December 5, 2013

Cumming of Age Before I Did

I had been in college a whole 7 weeks before I turned 18, but was perhaps the greatest sense of forever I’d yet experienced.  I was half a country away in a small private school in a tiny Pennsylvania town.  A friend would later describe that part of the county as if you were living in a postcard.  On my birthday, my new friends and I walked across town to the local supermarket to pick up a few things.  On the way out, we triumphantly marched up to the lottery ticket vending machine and I threw away my first dollar bill on state sponsored suckerism.  I didn't win anything, and it's not like security was tight, but it felt like a milestone anyway.  Having found new friends so quickly and being able to stretch my wings away from the oversight of my parents was the best gift I thought I could get.  In a way, I was wrong.  I got this unbelievable story to tell.


On the way back to our dorm, we popped into the union to check our mail.  It was a ritual we all enjoyed, mostly because few of us had anything by way of bills, and there was the chance that any letters we got might contain cash.  I had my hopes up that I’d get something from home to mark the occasion.  Sure enough, there was a slip in my box saying that the mail room was holding a package for me.  Part of me hoped my folks had discovered a way to overnight some Runza sandwiches.  I was going through some serious withdrawal and would have sold my cafeteria privileges in exchange for one.

When the attendant handed me the package, it was smaller than I expected, smaller than even a paperback.  The return address was also unexpected, a high school friend of mine had sent me something.  Curious.  My hands were full from the shopping on our walk through town, so I threw the package into my backpack and headed back to my room.
Seeing as how it was nearly 20 years ago (eek!), I don’t remember if the gift was wrapped, or if it was just loose in the box.  What I do remember was not only what it was, but the condition in which I found it.

Bear in mind, this was the mid 90s, before DVD players were much of a thing.  Laser disks had a tiny, niche market, of which I was not a part.  There was another video option that was popular in Japan and other countries called video CD.  The quality wasn’t great when it came to playback, but often you could get an entire movie onto one CD and you could watch them in your computer CD drive.  That is, if you were fancy enough to have one of those.

Speaking of Japan, I had a penchant for Japanese animation and comics that was steadily being pumped into the American geek scene.  One of the first things I found in exploring my new home was where the local comic book and movie store was so I could continue to get my fix.  So it didn’t surprise me that the gift was anime related.
What slid out of the mailer and onto my bedspread was a video cd copy of La Blue Girl.  For those if you unfamiliar with Japanese animation, there’s a subgenre called hentai.  This is generally hard core porn.  La Blue Girl is perhaps part of the weirdest sub-sub genre as it involved demons, tentacles, and fuckitzu or some such fake martial art where the girl who comes first loses the battle with the demon shoving phallic appendages into every orifice on her body.  What struck me first about this gift wasn’t that it was porn (that I was now legal to own) but that it was missing its shrink wrap.  I had seen this object on sale in the comic book stores at home, but they were all in new packaging.  They didn’t do much business in pre-owned, and for good reason.  Pre-owned porn is enough to keep any mother from letting her kids play Magic the Gathering in your store from now until forever.

When I next talked to him, he asked if I got the gift.  I told him I had, but that it was missing the shrink wrap.  I asked him if he had watched it before he sent it to me.  To which he replied, “Yeah, so what?”.  Well, that answered that.  Was I curious about what the appeal was when it came to tentacle porn?  Well, yeah.  Duh.  Would I be ashamed to watch it.  Nope.  It’s almost like a rite of passage.  Was I going to watch *this* copy?  Oh HELL no.  There’s just something really creepy about knowing you’re watching a movie that someone you’re not attracted to watched, masturbated to, and then sent along to you as a gift.  In the words of Dana Carvey, impersonating President Bush, “Not gonna do it!”.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I came to own pre-owned porn.

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