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Just Say No To Sex; Dr. Coburn Shows You How!

(Extended spoof, presented In 10 installments of 4 pages each. This is the final installment; previous ones are presented below each new installment, in case you missed one or more.)

Dr. Coburn stepped into the living room and motioned for Dr. Ernst to follow him.

As he closed the door, he continued to boast manfully, “The most telling bet in the history of sex education. Why, Dan, you’ve proved my method to Dr. Ernst – proved it in the heat of sexual combat and beyond even her capacity to doubt it! Why, if I had tonight’s scene between you and Melanie on videotape, I could change the world!”

“I thought you were going out to dinner, Daddy,” Mel said. “Were you spying on us?”

“Only for the greater good of the method, Mel.”

What do you mean?” she wanted to know.

“I was just proving to doubting Priscilla the indubitable effectiveness of my method – to rescue it from the damaging criticism I continually receive from the medical school.” Then he turned to Dr. Ernst. “What do you say now, Prissy? Did I win or didn’t I?”

“I – I’m at a loss,” she admitted.

“Well, I’m not,” Dr. Coburn went on. “I’ll tell you what I feel. Vindicated! Thanks to you, Dan, and the way you distinguished yourself tonight! You did it, son! Won the greatest bet of my life for me!”

“Really?” Dan asked, with the wind still knocked out of him.

“Yes – and what perfect justice!” Dr. Coburn exuded. “Dr. Ernst simply could not believe that my method could work on a healthy hunk of manhood like you. So I wagered her that I could teach you to resist every wile and temptation of even a girl as potentially captivating as Mel. And, if I succeeded, Dr. Ernst agreed that she would recognize my method and stop the medical school from impeding my progress!”

Dan turned to Melanie. “You knew all about this, right?”

“No, Dan, not a thing. I promise,” she replied.

What does it matter, Dan?” Dr. Coburn continued. “Don’t you see? Now, I have free rein on campus. At last, I can bring my method to as many of the world’s foolish procreators as I can. And all because of you, Danny boy – with, of course, a great debt of gratitude to Melanie for her, at times too convincing, performance.”

Dan looked at Melanie. “Was it all just a performance?”

She shook her head no, but was too mortified to give voice to her denial.

“And what a performance it was!” Dr. Coburn went on, clasping her shoulder. “Brilliant job, Melanie. Why, at more than one point, you almost had me rushing in to rescue you from what actually appeared to be the collapse of your prodigious defenses.”

“Wow,” Dan reflected, “am I a dork or what? You and your daughter were using me to win a bet! A lousy bet! Let me out of here. My student days here are over.”

What do you mean, son?” Dr. Coburn wanted to know.

“I mean, you can take your cockamamie method and shove it.”

“Oh, how I do detest that word,” Dr. Coburn wailed, and then recouped. “Now see here, Dan, there’s no need whatever to be upset. Look at the big picture. What I did – “

“– was bullshit! Like your entire so-called method,” Dan actually shouted.

“Bravo! Bravo!” Dr. Ernst exclaimed, somewhat imitating Dr. Coburn’s effusiveness when he had employed that exclamation.

“I’ll tell you what your method has convinced me to do,” Dan told Dr. Coburn. “I’m going to call up the hottest woman I know and spend the night with her!”

“Oh, please, don't do that!” Melanie pleaded.

“Sorry, I consider myself a free man,” he told her. Then he slammed the door behind him.

Dr. Coburn sagged his shoulders.

“Daddy,” Mel said, and then braced herself, as if, at long last, to assert her adulthood. “I mean, Father, I love you very much and I would never want to hurt you. But –“

“– What, sweetheart?”

“It wasn't all a performance,” she dared to admit.

Stunned again, Dr. Coburn asked, “It wasn't? What on earth do you mean?”

“I'm sorry. At a certain point, it really did become me.” “You?” “Yes, me as a normal human being, desiring sex.”

“Mel, stop talking such nonsense immediately!”

“I can’t. I may even love him!”

“Love him? Fiddlesticks, Melanie. After all your training, you know as well as I do that love is a quaint disguise for mere lust.”

“But I felt so alive when I was aroused, as if I was born to have sex with him!”

“Mel, recant at once. I taught you the right way to regard arousal.”

“If you’re right, why does it feel so natural and healthy?”

“My, my, it seems that even your daughter has, at long last, cast off the Coburn Method and awakened to her sexuality,” Dr. Ernst could not help noting, with relief and a trace of glee.

“Congratulations, Melanie.”

“What I feel is so much more than that. My heart could burst with longing for him. I love Dan.”

“Even better,” Dr. Ernst said.

“Impossible, Mel!” Dr. Coburn objected. “You love a man?”

She was actually stung by his doubt that she had the capacity to experience love.

“Yes, love!” she fired back. “Even if it’s, as you say, only desire, disguised as love, it’s still the most fantastic feeling I've ever had!”

“Melanie, please, think of your lifetime of training – and assert control over these reckless emotions!”

“But I like the way I feel! I’m in harmony with my whole being. And – I know it's terrible to say this – but someday I'd even like to have a baby with him.”

“A baby, Mel?” Dr. Coburn asked, aghast. “You'd heap another baby on this already vastly overburdened planet? Remember rule number one hundred. ‘Babies lead to overpopulation. Overpopulation leads to pollution. Therefore, babies must be avoided.’"

“Even if the baby is your grandchild?” Dr. Ernst asked.

“I hadn’t actually thought of that,” he acknowledged.

“Perhaps, you should,” Priscilla advised him.

“Do you think he’s really going to spend the night with another woman?” she asked Dr. Ernst.

“I think doubting it would require one to underrate his resources very significantly,” she replied.

“That’s it! I'm going after him!” Melanie announced, and ran for the door.

“Mel, come back here!” Dr. Coburn called after her. “Don’t violate my method!”

“I’m sorry, Daddy. I’ve simply outgrown it. And, whether you can believe it or not, I’m as hot as any girl he’ll ever meet.”

“When will you be back?” he demanded.

“Later,” she said, and fled out the door.

He sighed and dropped his shoulders, as if his whole being had just been sorrowfully diminished. “Ah, me, Priscilla, how quick a dream can die! Quick as opening one’s eyes! I see my hopes are dead – dead as a dream one awakes from, a memory left behind and soon dismissed as immaterial – an irrelevance, assumed forgettable.”

“I'm sorry, Richard. But there is still a hope.”

“And what is that, my dear, Prissy?” he said, and slumped onto the couch.

“What you have until now disdained, Richard. The mind empirical, real science, applied to life as we find it, with its pulsing exigencies – education as natural and courageous as the impulses of life itself, disease prevented as best we know how and ever better. A substantial hope from which we may finally make a world where humanity is well-proportioned to its resources and in good health. A world that, I hope, will be, once realized, forever kept that way by people who, knowing the ultimate value of life, demand that our best knowledge be put in its service.” She sat down beside him and allowed her leg to press against his. “Certainly now, you must admit, every other hope is a dangerous illusion.”

“But, Prissy, I built my entire life – “

“ – You did your best, darling. You don't mind if I call you darling, do you?”

“If you must,” he conceded, and put his hand on hers.

He noticed the stirring of long-dormant hormones suddenly enlivening his body.

“You may disagree,” she said, “but it appears to me that, contrary to the tenets of your method, abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.” She pointed to the distance. “Much fonder when love always seems to be just over yonder.”

“You know, Priscilla, this is the first time a woman has been close to me since my wife left me.”

“It is?”

“Yes,” he confirmed, and turned toward her. “And it appears that, much as it goes against my preachments, I must agree with your sentiment.”

“Which is?”

He put his arms around her, and she looked into his eyes, as he told her with refreshing tenderness, “Abstinence makes the heart grow much, much fonder!”

He noticed a tear drop from her eyes and realized, as he leaned forward to kiss her, that while he had lost a method, he had gained a wife.

The End

Submitted by:

Tom Attea

Tom Attea, humorist and creator of NewsLaugh.com, has had six shows produced Off-Broadway. Critics have called his writing "delightfully funny," "witty," with "great humor and ebullience" and "good, genuine laughs."





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