Victor moved on to the next knight in the circle, the dragon knight. “My name is Sir Verdun,” said the knight. “I heard that when you go through puberty… you get a, um… you get a permanent… you know.” He made a kind of flexing gesture with his arm.
“A permanent erection?” asked Victor. A few of the knights laughed. The dragon knight nodded. All the knights turned to Victor. “No,” he said, with a reassuring shake of his head. “No, you won’t get a permanent erection. Although… I suppose that’s not far off the mark. It’s more like… random. You’ll just get one for no reason, and you’ll get them often.”
“What can you do about it?” asked the boar knight.
“There’s not much you can do,” said Victor. “But don’t worry—most people aren’t on the lookout for erections. You’ll probably be the only one conscious of it. And you adapt, find ways to hide it—like holding a school book in front of your pants, or bending down and tying your shoelace for two minutes.”
“Is it like that forever?” asked the dragon knight.
“No, thank God,” said Victor. “Once you get through those teenage years, it’s smoother sailing, more predictable.”
“I have a question,” said the eagle knight, jumping the queue from two seats to Victor’s right. “When do you stop growing?”
“It’s different for each person,” said Victor. “But I reckon by about age seventeen or eighteen you’ll probably be as tall as you’re going to get.”
“Oh, okay,” said the eagle knight.
Two knights raised their hands. “Hold on,” said Victor. “Everyone will get a chance to ask their questions, but I’ll come back over to this side of the circle first, and we’ll keep going around. Now, who was next? The knight in the lion armour, who almost killed me before—Sir Allan, isn’t it?”
The lion knight nodded.
“Go ahead, Sir Allan.”
“Okay, well, I was wondering… how long does a penis have to be for it to be considered big?”
The circle became dead silent. Every visor faced Victor. “You know, guys,” he said, “believe it or not, penis size is not going to play a huge role in your life. It just doesn’t matter much, unless, I don’t know… you’re a penis model or something.”
The circle erupted in laughter, and cries of, “Gross!”
The bear knight stood up and wiggled his hips about, shouting, “Check it out! I’m a penis model!”
Laughter roared again; the leopard knight fell off his chair. Even Victor laughed. After a minute the hysteria subsided and the knights brought their giggles under control. Visors turned once again to Victor. “Look, guys,” he said. “In the years I’ve spent going to gyms and karate dojos, I must have seen at least three hundred naked men in the change rooms. And I can tell you—apart from a few exceptions, bigger and smaller—penises are pretty much all the same. It looks like we were fitted with a standard size on the production line.”
There were nods and shrugs; the knights seemed satisfied with Victor’s answer.
From there, the questions continued: questions about sex, chest hair, female anatomy, sex, going bald, how to know if a girl likes you, sex, alcohol, sagging testicles, and sex. There were lively group discussions, passionate debates and moments of serious reflection, while Victor’s honest answers elicited nods, gasps of astonishment, and plenty of laughs. After a solid hour of questions and answers, the conversation dwindled. Victor looked around the circle. “Are there any more questions?” he asked.
The knights looked at each other; there were a few shrugs and shaking heads. “I think that’s all we’ve got,” said the dragon knight.
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