Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fornication and Gum -- Lessons Learned -- jcarolek

When I was 15 I had a “long distance” boyfriend. OK, so, in those days, long distance was 40 minutes away by car, but it meant we spent a LOT of time talking on the phone…not long distance, or I would have been killed. I had some interesting experiences while engaged in these “important” phone calls.

We listened to music on the phone….no joke…he’d put his favorite album on and we’d just listen…stimulating, right?
Sometimes we talked about important things like whether he would be able to get the car (he was a little older) to drive over to actually see me on the weekend. Sometimes we talked about goofy stuff.

Two items of consequence happened that summer, during these phone conversations.

The first was a “freak accident.”

I had been chewing gum and it had lost its taste, so I was ready to ditch it. I was lying on the floor at the time, receiver to my ear, listening to the latest album, in the dark. I took the gum out and tossed it toward the garbage can, but “up” since I was lying on the floor. Well, it hit the phone cord, and plopped right back, directly in my eye!. Thankfully, my eye was closed, but it stuck to my eyelashes. Long story short, my crisis resulted in my eyelashes being cut off to get the gum out….

So, My first item was a case of the very weird appearance of having no eyelashes on one eyelid.

The second came as a result of a discussion we were having about the Bible, no less.

One word, I am afraid, I did not know the meaning of, and I decided to ask my father over dinner that night.

“Dad, what does fornication mean?”

The whole table went silent. My mother looked away. My sister, concentrated on her food, my brothers looked expectantly at Dad, as did I. Dad began his explanation.

“It’s when you build something up to be very strong. In the olden days, the castles were protected by moats and tall walls…”

At which point, my brother Tim, laughing his head off said,


With that, my father’s face grew red, he turned his direct glare on me and demanded,

“Where did you hear that word?”

“Dave and I were discussing some passages from the Bible and….”

Well, I suppose I need not tell you, the Bible connection was NOT believed and I was forbidden EVER to speak with or see Dave (he who would speak of fornication) again!

And so, the summer I turned 16, I learned two important lessons.

Never take a pitch if you cannot see your target.
Never ask the meaning of a word, when the house has a half dozen dictionaries!

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