Friday, July 19, 2013


My son pushed a laptop computer screen with a Facebook picture of a college guy biting a girl’s thigh in front of my face. I squinted.  Not only was it a picture of a young man biting a young women’s thigh, I knew the biter boy.

“Is that guy biting that girl’s thigh?” he asked, and then added. “Hey, don’t you know that guy?”

My son began to scroll down to other pictures of the young man in question biting other questionable girl bits and mugging for the camera.  See me bite thighs he seemed to be trying to communicate.

“Yeah, I know him,” I sighed.

“Didn’t you write that guy a letter of . . .”

I cut him off.

“Yes, yes, I wrote him a letter of recommendation for the college of his choice. Apparently, so he could go to that institution of higher learning and study up on preferable methods of biting girl’s meaty leg parts.”


I agreed. “Do people on social networking sites know that we can see them?”

My son looked at me with a puzzled frown.

I closed my eyes while visions of thigh biting danced in my head. “You know; I think it’s like my theory of why people pick their noses in their cars. Glass feels solid, even if it is see-through, so people feel safe and private when they dig around in their nostrils. I always want to yell, ‘We can see you digging for gold!!’ But no one ever hears me.  Apparently, glass is also sound proof.”

The thigh biting Facebook montage just highlighted, for me, why writing letters of recommendation can be so problematic, because the world has become a leg biting, obscene gesture flipping, booby flashing extravaganza, while I still tend to blush when I fill out those forms in the gynecologist’s waiting room.

The blush is off the world’s rose, that’s for sure.

So I have decided that in all future letters of recommendation that I am asked to write I will include the following disclaimer:

What I know of this candidate, student, or potential employee does not include personal knowledge of: thigh, boob, or booty biting photo’s winging their way across the world wide web; strange or twisted philosophies concerning Marxists mass murderers and their views on day care, first names, or the proper running of a gulag; lying to Israeli boarder officials; or superficial tattoos displayed prominently on bits that can be chewed on by boys whose friends are sober enough to hold the camera steady.

I’m not kidding about the blushing part. My gynecologist once looked at my face and neck, his glasses slipping to the end of his nose, and then he poked my heated cheek with his finger.

“What’s that,” he asked, “on your face?”

 I knew immediately, but I refused to admit to my old-fashioned red-faced shame.

“Are you blushing?” He examined my fevered cheeks with squinty eyes. “That’s amazing,” he continued. “Nobody blushes anymore.”  He poked me again. “Look at that.” He acted like he’d just discovered an extinct species of pigeon nesting on my head.

Sighing, I shrugged and pulled my exam gown closer to my throat, covering my embarrassed shame with what amounted to a paper towel. I looked at his various diplomas and acknowledgements and wondered who wrote my gynecologist his letters of recommendation.

I’ve got nothing against public confessions of guilt to save the taxpayer the expense of a trial, stocks in the town square where you get to throw old veggies at the town bully, or admitting to your most embarrassing self deprecating moments on social networking sites for their humorous uplifting quality.

But don’t you dare cry when you, biter boy, finally and at long last realize that WE CAN SEE YOU and, boy of boy, do you look stupid silly biting on a thigh the approximate size and shape of a pork shoulder ham and not in a good way.

Linda (Once Bitten, Twice Shy) Zern

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