Thursday, April 21, 2005

Surprise, Surprise Surprise!!

Karl Landers had always been a bit of a character. In high school, Karl seemed to be fairly normal. (Or as "normal" me or anyone else who rolled with me) Karl owned several guns and a lot of my early knowledge of guns came from Karl. Karl was also a bit of a genius and had once modified his car to launch model rockets from under the hood.

I had no idea until our 20 year high school reunion that he was also a bit sexually confused. When I walked into the banquet room where the reunion was going to be held, I saw several people that I recognized. While visually checking the room for more familiar faces, I saw a woman with purplish, reddish hair. The “woman” was wearing a black leather skirt and knee-high black leather boots. I was wondering who she was and wondering weather or not she was a hotel worker, as I didn’t remember anyone in our class who dressed that way.

I approached the registration table where the “woman” was standing to sign in. The “woman’s” face lit up as I drew nearer and said “Brian!” I looked at “her” name tag which said Leslie Landers. In the months leading up to the reunion I had received several emails from the committee planning the reunion. Several of them were from Leslie Landers. At the time, when I saw the name I thought Karl must have talked his wife into helping with the committee.

I said to her, “you must be Karl’s wife” assuming he had showed her my picture from the yearbook. “She” said to me “You hadn’t heard? I used to be Karl”. I don’t remember my exact reaction, but I think I kept any surprised expression off of my face.

Prior to the reunion, I mentally prepared myself for the changes some people would make over 20 years. I assumed several classmates would have died, (Fortunately, only two) some would have been on their second or third marriage and others would have come out of the closet. Some one getting a “sex change” and especially Karl was more than a little surprising. This was the sort of thing that only happened in a sitcom episode, bad ones at that.

Later during the reunion, the one of the MC’s announced there was going to be a comedy routine. I hoped the routine would consist of Karl taking off his fake boobs and becoming a man again. Like I said, Karl was a character. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

I didn’t ask him at the reunion why he had the “sex change” but several days after the reunion I emailed him (The term “sex change” is a misnomer. Karl is not a woman. He’s a man with fake breasts and no pecker) and asked why. Karl said he’d had such feelings for several years. It’s too bad Karl couldn’t have received counseling or therapy instead of having a surgeon with a god complex mutilate him.

This was originally written for my English 301 class


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