Points subtracted for gratuitous apostrophe use.
Usually on one of my two days off per week, I venture into Manhattan to do some DVD shopping or scour book stores and comic book shops in search of yet more stuff with which to pollute my already cluttered noggin and apartment. (Believe me, my flat is so choked with all manner of stuff that it looks like the warehouse where the Ark of the Covenant is stored at the end of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.) Today my plan was to hit Kim's Video on St. Mark's Place to peruse the week's newly available DVDs, and then on to Jim Hanley's Universe to pick up a collection of commission sketches by one of my favorite illustrators, namely Steve "Nexus" Rude, but on my way into the city I decided to do something I haven't done for a while: check out the wares on display at the first porno shop I could find.
For those of you who don't live in the NYC area, it is no longer kosher to flat-out honestly and openly run a porn shop. Instead of being able to name such an establishment "Scurvy Mike's Cunt-U-Copia," a proprietor must do away with all blatant displays of flesh and just call the place "Videos" or something equally inoffensive in an attempt to keep NYC safe for the kiddies (thank you ever so much, Giuliani administration). While I can understand such a motivation, I am rather saddened by such sanitation of the once "most dangerous city in the world" because when I was an impressionable child it was the birthright of kids in the Tri-State area to come into Manhattan — specifically Times Square — and have our innocence irrevocably shattered by the rampaging filth and violence on view right next to stands selling cheap replicas of the Statue of Liberty to tourists. Thus the appalling whitewashing of the area strikes me as especially idiotic since kids today have the Internet to browse, and there are infinitely more ways to be utterly fucked up by pornography and whatever other material one may find objectionable online than there were when I was a wee young 'un. I mean, I didn't know what fisting was until I got into high school, and that is a shame of epic proportions. Today's youth is simply much better (?) informed and whether or not they are engaging in any of the activities their research may expose them to, at least they have some sort of a clue.
But I digress.
One of the ways the porn entrepreneurs in the Big Apple got past not being able to openly flog their wares was to fill the display window with innocuous family videos — Disney and such — or ultra-cheap kung fu flicks, and stock such items for the first five feet or so of the store. That's all well and good but once past those first five feet, it's a smut freak's paradise. Every conceivable manner of filth unfolds itself before one's stunned and occasionally grossed-out eyes; disturbingly realistic PVC vaginas that would make excellent beer cozies, wobbly dildos in all colors and textures (and in some cases, flavors), "German" flicks (if you don't know, don't ask), peep show booths, "bukakke" extravaganzas, multi-volume video series explicitly depicting women old enough to be your great-grandmother getting a righteous plowing from uber-buffed young studs (most notably the horrifying BUST A NUT IN GRANDMA'S BUTT), human/animal pairings (the immortal RAPED BY A DOG standing tall in the forefront of that particular sub-genre), dwarf porn (a field that goes all over the place, even branching into the combined joys of dwarf/transvestite/fisting/golden showers, a la THE LITTLEST SQUIRT, starring Bridget "the Midget" Powers) and who the fuck knows what the hell else. And the real beauty of it is that in spite of the attempts to rid the Disneyfied tourist nightmare that is the new Times Square of such Sodom and Gomorrahesque detritus, this kind of vile fun can be found right next to the big theaters running exhorbitiantly priced blockbuster musicals such as ELTON JOHN WHORES HIMSELF OUT YET AGAIN. Me, I'd rather shell out ten bucks for a copy of EIGHTEEN AND NASTY-VOLUME 10 — which I highly recommend, by the way — than pay $150 bucks for some fucking musical, and I can take the dirty movie home to be "enjoyed" again and again. Take THAT, Broadway!
So as I made my way up the Bowery, I encountered one of the previously described "video" stores and dared to venture in. As expected, the front area was loaded with VHS tapes for sale that had obviously been untouched since approximately 1992 and were covered with dust and cobwebs, a condition that only helped to further the allergic misery I had been suffering from the moment I walked out of my apartment this afternoon. But all was well when I made my way past that section and stumbled into the extra-sleazy rear of the store. The DVDs were stacked floor-to-ceiling on racks of cheap industrial shelving, all with their covers displayed to maximum anatomical impact, regardless of what the customer's taste or orientation may be, one of the things that make even the most scabrous of such establishments one of the great equalizers of humanity. After a few moments in such an environment, one adapts and can peruse the covers without discomfort (unless, like me, you find "German" flicks and violent/torture stuff off-putting).
I gravitated toward the more outrageously titled items and found a couple of gems, namely BIG, WET, STICKY HOLES (self-explanatory) and AMAZING PENETRATIONS WITH AMAZON WOMEN, which featured a buxom brunette cheerily navigating an enormous, veiny, as-thick-around-as-a-beer-can dildo into her seemingly incompatible cooch. I decided to purchase both since I had wandered in on five-bucks-per-DVD day and seeing as both features were four hours in running time, it was a win/win situation all the way. And there was one DVD there that wins my vote for "Porn Title of the Week," but I figured that two such purchases in one day was probably enough, though I may go back and get it just to have as proof of its existence: the cover was an outrageous closeup of a woman splaying her Mighty Pinkness to such an alarming degree that her vagina appeared downright cavernous, so much so that you could see a great deal of space between its introitus and its back depths. I almost expected to see cars marked just inside of her, positioned to watch a drive-in movie being projected upon her cervix. The name of this landmark in American cinema? SUPERSIZE THAT PUSSY.
An epic worthy of Cecil B. DeMille.
As I was making my choices, I heard the unmistakable sounds of skin flick moaning emanating from a curtained booth, obviously a peep show kiosk. Those moans were soon accompanied by the obviously live vocalizings of the clearly enthusiastic customer within, noises that soon culminated in a breathily-grunted "Unggh," after which the customer sheepishly emerged from the booth only to have the Pakistani shopkeeper ask him if he was "done." The customer nodded in affirmation and swiftly departed, at which point the shopkeeper grabbed the nearby mop and pail and set about making the compartment ready for the next patron. When he returned I paid for my items and left, wondering how the guy not only kept his sanity on that job, but also wondering how he kept any possible interest in women since he was inundated with illicit images and sounds from nine to five. The worst that I have to deal with during the work day is crazy patrons and coming out of the place reeking from head to toe of barbecue smoke, and thank the gods that all I have to use a mop for is getting rid of any grease or food prep residue that may have hit the floor during the day...