Written by Mike Morris
I’ll never forget the time Coach Russell had a sit down P.E. class with a film and discussion on Human Anatomy and Reproduction. I think we were in the 9th grade by then, and all of us were very excited and looked forward to seeing the old 16mm film projector begin the film with it’s familiar rattle and smell. We were all anxiously leaning forward in our desks, intensely focused on what we may soon be observing! Oh boy…maybe we were finally going to get the chance to see real pictures of the mysteries of the taboo female anatomy! Something all of us knew absolutely nothing about, but talked a good game, “behind the barn”, on what we thought we knew. Well…the film began. It was then that we disappointingly discovered that there were just DRAWINGS in the film! Damn! What a letdown…we didn’t learn a thing….and we were so disappointed because we hadn’t seen “The REAL THING”. Hell, we could see this much in those little “Betty Boop” nasty comic books they had back then! However, Coach next did a small segment on human reproduction and how that took place (our minds really wandered here), but then he brought up a taboo word that almost NONE of us had even heard of at that age…the “M” word!!! We knew it by other words, but I won’t go there. All of us suddenly got really quiet. Now I know Coach Russell must have done this session with other classes many times prior to ours, and this next part of his lesson was probably a high point for him. He began his discussion by saying that anyone could vividly tell if they had ever “M”-ed before! What! He had everyone’s attention now! No one moved…not even blinked! It got really quiet! All eyes front! He then said…and this was really profound….”It causes hair to begin growing in the palms of your hands.” No one moved…for a little bit…then….very, very slowly, heads straight forward, eyes began to lower, mouths began to curve downward, and one hand on each guy began to slowly open, palm up to inspect them for that mysterious hair that they just KNEW was beginning to appear there! Then, each guy, realizing what was happening around them, closed their hand and shot their eyes straight forward, as I’m sure, in that moment, Coach was doing all he could to stifle a laugh. Had to be entertaining from his point of view. After class, walking out into the bright West Texas sunlight, you could glimpse around at a few of the guys doing a closer palm exam, then looking around to see if anyone saw them. And Coach didn’t even say anything about what the girls did! Bummer!