Horatio's Brother

On my way to sign my contract a few weeks ago, I stopped at the bank. There, I ran into Andrew, who had escorted a couple of British exchange students to sort out some financial matters. I shared my good news of employment with the three of them; they probed me with questions to get more information. The half dozen other people sitting in the little waiting area were also listening pretty intently, probably intrigued that someone who looks fourteen could actually be a teacher of fourteen-year-olds.

Anyway, I left them to take care of business (that's banking business, not business business), but on my way out, I went to say goodbye, and heard the two exchange students repeatedly saying "fellatio," which becomes that much more intriguing of a word when said with a British accent.

"Kevin," Andrew looked to me for help. "What is the American colloquialism for fellatio?" I glanced at all the people still sitting in the waiting area, which included children and senior citizens. Though I was prepared to offer up "giving head" or "blowjob," (and by that I mean the words, not the acts), there was no way I could do that in front of mixed company, particularly mixed company that just heard the name of the high school for which I would be working. "I'm not touching that!" I said, backing toward the door. "Please!" Andrew pleaded. As much as I'd have loved to discuss oral sex with exchange students, I'm a teacher. There are certain rules of conduct.

Recounting this story to four friends all sprawled out on my beautiful bed, we all started saying "fellatio" in our best British accents, in the same manner I still find myself mimicking, "When are you ever going to need to say Plexiglas?" with a German accent. Hearing us from the next room, Kline comes in and starts imitating as well. After getting a few in, she stops to ask, "Fellatio? Is that Horatio's brother?" Everyone laughs until Kline admits that that was a legitimate guess and that she really doesn't know what fellatio means. Of course, I figure she must be kidding, so I continue to laugh, going so far to actually point at her while I laugh. As I soon discover, however, Kline really doesn't know the word fellatio, so I step in and offer up some synonyms, like giving head and blowjob.

After all, as an educator, it is my job to promote vocabulary development. Still, there are certain circumstances where it is more appropriate than others to teach about oral sex. Like lying in bed, for instance.

No comments: