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I dasn’t Google it.

Oh, so many years ago, before I moved to Kansas City, I made a road-trip here with some college friends to visit a couple of other college friends who were already living here. On the trip back home, we pulled off the Interstate somewhere in the back of beyond in central Nebraska to re-fuel the car.

Across the on-off ramp, there was an “adult entertainment warehouse,” and I swear to you, hand-on-heart, the damn place was called The Porn Barn.

Sadly, however, we encountered The Porn Barn in like 1997 or 1998, back before digital cameras were affordable or broadly available, and cell phones were barely capable of taking and making calls, let alone being also cameras, videorecorders, game systems, and The Internet. And regular photography was kind of a hobby for the not-impoverished, a class into which I definitely failed to fall. Getting film developed always involved diverting funds from something actually critical, so I took very few photos. Plus there was always that letdown of getting your prints back, and like two thirds of them were shit, anyway.

So, what I’m getting at was that none of us was prepared or equipped to take a photo of The Porn Barn so as to substantiate our reports of having encountered a Porn Barn. And on subsequent trips between Kansas City and northwestern Nebraska I have failed to re-discover The Porn Barn so that I can once and for all capture it photographically.

I have lasting woe that I never got a picture of The Porn Barn, and I am positively terrified to try to do a Google Image Search for said ‘Barn. I fear The Porn Barn will have to remain a mystery, a legend, a grotty blip in my dodgy memories.

4 Responses to “I dasn’t Google it.”

  1. Mark says:

    You didn’t go inside? Funny, but your teen porno recollections triggered my own teen porno memories.

    It was 1980, I was 16. My friend Bill, who was a year older and had a DL(you gotta be 17 to get a DL in Jersey) and had his own Chevy pick-up, stopped by my house. “You wanna go for a ride?” asked Bill. “Where to?”, says me. “I dunno. Let’s see who’s hanging around.” So off we go. We wandered around a bit and ended up on Queen Anne Road in Bogota, NJ. Queen Anne Road is one of those non-straight type roads that date back to colonial times before US of Murica existed. So we ride Queen Anne Rd for a bit, and ended up in front of the Queen Anne Theater, which itself just barely missed getting paved over by Interstate 80 back in the 50s.

    The Queen Anne Theater was one of those 1920s era movie palaces that were commonly found on main streets in towns of any size all over Murica prior to WWII. Before the war North Jersey had an extensive system of trolley and commuter rail lines. All the municipal downtowns were connected by train, trolley or bus. Cars were optional in those days. After the war, the trolley tracks got paved over, the malls(ample free parking) got built, and everyone bought cars. The downtowns died because there was little parking. The Queen Anne Theater hung on for a while after the Paramus malls got built, but eventually was converted into a porn theater.

    So Bill turns to me and says, “You wanna see a porno?”. I responded, “What if somebody sees us?” Bill answered, “Then we’ll see them.” Solid logic that was. “I dunno.”, says me. “The marquee says ’21 and Over’. “What’s the worst that can happen?, Bill says, “They tell us you can’t come in?” Well, Bill was the dude with the DL, pick-up and all the right answers.

    I was sure they won’t let me in. When I was 16 I certainly didn’t look 21…..closer to 12 actually. Bill, on the other hand, was one of those guys who had a full beard in the 8th grade. I was willing to give it a shot. My first shock for the night was when I walked up to the ticket booth. I was expecting to see a Joisey sleaze-bag mobster wannabe working the ticket booth. To my surprise there was a little old lady inside the booth. She had a sweater draped over her shoulders, and looked like she could be anybody’s grandma. I thought to myself, “Grandma! You work at the porno theater!” Then I realized, grandma wasn’t always a dessicated old biddy. She was young once, and probably enjoyed a good screwing. I put my $5 on the counter, and granny punched up a ticket. That was surprise number two, I actually got my under age self into a porno.

    So we go inside and take our seats. I looked around because I was curious to see what kind of people patronize porno theaters. There were a quite a few middle-aged dudes with comb-overs wearing rain coats. This I expected. Sad, guys who had been married 20 years and just weren’t getting any. Reduced to wanking in a porn theater. There were lots of teenage boys, like me and Bill, also not surprising. There were a fair amount of couples. This was surprising, I never realized that there were so many Travis Bickles in the world. The final porn theater demographic I observed that evening nearly imploded my little teenage head. There were little groups of teen girls in the porno palace! I was like, “WTF! Teen girls are interested in sex!” That’s when I had my first Col. Kurtz moment of clarity…..the diamond bullet hitting me right between the eyes. “Of course teen girls are interested in sex….just not with you. Loser.”

    Just before the movie started, a group of 3 teen girls came in and sat behind us. No, this isn’t going to turn into a letter to Penthouse. One of the girls was complaining. “OMG! I can’t believe I let you talk me into this! What if somebody sees us? What’s this sticky stuff on the floor?…..” They sit down and the complainer girl starts to nervously kick the back of my chair. I said to Bill, “Let’s move. This girl is kicking my chair.” Bill replied, “I’m not moving, this is a good spot.” Bill was enjoying my little problem. I didn’t want to move by myself because I was afraid Bill might take off and leave me stranded at the wank palace. That would have been interesting. “Um, mom, can you pick me up? Uh, yeah, I’m on Queen Anne Road. Yeah, I’ll be in front of the porno theater.” I stayed in my seat.

    The program for the evening was a double feature. The first movie was called “Carnal Highways”, it was about a couple of long haul truckers. The second movie was called, “Oriental Ecstasy Girls”, which is pretty much self explanatory. Curious fact: Since then I’ve seen a lot of porn, but those are the only two titles I can still remember.

    So the first feature starts and the complainer girl is now complaining even louder. “OMG! That’s so gross! Look where she put her mouth! Eeewww, I’m gonna puke!…..” She is also kicking the back of my chair with greater force and frequency. I wanted to stand up and tell her to STFU, and stop kicking the fucking chair, but I didn’t dare. I could just see the headline in the paper the next day, “Maywood youth arrested for causing disturbance at adult theater.” So the complaining and kicking go on right up until the movie ended. At that point the complainer girl went quiet and stopped kicking. Then in a sad little voice she said to her friends, “Oh, is that it?”

    I learned a lot about girls that night, and I’m not talking about what I saw on the screen. The Queen Anne eventually closed, itself the victim of home VHS and DVD porno, which in turn was killed off by free net smut. Yes I did Google “Queen Anne Theater” Here you go: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/11929

    Before you “Cool story, bro” me, the above is all true. BTW, this is the first time in many months that I’ve looked at your blog. Congratulations on the rug-rat. A bit of advice. When he turns 16, don’t let him hang around with pick-up driving wiseguys. The porn story is one of the milder ones.

  2. Meetzorp says:

    I 100% believe the story, because it’s just how life goes. You go out on a random exploration ride with a buddy, and maybe you’ll end up eating stale pop tarts in the parking lot of an abandoned drive-in, and maybe you’ll end up in a porno palace.

    I really enjoyed your story and I am glad you shared it!

    There’s still a movie theater here in Kansas City that shows pornos. It’s The Strand on Troost. Troost Avenue is kind of the dividing line through KCMO between the posh and the poor sections of town. It’s also, not coincidentally, a racial dividing line.

    I’ve got a concern that my kid will be the kid the other moms warn their kids off. I’m already trying to teach myself not to swear so much while I’m driving. I’m really, really good at profanity and I find it extremely cathartic to get up a good blue streak, but I don’t want Joseph’s first spoken phrase to be “Jesusfuckingchrist, you hairy-handed dipshit!”

  3. Mark says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Maybe sometime I relate to you some of my childhood stories. Like the story from summer vacation between 5th and 6th grade that involved potato salad, a diaphragm and a loaded handgun.

  4. Meetzorp says:

    That would be most excellent. It sounds like you’d be a good candidate for keeping a blog, yourself.

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