The other day, a colleague approached me for advice on a “ahem – delicate” matter. He spent at least ten minutes behaving in a threatening manner towards a small shrub, before coming to the point. An unfortunate choice of words, perhaps, because it turns out that his eldest son is frequently bedevilled by nocturnal emissions+ and he’s been instructed by his wife to “sort it out”. A sticky situation, indeed.
I proposed that the obvious solution would be to buy his son a magazine with interesting articles and let him address the situation with a, shall we say, hands-on approach. Judging from the look of horror that contorted his features when I made the suggestion, it seems that he and my old man belong to the same school of thought on the subject of first-person-shooter games for boys.
When I was a lad, my father took me aside one afternoon to tell me about the birds and the bees++. Unfortunately, The Talk swiftly devolved into an extended rant on The Evils of Masturbation. According to him, it was crime so disgusting and heinous, it was roughly equivalent to smearing yourself with human excrement and going on a kitten-killing rampage. I will be forever grateful to my dear ol’ dad for turning what had previously been an innocent pleasure into a guilty one.
Now that takes some beating.
+ – or as Hamlet would have it, “wet dreams may come”
++ “Fascinating, Dad. Nature is wonderful, isn’t it? Now when are we gonna talk about fucking?”