She asked me if I had taken the test. I told her yes, three times in fact.

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2015/08/20 13:53 +00:00, original URI:

The thing that reminded me about the whole conversation was a rerun of a first season episode of Bones The Woman at the Airport on TNT yesterday. So you know who to blame for today's entirely off topic and irrelevant blog post distraction...

Apropos of nothing, her question was "Michael, have you ever taken a purity test?"

The original MIT Baker House purity test? The 100 question one with the following header from 1983 to the 500 question one it morphed into?

Public domain; no copyright.  All rights wronged, all wrongs reversed.  Up with going down.  The risen flesh commands:  let there be love.  Murphy's law on sex:  Love is a matter of chemistry; sex is a matter of physics.  Chaste makes waste.  Virginity can be cured.

This document was not sponsored by the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and was not monitored by the Air Force Avionics Laboratory. The views and conclusions contained in this document should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Defense Advanced Projects Agency or the US Government.  Neither should it be interpreted nor inferred that the authors/contributors have actually performed any of the actions contained herein.

I told her yes, and explained that I took it three times.

"Why on earth would you take it two times after the first one? Are you crazy?"

Answering the second question first, I said YES, but for other reasons, not for this.

And answering the first part of the first question second, I explained that one the questions asked about whether I took the purity test again to try and get a lower score.

I was young and stupid and I had just read Naked Lunch and The Naked Lunch, and was kinda going through a Burroughs phase. A lot of sex and drugs questions looked a little like a TO DO list, and so....

Taking a moment to process the repercussions of a question perhaps more honest than she had been looking for, she hesitantly asked "And the third time?"

So, answering the second part of the first question third, I explained that I had to see whether or not I had lied on a prior version of the test.

I had been living at a building on Allen Place, just south of Trinity College. The ground floor was mostly drug pushers who were easy to roust, the second floor was mostly prostitutes, and the third and fourth floors were basically Trinity College students, and me.

This division of occupants allowed the police to raid the appropriate target demographic while the rest of us could get some sleep.

So everyone could be happy.

The question in question asked was:

• Have you ever engaged the services of a prostitute?

Because I had asked one of the women living on the second floor one afternoon if I could buy her a cup of coffee, and then started to ask her a few questions about her job and her life, not to do anything but just to have a conversation. I was curious and had some time....

While we were talking and sitting there, a police car driving by stopped and the officer asked me whether she was bothering me. I started acting offended and asked whether it was official policy to accost Trinity College students having coffee? He quickly backpedalled and emphasized NO before he left.

She stopped me and asked whether we were gonna just sit here and talk and I said YES!

She smiled.

So we had a nice human conversation and afterwards if her pimp tried to give her a hard time about not working she could honestly claim that she had been paid for her time.

I just wanted to verify whether the question on the purity test was an honest YES and I decided that it was.

Amy thought about me sitting outside the coffee shop that day all those years ago and decided that I was right.

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