True story. It was in the ice cream shop--more loss of innocence.
In the early 90s, the preferred style of shorts was, well, not very short. Therefore, to be contrary, the Park decreed that we must wear what could be described as hot pants, and I swear, they we partially made out of paper. My friend, Kerry, used to describe said uniform as "soul-crushing." She wasn't wrong. These things were short and uncomfortable. Uncomfortable to wear and uncomfortable to watch someone else wear, as we shall soon see.
I mentioned the Brit, right? The poor exchange student who was bamboozled into near slavery at an American water park? So the Brit had friends--other foreigners who'd visit Fitzgerald's on their breaks for free ice cream. Together the Brit and the other foreigners would lament being stuck in podunk America, and plot how they could illegally get some beer, which was perfectly within their rights at home. Seriously, these poor guys.
My favorite was the French guy. Let's call him "Antoine." Antoine would come by for ice cream and I'd practice my 9th grade French on him. "Je m'appelle Melissa. J'ai quatorze ans." He thought I was adorable. He'd visit often.
During one visit, Antoine was tired and decided to set a spell. He hopped up on the counter, which didn't matter because we never had customers, anyway. As he was plotting, "Ah got a ride to zee leeker store; zees weel be zee beegest party," he pulled up his legs and hugged his knees.
And there they were. Balls. French balls.
And where does one look when one is 14 and has never seen a set of grown-up, hairy balls--not to mention grown-up, hairy, foreign balls? Oh, it was terrible! I couldn't look and I couldn't NOT look. I was so uncomfortable and self-conscious and terribly afraid of ever sitting in the shorts again for fear of displaying my unmentionables! What to do?
I scooped him some ice cream.