TBTS (Throwback Thursday Stories): The 40 Penises of Freshman Year

Today we are throwing it back in a few different ways to a few different places.

Throwback Thursday Stories is a segment I used to do on my blog which, as the name suggests, included a “throwback” story that I posted on Thursdays. (We like to keep it literal over here.)

On top of that, the story I’m posting today was one of the very first I ever had published. The website, In the Powder Room—which unfortunately is no longer active ☹—was actually responsible for both of my first ever publications (the other was about the first time I did a juice cleanse which you can read here) and the friendly editors that helped me prepare my post were the first people to ever make me feel like a real writer.

And on top of that, I figured since school has started back up for a lot of people, why not re-share one of the most—uh, unexpected first days I ever had?

It’s a win win win as far as I’m concerned.

(Except for past Kim, she’s still a little shaken up.)

There I was on the first day of my second semester art class. While completely ashamed of my lack of artistic ability, I was just as determined to improve as I was the previous semester. I walked into room 68 and found a spot near the front just as my teacher clapped her hands together to get our attention.

“We’re going to dive right in this morning. No use wasting any of this precious time. Let’s just keep it loose and have fun today.”

I nodded, smiled, and quickly began to search my bag for my pencil box, silently pondering what we’d be drawing.

As I propped up my drawing pad, a man took the stage my teacher had vacated and I saw him nod to the class before I flipped open the front cover to reveal my first blank page.

Now, the actual fall time of the front cover behind my seat was probably around a second or two, if that, but due to its likeness to a curtain on Broadway, the descent seemed to last a lifetime.

Beginning with its peak height—which completely blocked my view of the stage—the cover fell slowly, carefully revealing what I was sketching inch by inch. First I saw the man’s head. His eyes were gazing away from me, towards the door in the back left corner of the room. Then I saw his chest, now bare, and his arms laden with goosebumps. Then I saw his…WAIT, WHAT?! The cover hit the back of the chair and I sat, stunned and still amongst my classmates, unaware of what to do. I started again with his head, sure I’d had some kind of pornographic stroke. I again moved down his chest and arms until I again found his…


I looked around, desperate to find someone in the same amount of shock. And while I saw a few of my classmates wincing as they sketched, making a conscious effort to keep their eyes up, no one seemed to completely object to our subject.

“If you are uncomfortable, or feel it will use too much of your time, please feel free to draw fig leaves in the place of genitalia. And if the time comes that you do feel comfortable, challenge yourself to complete full body sketches.”

I’m a modest person. I knew the day would never come when I’d find myself adding drop shadows to a stranger’s anaconda, so after class I assigned myself five hours hard research on the anatomy of a fig leaf.

Much to my surprise however, intricate knowledge of this greenery would do me no favors as the parade of peckers continued throughout the semester. I failed to take into account the variety of sizes and shapes that would take the stage, and I neglected to consider the impact the model’s pose would have on the angle at which gravity would…umm…pull.

Not to mention, despite my thorough research, there were times my fig leaves failed to appear, well, leaf-ish. For example, one afternoon I sketched a man that appeared to be squatting on a burning bush, and later that week, I drew a gentleman whose crotch had seemingly sprouted a snowflake.

To make up for the blunders down under, I decided to start drawing the models’ facial features.  I reasoned that if I was forcing my teacher to grade a drawing of a man giving birth to a pineapple, the least I could do was give her a face to sympathize with.

This however, did not go well.

Turns out, if you are as tremendously terrible as I am, a butt chin can look a lot like what is hidden behind a fig leaf, and facial hair can look a lot like what keeps it warm in the winter.

As the semester drew on, it was clear that I was never going improve; however, I did grow more comfortable with being told to stare at a man I’d never met as he pointed both up and down at the same time. I even went back and forth on the idea of taking that next step with my colored pencils, and attempting a schlong sketch. What did I have to lose?

Ultimately however, I talked myself out of it. I concluded that any attempt I made would not only be pitiful, but also insulting. Picture a kid trying to explain a drawing of their family to their teacher in preschool. Now picture me explaining why I’ve added a pre-explosion Hindenburg blimp between the legs of Bob from Torrance to my college professor.

On the upside, I did eventually perfect that fig leaf.

TBTS (Throwback Thursday Stories): Flu Season

In honor of the impending flu season, today I bring you an unpublished blog I wrote a couple years ago when I had fallen victim to its clutches. I had spent days on the couch and was going a little insane and wanted to make myself laugh.

I hope you can all escape the snot and chills that come a threatenin’ this time of year, but if you do find yourself swaddled in a blanket for multiple days at a time, stay strong!


I have the flu and I’ve been sitting in my dad’s recliner since Monday afternoon.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m someone that doesn’t like to go to the doctor and will try to avoid it at all costs. Some might say it’s because I hate the doctor, others might say it’s because I have severe commitment issues and will only go unless I completely trust them, which is rare.

A few years back, I found a good one. She was funny, smart, and talked about kayaking when she gave me my first pap. It was true love. Then she left me. Something about “wanting to start a family.” I call it selfishness, and I’m still not over it. COME BACK TO ME, ALICIA.

Wednesday evening, after I had successfully spent two straight days in the aforementioned recliner, I decided that I might as well go to the doctor. A 102 fever, a nasty cough, waterfalls of snot, and a splitting headache. I was the picture of glamour and sex appeal.

My mom and I strolled into Urgent Care at precisely 8:45 pm. It closed at 9, so we were met with more than a few annoyed glances but a helping hand nonetheless. I walked up to the counter, signed in, and turned to find the closest seat. I was exhausted. I had after all, just walked 100 feet from the car.

“Miss Koehn, will you be able to provide us with some samples for this test. It’s an annual test and it appears as though it’s been 2 years since you last completed it.”

I couldn’t breathe, I looked like shit, and a raindrop of snot was working its way through my nose and onto my face; could there be a better time to test me for Chlamydia?

“I guess.”

I was then escorted to a room where a nurse asked me to list my symptoms.

“Persistent fever, wheezing, a cough, and sinus congestion.”

I said this, realizing that 1) both my ears had popped, a phenomenon I had not experienced for 72 straight hours and, 2) I hadn’t coughed or wheezed since I’d been there.

She took my temperature.


Well, damnit.

“Listen lady, I. AM. SICK. I promise you. I’m not being dramatic, I’m not faking it to get out of work, and contrary to what your coworker might think, I didn’t drive all the way down here just to get tested for an STD.” I told her all of this with my mind of course. Speaking would involve a lot of breathing, and that was exhausting.

Luckily, a doctor still came. He looked me in the eye and shook my hand, my germ ridden hand, skin to skin. (Respect, man.) He reviewed my vitals and listened to me breathe deeply in and out, roughly 1000 times.

Since my fever had reached 102, he ordered a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia. A nurse escorted me through three doors and led me down a hallway to Radiology. There I found a man sitting behind a desk watching Survivor, his waiting room completely empty. He led me through two more doors and directed me down another hallway to the women’s changing room. After stripping down and then robing up, I waited patiently on a cold seat until an elderly Hispanic man took me to the X-ray room.

After snapping a few pictures, he led me back to the changing room and told me to go back the way I came to the doctor. I waved to Survivor man and then found the Chlamydia nurse who led me back to my original room where the doctor was waiting.

He prescribed me the good stuff, saying it wasn’t pneumonia, but it had potential. So, I hopped in the elevator, made my way to the pharmacy and took a seat in a squeaky leather chair, waiting for my name to pop up on the marquee.

There was a janitor sweeping the hallway, and every few seconds I heard a door shut and lock. That’s when I realized I had no idea where my mom was. And maybe it was the snot or all the walking, but suddenly I imagined the worst. My mom, a notoriously good napper, had obviously drifted off in one of the waiting rooms while reading her Kindle. She had left her phone in the car so she didn’t hear me calling and the only janitor with a key to the room she slept in had left for the day. We would spend the night here, me in this chair in the pharmacy that smelled like Pepto Bismol, and my mom unknowingly trapped behind one of the seemingly hundreds of forest green doors.

I wouldn’t go down without a fight.

I glanced down the hallway and decided a door looked familiar. After knocking a few times to no response, the janitor sauntered over to me and pointed to the next door over. Then, in a Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams esque tone, he said: “If you knock, someone will come.” Chills ran down my spine, either from awe or the second wind of my fever.  I nodded in thanks and then he vanished into thin air. (Just kidding, though he did move fast.)

In the end, my mom was saved, I got a goodie bag of drugs, and I didn’t have Chlamydia. I’ll take the wins where I can get ’em.