I was perusing the news online recently and came across the above picture; it was the lead-in to a story on how to tell if chicken had become too old to prepare safely. When I read the tag-line, I thought to myself, I don’t know, the son-of-a-bitch looks dead to me, but then maybe I’m missing something.

I didn’t read the article.

The ancient philosopher Testiclees was known to often tell the following story as an illustration of his assertion that sex is at best a messy business, but despite the mess, it is still better than having an expired chicken, considering burial costs, writing an obituary, dealing with grief-stricken roosters, what stuffing is best to use on the deceased, etc.

It seems that there was a shy young shepherd living in a small town up in the hills, not far from where Testiclees had his home. The young man was diligent in his work, neat in his habits, respectful of his elders and, to his great dismay, still a virgin. (Sounds like the story of my life.)

His fellow shepherds and his friends all encouraged him to avail himself of some nubile young ewe from his flock, at the very least, until such time as he was able to meet and bed a person of the human female persuasion, but he resisted this, thinking that, well gee, sheep had feelings too, and he was loathe to give offense, even to an even-toed ungulate. (Hey, that’s what WikiPedia says they are, what do I know?)

One night, sitting in a lively tavern in the capital city where he had traveled with his friends for the express purpose of rampant tomfoolery, after many tankards of ale and much cajoling from his drunken buddies (back in those days people often cajoled), he was convinced to take the ram by the horns and visit the local house of ill repute, which was just down the street from the tavern. Embarrassed but determined, he eventually left the tavern and walked down the street, accompanied by his posse, who were falling all over themselves with laughter and an excess of spirits. After a short walk they came to the “house” where he resolutely knocked on the door. It was opened by an older woman, much made-up and dressed in a shimmering gown, who invited him in.

After bidding his buddies goodbye, he hesitantly entered; the madam took his hand, sat the young man down in the parlor and proceeded to explain that, given the sophistication of the capital city, hers was a “high-class” establishment, and that she prided herself on giving her customers many options to satisfy their carnal desires. She went on to say that each of her girls had a certain “specialty”, and that he was free to choose which specialty he liked best. There was one young lady who did the missionary position only, another that provided release by using only her mouth, still another that went “around the world” (that one cost extra), yet another who allowed entry via the “back-door”, one that would hang from the chandelier and yodel and finally one whose specialty was the “69” position.

Bewildered by all the strange descriptions but still determined to forge ahead, he stammered out that he had heard from his friends about that last one, and thought that would be acceptable. The madam named a price, which he paid in the coin of the realm, then led him back to a room in the rear of the house. Opening the door, she introduced the young man to a lovely long-haired and very naked young women, who said her name was Hermione. The madam left them, and at the direction of his date and with much embarrassment on his part, he got undressed and laid on his back on the bed. To his surprise, the young woman straddled him, facing away, laid down and proceeded to get down to business. With some further directions from the girl, he began to get the hang of the activity and things proceeded along.

After a while however, having consumed a large supper of beans, cabbage and beer earlier, the young woman was given to gas. In deference to her partner, she held it in for some time, but finally nature willed out, and she let go, right in the boy’s face. When she heard no protest from him, she shrugged and got back to work.

Except that it happened again, just a few minutes later. Again, hearing no comment, Hermione stopped what she was doing, turned her head slightly and said to the young man, are you all right back there?

To which he replied in a muffled voice, yes ma’am, this is very, very pleasant, but I’m not sure I can stand 67 more.

I continue to receive letters, emails, texts, telegrams and secret decoder-ring messages from many of my loyal readers (all couple of you), asking for advice on their love lives, dating, relationships, etc. I thought I would share a few of the more pathetic, err, sorry, interesting of these with the rest of you.

“Dear Cap’n John:

                I’m a hetero male, nearly 20 and employed in the animal husbandry field, specifically, I’m a tender of sheep, of the even-toed ungulate type, unlike the kind who follow our President. I’m also still, well, how can I put this delicately, possessed of my virginity, and I’m hoping you can help me with some advice about how to find and get in the pants of, ah, excuse me, find a nice girl with a mathematical background. I’m very inexperienced but willing to try anything, as long as beer and cabbage aren’t involved. Do ewe have any ideas where I can find the girl of my dreams? I’m counting…on you, Cap’n John.

                Baa Baa Black Sheep.”

Dear Sheep:

                Sorry, not really, but in the meantime, I would advise that you ignore Leviticus 18:23. I also understand that L.L. Bean is having a sale on fleece-lined knickers.

“Dear CJK:

                I’m an unmarried young woman in her early 20s, living in New Jersey and looking for love, though apparently in all the wrong places. I’ve tried the bar scene, on-line dating clubs, barn-raisings and even tried dating a guy that my friend fixed me up with; he was a shepherd, and not the German kind, although he did seem to like his animals. That went nowhere. How can a nice girl from Jersey find a mature man who wants to settle down, raise a flock of kids and then maybe someday go around the world with me? Can you help me, Cap’n?

                One Position Patty”

Dear Patty:

                As long as I’m in a Biblical mood, I believe you’ll find the answer to your problem in Fallopians, chapter 69, verse 67. Or was that Excretions, 20:16? Tell you what, check them both out.

Dear Cap’n John Krissongs:

                You’re my last resort, Cap’n…there’s just nowhere else to turn. I’m a divorced woman in my late 40s and a turret lathe operator at a local machine shop and pizza parlor. I’ve been searching all my life for the right guy; I thought I had my man back when I married my ex-husband, but he was a sheep farmer and after several years of marriage, he ran off with a German shepherd. (She was from a little town near Wiesbaden.) Now I’m alone and would sure like to have a decent guy to keep my feet warm at night. Sure, I could try fleece-lined slippers, but that’s a sorry substitute for the real thing. Any ideas there, Cap’n John?

                Lonely Lil From Libertyville”

Dear Lil:

                Did you know that Oregon State University’s mascot is a beaver? Could be worse I suppose…the nickname/mascot for the University of California Irvine teams is the Anteaters.

“John Cap’n Krissongs:

                After repeated attempts to collect this debt, you leave us no other option but…”

Okay, never mind that one.

“Dear CJK:

                I’ve never written to a media god like yourself for advice about my love life before; I hope you can help me with your awesome intelligence and insight. (Oh, gag me with a shepherd’s crook.) I’m a single gal rapidly approaching 30 and still by myself; other than a few short relationships with men who only wanted to be with me for my money (I inherited $56 bajillion and a large ranch from my parents, who were wealthy cattle raisers), I’ve never even come close to walking down the aisle with someone. How can I find a man who is honest, decent-looking, has all his own teeth and doesn’t care about my money? Or is there such a person? Am I destined to lead a life of punching dogies and branding steers all by myself? Help me to lasso the man of my dreams, Cap’n John.

                Back At The Ranch Betty”

Dear Betty:

                Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Well, that’s all the time I have today for advice for the lovelorn, or any other type for that matter. Did you guys know that llamas are really just tall sheep? Yeah, honest, I wouldn’t make something like that up. (Yeah I would.)

Love and wooly mittens,

Cap’n John