The road to accumulating a private porno video library is fraught with danger and excitement.
Porn is fun! Porn is artistic! Porn is educational! And porn is the trendsetter for technology! It is fairly well-documented that the main reason that VHS won out over Beta was because the porn industry adopted VHS as its venue. Of course, I buy porn for the intricate and sophisticated story lines and the models’ exceptional, Oscar-worthy acting ability — not to mention the high style fashions worn by Chi Chi Larue and Sharon Kane.
Due to many years of careful hording, my collection had grown voluminous. It was taking up more than one entire wall of shelving in my home office and was beginning to encroach on the space reserved for my Barbie and Ken doll collection. With VHS video tape and VCRs going the way the Playtex 18 hour girdle, I decided I needed to update my porno collection, and transfer all my VHS “educational” movies to DVD. How hard could this be? It would just take a couple of weekends, and violà! I would be up to date and free up all that shelf space for a new dildo collection.
To my utter dismay, I could only transfer the movies to DVD in real time. That meant that I had to play each and every tape while the DVD recorder made a copy. It took 6 Long … Hard … months to copy all the tapes, pausing only long enough to watch Desperate Housewives. Before this, I never thought it could be possible to overdose on porn, but I’ve never been so wrong. The words “faster, harder, deeper” became like the chanting of a meditation mantra, and the images of Ryan Idol and Lucas Ridgeston devolved into an unfocused blur of grunting peach colored fuzz.
All of this porn activity reminded me of how it used to be in the olden days, before the invention of waterproof mascara and Press-on Nails. Porn used to be quite difficult to obtain here in Utah, behind the “Zion Curtain.” We had to travel out of state to purchase an “educational” movie. I found it truly amazing just how much you can smuggle in a size 44 double D bra and not raise suspicions. Although the occasional strip search could have its advantages …
In frustration, I imagined creating an organization such as “Feed the Children” to serve the most basic needs of the “educationally” deprived citizens of Utah . It was to be called “No Princess Left Behind.” I can still imagine the infomercial now: Me in my best Sally Struthers drag, with tears and mascara running down my cheeks like Tammy Faye Baker, asking for donations by showing clips of a young princess in training. She would be wearing a dirty, torn ball gown and bent tiara, dejectedly rummaging through rows of dusty, empty shelves while clinging desperately to one solitary video tape of Power Tool staring Jeff Stryker with the tape pulling loose from the cassette and the tattered and sticky pages of a well worn JC Penny catalogue underwear section in the other hand.
While the boarder of the Zion Curtain was not exactly the Berlin Wall, the availability of good “educational material” could be frustratingly limited. One way to expand your personal library was to borrow the few precious tapes that a friend might have and copy them for your own. On one such occasion, I was able to borrow a few new tapes from a friend. I rented an additional VCR from a video store so I could make copies. After an exciting weekend of recording, I placed the last tape, The Best of John King into the rented recorder and began copying. When it was finished, I tried to eject the tape from the rented machine. But to my horror, the machine retained it with a death grip stronger than a queen clutching a ball gown at a Filenes’s Basement sale. I spent hours trying every imaginable method — even sacrificing my manicure — to dislodge the tape, but to no avail, and I did not dare disassemble the expensive VCR (in those days they cost more than $1,000).
Foolishly, I took the VCR back to the store and told the cute, returned missionary-looking clerk that my tape was stuck inside the machine and could they get it out for me? He just asked me what title it was and they would just give me another copy of the tape. Not wanting to tell this stunningly handsome, yet religiously vulnerable gentleman that I was a BIG OLD PERV, just like his mother warned him about, I told him that it was a “personal” tape. Foolishly again, I gave him my name and address and he said that they would call me when they got the tape out. Foolishly yet again, I sat nervously by the phone and waited and waited. Just like a nameless one-night stand picked up in the park, they never called, they never wrote. Later, I found out from an acquaintance who worked there that The Best of John King made the rounds of all the store employees and was quite the topic of conversation. It was more than two years before I set foot back inside that place.
Like always, these events leave us with many eternal questions:
1. What ever became of The Best of John King?
2. Would the store employees have believed that it was an anthropology project?
3. Do you think they forgot me after two years?
4. Am I going to have to go through all this again in the transfer to Blu-ray?
5. Should I still form “No Princess Left Behind?”
6. How long does it take for a porn overdose to wear off?
7. Could extreme porn immersion be an additional tactic for Dick Cheney to use in enhanced interrogations?
These and other important questions to be answered in future chapters of “The Perils of Petunia Pap-Smear.”