The German education system is not concerned with character-building or instilling moral fibre. Instead the aim is to load you with qualifications which will earn you respect and promotion in the marketplace.
Dear Brothers of the frozen wastes,
That’s taken from the Xenophobe’s Guide to the Germans, my Amazon gift to you of some Birthdays Past and quite possibly the thinnest coffee-table book in the world.
I was reminded of it the other day talking to your little red-haired niece.
(ring-ring-ring, opens door) Hi Sweetie! How was school?
Hi Daddy! Look what we got to keep at school today. (flops wrinkly yellow condom onto kitchen table) Wanna try it on?
Uhh…no. (trying to think quickly and failing miserably) Actually, as you probably learned, once you roll it out like that you can’t put it on any more, because it will never fit right and so it won’t work properly.
I know that! We learned lots about these things today.
Like what? (bracing myself)
Well, they make your fingers smell! (shoves fingers under my nose)
Ewwww. I know, I hate that smell. But what did you learn about them? What good are they for, anyway?
Well, if you have sex with someone, you can catch a bad disease if you don’t use one.
Yeah, that can happen. What else?
The lady can have a baby.
You’re right about that, too. You know, you’re lucky you’re growing up in Germany. When I was a kid, they didn’t talk to us about this stuff in achool at all until we were about 12. And even then, they had the boys and girls go into separate rooms. They showed us guys a film called, “Boy to Man.” The girls got to see “Girl to Woman.”
Well, it wasn’t boring really, just kind of weird. Why couldn’t people be open and honest about things like they are here? You could tell the teacher was uncomfortable talking to us about it. So was your Grandpa when he came to tell me what we used to call “the birds and the bees.” He just gave me a couple of books, said I should read them, and if I had any questions, I could always ask. And then he sort of walked away like he didn’t want me to ask, ever. I remember one book was called, “What Teenagers Want to Know.”
(pause for a while, wrinkly condom still lying on the table)
So guess what’s the only think I’ve ever stolen from a store in my whole life.
Daddy!! You STOLE something from a store? How come?
Cuz I was too embarrassed to buy it.
I don’t know.
You’re looking at it.
A condom? Why did you steal a condom?
Well, actually, it was a little package of three. They would have cost me all of about 95 cents, but in the little town I grew up in, everyone knew everybody else. The man behind the counter in the drug store knew me, knew my parents, knew my girlfriend, knew my girlfriend’s parents, everyone. We knew we were going to want to use them, I just didn’t know where to get them and I was too embarrassed to ask a friend or one of your uncles to buy them for me. I was just a 16-year-old kid, you know.
God, that sounds old.
Yeah, we thought we were too.
© 2007 lettershometoyou