When I was ten, my parents rented a sex-ed tape from the library and made me watch it with them on the couch.
It’s no wonder I only eat popcorn at the movies these days.
By the end of the film, my eyes had turned to the size of dinner plates. Convinced they were from another planet, I stared at my parents in sheer horror. Exactly 63 minutes prior to sitting on that couch, they were the loving providers of shelter, food, and buckets of presents. By the time my father turned off the television, they had morphed into creatures from another planet who were concerned with topics I wanted absolutely nothing to do with.
The two of them stared at me after it ended, curiously watching my response as if I were a case study. Nervously tapping her fingers, my mother asked if I had any questions. My father tilted his head.
By this point I was convinced that these so-called humans in front of me were alien sleeper pods. I had questions-but you can hardly ask aliens what they’ve done with your real parents. My knees shaking, I walked to the kitchen to get a glass of water.
The voice of the narrator branded in my head as I tried desperately to forget the phrase: ‘the sperm now travels through the penis shaft’.
Taking a sip of water, I feigned calm in front of the aliens. My hands trembled as I mumbled the sudden need for a bike ride, and meandered towards the garage in what I desperately hoped would be a convincing act of cool and collected.
Once my feet hit the pedals, my imagination exploded.
A combination of scenes from the video and all alien movie plots I had ever seen infiltrated my brain as I pushed my bike further from the house o-extra-terrestrial parents.
Vowing to erase the images from my mind, I pedaled out to the treehouse to re-evaluate my family situation. One thing was clear, my parents had lost their minds. Whether or not that had something to do with spacecraft was unclear. Further investigation was necessary.
I vowed to shelter my brother from a similar fate. Whispering to him after dinner that night, I told him never to watch anything Mom and Dad brought home from the video store. Staring at me from behind the red curls framing his chubby face, kid-Ginger obediently nodded.
Figuring that he was safe for the time being, I then lined up my stuffed animals to hold an open forum. Not one of them provided much insight except Snoopy. Being the oldest of the bunch, he just stared at me with those innocent eyes, willing me to take charge of the situation.
I had to save the human race from the aliens who were forcing children to watch this video. Purpose of said video was unclear to me, but I was sure it could lead to nothing but tears, destruction, and the complete annihilation of mankind.
Tucking Snoopy under my arm, I fell asleep determined to warn the students of my class in the morning. This situation was serious.
The next day, my teacher showed the video to my classmates.
As they watched in frozen horror, our loving teacher turned it off at the end and asked if any of us had already seen the tape.
Bravely, facing alien destruction, I defiantly raised my hand. This creature was not going to shock me, no sir. I had already seen the horror, now was the time for confrontation.
All my classmates turned in my direction. It was clear, my hand indicated authority. I was now the leader of these innocent sheep being sent to slaughter.
“I already saw it. I already know what you’re going to say”.
That ladies and gentlemen, is how I became the playground expert on sex education and alien invasion. The rest of the day, I was a celebrity on the swings, hollering out instructions on how we must unite against the adults. My classmates eagerly hopped on board with this plan. I was the shephard, and by God-I would not let harm come to my flock.
This lasted one day.
The next morning Joey Hunter brought in a copy of his father’s Playboy.
Turns out, the aliens knew how to get the boys attention.