i done wanged all the chung already

Before I begin, I ask you to bear in mind that the events I am about to recall occurred several decades ago, so if the references I am about to make to various elements of anachronistic technology are something that you can’t handle like adults, you can kindly get the fuck out now, because they are integral to the story. Very well, let’s continue.

You see, my freshman year of college was a time when I had yet to establish the aura of unflappable cool that is now my trademark, and due to my unfortunate haircut, complexion, and personality, I found myself having immense difficulty persuading my female classmates to -and I hope this polite euphemism isn’t too obfuscating- have sex with me. Fortunately, I was able to channel my frustration into a healthy brooding that led to groundbreaking successes in the field of terrible, hackneyed poetry. My potluck roommate, similarly unburdened by good looks, charm, or a mastery of the English language, chose a different route to deal with his vexation, becoming a regular fixture in any dorm room on our hall in which a pornographic film was being shown (I should take this opportunity to point out that internet pornography had not yet been popularized, as only a handful of fetishists were able to derive any sexual meaning from the punchcards emitted by the room-sized vacuum tube-run computers that characterized the era, so with pornography such a rare commodity, it was often necessary on the sporadic occasions when a pornographic film became available for pornography enthusiasts to gather together for a communal viewing of the film, mocking the first of their accomplices to excuse himself during the viewing and announce that he wasn’t feeling well and needed to use the restroom).

It was an arrangement that suited me just fine, as it afforded me many hours alone in our room to take quill to parchment and make nauseating metaphors comparing the chest of a female classmate, which I covertly watched rising and falling hypnotically as she breathed during the Tuesday-Thursday History 102 lecture, to a bellows stoking a great fire in my loins. Of course, the arrangement could not last, as it one day came to the attention of my roommate’s fellow stag-film aficionados that he had gone nearly two semesters without contributing anything other than the occasional remark comparing the female lead’s breasts to Cookie Monster’s eyes as they joggled about during an intense bout of lovemaking. Understandably concerned about losing the few social connections he had made during a year of sleeping through class, drinking mouthwash to catch a cheap buzz, and smelling vaguely like Doritos, he approached me with a simple request: to help him procure a pornographic film that could redeem him in the eyes of his peers. Mindful of his easy access to my toothbrush while I was away at class, I obliged under the condition that I be given authority to select the film with the title I deemed most amusing.

I was a bit surprised upon my rental of Dong Day Afternoon (which had narrowly edged out such classics as Tit Happened One Night, Gift of the Vagi, and Stop! Or My Cock Will Shoot) that I was expected to put down a deposit for $35, a princely sum at the time for a struggling student whose funds were quite deplenished, with financial relief still a month away once exams ended and my grueling summer job resumed of driving steel for the transcontinental railway which was still taking shape across our great nation. But I was assured by the cordial woman behind the counter that my deposit would be returned in full once I brought the videocassette back, so I wrote a check for the proper amount, even signing my actual name as a show of confidence in the merchant’s reputability. I delivered the paper bag containing the videotape to my roommate, who thanked me profusely, pressing a sheet of expired pizza coupons into my hand to show his gratitude.

Upon the morrow, I returned from class to find the paper bag on my end table, in accordance with our agreement. Satisfied that I had the right bag after opening it and finding a videocassette clearly labeled Dong Day Afternoon therein, I hailed the next approaching horse and buggy and gave the driver the address of a church within reasonable walking distance of the pornography store. As I entered the store, I removed the videocassette from the bag, an act which immediately drew the ire of the woman behind the counter, as she began yelling at me in a tone that seemed completely alien when viewed in the light of the previous day’s interaction with her. Between the “sorry motherfucker”s and “son of a bitch”es that were the primary defining qualities of this woman’s rant, I deduced that apparently my roommate and his friends had made an attempt to copy the videotape, an endeavor that if not done carefully, can leave distinctive markings on certain stickers placed strategically on a videocassette by pornography retailers. Imagine my shock at seeing this woman who just a day before had soothed my misgivings with her cheery demeanor, now callously employing air quotes to express incredulity at my assertion that the videocassette had been for my roommate. Taunting me presently with the check made out for $35 I would never see again, she noted the university P.O. box listed as my address and asked whether my professors would be interested to learn that one of their students had been banned for life from that pornography store. There is truly no more humiliating feeling than being dressed down by a pornography store clerk, whose tirade had now escalated to a froth befitting the Marine Corps’ saltiest drill sergeant. I had hoped that a plaintive request emanating from a curtained-off series of booths to “Keep it down, please; people are trying to masturbate over here!” would have stemmed the tide, but the screaming persisted, even as I pulled down the brim of my fedora and walked briskly away from the store, knowing that if I ever returned, I would do so as persona non grata and be removed from the premises immediately.

So, that’s why I can’t go in there and return your videotape, pal. As much as I appreciate you picking me up while I was hitchhiking in the rain a few miles back, I’m gonna have to ask you to come up with another way to repay you for your kindness. Here, perhaps these expired pizza coupons will suffice.


1 Response to “i done wanged all the chung already”

  1. September 8, 2010 at 7:51 am

    This was SUCH a great read. I read a LOT of stuff on the Internet and I stop about half a paragraph in. This was the first time in a long time that I read the entire piece. Very great. SUBSCRIBED!

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