Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

The Time I Stole a Porno Mag

Friday, September 16th, 2011

I think these are trees or something?

After the 5th grade, I moved from my home of 5 years – a small town in Massachusetts – down to my grandparent’s house in Rhode Island. Through high school, I stayed connected with a few of my grade school friends. It became traditional that I would spent a week during winter break and a week during summer break back in Swampscott, visiting Tyler.

Tyler was an only child, but constantly had friends over, so the house was always busy. I had been at Tyler’s for a few days and was leaving the next. A few friends showed up at his door and Tyler said that he had something to show us. He walked to the corner of his bedroom, four guys huddled around him. Under a stack of old papers sat a set of wicker drawers. Tyler opened the 2nd drawer, lifting old magazines, rubber band balls, a few old knives, other assorted crap, and removed the Holy Grail: An honest-to-God porno mag.

While this doesn’t seem so amazing now, please keep the following in mind: This was the late 90s.  At the time, the internet was a luxury. My house did not have an internet connection until midway through my freshman year of high school. When we were finally blessed to have AOL, we had to drag a 50-foot phone cord from the PC to the phone jack, unplug the house phone, plug in the PC, pray no one called, wished for no one to trip over the wire, and hoped to find an ISP number that wasn’t busy. Porn was still easy to find, but by the time a single .BMP loaded, the connection timed out.

These were the times when hordes of teenage boys would roam the woods looking for caches of porno mags. The terrible truth behind this scenario is that we would actually find some. Someone in every group of friends knew where to find a stack of damp, torn, and stained porno mags. There was even an honor system. No one took a magazine unless there were plenty left behind. As time passed, evidence of adolescence sin would be washed away over the changing seasons.

Now, I was resourceful. I had seen naked women before, but I had never seen a real softcore porn magazine. This had boobs! This had nipples! It even had full frontal nudity! One of the girls seen spreading eagle in an outdoor shower (a common occurrence, I believe) looked a lot like Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess. This was a big deal. This was life changing. I flipped through the pages and realized that this is what I needed. I needed this magazine. My raging teenage hormones overrode any sense of ethics or morality I had in me. Tyler was my friend, but this was Highlander; there can only be One and it was going to be me.

The week was up. Tyler’s parents would drive me back down to Rhode Island, where they would have Boring Adult Dinners with my mom. After the car was packed, I implied to Tyler’s mom that I had to use the bathroom.  After I flushed, I slipped into Tyler’s room, my heart pounding so hard it might have cracked my ribs as I parted the curtain that substituted for his bedroom door. This was Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom type shit. I tiptoed down the two wooden steps into his room, over the motion sensors, under the flying arrows, defeated two reanimated Samurai Warriors, and approached the wicker drawer. I removed that magazine like Indy grabbing a Golden Idol; not an item in the drawer left disturbed. I rolled the magazine up and tucked it in my pants like I was holstering a glock. Once at the car, I slipped the mag into my back pack and returned home.

When I returned home, I hide the porno mag in the old sewing desk I did my homework on. My heart pounding. Catholic educated, I was waiting for God to strike me with a bolt of lightning the next time I got an erection. I kept the magazine for a few months, but I became too paranoid. I lived with my grandparents; my 80 year old grandmother could find the magazine while cleaning my room. My mom could find it, just digging around, being nosy. Any of my four younger brothers could stumble onto the magazine when they came into my room just to make me livid. In the end, I had to throw the magazine out, my poor heart could not take the paranoia any more. This would be the last time I would look at pornography… until we signed up for AOL a year later.

My First Memory

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Happy New Year, everyone! The start of a new year is a perfect time to sit back and reflect upon past experiences. You can’t get any more “past” than your first memory!

Do you know those wooden standees that have the faces cut out? I’m sure you do. You stand behind one and stick your face in the hole, then someone takes a stupid picture of you as a lion or a strongman? They are always poorly painted pieces of plywood, with no sense of perspective and suspect balance? Yes, those.

I was maybe 3 or 4 years old. I had a big head full of curly brown hair, giant blue eyes, and I was excited to be visiting the Purina Farm in Missouri. The farm had one of those questionably built, standing cut-outs of a circus wagon. The ringleader was up front driving the wagon and then there were various animals in the back with holes for heads – so children could get their pictures taken as a caged gorilla or a caged lion or a caged elephant. I was so excited at the prospect of pretending to be an indentured animal that I jammed my head right through the hole. Because of my oversize baby head and baby ears, I found myself unable to unjam my head. I was stuck.

The rest of my memory is spotty, but I recall a wave of panic. I recall the crying. I recall discovering that if your face turns purple, your mom gets very worried. I don’t remember how I got out that Damned Circus Wagon, but I heard rumor of a chainsaw being involved. The last bit I remember was the employees on the farm bringing me cup after cup of lemonade, to make sure I was alright. And so we didn’t sue.

That was my first memory.