walking towards the bathroom. I follow along and when he's standing at the commode he pulls his undies down to his knees and then gives me the look that says "spill it"!

I whisper, super quiet, because his dumb ol' sister has ears like a dog. And not cute ears like Patches.

"I got back out'a bed to check on 'em again and I guess it was Dick's turn to be on his knees. Shiela was sitting down with her underwear around her ankles. Dick had his head under her skirt. She started to moan and so Dick lifted his head up and tol' her to be quiet. He never did use no pork that I could see."

"Well, I really felt urpy then so I just went back to bed."

Jimmy lets all this stuff cook around in his head while he finishes peeing and pulls up his tighty whities.

After Jimmy got dressed and had breakfast we sat outside on his steps having a manly conversation. Patches lay on her back between us and took turns nosing one and then the other of us to get her belly rubbed.

"Do you think we should tell Sam?" I posed.

"No way... she's decided that she's a girl now. What if she wants to do that stuff with you and me? I ain't kissing no girl down there. Yuck!"

"I don't think she'd want to, Jimmy. She's still Sam and we know purdy much how she thinks."

We'd graduated to standing on the sidewalk for awhile, hands in our back pockets, both chewing on twigs. Ever once in awhile we'd pull the twig outa our mouths and big boy spit onto the sidewalk." Yup, life's purdy good.

"Anyways," he says, "it's Saturday and were supposed to play with Sam all morning so you and me can play cars after lunch." I nod in affirmation and so we saunter over to Samantha's house. Patches leads us cuz she heard Sam's name and she's a really smart dog.

When we get over to Sam's, she's already outside. She's still wearing a dress but she's also wearing roller skates. They were the good kind, like we rented when my brother Billy took me and Jimmy to the skate place.

"Guess what?" she says to us first thing.

"You've decided to be a boy in a dress instead of a girl in a dress," Jimmy guesses.

"No silly! Mamma is gonna pay for you two to come skating with me today if you want."

Now, here is a concept that can beat sex hands down. Sam doesn't hear the highlights of my brother's sexploits as I forget about them as soon as she says we're going skating. She remembers how much fun we said we had when Billy took us there and I guess she's been bugging her mother for weeks to take us.

"Only," she says, "you'll both need to ask your..." She doesn't get to complete her sentence because we've both hightailed it home to get permission. Plus, I got a whole dollar to spend on snacks for us. This is gonna be a great Saturday.

Skating with Samantha - she gets a boyfriend and Jimmy gets jealous. I ain't asking for cards and letters, just an email. Purdy please?

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