The Speed Contest Take That Never Happened

This is not family talk here, folks. This is for my peer group – actually, above my level – of court reporters, and if they are reading this, they probably already know why they’re here.

Two-minute warmup. (360 words for 180/minute for two minutes). This is an original composition.


How about an unexpected topic? After all, how many times in this setting have we heard legal opinion, or an automobile accident, or an exercise in political discourse? Fair enough.  It’s from the real world. It’s material that is expected. We hope it isn’t a scientific or medical essay. God forbid that it be five minutes of land descriptions from surveys regarding ranges and townships and degrees and minutes and so on. Just kill me now, you would be saying.

No, we would much prefer something that our reflexes, reactions, and responses already have a path through our neurons that is well worn for taking it down with ease and speed.

So what’s a good middle ground there? What is something that we are familiar with, can identify with, but yet refrains from being mundane and boring, and which can bring a little vicarious enjoyment into the task that awaits us here?

We could talk about food, but then the worry starts in about food items that will be unfamiliar. How terrifying would it be, to start to hear about the first ingredients of a recipe? It would be every bit as intimidating as if we were to look at the list and see that we need a half pound of saffron before starting. And a wood-fired oven.

No, skip the cooking. It’s too uncertain, and besides, halfway through our little exercise here, the dictation could be obscured by the sounds of stomachs growling.

Let’s talk about sex. Not in a clinical way that reduces the magic to mechanics and makes something so vital and enjoyable into a sterile description of bodily components. Certainly not in a way that is pornographic or not even something that we can catch on late-night cable that claims to be intended for mature audiences but is really just one or two notches of explicit from being required to have a 2257 disclaimer. We’re not even going to talk at the level of 50 Shades of Gray, especially since those who read it are too embarrassed to say so and those who did not read it are nevertheless enthusiastic about saying how bad it is.


End of warmup.


The take. (900 words, for 180 word/minute for five minutes.) This is a continuation of the original composition.


So let us talk about sex in more vague terms than what the practice session might lead us to believe.

But keep in mind that sex talk varies with the genders. Not always, but quite often. When men talk about sex, it is in very general terms. They don’t mind giving out the who and when, but they are not so hot about the what, why, and how.

Women, on the other hand, wallow in descriptive discussion, right down to, it sometimes seems, the molecular level. Who and when are important, yes, but the exploration of why and how tend to dominate.

So we can’t talk about it in strictly male terms, because that would make for a discussion of about 24 seconds. Nor can we talk about it in strictly female terms, because that would stretch this talk out into a level of detail that would not be comfortable for all and indeed may send this dialogue into the late hours, and nobody wants that, unless we’re ready to turn on a late-night cable show at that point.

No, our talk today has to do more with the whole experience, starting with the initiation, the first eye contact or, in this day and age, the first swipe right. The awkward talk masked by phony self-confidence, resonating with Joni Mitchell’s lyrics of, If you care, don’t let them know. Don’t give yourself away. The building of the conversation, and the pushing of the envelope in this little dance of interaction, gauging the interest of the other every with each passing comment, each ventured entendre.

The welcome signs are up, at first misty and faded in the verbal fog, but gaining more clarity, more readability, as the conversation progresses. And do we ever want to clear that fog. We humans yearn for that clarity, for clear expression, for frank talk, but when it comes to the lead-up to the phenomenon, as Shakespeare described it in an almost Scottish way, of the beast with two backs, we drape our conversation in caution, hesitation, and vagueness.

The interchange between the two players. It is a campaign of words, surrounding the target, fortifying itself, probing for opportunity, searching for avenues that may yet open. Will the other side show its hand? Will it remain concealed, making the other party continue to push, to explore, until a path opens?

And yes, there can be outright resistance and rejection. In fact, sometimes there will be. But those times are not the focus of our talk today. We are talking culmination of a meeting, not frustration from this hopeful exchange.

As it proceeds, as it develops, the other party is receptive. And now you are both on the same page of a book that is as old as humanity itself. You both drive to that ultimate goal, although it must not be mentioned yet, because you are still in that dance of words and interplay of conversation. The game cannot be called for what it is. It must be played out. Every encouraging sign that is put up is but allowance to the next vestibule. There is no free run of the house, not yet.

The human, or any animal, for that matter, need for sex is at a high level, residing at that same plateau as the need to eat, to breathe, to engage in other bodily needs. Yet we take this one necessary function to our continued existence and wrap it in ritual, but one that constantly changes.

But love, or lust, will find a way. We make our way through the tortuous path, taking in the signs and signals, spurred on by a drive that is deeper and more achingly persistent than any other. We look for, or try to persuade, the other into a comfort zone that meets with our own ultimate goal. And finally, in a strength of consent that leaves us wondering how it took so long to arrive there, we find each other at the brink of the same space, with us just beginning in a primal waltz of romance. Or perhaps we will find ourselves in a baser place, a mosh pit of physicality.

But that revelation is yet to come. At the moment, with consent reached by all parties to the transaction, we are engaged in the first stirring steps of the climb to the summit, the quickened breath, the murmurs, the exploration carrying their own little bursts of tension, because the impulse to sex is a mysterious thing right from the start, and we worry that it will not take much, a push from an unexpected direction, a sudden phone call from the wrong person, some roadblock that changes the mood. We keep on with our energies, our advances, looking and hoping for response, for reciprocation.

Our goal is achieved not with a rush of success but in incremental steps that pervade our awareness. The soft rustle of clothing, the gentle feel of fingertips gliding over rising goosebumps, seeing the desire in one another’s eyes, the whispers and muted panting, the scent of arousal. It combines and rises in a sensual symphony that expresses the yearning within us for the type of intimacy that has given itself to, and is encompassed by, the surrender of ourselves for the sake of this union to which we are so implacably driven.

It is time. We lift our hands and


End of take.

— Grandpa


  1. DAAAAAAMN and now I like speed contests again.

  2. Fabulous! Thanks for the cliffhanger and the dictionary building:)

  3. See, I’d rather take this kind of dictation!

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