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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sitting on the Couch: 1976

Randy Dupree was my sister’s friend’s oldest brother, and his family lived just on the other side of the creek that ran in our backyard.

Randy was well built and good looking, particularly by trailer-park standards, smooth, with his tight Wranglers and his torso-hugging tee-shirts. He wore black leather boots, hung a black leather biker jacket across his rippling, 18-year-old shoulders. Randy sometimes kept his sunglasses on the top of his head, an unbelievably cool look in the eyes of this seventh-grade glasses-wearer.

Randy was the epitome of the tawdry end of high school sexuality.

Gail-Lynn does her best to keep the damage to a minimum.

“Now what do you need it for now?”

Sitting next to Karen and Cindy, I watch from the couch as Randy wheedles the car keys from his mother.

“The Club. Goin’ up to The Club.” He holds out his right hand, palm up, jiggles it up-and-down, up-and-down in a mute gesture of joking but impatient demand.

They have one car, Gail-Lynn and her three children. Gail-Lynn eyes him shrewdly, and I turn my attention away from Gilligan’s Island and toward the Saturday night ritual of Randy and the car keys.

“I got new wiper blades,” she says. “You’ll put them on before noon on Saturday.”

Randy grins. The hand stops jiggling. “Yes.”

“We’ve got a quarter tank now. It’ll be a half-tank when I wake up in the morning.” I had heard that Randy’s mom had been from somewhere south. Her “morning” sounds like “mawn-ing”.

Randy’s still grinning. “Yes.”

She turns to the chair by the door, fishes her keys out of her purse, drops them in to Randy’s outstretched hand. He’ll do what he says he will, or he won’t get to use it again. He made that mistake once and went without it for four straight Saturdays. That won’t happen again.

Keys in-hand, Randy moves swiftly toward the front door. The night awaits.

“Randy!” Gail-Lynn yells from the kitchen, where she is pouring her own ritual of Saturday night: a Crown and Coke.

His hand on the door knob, he turns back to face his mom.

“No pecker tracks in my backseat. That’s some good upholstery,” she yells. “You gonna have sex in my back seat, you lay a towel down.”

Grinning, Randy exits, stage-right.

42 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

It's good to know the rules right up front.

The Angry Lurker said...

I love the towel advice....

SparkleFarkle said...

*recovers from Gail-Lynn's closing quote* Man, I just did a spit-take! (<--sort of but no cigar-ish. Perhaps think "tribute [a-hem] to Randy"? LOL! )

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Sounds like the type I'd have lost my heart to years ago.

Joshua said...

Except for the Crown & Coke, Gail-Lynn sounds a bit like my mom.

Hilary said...

Snorting at "pecker tracks."

Leenie said...

I like a mom who tells it like it is. The rest of my comments I think--I'll just--forget.

CarrieBoo said...

I looked in my 'animal tracks of Ontario' book, and I can't see anything about "pecker tracks"... I guess we don't get those 'round these here parts. ;) (Damn.)

Susan in the Boonies said...

AAAaaaaaaaaaaaacccccccckkk!!!!!!!

I missed that session in Parenting Your Male Child.


Oh, dear Lord.

Camille said...

Ahhh yes...(stares off into space) he was the boy we pined over but was never quite in our orbit. The type that riffled your hair and treated you like a kid sister. *le sigh* Of course, in this instance, that's not a bad thing as the Randy's of the world also usually managed to get someone knocked-up by their Senior year in high school.

Hope Fla is fab...bring us home a seashell...or funny story...or sumpin.

JeannetteLS said...

I wonder how many pecker tracks his mom witnessed in the back seat of someone else's car, many years gone by?

Other comments have said or implied anything else I might be thinking!

Mandy_Fish said...

HAHAHAHA!

You literally just made my jaw drop. Awesome.

terlee said...

Nothing like snorting a mouthful of coffee through your nose first thing in the morning (mawn-ing).

Pecker tracks...ah jeez. A really funny post.

Lisa Golden said...

This is so well told!

I knew that guy. I knew his mom. Now I'm raising that guy and I AM that mom. Dang it.

Vicus Scurra said...

Pls to advise about front seat activity?

Kara said...

I'm speechless. Truly. I'm afraid anything I write may incriminate me...

jenny_o said...

OH. MY.

No "safe sex" talks then, eh?

To be fair, it was still the era of the double standard.

*eyebrows starting to return to normal*

jenny_o said...

And might I add, your seventh-grade self was getting quite the education while you sat there looking on!

Cedar View Paint Horses said...

Whoa. That took a turn I didn't expect. I don't think my mother ever used the pecker word in her life.

Symdaddy said...

My first car had a soggy rear seat for weeks on end.

It was hell in there on warm days!

Tom G. said...

and THAT is why 3M invented Scotchguard

Joe Pereira said...

haha, pecker tracks! My mum used to tell me to make sure I didn't get anyone pregnant. Sound advice considering how long ago that was. Great post Pearl

Wanderoke said...

It was a whole different world back then, wasn't it?

And to think, in most ways, it was a more innocent time.

Amber Star said...

You know, Pearl...I thought Gayle-Lynn sounded a lot like Wolowitz's mom. Hmm..

Georgie Horn said...

omg. I fell off the chair laughing! Great one!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Omigawd! In 7th grade I wouldn't even have figured out what she was talking about. It was the '50s. Nobody talked about anything.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Pecker tracks. That's a new one on me, though I understand the concept. :)

Gigi said...

Hmmmmm, just trying to figure out a way to throw THAT into a conversation with my son.....

Hilarious.

Carol said...

Sex in the backseat, that's why she wouldn't let me borrow the car. If she only knew.....

Jeanie said...

I love Gail-Lynn.....and I'm sure there was a time I would have loved Randy.

Eva Gallant said...

Pecker tracks! lol

Eva Gallant said...

Pecker tracks! lol

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Hmmm, I sure hope that car wasn't a VW bug. I never used that line on our sons when they were teenagers, but I did occasionally remind them to do their thinking with the right head.

The Elephant's Child said...

Recognising the young man, but not unfortunately his mother. These days I would prefer her to the boy.

River said...

Now there's a mum who knows boys and what they get up to. I just always reminded my boys to not get the girl pregnant.
I idolised a Randy or two from afar in my early high school years.

Pat said...

Now how can I bring pecker tracks into the conversation?

Linda O'Connell said...

I wonder if his mama was experienced with pecker tracks. You are a hoot.

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! I hated guys like Randy. I was always too damned tall to mess around in the back seat of cars. Or indeed, sit in 'em. Indigo x

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Brilliant Advice, unless you've got leather seats, of course.

Hutch said...

"Pecker tracks". Ah, yes, that is a beloved old Southern expression (read white trash here) that I haven't heard - or used - in a while. May need to figure out how to bring it back into the conversation. Could be worth a trip to the used car lot - "Are those pecker tracks I see in there? You oughta knock another thousand off - those things are hell to get out." I think those said by a gettin close to 60 year old mama should make someone's day for a while.

the walking man said...

Yeah a towel..as long as there is not a lot of them, he was going to the club after all.

Debby said...

I remember having the talk with my son after pulling his wallet out of his jeans pocket before washing them. I saw the embossed circle, and nearly died.

I flopped down on his bed, and I hated his father for not being there to have this talk because it was HIS responsibility, dammit.

Then I took a deep breath, and got over it. I mentally rehearsed what I was going to say, marched out to the garage, and spoke to the 16 year old legs sticking out from beneath his truck.

I cleared my throat, and began. "Dylan," I said, "before you begin having sex, I want you to think long and hard..." There was a snort, and those legs began to shake. I thought, "What?" and then realized. After that, I always rehearsed my lectures out loud before trying them on a kid.

BTW, he still refers to this as the single most humiliating moment of his life.