Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Testicle Friends

When I was a kid, I attended a small private Christian school. (Maybe that's not the best sentence to open with considering this post's title, but hey....) It was so small that, in my first grade class of 9 students, there were no girls.

We were all very close at the time. Sure, there were a few dorks (Peter, Evan) in the group that we all picked on. And a couple of us (Danny, Joseph, me) mighta sorta been bullies and I might have once - maybe - hit a kid in the face with a flat dodgeball and made him cry. But we were always invited to each other's birthday parties, we had a clubhouse in Joseph's parents' toolshed, and we would slink around at church potlucks like a gang of little James Deans, dressed in our Sunday best. We were inseparable, but let's be honest - mostly it was because we didn't have a choice.

In 6th grade I moved to public middle school. Some of the kids moved to different states. We were pen-pals until the weather got warm or until we forgot to write anymore. We lost touch. I don't even know how I would search for their contact information anymore.

If I had grown up in Korea, this band of 9 little Christian brothers would be my "불알친구". That means, quite literally, "testicle friends".

These boys would be testicle friends in Korea
Testicle friends are Korean men who grew up in the same town, went to elementary or middle school together, and perhaps stripped naked at night to go skinny dipping in the river that ran through their village. They might just have a baby picture together in which their ball sacks are visible. Whatever the case, they were close enough friends that they, at one point or another, saw/touched/smelled/witnessed each other's male organs. And after such an event, I suppose, there's no turning your back...err...the back of your scrotum on 'em.

Today Mr. Shin, one of my co-teachers, told me quite matter-of-factly that his group of testicle friends still meets twice a year, in or near their hometown. He described the group as one based on the purity of childhood innocence, when there are no preconditions or ulterior motives for friendship. "It's a carefree environment," he told me. "Some of my friends are very rich, powerful people now. But I don't care about that." Well, since everyone has a different job now, what do you talk about? I asked him. "We just drink," he said. "A lot."

Hopefully testicle friends make your wife this happy.
Obviously, as the term so eloquently suggests, testicle friends are men.  So, you may eagerly interject, enough about all this ball talk. Tell us about the lovely Korean ladies and their league of labia friends! 

Unfortunately, even in this age of gender parity and sexual equality, Korean women (generally) do not share in this tradition. Women have too many responsibilities to have lives of their own. As Mr. Shin conscientiously put it, "Women should follow their husbands."

They are free to join their men in the reunion and become best friends with the other women who also happened to marry into her husband's group of gonads.

1 comment :

  1. It seams every time I read Jonny's blog, I get new insights into his deprived childhood. I look forward to the next chapter with trepidation and rapt anticipation. :-)


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