As some of you may know, I’ve been working in the box office of a movie theater every Saturday night for the last decade or so. The theater in question is a fairly old building located in the middle of a mostly residential neighborhood and the theater’s owners have bought up many of the surrounding houses and apartments over the years. Since it is not a particularly desirable neighborhood, those apartments have attracted many memorably unique and unseemly tenants during my tenure. One such fellow abruptly vacated his apartment a few months ago, leaving behind a thousand individually smashed LPs, some rifle cleaning kits, a cryptic threat scrawled on a table, and a stack of porn with a meat cleaver on top of it. It was apparently quite a scene.
Of course, where some people see a deeply unnerving glimpse into the void, the depressing and uncomfortable aftermath of a probable psychotic breakdown, or a pile of garbage, others see an exciting opportunity. One of the owners of the theater had the latter perspective, so he commissioned an employee to gather up all the porn and sell it, offering him a generous cut of the take. That was the plan, anyway. What happened instead is that a large cardboard box of mildewed and battered porn magazines from the ’70s was unceremoniously dumped in the box office and left there in a comically inconvenient place. And that is where it sat for the next several months. Which brings me to my brilliant idea.
Once I realized that the porn mound was basically abandoned and forgotten, it occurred to me that it would be extremely funny if that pile started to mysteriously and almost imperceptibly get larger and more invasive each week. And that I should be the one to make that happen. And that it was absolutely vital that none of the porn I added had even the slightest vestige of eroticism, as anything even remotely sexy would diminish or distract from the overall effect. It needed to be a teetering, sticky, and slightly water-damaged monument to loneliness, decay,and poor decisions- absolutely nothing less would do (I have very exacting comic standards).
I immediately resolved to post a Craigslist ad begging for lots of very depressing porn. Ideally, that porn would come exclusively from overweight middle-aged men in food-stained sweatpants who still live with their parents, as verisimilitude is very important to me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of a tactful, non-self-defeating way to convey that in my ad (pro tip: people do not like it when you are openly contemptuous of them). Properly wording such a request would be tricky.
I also realized that the slumped and defeated men in question would probably want money for their stash, which I don’t really have. Which made me realize that I also needed to create and secretly publicize a Kickstarter campaign for my very important art project, which seemed like a daunting amount of effort to exert just to fleetingly amuse myself. Consequently, I procrastinated for a few weeks.
Then some meddlesome son of a bitch abruptly took all the porn out of the box office and my window of opportunity slammed shut forever.