Okay, I was out on the road over the Memorial Day weekend. Bigass car trip. Was gonna be fun. I found myself, at one point, in need of replenishing some homo acoutrement. Now, when I need sex supplies (like condoms, or lube) I'm not the kind of guy to hit a pharmacy. I buy that kinda stuff at...well... sex shops. You know, places where you can rent porn, buy vibrators and stuff. I feel less "conspicuous" there. Besides, it's fun to windowshop all the toys. Have you seen the pricetag on a big dildo lately? Whooosh!
So, I'm on the road and in need of some stuff and I pass by a little shop just outside of a major metropolitan area (Ft. Worth, Texas!) that has a big sign that says "XXX" and "Open 24 Hours". I pull into the parking lot and wander into the store.
At first glance, the inside looked pretty much like any adult video store I've ever been in. Rows and rows of videotape boxcovers on shelf-like displays being mawed and fondled by middle-aged, beady-eyed men who seem intent on scrutinizing the pictures on the boxes and squinting at the fine print of any descriptive passage that might be there. Finding the right pornography is a very serious quest. Hunters hunting.
I ambled to the cashier's counter at the far end of the building. The woman behind it, was busy affixing pricetags to stacks of yet more of these boxcovers.
"May I help you?"
"Yes," I replied, "could you point in me in the direction of where you keep the lube?"
"What?" She looked shocked.
"I'm looking for lube. Where do you keep it?"
"Sir, this is a video rental store!"
I noticed that my fellow customers had stopped milling about and were listening, transfixed, to this conversation. It was then that I noticed that there certainly was no other product offered in this store. Missing were the vibrators, handcuffs, blowup party dolls, and nipple clips.
Just videotape. Period.
"Oh, ooookay" I said with a shrug. Suddenly everything I was experiencing seemed really odd. Off-kilter. When I turned on my heels, the eyes of the other shoppers quickly turned away from me. I wondered if I had managed to walk into the first porn store owned by a Southern Baptist church as I headed back to the front door. Approaching the door, I noticed something on the tapebox covers in the display next to the door. Each box had a little white sticker on it, all located in exactly the same place on each box. I stopped and picked up a box.
"Cable TV Edited Version"
is what the sticker said.
I looked down the rows of tapes. Every box had this sticker on it.
I couldn't help myself...
"Excuse me?" I called back to the counter attendant. "Every tape you rent and sell here is edited?"
"Yes, of course."
"It's the county law!" She rolled her eyes at me like I was an imbecile.
Wait a minute! My mind was racing: this was a videostore that only sold and rented chopped-up soft porn? Tape after tape of nothing close to the color pink in sight? There wasn't a clitoris, erection, or clenched sphincter on any of these things? No buried tongues, close-ups of discharges, or gaping holes? This wasn't pornography, this was Cinemax After Dark. This was The Playboy Channel. This is shit unfit for masturbatory needs. You have GOT to be kidding!
"You have GOT to be kidding!" I blurted out, laughing and indignant at the same time. I looked over at one of the beady-eyed box gropers. He kind of shrugged as if to assure me that this was, in fact, the case. "But your sign says XXX!"
"County law," she repeated.
"You should change your sign, then" I said over my shoulder as I opened the door to leave,"before you are sued for false advertising!"