Seed Views

Seed View for June 29th, 2011

This is a view of an adult bookstore I drove by earlier today in Norwalk, CT.  I swear that I didn’t stop in and browse.  I was sitting at a stop light, noticed this dreary, depressing store on my right and it got me thinking about a few things.

First, this store could be the picture in the dictionary accompanying the word “antiquated”.  Adult bookstores, thanks to Al Gore and the advent of the internet, are now irrelevant. I realize that this is not some bold proclamation that hasn’t already been made. What I thought about was: Who still goes to these stores and why?

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that everyone has access to the internet and therefore a galaxy of kinky treasures is just a click away.  If so, what possesses one to physically visit one of these stores?  Do you have to see the double-headed dildo in person to touch it, feel it, and measure it to make sure it’s 14 inches as advertised?  Do you have to get an up close and personal view of the plastic and rubber porn-star replica vageen before purchasing? I only know these things exist in these stores because someone told me they do.

(Quick side story: I attended Ithaca College during my freshman year.  One of the guys in my dorm was turning 20.  I lost a bet and was volunteered to buy him a male blow-up doll as a gag gift.  I went to the adult bookstore and, as quietly as possible, asked the guy behind the counter for a male doll.  I quickly followed up my question with a nonchalant “it’s a gag gift for a friend’s birthday” statement.  He grabbed the doll box, put it on the counter, looked at me and said in a tone that convinced me he’d heard this line before, “Sure it is.  That’ll be $40.”)

There must be a reason why people would still frequent these establishments, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. I can only guess it’s to keep alive that small glimmer of hope of meeting that “special” someone who shares your interest in transvestites over the age of 50, for instance.  That would be an example of something you’d definitely want to check in person rather than trust to the interwebz.

The second thing it made me think about, in a round-about way, is the slow death of brick and mortar record stores.  They are disappearing at the same rate as adult bookstores.  I could write a book about my long-standing love affair with record stores and how my love has disappeared over the past few years.  Finding any music I want, wherever I am, at any time, for free, has changed me.  Yet, my memories of record stores and the countless hours I spent in them are as vivid and important to me as any childhood or teenage memories.  I didn’t think an adult bookstore store that sells bongs and fleshlights would make me nostalgic for record stores, but it did.

The last thing I thought about after I took this picture was how similar this photo is to the album cover of the greatest record ever made, Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys.  I could write a 12-book series on this album and I will soon (please temper your excitement).  The photo resemblance is uncanny.  I may call this store and “Ask for Janice”.

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