Formative Years

First Draft Disclaimer: Most of this is a rough first draft. I haven’t paid much attention to crafting each sentence, spelling, grammar, etc – I’m just getting the ideas down, the polish will happen in a phase between this, and publication. Take it all with a grain of salt.


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I’m going to sound like an old man for a minute here – Kids these days. They don’t know how easy they’ve got it. We had to work hard for our porn when I was a kid. 

Despite my parents best efforts to raise me as a sweet, innocent Mormon boy, I was always wildly curious about the things of the world. Sex, drugs, rock and roll. Look no further than the bathroom in my parent’s house for the answers. 

My parents never moved. I had the rare fortune of growing up in the same house my whole life. Our house was built in the 1890’s by great great grandfather. The house has remained in the family ever since. When my parents got married, the house had been previously habituated by “Uncle Henry”, who had let it run into great disrepair prior to his death. My Grandpa and Dad cleaned and fixed the house up in preparation for my parents to be married and begin life together there.  

“Your grandpa Jensen picked out the wallpaper without consulting me”, my mom says of the wallpaper adorning the bathroom wall right next to the bathtub. “I think he thought it was funny because he knew it would bug me”, she says, rolling her eyes.  

That was in 1975. To this day, the wallpaper still hangs above the bathtub I grew up using, and explains a lot of things about my early childhood development and who I am today:

To this day, it amazes me that my mom never had that replaced. If she does, I want to recover this amazing artifact and install it in my bathroom.

Encyclopedias: 

Another old man story for you: When I was a kid, if we wanted to learn something, we had to look it up in a book. Back in the day, volumes of books were produced that contained the bulk of human knowledge. They were called “Encyclopedias”. (Yes kids, this is where the term “Wikipedia” derives from). There was typically one book for every letter of the alphabet, with topics being arranged in them alphabetically.  For instance, if you wanted to learn about the origin of apples, you would retrieve the “A” Encyclopedia and would find several pages of text and illustrations somewhere about 2/3 of the way into the book. If you wanted to learn about vaginas, that was found near the beginning of the “V” volume, and contained disappointingly vague line drawings and very boring text.  Even as a kid, I was disappointed to find that the encyclopedia was not written in the style of Penthouse Forums… “I never thought this would happen to me, but one day after work….”

The JC Penny / Sears catalog was better. I quickly learned that approximately half way through the massive book, one could find the lingerie section. It was always a thrill to see a new catalog arrive and to discover whether or not this edition’s lingerie models were any prettier or revealing than the last issue. Ladies – go ask any man over 30 to tell you about his adventures with the Sears catalog. He might lie with his words, but his blushing will tell the truth.  

Creased pages and catalogs that automatically opened to the lingerie section because of frequent use – the original browser history. 

One man’s trash is another boy’s treasure: 

I never knew how they were discovered, but somehow one of my friends would discover a dumpster behind a certain business that would, on a fairly regular basis, contain a discarded Playboy or Penthouse.  I could never understand why any sane person would throw such a treasure away. Nevertheless, I was grateful for the wastefulness and resourcefulness of all involved in procuring said porn.  

It was a crisp fall night. My best friend and I had just finished playing in the pep band at our high school football game. We were walking home. It was about 10:30 pm, and the neighborhood was very dark. We walked past a canal. Somehow, despite the darkness, my peripheral vision caught something laying in the bottom of the 3 foot deep water. Something that needed rescuing. 

Something heroic switched on inside me. Without even a microsecond of contemplation, I executed on that which must be done: I jumped into the water, reached to the bottom of the waterway, carefully pulled it up from it’s watery grave, and gave it a chance at life:

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