The following story, to the very best of my knowledge, is entirely true, based on information which has been made public over the past couple of months in hearings in the US Senate. The names have been changed, however, to protect the ignorant.
Somewhere between their fourth and fifth beers Ted turns to Bill and says, “Dude, face it: you’ve got a serious problem here. Yeah, you’re really good at writing my history essays for me. Yeah, you can hit hard and take hard hits on the football field. And yeah, you can almost keep up when it comes to drinking. But when it comes to girls you are a total dork.”
Bill is clearly hurt by his friend’s critique. He begins to slur out an answer: “Look, I get along fine with all the girls at St. Joe’s. They all hug me when I come in. They enjoy my company. They laugh at my jokes and they like having me around. I don’t want to f— that up by trying to get into their pants.”
Ted takes another swig and sympathetically goes on, “OK, but face it. Like when Roxy had her kissing booth thing going at the party last week. Everyone goes in for a hug and a kiss, and I admit, I slipped her a fair amount of tongue, I reached a bit low from her back in pulling her close, and she could definitely feel my hard-on. But like, she was totally into it, playing along and grinding right back against me. Then Moose had his turn and you could tell by the look in his eyes that it was all he could do not to come in his pants right there!”
Beer sprayed from Bill’s mouth, and nearly from his nose as he burst out laughing at the idea of the defensive lineman struggling to avoid orgasm. They roared together for a few minutes before Ted went on: “But when it’s your turn you go up and put your hands on her shoulders and kiss her about like I would kiss my grandmother. I mean, come on! What the f—‘s up with that?”
Bill went silent, chugged down the rest of the beer in his can, opened another and sat contemplating. “I don’t know,” he finally said, “It’s not as though I’m worried about offending her or any shit like that. I’ve heard her joke about ‘you can’t rape the willing’ and all. But like, if I tried to score with Roxy and she lets me just because it turns out she’s easy like that, I could never be friends with her again! And if I tried to go for it and she pushed me away it would be even worse! The same goes for all of the girls I hang out with.”
“Yeah, I understand, it’s tough being a clueless virgin. I remember when I was 13…” Ted said with mock sympathy.
“F—you!” Bill came back with a laugh.
They sat in silence for a while before Ted finally went on, “OK, so we’ve got to find a way of getting you laid. I’ve got an idea.”
“Look, hookers are out of the question!” Bill shot back.
“Yeah, I get that,” Ted said, “it just has to be someone other than the girls you hang around with. Young pussy is really the best, but you’ve got to hurry because after you turn 18 it’s off limits!” They exchanged wry smiles before he went on. “So here’s the idea: there’s some folks getting together at Jill’s house tonight. I’ll make some phone calls and see if we can get a girl or two from the club to come over. We’ll loosen one of them up with a few beers and then you can try out your moves to see how far you can get. If she shoots you down, no harm, no foul. You’ll probably never see her again, and she won’t be spreading rumors of what a clumsy dork you are. But if she lets you in, score!”
“Dude, I don’t know,” Bill whined, but they could both tell he was hoping such a thing really could happen.
Cindy was laying in the sun poolside after her regular laps. Her one-piece suit was dry already and some dry strands of her fine blonde hair were starting to pop free from the damp mass that she had pulled back in an unbound ponytail. At 15 her slim body was just starting to take on the sort of womanly curves that she wished to be admired for. The club had lots of good looking guys from rich families hanging around and while she wasn’t exactly hunting for a boyfriend, she certainly didn’t mind having them check her out and smile.
She was basically killing time at this point. Her parents were out for the evening and so she only had microwave food and cable TV to get home to. She had come by bus and she was also sort of hoping to bum a ride home from someone, but most of the other girls she usually swam laps with either didn’t show up today or they had done their workout earlier and left already. As she lay there on her back, with her eyes closed, thinking about what to do next she felt a shadow fall over her. She looked up to see Freddie, the pool boy, standing over her smiling. She smiled back and said, “Hi Freddie. Closing time already?”
“Hi Cindy. You’re looking lovely today,” Freddie began. “Getting close to closing time, but actually I just got a call from Ted Jones. Remember him?”
Cindy nodded, and gave a somewhat contemplative smile. Ted was one of the rich boys at the club who hit on her on occasion. He seemed like a mostly harmless stoner by nature, but she understood that he went to this private Catholic boys’ school, that apparently tried to keep him in line a bit, but ended up just increasing the pressure of his wildness by trying to restrain it; sort of like holding your thumb over the end of a garden hose. She sometimes wondered if all the rich Catholic boys at his school were like that.
Freddie went on, “Well apparently Ted is at this house party a couple miles from here, and he says that a bunch of the people who were supposed to come have bombed out, and so now they have too few people and too much beer. So he was wondering if I could find anyone here to join them. In his words, ‘the cuter, the better.’ He actually mentioned you as one to try to invite. What do you think?”
Cindy considered the idea for a moment. “Anyone else I know there?”
“I think Leah and Bob might be there, but mostly kids Ted knows from the Catholic schools. Anyway, just passing the message as requested, but if you’re interested I could give you a lift over there, and if it looks too stupid for you to be interested then I can bring you straight home from there.”
Another pause before Cindy said, “Yeah, why not? I’ll go have a look.”
“Cool,” said Freddie. “I do have to lock up now, but how about we meet at my car in about 15 minutes? You know, the green Subaru.”
“Sure, fine.” Cindy grabbed her towel and things and headed for the locker room. She spent some time brushing and blow-drying her hair before realizing that Freddie was probably waiting for her already. She quickly pulled her top and jeans on over her swimsuit, tossed her other things in a bag and rushed out to the parking lot.
The house was a non-descript upper middle-class suburban colonial — a cookie cutter design for particularly upwardly mobile cookies. Leah and Bob were indeed there, together with a little less than a dozen more vaguely familiar kids. Leah gave Cindy a big hug and handed her a beer as she arrived. Cindy took a sip and nodded to Freddie that this would be OK with her. He smiled and waved goodbye, and was on his way.
Maybe 10 minutes later Ted (literally) stumbled in from somewhere, with this other tall, handsome but even more drunk friend in tow. “Cindy!” Ted exclaimed. He rushed forward and grabbed her into a bear hug, rocking from right foot to left as he gave a satisfied, “Mmmmmm!” Cindy had to laugh.
Ted then broke the hug and turned to his comrade in inebriation: “Cindy, I want you to meet my dear friend Bill. Bill, this is Cindy from the country club.” He gave Bill a subtle wink before turning back to Cindy to say, “When he’s sober, Bill is the smartest and most Catholic guy at Georgetown!” Bill and Cindy smiled and shook hands. In a weak romantic gesture Bill pulled Cindy’s hand up and kissed her knuckles. That deepened Cindy’s smile and made her blush a bit.
Ted patted Bill on the back and excused himself to use the toilet. When he came back he found the two in the sort of innocent conversation he had sort expected. Bill was slurring a bit, but he seemingly had intelligent things to say still about Fleetwood Mac, Wizards basketball and movies starring members of the original cast of SNL. Time for a bit of coaching. Ted grabbed Bill by the arm and said to Cindy, “Excuse me. I need to borrow him for just a minute.” He then steered Bill out onto the back porch. They looked in through the sliding glass door as Cindy joined a group of kids dancing to some Michael Jackson tune.
“So what do you think?” Ted asked.
“She’s definitely cute, and she seems like she’s pretty smart too,” Bill answered.
“Yeah, I’m sure she’s gonna win a Nobel Prize in something someday, but that’s not the point. Does she get you hard?”
“Do you have to be so crude about it?” Bill asked a bit defensively.
With the demeanor of a stern teacher Ted looked him in the eye and said, “If we’re ever going to get you laid, in a word, f— yeah!” That was two words, but Bill decided not to point it out. He said nothing, just looked at his de facto coach in depravity expectantly for his next round of instructions. Eventually they came: “It looks like if I set you up alone with her in a room here you’d just sit there and talk about music and shit with her until it’s time to go home. So, awkward as it might be, for this project to go anywhere I’m going to have to come along. I’m doing this all for your own good though, so try and stay with me and follow my hints.”
Cindy smiled as they came back in and walked up to her on the dance floor. Ted smiled, put his hand on her shoulder and said in her ear to be heard over the music, “Cin, there’s something Bill and I need to ask you about. Can you come upstairs for a moment, where it’s quiet enough to hear each other?” Cindy was a little apprehensive, but she smiled and nodded. The three of them went up the stairs together. There was one couple making out half way up the stairs that they needed to push past, but it didn’t break the couple’s concentration. They stepped into an empty bedroom across from the bathroom and Ted closed the door.
Bill was clearly nervous as he polished off yet another beer which he had in his hand. Cindy was not sure how scared she should be at this point. Then Ted spoke: “So Cindy here’s the thing: you’ve seen me at the country club with Mary and Sue and Anne and some of the other girls I’ve dated, so you know that I do pretty well for myself in those regards; but poor Bill here has never actually had a girlfriend. And it’s not as though he’s gay or anything. He’s really interested in girls; he just doesn’t know how to make a girl interested in him. So first, as a girl, do you see anything obviously wrong with him that would explain his problem?”
Bill was blushing a bit, and had a confused air of not being sure whether to laugh or tell Ted to f—himself or both. Cindy answered honestly: “No, he’s actually a nice looking guy, and when he’s sober I’m sure he’s quite charming to talk with.”
“Well, to be honest with you I had to get him drunk to get him over his shyness,” Ted went on. “But maybe you could help me help him with that. Would you mind if he were to kiss you?”
Cindy looked at Bill somewhat apprehensively. Should she take a chance with such? He was obviously painfully shy and probably at least as innocent as she was. Maybe a quick kiss, with Ted sort of chaperoning them, and then back to the party downstairs, would be safe enough, and the best strategy overall. “Oh OK,” she said.
Bill walked up to her and put his left hand around her waist to pull her closer. She could smell both the extreme nervousness and drunkenness on his breath. At first his lips barely touched hers. Then as he built up his courage he began sucking on her upper lip slightly. Ted began laughing hysterically behind them. “Oh come on! I know you can do better than that!” he bellowed. Then suddenly Ted pushed Bill hard toward her and she fell backwards onto the bed with Bill on top of her. In that position Bill suddenly started going wild. He reached his right hand between them and grabbed her tender breast as he mashed his mouth against hers much more aggressively. Now she was seriously scared. She felt his erection grinding against her and she began to flail about trying to get free, but he was far bigger than her and she wasn’t nearly strong enough to push him off. When he finally came up for air she tried to scream, but before the alarm could properly be sounded his left hand was pushed up against her nostrils and covering her mouth. It was hard for her to breathe.
Ted’s laughter was all the while intensifying from the chair where he sat by the far wall. Bill joined into the laughter as he sat up on top of her, continuing to hold her mouth as he fiddled with the buttons of her top. After struggling with them for a while he managed to get enough of them open to see the nylon of her swimsuit. “Oh shit! This isn’t working,” he groaned before changing tactics and moving his free hand down to try to open her jeans. She was then sure he intended to rape her. Her mind was in complete panic mode.
“You f—ing klutz!” she heard Ted say as he rose from the chair and approached the bed. Were they both going to rape her? Yet before she realized what was happening though Ted made a leaping football blocking move to knock Bill off of her. Again the two boys began laughing hysterically as Cindy rolled off the bed onto the floor and raced for the door.
With their victim gone Bill turns to Ted and through tears of laughter says, “Look, I know you meant well, but you really are a total asshole!” This only brought them both into another fit of laughter, after which Bill went on, “The important thing is that you damn well better remember that none of this shit ever really happened!”
Somehow in a traumatized daze Cindy made it home that evening. Somehow she made it through the following school year, and the rest of high school. She continued to struggle with the trauma of that afternoon through her first years of university studies, but eventually she went on to get a degree in psychology and to establish herself as a respected intellectual in that field, all the while holding these deep traumatic scars inside. After her university years she moved to the other side of the country to escape the memories of being pinned under Bill that evening, but it wasn’t far enough.
Ted went on to write commercially successful novels about the depravity of his high school years. Then after his drinking and chemical recreation nearly killed him, he went on to have a religious conversion experience in which he entirely cleaned up his life, but not without some scars of his own from his previous lifestyle.
Bill continued to struggle with the stigma of his awkward virginity well into his university years, and he continued to make drunken, clumsy and at times outright abusive sexual approaches to women even after he finally managed to gain some sexual experience. For a while he became somewhat of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in this regard, until he found a new outlet for his social insecurities and aggressions: politics. He became an aggressive prosecuting lawyer and then a legal advisor to promote the power interests of his peers within the more elite wing of a major political party. In this role his vicious aggression and intellectual pride were able to come together to help him build one of the nation’s most successful careers at the intersection of legal practice and politics. His boyhood interests in truth and integrity became casualties of this process, but if you have enough power and prestige who needs truth and integrity?
Though he never saw her again in person, Cindy’s ghost returned to haunt Bill many times over the years, however. At one point her exposure of his youthful aggressions nearly cost him a major career advancement. This brought him right to the brink of a complete nervous breakdown. His powerful friends have continuously done what they can to protect him from this darkness though, particularly since he has proven so adept at returning that sort of favor in terms of the exercise of power. The final ending of his story remains to be written.
So now, a generation later, what do you think should be done about this situation? Prosecuting “Bill” for sexual assault seems rather impractical and perhaps even unjust at this point, even if his powerful friends would allow it to happen. Ideally something resembling a “truth and reconciliation commission” would be healthiest for all involved, but that could also end up destroying “Bill’s” career. Then again, if “Bill’s” career is significantly based on finding ways to destroy political enemies by dishonest means, would it be such a great loss to the world for it to come to an ignoble end?
The main thing is to honestly ask, how does that sort of “training” influence the sort of person one turns out to be, and what does it say about a society that such matters do not seriously bother people?
The real problem is not the end result of this political battle; the problem is that there are so many people that find the sort of character that develops by such a path morally acceptable.