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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dude. Seriously. Porn in the Coffee Shop?

I have always wondered WHO on earth would use bikini-clad women as their desktop wallpaper. Anyone? Really? You're that starved for visual gratification?  

I think to myself, "I don't really know anyone like that—NO ONE I KNOW would have the sort of mentality such a thing would require." I'm pretty much right.  

Although, now that I'm seriously considering it, I have a coworker who MIGHT do something like that. It's strange too, because he has a daughter . . . that's the kind of thing you think will change a man*. You know, make him realize a bunch of things about women, like that they're people, with hearts and thoughts and emotions, and how they want to be loved and all that and that they should be treated chivalrously despite all their chants about equality. 

Ok, so that's me, not women in general, and I guess not everyone is as thoughtful as I am. Heh heh.

So my curiosity was finally fulfilled last week at Starbuck's. There are only a few locations in the place I frequent where you can have laptop-screen-privacy. And this guy didn't have that. No big deal, really. I mean, he's obviously got deeper issues—what with thinking it's perfectly normal to use mostly nude women as his wallpaper. I thought I saw a wedding ring on him too . . . so even stranger. But I guess there are women who find that acceptable. To each their own.  

The point is, why would you subject yourself to such a distraction? If I understand men at all, visually that kind of thing is WAY more distracting than say, MY wallpaper (homesick-inducing landscape pictures of the Utah desert) and so how can he get any work done?  

Guess I don't understand men.

BUT if that wasn't enough for this trip to Starbuck's, the guy sitting next to him pulls out his phone and begins looking at porn. Right there. In front of me.  

Well, not quite in front of me. I was sitting behind him, so his phone was facing me as he perused the material. It was distracting. The mind is thinking, "What the hell. Am I really seeing this?  I could be mistaken. Perhaps it's a medical website."  So then I check again. And yes, it's porn. Then the mind thinks, "Am I wrong to want to censor this? I mean, this is a public space. There are children in here. There's a major aisle behind him. Whose rights are more important here? Who determines what's wrong and what is right in this scenario?"  

At any rate. I don't believe in censorship. I think people should be free to choose according to their desires. But I also believe in decorum and that there are times and places where certain behaviors are socially wrong. Such as looking at porn in a coffee shop where everyone can see it. Call me crazy. 

At that moment a mom entered the coffee shop with her little boy. He was probably five or six. Tall enough to see over Mr. Porn's shoulder and see it. And I thought to myself how scarring it would have been for me at that age to see something like what that guy was looking at. I really did. And then I felt like a jerk for all the selfish things I had ever done (weird, I know, but sometimes that's what you think about when you're faced with an uncomfortable decision), and I thought about the mom trying to explain to her son what that man was doing and why was he looking at that. 

You could argue, if you're an ass, that the little boy has already seen porn if he's six and he knows how to use the internet. And if you are that ass, I would say to you, "I'm sorry for whatever bad thing happened to you in your life that you think children aren't fragile and that they shouldn't be protected."

And I would mean that.  

So after my courage was all wound up based on my racing thoughts, I stood and tapped Mr. Porn on the shoulder. He looked up at me, surprised and scared as his phone snapped shut and I said, "You do realize that other people can see your phone, don't you?"  

"Fine, fine, sorry," he answered, sounding guilty. I wasn't rude or anything. I don't think I was. It's kind of a blur now. After I sat back down, the college student sitting with his back to me thanked me, which was kind of shocking.

At the time I took it at face value, like that he was trying to study but Mr. Porn's phone was distracting him. I laughed and said something back, I forget what. But looking back, now, I can't decide if he was THANKING me or CURSING me for having ended the free porn. Stoker pointed out that it's not that difficult to find free porn, so it probably wasn't that. Good laugh, that.
  
It was all very strange.  I've never been flashed, thankfully, but I imagine it's a similarly disorienting experience. The kind of thing that's so outrageous you can't believe it's happening and you sort of feel like you're floating out of your body. Because you've come to really believe that people don't do crap like that in public. But then later, upon further reflection you realize that people can really be messed up.  

I guess I love them anyway, as I am messed up too, in my own ways. And by love I mean charity. The kind of thing where you let your heart feel empathy for them because maybe at some point they were like the little boy in the coffee shop, all innocent and naive, but nobody looked out for them. Or something.  You know?    

But seriously. Don't look at porn in the coffee shop where bystanders can see it too. It's damn awkward. ESPECIALLY when you're visibly reacting to it. Thanks.  


*I should point out that I really appreciate that there are still men in the world who appreciate the female form and all that. It's not like I'm saying men shouldn't feel things. I'm just saying. It's weird that this guy had skanky wallpaper. That's all.  

2 comments:

Buxom Scientist said...

I'll have Cassy flash you at the next meeting.

Aries327 said...

You would!

I was thinking more along the lines of Man in Trench Coat Wearing Dress Shoes and Socks And Nothing Else. Your classic flasher.