Yours truly was fortunate enough to grow up in a bucolic mountain town. Us kids from the neighborhood used to ride our bikes up and down Gigi Street (we know), a gently sloping dirt road with exactly nine houses on it, each a couple hundred yards apart. Our house was squarely in the middle and had a nice circular driveway so chez WAMster was the hangout. Back then, the bike made the boy, and the WAM-cycle was unbearably groovy. It was a metallic gold three-speed, with a sparkly silver banana seat. We'd pimped it out with rear-view mirrors, a handle bar-mounted AM radio (with a built in push-button horn), and a day-glo orange flag mounted on the back. Sometimes we'd play bike-swap and take each other's rides for a spin.
David Catterson and his older brother Ronnie had matching red banana bikes, Scott Montgomery's was yellow. Paul Phillips had one of those new-fangled 10-speeds (we disapproved of the awkward ram-horn handle bars), and Jimmy Hall's was a red-and-white Pee Wee Herman-esque number. We'd often construct a jump out of cinder blocks and plywood, and double dutch dare each other to perform the most ill-advised airborne stunts (under threat of having one's name entered in the "Chicken Book," an infamous registry of the faint-hearted which existed only in theory). Consequently, everyone had the pleasure of picking gravel from their bloody knees and elbows with alarming frequency (with the sad exception of Paul Phillips, whose name was entered repeatedly in the "Chicken Book").
We were always having a full-throttle blast, us kids, yet we also complained tirelessly of boredom. When ennui descended, the oldest kid (Ronnie Catterson, approaching puberty) reliably steered the conversation towards a subject he knew very little about: S-E-X. We listened attentively, for despite his sketchy expertise, he had far more than the rest of us combined. He talked of "boobs" and "popping boners." He talked about "Creamy." He talked about popping boners when he thought about Creamy's boobs. Jimmy Hall talked about a magazine called "Hustler" which he found in his father's garage, but was too scared to swipe. About this time, young WAM was browsing through Mom and Dad's library of musty boring books and struck gold: "Human Sexuality by Alfred Kinsey." It was illustrated. Holy crap.
We tiptoed from the house with that dusty tome under our shirt. The Gigi Street gang spent an afternoon gasping at the horrors and marvels contained in those yellowed pages. There were numbered drawings of nekkid men and women getting into the most awkward and inconvenient positions. A few days after carefully returning the book to its place on the shelf we discovered that our parents had relocated it to the locked cabinet. The Gigi gang demanded more naughty diagrams. So we decided, as a group, to publish our own magazine filled with dirty drawings and erotic jokes. We were eight; rest assured both the drawings and the jokes were retarded and nonsensical. And we decided to name our fledgling periodical "Seck's" (a name we still consider flat-out brilliant).
We designed the cover; a charming illustration of a nekkid woman thrusting her titanic breasts skyward. The other kids submitted jokes about hoo-hoos and shame hoses, boobs and buttholes. Ronnie Catterson sketched a loving portrait of himself holding hands with Creamy whilst popping a boner. We thought we were onto something. For about a week, we took turns taking it home and hiding it under our pillows. Unfortch, only one copy of the first issue was ever produced.
One summer afternoon after a lovely peanut butter and jelly washed down with green Kool-Aid, Mother confronted us. She had found our premier issue of Seck's, and wasn't happy about it. A few days later, a book from the Evergreen Public Library appeared on our Charlie Brown bedspread. It was filled with horrifying illustrations and explanations. That goes THERE? Ew!! We were appalled, and not a little skeptical. Chapter One's opening line was particularly unpromising: "When a man and a woman love each other..."
Although it was years before WAM would bloom into a full-fledged homo, both the "woman" and the "love" parts of that first sentence felt entirely superfluous.
And that, dear readers, is how we learned the difference between Seck's and sex.
WAM sez: "A subscription to this blog's feed is better than Seck's."