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Close Encounters with Science: Picks

By Jesse Dressler

Most of our moments in life are forgotten forever. Some memories you wish you could forget. I had probably wished to forget it in my younger years, but when it came back to me it was a memory of innocent times.

Now in Grade One almost everything was new. I was away from mom and I was a little used to it from Kindergarten. However, there were some big differences: we went to school every week day like the older kids, and we shared the "washrooms" with the older kids. I think I called it a bathroom until years later. Our teachers wouldn't let us "go" unless we called it "washroom". I was a shy child so I just waited until the school bell rang to go.

And in the "Big Washroom" was the new piece of technology that was a little intimidating to me. The urinal was quit a different machine from the toilet that I was used to using. It was designed for the man-on-the-go: no doors with locks, it had a "mint" in there to aim at. This was "big boy" stuff and at first glance when I seen a big boy use it, I was quite intimidated. The line-up at the two urinals was also somewhat intimidating, I was not familiar with the older boys and was, to be honest, a little scared of their nonchalance as they casually went up there and did their thing while others were in line behind them.

Now I must tell you that when I went to the "washroom" I would always take the toilet because of its familiarity and its door that safely locked behind me so I had some privacy. This was my routine for awhile until the time came when that option was not available.

For years I had gotten away with using the toilet. I was in grade four, and once again our grade was the youngest in the Parkside division. I was quite familiar with the urinals, that is walking by them to go into the comfortable and familiar stall. Well finally there came a time when the stalls were full and I had to go real bad (remember that I did not ask during class because of my shyness).

"All right well this isn't too bad" I told myself. The urinals were vacant and I had to use them for the first time, easy stuff. I dropped my pants down to my ankles, the way I always have done it before, and stepped up to the urinal. As I was in "full flow" a bunch of boys came in to use the urinal. One went to the other urinal and the others got in line. I noticed he didn't pull his pants down to his ankles. I noticed some snickering. As I uncomfortably finished, bare-assed and humiliated, taking the verbal jeers and heckling, I learned two valuable lessons. Bad news travels fast and don't wait three years to try something new.

Jesse Dressler lives in Langenburg, SK. 

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