A professor asked my son’s college class, “Who decides if a baby is a boy or a girl?”
One bright young genderless humanoid piped up and said, “Society.”
After my child (possibly a son) related this fascinating tale of modern American education, I walked out to my chicken coop and watched as our thirteen roosters commenced to crow, spur, posture, fight, flap, peck, and have their way with my flock of hens.
“Who told you, you were roosters,” I yelled.
I sold twelve of the thirteen roosters to my next-door neighbor for six dollars and fifty cents a piece. He got a bargain. My hens got some relief, and I learned a lesson about the nature of the species.
Roosters do not lay eggs.
According to a recent scientific study (so it must be good) men think about sex 2,072 times every second of every minute of every day—girls, not so much. This is because of rigid social conditioning, hospitals’ excessive use of pink and blue blankets on newborns, and that poem about snips, snails, and puppy dog tails.
Personally, I’m glad my mother did NOT socialize me to be a boy so that I would have to think about sex constantly. I occasionally enjoy thinking about other stuff like breakfast or the Civil War.
When my husband was born, his mother, fooled by his resemblance to a rooster, socialized him to be a boy, which means that when he became a teenager he enjoyed riding naked on motorcycles through the Florida backwoods. Not to worry; he likes to point out he always wore tennis shoes so that he could shift and to protect his feet from thorny underbrush.
Now my husband (of thirty plus years) flies away to various locales around the globe for work; he leaves on Sunday afternoons and gets home on Thursday nights, and I used to pick him up at the airport, my heart filled with that little frisson of happiness and excitement that accompanied the notion of my man coming home from the sea.
I was always glad to see him—for about five minutes, and then he would talk. I make him take a taxi now.
Back when I was still picking him up, I always said stuff like, “I’m so glad you’re home, honey.” Then I’d reach over and squeeze his hand, while navigating through airport traffic, trying to merge into a steady torrent of full sized bumper cars, and still not get us crushed by a bevy of shuttle buses.
Typically, a noise not unlike the sound of pizza being digested and recycled would erupt out of my husband’s body.
“Man, shouldn’t have had that foot long chili dog in Boston.”
I would struggle to remember that it was social conditioning that had him all confused about being a barbarian—also a rooster.
“So how was your week? How was your flight? See anyone interesting in the airport like Caesar Milan?”
Silence. Silence. Quiet and then more and a bigger silence and then . . .
“Let’s get it on,” he would say.
“What?” My hands would clench convulsively on the steering wheel, my eyes closing to slits. “Should I pull off the road right here next to the palm tree or do you want to wait until we pass the merge sign near the exit, and please tell me this isn’t your idea of romance?”
The conversation often deteriorated from there.
What I want to know is who told my husband he was a rooster?
I’d like to thank them, because after thirty plus years, four kids, and nine grandchildren, he’s still crazy about me in his boys-will-be-boys kind of way. What can I do?
We’re just getting to the good part and I, for one, am glad that roosters do not lay eggs.