Table of Contents
ALSO BY ALAN LAWRENCE SITOMER
The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez
Hip-Hop High School
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONSâ¢A division of Penguin Young Readers Group.
Published by The Penguin Group.
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Copyright Â© 2011 by Alan Lawrence Sitomer.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Sitomer, Alan Lawrence.
The downside of being up / Alan Lawrence Sitomer.
Summary: All Bobby Connor wants is to survive middle school, but puberty is making that
difficult for him as his body conspires against him.
[1. PenisâFiction. 2. Middle schoolsâFiction. 3. SchoolsâFiction. 4. Interpersonal
relationsâFiction. 5. Family lifeâFiction. 6. Humorous stories.] I. Title.
ISBN : 978-1-101-53565-3
For guys everywhere who get it.
And girls everywhere that don't.
Look, I'm just a kid. I'm not a dork, a jock, a brain, a freak or a perv. I like cheeseburgers with ketchup, video games and movies. No, I'm not the most popular student in school, yes, I am toilet trained, and okay, once in a while I pick my nose. Also, I like baseball.
But I have absolutely no control over what goes on in my pants. I get eighteen boners a day.
I get them when I'm emptying the dishwasher. I get them when I'm putting on socks. I get them when I'm in the cereal section of the supermarket. Why would cereal straighten my weinerschnitzel? Really, I have no idea. It just pops up out of nowhere. And when I say pop I mean
It's like having a steel pole rise in my pants.
Not a very big pole, though. I've measured. Right now it's four and five-eighths inches long. Let's just say I've already prayed to the penis gods and offered 'em a trade. I told them I'd swap my left pinkie toe for an extra two and one-eighths inches of manhood. That would bring me close to seven. Pretty fair exchange, right? Sure, I may limp for the rest of my life, but at least I'd be packing a bit of thunder. I mean right now I don't even have a rain cloud in my jeans. On the naked self-esteem scale I score a negative ninety-three.
Holy cow, I don't even know why I'm talking about all this. Actually, I do. It's because no one ever discusses this stuff. It's like some sort of sweep-it-under-the-rug topic that no one ever talks about even though all guys go through it. I mean, the closest anyone ever comes to even mentioning it is in sex education class, except in there all they do is show pictures of limp penises (or penii, whatever you call them) and they're always attached to an inner gland or something.
Is there anything on the planet less attractive than a side-view medical diagram of a soft beef kabob? Really, just shoot me right now.
Basically, I get stiffies all the time for absolutely no reason and they are ruining my life.
Seriously, I want them to stop.
But they don't, or won't, so I'm forced to hide them. Oversized shirts that I wear untucked. Baggy pants with enough room inside the crotch for a microwave oven. Dictionaries I keep on my lap as if I am eager to look up fourteen-letter vocabulary words just for the “exuberating experience of exponentially enhancing my grandiloquent education.”
Yeah, right. The only thing a big ol'
is good for to a kid like me is hiding my ding-dong when it stands at full attention. Fact is, my wang has completely flipped its wong and though I'm not sure when it happened, successfully hiding my boners has become the greatest battle of my life.
Yet, one time I failed. I blew it. I got busted with a sky-high pork pipe. That's what forced me into “correctional erectional analysis.” Yep, therapy. A shrink. Writing about it is supposed to help. At least that's what my therapist says. My second therapist, that is. My first therapist, well, let's just say that my correctional erectional analysis seems to have sent her zooming into some sort of psychotic midlife crisis of her own . . . but her meltdown's another story.
Really, this is my last chance. I just hope that scribbling down the hard truth about my out-of-control bologna pony is going to allow me to get a grip on life and move on.
It's cruel. It's torturous. It's Bonerville Middle School, a place where all red-blooded boys eventually have to go.
And it ain't no fun. It ain't no fun at all.
Especially when ya, you know, kinda like a girl.
There's only one person in the entire world I know who would bring a cockroach to math class and think it's cool.
I hate Alfred Finkelstein. I hate his pimply skin. I hate his snorting laugh. I hate the fact that his parents took him to the cheapest orthodontist in the city for braces and allowed his mouth to be filled with enough metal to build a warship. If someone holds up a giant magnet, Alfred Finkelstein's face is going to get sucked across the room like a piece of lint being slurped up by a Godzilla-size vacuum cleaner.
Worst of all, though, is that Alfred Finkelstein is one of those kids who needs to add a dash of sexy flavor to his orthodontic madness. Now sure, lots of kids these days get color choices, but regular kids choose red or blue or pink. Finkelstein's cheapo orthodontist only offers second- and third-level choices, like “vomit green” or “diarrhea brown” or “urine yellow.” This week Finkelstein is wearing the color “dog-poop upchuck” on his teeth. I swear I can't tell where the food he ate for breakfast that got stuck in his metal grill begins and the dental design Dr. Dento Demento has provided him with ends. When Finkelstein smiles, I want to gag.
“Hey, Bobby,” Finkelstein said, holding his new best friend in his hand. “Check it out. I put a booger on the back of this cockroach and he's carrying it around like a backpack.”
I turned and saw a chunky green boulder sitting on the back of a one-inch brown roach. Immediately, I wanted to yak.
“Wanna see him do the booger boogie? I trained this sucka to dance.”
“Get away from me, Finkelstein. And don't touch me, you freak!”
Finkelstein snorted a laughâ“he-hurrggh, he-hurrggh”âand then affectionately petted the back of his cockroach like it was some kind of fluffy kitten. It scares me to think that one day Finkelstein is going to become an adult with a job, a car and his own place to live. There should be a law in the United States that ships putzes like Finkelstein off to a farm to drink the milk of cloned goats or something, to see if there will be adverse effects on the rest of civilization. At least that would put his existence to some sort of productive use because right now, Alfred Finkelstein is an outright waste of human flesh.
“Okay, class. Turn to the next page on fractions and decimals,” came the no-nonsense voice of our math teacher from the front of the room.
“Get down . . . Boogie-oogie-oogie. Get down . . . ,” Finkelstein sang from his desk behind me, still playing with his cockroach.
“Shut up, Finkelstein. You're gonna get me in trouble like yesterday.”
“Takes two to talk in class, Bobby.”
“That's why I'm sayin' shut up, Finkelstein.” Jeez, was he mentally incapacitated? Sometimes it felt like the city of Bonnerville had an idiot factory and all their reject samples ended up as kids on our campus, with Finkelstein being their number one moronic product.
I looked at the front board and tried to see what riveting thing we'd be doing today.
Oh, look, numerators and denominators. What joy.
My math class was taught by the oldest, dustiest, most crustiest teacher ever, Mrs. Mank. I think she taught my mom, my mom's mom, and even the mom of my mom's mom. During her first year as a teacher, schools didn't use chalkboards; they used abacuses. Mrs. Mank was old like protoplasm.
“Jenny Stoops, please go to the board and solve equation number one.”
I turned the page in my textbook and
Uh-oh . . .
No. Please, no,
I thought. There was absolutely no reason for it.
I tried to make it go away. I thought about baseball. I thought about canary birds. I thought about earwax and the armpits of old people and toe cheese.
No luck. It was Boner Time!
“Please, go away,” I said. However, my south-of-the-border sausage salami had a mind all its own. Seems that Mrs. Mank's mathematical conversion from fractions to decimals had set it off. And I was wearing thin, white Nike track pants, too, the worst possible boner-hiding outfit ever.
Why did I even buy these things? I mean, looking cool for school is one thing, but sporting uncontrollable wood is completely something else.
I gazed down at the tent I was pitching in my pants. Really, sometimes my brain freezes like when you drink a slushie too fast.
I slowly moved my math book off of my desk and onto my lap, then checked around to make sure no one was looking.
Coast was clear.
But this rod was a mean one. How come a guy's downtown equipment didn't come with an off button or something? Like was that a design oversight? It just doesn't make any sense that these things appear out of nowhere all the time for no good reason whatsoever. Someone needs to invent a pill or something.