A few years ago, when my nephew was still just a little shaver, we found ourselves faced with an uncomfortable confrontation when my sister mentioned something about sex. Now it wasn’t something inappropriate, to be sure, but rather something along the lines of “sex in a movie” or something equally as innocuous. So all she did was basically say the word sex. It might even have been something like, “what sex is the child?” or whatever.
Anyway, my nephew, hearing the unfamiliar word, piped up with this little gem: “What are secks?” Well, seeing that a possibly uncomfortable situation might abound, I went ahead and stepped up to the plate with a perfectly delivered response, when I said, “Well, son, let me tell you what secks are.” So as the boy sat on the couch and looked at me, I told him that secks were like different categories into which women are grouped to determine their eligibility. I said, “For example, your mother would be in Seck A. Grandma over there? Well, she’s in seck B. Now Step, my red-haired wife? Yeah. Hi-five. She’s Seck C.
He seemed to appreciate my answer, nodded, and returned his attention to the Gameboy he was playing. I’m not sure but that a six-year-old probably shouldn’t be told the real story of the birds and the bees yet. So we avoided what could have been a very precocious lesson. But in thinking about this last night, I realized that I’m way past the age that most would consider appropriate for learning about the birds and the bees.
So, being in my mid-to-upper twenties now, shouldn’t I know about these supposed birds and bees? You know, I’ve still never been told this story. And in my mind, I go through all the logical scenarios – the ones that could make sense – and I still cannot come up with anything that has anything remotely to do with sex. So what, did a bunch of bees invade a bird’s nest and swarm the female, stinging her and buzzing around just being little annoyances? Because if that’s the case, you’re teaching your child about rape.
Did a bird run into a bee somewhere and think it was attractive? Did the male bird lay the mack down on this sexy little bee and talk her into some good old-fashioned boid lovin? Well if this is the story, you’re teaching your children about inter-racial sexual relations. Hell, actually, no, that would be inter-species. I liken this to beastiality.
I mean, I can see no logical or reasonable way to arrive at some nice euphemism-laden lesson that uses birds and bees as the metaphor. Seriously, I’m not maybe a genius. I might not even be the smartest guy on my block (professional wrestler and police officer neighbors withstanding)! But I don’t think I’m a dumb guy. But I’ve never gone and looked up the birds and the bees on Google or Wikipedia… I’ve just been determined to arrive at the answer on my own; and after all these years, I’m still empty-handed.
I look at it this way: if I were to live in a time where things such as the internet didn’t exist, and people still drove ’57 Chevys and got their mail from a dude with a bag, and I had to come up with a story to tell my younglings, what would I say? Let’s say that birds and bees popped into my head as a reference point. What would I say? How would I bring them together to teach my kids about secks? Well, my friends, I’m befuddled. I absolutely don’t know where I would go with that story.
I’ve thought about it now for the better part of fifteen years, and I’m still clueless as to how and who came up with this story, what the story actually is, and what it could mean. So until I know the real answer, which I still refuse to look up, I will just have to let my kids figure it out on their own. When they hit their mid-twenties. I steadfastly refuse to tell them about birds and bees, otters and elephants, skinks and parrots, or any other combination of animal variety making wonderful inter-species love with each other.