At Times I Wonder

by Norman Horowitz

Growing up in the thirties, my family lived in an apartment building in the Kingsbridge Road section in the Bronx.

Playing baseball in the streets was not possible for a variety of reasons, so we played a street game that I loved: “stickball.” There were a variety of forms to the game, but you always needed a ball called a “Spaldeen” and a stick, usually borrowed from my mother’s carpet sweeper. This all worked out well…except that the police would sneak up on our game and confiscate our sticks. We would post lookouts to guard against police intervention, and when a cop was spotted, the warning cry was: “Chickey, the cops!”

I always wondered about this, and still think about it today: Why did the cops do this?

In light of the Petraeus “scandal,” I have to ask the same question about “the morality police” who judge what sexual behavior is acceptable.

And now a small joke to make a point. [Stop reading if you’re offended by foul language.]

Those who have died throughout the world the previous day are lined up outside the pearly gates to be interviewed by St. Peter, who will determine if they will be assigned to Heaven or Hell.

As the teeming throng waits, a roar passes through the line. The people are joyous!

Someone asks what has happened and one man replies, “Thank God, thank God, fucking doesn’t count.”

Just exactly who makes these rules concerning sex?

I admit, men who are sexually aroused have a tendency to do the stupidest things. However, in my experience, sexual transgressions have nothing at all to do with the effectiveness of a person’s work.

In my opinion, we suffer from a collective societal craziness that accepts going to war for questionable reasons in Iraq, killing and wounding so many, yet questions the appropriateness of a grown man having consensual sex with a woman not his wife while married to someone else.

We appear to have forgiven Clinton, bring back and forgive Petraeus!

Quote of the Day: Garry Wills

[The] “natural law” was fallen back on [by Catholic bishops], saying that the natural purpose of sex is procreation, and any use of it for other purposes is “unnatural.” But a primary natural purpose does not of necessity exclude ancillary advantages. The purpose of eating is to sustain life, but that does not make all eating that is not necessary to subsistence “unnatural.” One can eat, beyond the bare minimum to exist, to express fellowship, as one can have sex, beyond the begetting of a child with each act, to express love.

— Garry Wills (New York Review of Books)