Age Appropriate Reading

9 Mar

Z with puppy

The Auteur with a Friend

The creator of the immortal line “The bitches mortared the piss hole and it didn’t blow up! has, this evening, completed his reading of Chickenhawk, which, while still a wonderful introduction to a soldier’s experience of the Vietnam War, becomes even less age-appropriate during the closing twenty pages or so.

He is lying on his bed, looking small, cute and studious, vestiges of the ice cream from his pancake still on his face. “Mum,” he says. “What does ‘semen’ mean?”

Horrified, I run back through Mason and pals’ relatively coded adventures with painted ladies but can recall nothing so explicit. “It’s another word for sperm,” I say.

“Oh,” says Z. “He’s got the clap.”

“What?!” I say.

Z says, factually, as if talking to an uncomprehending child, “This guy in the clinic has got the clap.”

So, as with any other vexed question of vocabulary, I say, “Give me the context.”

He enunciates in his best (medium) reading voice, “The white fluid resembling semen which dripped from the end…”

“Ah yes,” I say. “He has indeed.”

We are off to Laos at the crack of dawn. Time, methinks, for a nice safe topic such as Buddhism, geology or the Mekong.

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2 Responses to “Age Appropriate Reading”

  1. Caroline March 9, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    I remember my dad removing a Tom Sharpe book from my hands after I asked him what ‘orgy’ meant when I was not much older than Z. As he took it, I yelled ‘No, no! I know it can mean group sex but that isn’t what is being referred to here, I just wondered if it had another meaning?’ Must check that out sometime…

    Fred, on the other hand, won’t watch, read or hear of anything that has a hint of kissy, lovey or sexy stuff. He would absolutely kill, however, to hang out with a puppy like that. Too cute!


  1. Dodgeblogium » CoTV in the middle of the British GE (hence its late) - May 7, 2010

    […] presents Age Appropriate Reading « Travels with a Nine Year Old posted at Travels with a Nine Year Old, saying, “In which my nine year old son learns more […]

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