I am riding with my grandfather and we’re coming back from visiting one of his old crony friends that lived a couple of a miles south of him. I am 10 years old and proudly riding shotgun in his ’63 Coupe De Ville. We’re on a gravel back country road hurling along at 50 or 60 miles an hour when all of a sudden he hits the brakes and we come fishtailing to a stop. He points out two horses in a pasture and in the distance I can see that one is mounting the other.

My grandpa in his kindest grandfatherly voice asked, ‘Do you know what they’re doing?

Of course I did, I grew up in the country and had all sorts of roughneck friends with older brothers and sisters but I hesitated, not daring to say the F word.

My grandpa took that hesitation for ignorance so he went on in that same kindly grandfatherly voice, ‘They’re mating.’ He sat there smugly proud that he had just used the proper word at the proper time.

I continued to sit there quietly while I thought that through. Mating? I’d never heard that word before. I knew ‘Dating’ but that wasn’t anything like the dating that I knew anything about.

My grandpa took my silence as evidence that I was the stupidest boy in the world. He pounded one enormous hand on the steering wheel and loudly exclaimed, ‘They’re f****’in boy, they’re f****’in!

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