Mrs. Perkins knew she was in trouble the second she set the plastic mold of the female reproductive system onto her desk. The class before her, 20 students and 20 of their parents, looked on with wonder as they sat in the room that was usually adorned with test tubes and Einstein quotes. Today, they were surrounded by graphic diagrams and step-by-step instructions on how to put on a condom.
Why Principal Thompson would schedule the first annual Bring Your Parent To School Day during their sex education rotation would be discussed for years to come. This was one of two large oversights in his calendar, having also picked the week the PE activity was swimming. Sally May’s mother in a bathing suit was nothing to be desired. Tanner Bergman’s father had refused to wear a swim cap, worried the rubber would rip out the last hairs that remained on his horseshoe head. Mrs. Perkins adjusted the plastic vagina as fifth graders and their namesakes looked on.
“Let’s start with the inside. Here are the ovaries, where eggs are produced.” Children giggled and adults shifted in their seats with discomfort. Finally, little Laura Mazur shot her hand in the air, her brunette hair held back by the cutest of headbands.
“Excuse me, Mrs. Perkins?” she asked.
“Where exactly in the uterus does an egg attach itself?” Laura sat awaiting a response, pen and paper at the ready. Laura was incredibly smart. Yale bound, for sure.
“On the side, although it varies each time,” Mrs. Perkins responded. Laura wrote it down, word for word. It was then that Mrs. Perkins opened it up to the class. The discussion, not the vagina. “Does anyone else have questions so far?” Ed Lerman, father of the adorable nerd Charlie Lerman, after much deliberation, raised his hand.
“Yes?” Mrs. Perkins asked.
“Why is it that whenever I initiate intimacy with my wife, she turns a cold shoulder and pretends to be asleep?” Mrs. Perkins looked over to little Laura, sitting patiently in front of her notes.
“Well Mr. Lerman, perhaps if you were more motivated in your career…“ Mrs. Perkins started.
“Is that it?” Ed asked.
“Well,” she continued, “it could also be that during your children’s bath time you watch Sports Center and drink beer.” Ed pondered this as Scottie Nemoy’s father chimed in.
“I help with bath time every night. Or I did, before we separated.” As the word separated clung to the air, Sally May’s mother to perked to attention, pushing her boobs higher into her bra.
“Do you want to get out of here?” she asked. And like that, they were gone. Now little Laura, who had just finished rereading her transcripts, had another question.
“Mrs. Perkins, where did Mr. Nemoy take Sally May’s mother?” she asked.
“Well Laura, they went to have sexual intercourse in the women’s restroom outside of the band room.” Laura jotted all of this down, furrowing her brow.
“I thought two people only had sex when they were in love,” Laura responded, now confused but still writing.
“Yes, only when they are in love. Or drunk, bored, or lonely. Or if the other person is really cute.” Mrs. Perkins then looked over to Ed, who was staring inquisitively at the plastic vagina.
“Did you have another question, Mr. Lerman?” she asked.
“I don’t think I’ve heard of half of these parts.” He squinted his eyes, still looking at the model.
“Well perhaps that, dear Ed, is why Nancy turns a cold shoulder and pretends to be asleep.”
Ed rubbed the top of his head as the bell rung and Mrs. Perkins handed worksheets to her students. He gathered his belongings, stopping Mrs. Perkins before leaving the classroom.
“Could I have one of those worksheets? I’d like to audit this class.”
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