My Life as a Boy — Chapter 101

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At this age, the competition hasn’t yet become a problem, but as we age together, we start to compete for family, social position, pecking order…you know.

I know a hell of a lot of girls who only think about making their girlfriends jealous. Oh, here’s an outfit that will make you the ENVY of your crowd. That’s always the ambition in some circles, notably those that cater to the reality show concept, which is to live under the continual eye of the camera and interested parties, and to be utterly scriptless.

Dream on, sister. Those reality shows did, indeed, start during a long television writer’s strike that resulted in a 90% drop in work for writers, but that soon changed, and now all the reality shows are scripted.

If they weren’t, they’d be even more boring than they are now, because people are very unimaginative and don’t move from square one anytime soon. In short, given no prodding, they’d just as soon do today what they did yesterday and the day before, except they are SO bored, bored, bored, for God’s sake. You know, honey, as a boy, I just would never talk like this, and I didn’t. Don’t censor yourself. Keep true to your aim. “Stay on target, Luke, stay on target.”

Girls tend to stick together, but it’s because we need support. Men have their own male support groups — those are the guys your husband goes to all the games with, and plays golf with, and handball with, and goes fishing with, and plays cards with and discusses higher ideas with … no, erase that last item. That’s the night his friends cover for him while he spends half the night with his mistress.

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Our swimming team never won a single competition, not a single cup or prize or trophy, 1957.

Teen and Tween girls never consider all the pitfalls of relationship, and only slowly learn, through teen-talk, what the deal really is with guys. Nobody wants to tell you the truth, which is that they have no control over their desires, and anyone with an ounce of availability will be easily able to take him for a little ride.

Girls don’t curse. Girls don’t fart. Girls don’t pee and girls don’t poop.

If you’re a guy, you will NOT relate to this: how would you like to have to keep your clothes totally spotless while you eat spaghetti and meatsauce? How about keeping yourself FRESH??? You don’t even know what that means, bud.

It’s not just keeping yourself neat and tidy and fresh, it’s how you sit. You can’t just sit down like a guy, knees wide apart, because that’s considered naughty and girls don’t sit like that, honey, keep your legs crossed.

That, by the way, is not the best birth-control method ever invented. Keeping your legs together is no guarantee you won’t get pregnant. All you need for that is a fervent desire to not get pregnant. Works every time.

Girls certainly do not say “fuck” or “shit” or, God Forbid, “Cunt”, except that Carlene Carter spent years trying to live down her introduction to her song about mate-swapping, called “Swap-Mate Rag” with the comment, “If this song don’t bring back the ‘cunt’ in ‘country’, I don’t know what will.” Her parents, Johnny Cash and June Carter, were in the audience and did not think it was funny.

Funny, no, clever, yes.

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Little girls can cry all they want to, and we’re expected to cry often and copiously, it’s all part of being a girl. But dressed as boy, I dared not show a tear, and could not be emotional.

There are downsides to being a boy. The whole upside is that you can do any fucking thing you want to do, within the fucking law. Nobody to stop you except a bigger stronger boy, and that can be overcome with six months of martial arts training. I soon learned to take down a larger bully, but I’m built solidly, like my Mom, who never mastered any martial art that I know of.

My Dad Horace taught me hat-fighting. You grab your hat and run. I gave that line to Woody Allen at the College of Complexes, Plexi’s, in the West Village, remember that occasion, Woody?

I am probably the only one left who remembers his troubles with Susan while he was at NYU — it’s all he talked about in the beginning of his comedy career, and it did affect him greatly; the comedy came from dealing with the pain and rejection of that failed relationship, although all his relationships were doomed to fail, except his relationship with his step-daughter and now wife, Soon-Yi Farrow Previn.

As both a boy and a girl, I had plenty of opportunity to hear the real thing from both, and believe me, there is no monopoly on trash talk. I’ve heard the most obscene and blue jokes from middle-aged women, and in comparison to those stories, Buddy Hackett sounds like a kiddie’s show. He would never go where they go.

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Graduation is so stiff and formal, but behind the scenes, someone is going, “Fuck, where is that Goddam mother-fucking sonofabitch cocksucker boyfriend of mine???”

You’ll hear every word and every phrase and every obscenity that you might hear from a male soldier’s barracks at the women’s  showers at any spa on the planet. The word “fuck” is no longer a total no-no, but it used to be a capital offense to say it even in your own bathroom or bedroom.

There is a large and palpable double-standard for men and women in language that they may use, and women are not encouraged to say “fuck” when they bash their thumb with a hammer. According to the guys, they should never have had a hammer in their hands in the first place.

I saw a video of some guys teaching a girl how to shoot a .45 Colt peacemaker; they hadn’t told her to straighten her arm and stiffen her elbow and let the recoil drive the handgun upward, then get back down on target…you know the drill, but she didn’t, and when the gun went off, it hit her in the head.

The guys cracked up, and put it up on facebook.

They just don’t get it, but they wouldn’t want to. If they can make the girl bang the gun on her skull, it proves she shouldn’t be given the chance to shoot it. They wouldn’t fail to tell a boy to stiffen his arm before pulling the trigger, because he should have a gun in his hand; it’s what makes him a man.

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I know, I look like I’m in drag. Fuck you, too.

So I’m in the barracks, and this grunt comes back from a weekend pass. He’s been to town and everyone asks him what happened when he was in town, did he go to the local whorehouse?

“Me, go to Bessie’s??? You gotta be kiddin’. I never have to pay for it. I went to Lucy’s” — a local bar that was, quite rightly, off-limits, but as a permanent PFC, he had nothing to lose — “and there was a fuckin’ blonde bitch on the fuckin’ stool at the fuckin’ bar, so I fuckin’ walked over to her, and we started a fuckin’ conversation, then we left the fuckin’ bar and went to her fuckin’ apartment, where she went into her fuckin’ bedroom and changed into a fuckin’ shortie baby doll nightgown and lay down on the fuckin’ bed.”

“So what happened then?” everyone chimed in.

“What the fuck do you think happened?” he demanded, “We had intercourse!”

I want to take a moment to thank the middle-aged woman who first told me that joke.

For the complete Volume III of My Life As A Boy, visit
Gateways.

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