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A complex phrase, in which the various parts are enchained

“Barry,” my cousin Mike said, “I think it’s time.” It was clear that my brother didn’t feel the same way, but he only shrugged, which Mike took as agreement. “Dave,” he said, giving the words as much gravity as he could muster, “Go get the dictionary.”

I was nine years old, and a tag-along. I’d walked in on my brother telling a story about how—during school that morning—a girl he knew got her period in the middle of French class. And I laughed like the dickens. And then they called me on it.

After I’d lugged the dictionary down from the spare room, Mike told me to look up the word period and read out the definition.

“The end of a cycle, a series of events, or a single action?”

“Keep going,” he said.

“The full pause with which a sentence closes?”

“Not that.”

“An interval of geologic—“

“Gimme that!” He yanked the book towards him, read down the page, and pointed me towards the definition he’d found. Menstruation: the monthly discharge of blood from the uterus of nonpregnant women from puberty to menopause. “Now you know,” he said.
My lack of reaction made it fairly clear I didn’t have a clue what any of it meant. Mike and my brother were stymied, having only a sub-standard idea of what it was all about themselves. They tried their best to explain the basic mechanics of the female body to a kid who’d only recently learned that girls don’t pee out of their bums. After a few minutes more of explanation they felt like they’d done their part, and with Family Studies time over, they both went off to play street hockey.

Out of that conversation, I’d absorbed only two facts. One: after a girl has her period she can get pregnant. Two: you can get your period in French class.

Fast forward a few days. I’m in my grade four French class. I wasn’t a bad kid in general but French class brought out my inner spaz, so I’d long ago been seated in the front, well away from the other shit-disturbers. Halfway into class, we’re all working relatively quietly on some assignment or other when there’s a commotion at the back of the class. I was either deeply absorbed in my work or just not in the same dimension as everyone else; whatever the reason, I was one of the last ones to turn around. When I finally did, I saw Chelsey—a girl in my class—standing up, looking panicked, and holding close to her chest a handful of (what was later revealed as) barf. It was yellow with large white chunks. No one spoke, whether from confusion or horror. We all just watched Chelsey walk towards the door very slowly, carefully balancing the strange payload in her cupped hands.

The conclusion I immediately came to over what had happened: Chelsey had gotten her period. The full thought process that led me to said conclusion: we’re in French class which is like Period Central and right in the middle, right during class, yellow chunky stuff came out of Chelsea’s boobs and she caught it, and it was her period, and a girl’s period looks like Campbell’s Chunky Soup and it comes out of their BOOBS! Seriously.

I’m pretty sure I told all the guys at recess that Chelsey got her period, but fortunately no one knew what the hell I was talking about so my well-deserved beating never came. I’m also pretty sure that it was two or three days later before I admitted to myself it just barf.


kris said…
First of all, you have no inner spaz, sweetie. I'm quite sure it is all on the outside.

Second of all, I so wish I knew you in real life. You know, "real life" - because I'm quite sure I would want to wrap my arms around you and then go get you tanked at the local portable.

Wait, did I use that wrong?

Seriously, I'm coming your way in mere months. And I will track you down via isp, your email address and my cat's nose, and we will be friends. Oh yes, we will be friends. :)
Jorge said…
You don't need to go through all that trouble, Kris.

Why, I'll just mail you the star map that has Dave's residence on it.

That will solve everything.

Stalking is so much easier with a Jorge Star Map(tm).

Man, I wish I lived closer to DAve. It would be fun to see you befriend him.

Katie said…
Hell, Kris. I will give you a ride to his house.
Katie said…
By the way, do you guys think that an element of mystery is added to my name, since I am the only contributor without a blogspot link of my own?
Jorge said…
It just means you're a loser without a blog.


Of course one could say that you were actually sensible by not having one.

But then we'd kick that one in the junk.
Beth said…
Dave, I can't believe you have all these hilarious stories that I haven't heard before! (Like the Mrs. Cole story, which I'd never heard before your wedding)... you need to come visit and just entertain me with your hilarious tales.

Katie: come on, get a blogspot link... everyone is doing it =)
Katie said…
Ok, I will think about it. But, Beth, it won't have a cool name like yours. How about "Aspartame is Satan, and Nobody Knows"?
Jorge said…
If you had a top 10, this would be in it.

Beth: I already tried insulting Katie into getting one.

It didn't work.

I think she ignores me most of the time.
Dave said…
Kris, are you actually coming my way? If by this, you mean you're crossing the border into Windsor, then you'll be 'entering my home and native land', but not so much 'coming my way.'

If you are getting anyway near Ottawa, though, no need for CSI: ISP, I'll actually invite you over.

P.S. Assuming you're not just coming to kill me.
Dave said…
I'm feeling a lot of love today. It's because I'm turning 30 that you've all got your nice faces on, isn't it?
Jorge said…
No, it's because your ass fell off, and we're all trying to distract you while Sarah reattaches it.
Jay said…
Poor Sarah!

Poor Chelsey. Actually, you have reminded me to go remind my friend Lis about the time she blew chunks during O Canada. She dirtied at least 6 surrounding desks, which set a new record.
Beth said…
Katie: "Aspartame is Satan, and Nobody Knows" would definitely be a good blog title... although maybe it should be "Aspartame is Satan, and EVERYBODY Knows," judging by the number of people who have told me that when I order my diet Pepsi.

Dave: yes, we are showing you the love because we know that you are getting on in years and you might not have much time left. =)
Me llama Catalina! said…
Beth: I am drinking Diet Pepsi right now...and with confidence that I will not develop bladder cancer. Afterall, a rat is a creature, when scrutinized, produces a peer-reviewed journal article.

Jorge: I don't ignore you. I am just not up-to-date on my blog etiquette. How can I be, however, without a blog of my own? It would be like trying to find the right utensil to eat your salad, when you have never seen a fork in the first place.

Dave: Happy Birthday! Were we really being that nice to you today?
kris said…
I think I'm coming your way, but then again, Canada is a vast and wondrous land . . .

Give me your street address and house floor plan and I'll see if it checks out with my destination.

Shaun said…
OH MAN! This entry made me laugh and laugh. I love your writing, by the way. The storytelling and set-up are very good.

Jorge said…
Welcome to the Touch You Last Web Chat!

Jay: Always informative. Your on the screen always puts a smile on my face because I know that you will say something to make me choke on my breakfast.

Beth: Why not Satan IS Asparatame and Everyone Denies it? Or how about I Know Where You Live So Send Me A Million Dollars in Non-Sequential Hundred-Dollar Bills? Kinda rolls off the tongue.

Catalina: Why are you a Llama? ;)

Kris: If you are closer to Toronto, I'd gladly love to steal you away from Dave and feed you alcoholic goodness. I can bring pictures of Dave, and perhaps even a large cardboard cut-out to keep us company.

Shaun: You're just sucking up because you want to sleep with Dave. But then, who doesn't?

Starmap anyone? ANYONE?
Katie said…'s Spanish. Nevermind. What could I expect when you probably had to take a million years of French?
Jorge said…
I know what llama is. ;)

Me llamo HOR-HEY.

I took my lumps in Espanol, too, ya know.

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