EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX* (*BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK) (1972) is a Woody Allen film featuring anthropomorphic sexual anatomy.

The fair unwound – we took our last spin on the tilt-o-whirl, final shriek in the Prison of Death; memorized the Tent of Freaks, wasted our last hot coins in the midway. Our throats ached from breathing smoke, manure, stale urine, sweat, diesel fumes.

Storm clouds gathered as we exited the back way for our shortcut through the woods. There was a final display we hadn’t noticed, a man working from the back of his crummy pickup, swinging his long legs from the tailgate grinning and flashing booklets at us. “Hey,” he called. “Young lady and gentleman. I have everything you need to know, right here.”

We stopped. I held Molly’s sweaty hand. I was twelve and Molly ten, so we should have run, fast, but there was something about his crooked smile and teeth. The clouds swirled into the darkness already in his eyes. My insides rolled with a dangerous thrill similar to the tilt-o-whirl.

“Step up,” he said, his fat tongue split and grainy like the two-headed lizard from the tent. “It’s all here. Plain talk, too, no phony scientific wordage. Just cocks and pussies and assholes, as intended by nature. Only man has tried to make it evil. Take a look.”

I thought maybe it would be about roosters and kitties and people Pop didn’t like, but no, it was that other stuff I’d heard about, stuff I’d get a class on this coming year in school with the scientific words. There was a man with a giant wiener that was angry and dark and bent. He was putting it between the legs of a sleepy young woman with fine hair down there. She was making a tilt-o-whirl face. The man had a sly expression like the man showing us the pictures. I threw the book, grabbed Molly’s hand to go, but she yanked away and snatched the book from the grass. We ran for our trail through the forest, the man laughing behind us. We paused at the edge of the trees to look back, but he was already gone.

We stopped at the mossy boulder and scanned the booklet with my penlight. It was all there, just like the man said. Men with women, men with men, women with women. Every body part in use. Fluids spilled over into the stories written about them.

“I’m never doing that,” Molly said, shivering.

“I like the words though,” I said, relieved.

“So do I, cocksucker,” she giggled.

There was not enough light for shadows but they surrounded us anyway, rising from the ground, wolves and other more evil fates. We memorized images and words and hid the book beneath a stone, where the smell of fertile dampness made me dizzy. Then we ran the rest of the way home.

Because our parents were dead, we lived in the cottage with our grandparents.

Pop was chopping wood in the yard. “Fair’s fucked,” I told him, and he nearly split his own foot with the ax. He leaned on the handle for support, looking suddenly much older.

“What did you say?”

“Don’t worry. We know all about it now. You don’t have to hide the words anymore.”

“Pussy’s out of the bag,” said Molly.

He made us tell about the man and what he looked like. We kept one secret, though. We told him we threw the book away. His bushy eyebrows mashed together like two caterpillars fucking. Fucking. Mom-Mom listened from the porch.

I never saw Pop move so fast. He jumped into the old Ford, ax in hand, the rear wheels ripping the lawn a new asshole when he landed. The black clouds descended as his taillights weaved towards the main road. I had the strange feeling he’d never be back.

Mom-Mom swooned into the glider, hand on her chest.

Molly cried softly, doubling over, the thick new blood running down her leg.