Sometime after my eighteenth birthday, a couple of my friends and I were driving around looking for something– anything–to do. We had the staples: smokes, weed, gas; we’d had dinner and coffee and were now aimlessly driving around. As we passed a Mom and Pop type video store where I had recently gotten a membership, I had a brilliant idea.
“Hey guys,” I suggested foolishly, “I know! How about we pop in the video store to pick up a gross porno to watch?”
Renting nasty porno is practically a right-of-passage when you turn 18. It’s up there with buying a lotto ticket, a pack of smokes and a cigar. So off we went.
Back in the Restricted Section, where I was finally able to go, we went to town. Scrupulously, we scoured the shelves for something really rank like “Fatties Hump Old Men” or “Midgets Do Manhattan.” Porno after porno was rejected as none was quite up to snuff for comedic value. Finally, after what seemed like hours of searching, we found our diamond in the rough. Our shimmering needle in a haystack of bullshit.
The movie was called “Anal Clinic” and it was to be our entertainment for the evening.
We headed back to my ex-boyfriends house to watch our little gem along with a bottle of (stolen) red wine, giggling like schoolchildren. Someone would frequently say “Anal Clinic” at random intervals which would be met with peals of laughter throughout the car.
We schlepped downstairs, after rounding up some of the usual suspects and settled in to watch Anal Clinic. The movie was nothing like we’d thought it would be (as an aside, as this is many years ago, I don’t quite remember WHAT we thought it would be). It was a European porn, full of men having butt sex with various people (again, not sure what we’d expected from a movie with such a title)
AND IT WAS SUBTITLED. WHO WATCHES SUBTITLED PORN?
What are you going to miss, exciting plot twists? It’s PORN. It HAS NO PLOT.
After about 15 minutes, we decided that the porno was too lame to even be watched, so we formulated a new plan. We decided to go naked hot-tubbing, throwing ourselves down in the snow and running back to plop into the hot-tub to warm up.
Oh, like you weren’t an idiot at 18.
As I was getting ready to leave for the evening, I popped back downstairs to the basement to collect my disappointing porno so that I could drop it off on my way home.
I checked the VCR, but it was totally empty. Figuring that someone else had decided to watch something less boring, I checked the area immediately around the entertainment center.
No go. Thinking that it may have been shoved into the couch, I checked between the cushions. Nothing, save for a gold brick (seriously. My ex-boyfriend was very, VERY rich) and a couple of dollars in change. Pocketing the change, but leaving the brick, I summoned the rest of the kids to help me look for the porno.
Nada. Zilch. Zip. Zero.
I waited furiously for the next couple of days to see if anything would turn up. Nothing did.
Figuring that the movie was already late, I wanted to circumvent any phone calls to my house, as I could just IMAGINE my parents reaction, “Uh, Rebecca? The video store called and they need you to return Anal Clinic,” I slunk back to the video store so that I could pay for my lost porno.
Walking the ultimate walk of shame, I headed into the store. I approached the pimply-faced 16 year old kid working behind the counter and said in the most clear and least shamed voice I could muster given the circumstances: “I need to buy Anal Clinic.”
I resisted the urge to explain what had happened when I realized just how much dumber it would sound if I tried to justify it. Better for the teenager to imagine why I needed it then for me to spew excuses.
Turning such a deep red that he looked iridescent purple, the pimples a stark white contrast to his face, he sputtered that I would have to come back when his manager was there. Trying not look ashamed, like I’d been turned down many times before when trying to buy a lost European gay porno, I walked out, head as high as I could make it go.
Several days later, I headed back to see the manager. By this time I was an old pro at this. I marched right up to him and said the exact same thing, “I need to buy Anal Clinic.” Once again I didn’t bother to explain WHY I needed the movie, or what had happened, as I was pretty sure he’d heard it all before. I paid the $36-ish dollars and upon waiting for my receipt, the manager mysteriously disappeared to the back room.
He returned several minutes later with a movie box in hand, the title obscured by his hands. He handed me the box along with my receipt, and I was on my way. After hopping back into my car, I allowed myself to look down at the box in my hands. The manager had given me the original box for Anal Clinic, complete with cover art and bold blaring title.
What the hell was I going to do with that box?
I settled upon placing it in my ex-boyfriend’s pantry, hoping some unsuspecting victim–perhaps the same shit head who had stolen the tape in the first place–would stumble upon it while looking for crackers.