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Noone

November 10, 2009

I was never a big fan of sex ed class. The subject matter strongly implied that I was a physical entity. That problematic concept led directly to the even more traumatic implication that potentially just a handful of years later I was going to be engaged in a whole lot of disgustingness, and then, a little further down the road, my body would be delivered into the evil clutches of childbirth and -rearing, which was totally going to smother the life out of every last one of my dreams and ambitions, plus there would be some guy living in my house, taking up the majority of the space on the bed, expecting attention and maid service and who knew what else. It was really going to suck the bag. As the teacher put up overhead transparencies of breasts and penises, I sat at my desk in sullen silence, glaring at the entire universe and mentally telling off the future: Boys are going to be doing what to me? I don’t fucking think so.

One day we had to complete a fun activity worksheet the entire back side of which comprised a thought-provoking combination word-search and maze. I was going to write “maze cum word-search” but how appropriate would that have been? Not very appropriate. Just a cheap, vulgar pun. And since I’ve mentioned it I’m going to get five people finding this post by searching “sex back side cum.” Now that’s what I have to look forward to today. Fantastic. At one end of the labyrinth, the end you started at, was a drawing of an individual whom the instructions informed you was a sexual predator. This guy was the business. He was hunched over, he was wearing a loosely tied trench coat and a black mask over his eyes, and the expression on his face was patently precoital. He was rubbing his hands together in anticipatory delight. He may even have been salivating; I don’t remember. I don’t know why I remember any of the rest of this as well as I do. We’re nowhere close to understanding how the brain works. The object of the game was to manoeuvre (Canadian spelling) yourself away from the pedophile and end up at the house at the bottom of the maze that was helpfully labelled “HOME.” Along the way you had to collect letters that would, when you had acquired the whole set, spell out an important message about sexual molestation.

I was game. I love word puzzles.

So off I went on my quest. The difficulty level was about a one out of ten. Whoever came up with the activity wanted to make really sure that none of the 11-year-olds fucked it up, because the whole class had to have a discussion about the important message afterward. The letters you had to collect were already in the right order; you just had to add spaces. Which was where I dropped the ball. I soon found myself confronted by a sentence that read:

NOONE HAS THE RIGHT TO MAKE YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE.

I’m looking at this creepy molester Noone and I’m having an ethical crisis. I can see that he has the ability to make me feel uncomfortable, but does that give him the right? Who came up with this exercise? Didn’t they have a basic understanding of English vocabulary and/or the Canadian justice system? What was the cause-effect relationship in this story? Was it that Noone was born with the right to make me feel uncomfortable and was somehow aware of that from an early age and therefore over the years put energy into cultivating raunchiness to a point where now he looked line a porn star cum small-time burglar and was waiting to chase me home with that look in his eyes? Or was it that Noone just happened to look that way through no fault of his own and only wore that kind of outfit because it was his personal style but over the years he was mistaken for a pedophile so many times that his self-esteem eroded away and he eventually decided he might as well become one since that was what everyone thought he was anyway?

Either way, it didn’t make any sense, and practically speaking, the ethical question wasn’t relevant: irregardless of his back story, he was a pervert, and he found me attractive. I was flustered. How many other Noones were there in the world? Was he the only dude out there with the right to feel me up if I didn’t run home fast enough, or were there others? I was extremely unathletic. It wasn’t fair for this seedy codpiece to pick on me just because I was cerebral. Where did Noone live? Probably not in Canada, right? I mean, even if he was born in Canada, he probably moved to the States as soon as he became well-known… So maybe I just had to stay out of America. There was no way to know for sure. What kind of surname was “Noone,” anyway? I’d never seen it before. Maybe it was an alias? A child predator would probably want to use an alias… This was a terrible assignment. Why was I the only one freaking out?

All the beflusterment probably lasted less than a minute before I realized that there should be a space between the two Os and spent a long time beating the emotional crap out of myself for making such a stupid mistake, but it had a big impact. Noone had hunkered down in my brain, where he remains to this day. From time to time I wonder what he’s up to. Still terrorizing 11-year-olds? Or maybe he found a good therapist and is putting his surplus sexual energy into woodworking projects and born-again Christianity…

Happy Hump Day Eve!

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