Saturday, October 22, 2005

This is not a prologue (Part Four)

September 2001

It was supposed to be a brainstorming session, but that was before we’d gotten into our fourth beer. Now it was more of an unofficial bitch-session.

“For Christ’s sakes, Dan,” I said, “you’re at the gym more often than the rest of us. Can’t you track down any prospective talent there?”

“I don’t know if you’re aware of this, Lucas,” he said to me, “but it’s actually not cool to wander around staring at other men’s crotches while you’re at the gym. Maybe if you visited a bit more often, you’d know the rules.”

“Can’t you peek out of the corner of your eye?”

“Jesus Christ, man, I’m not going to peek, I’m not going to glance, I’m not going to gawk. I have no interest in checking anyone else’s privates out.

“Fine. And you, Karen?”

“You’ve asked me this before,” she said, rolling her eyes. “And the answer’s still the same. No, I haven’t been with any fabulously endowed men.”

“At this point, I’d be content with mildly above average.”

“Well, at the moment I can’t recall anyone mildly above average.” She paused for a moment, thinking about it again. “Well, maybe one or two, but no one I’d like to hop in the sack with again.”

“Not even if he was going to help us create something fantastic.”

“Lucas,” Jason said, taking a rare moment to contribute to the conversation, “We’re trying to make a porn film, not Citizen Kane.”

“And you can just take your negativity elsewhere, if that’s how you’re going to be about it,” I said, looking down into my drink because I really couldn’t think of anything else to say at the moment.

We were stuck. We were at an impasse. And it was a problem that I hadn’t considered in advance, and therefore we didn’t currently have any solution to how to get around it. We needed a dick. Based on the general rules of pornography, it needed to be at least a bit larger than average, be attached to someone not entirely hideous who was able to control his climax to at least some degree, and also belong to someone interested in being the star of an independent porn video in which he’d get to have sex with Karen in about a dozen different positions.

Now, the last part would probably be the easiest to find. Karen was attractive enough, even with her slightly bizarre cheekbones, and just about any red-blooded young male would be willing to drop his pants and have a go at her. It might take a little bit more convincing before he was comfortable with us setting cameras up around him, and it might take even more convincing before he’d be willing to let Dan point the camera right at his crotch, for those all important action-close-ups, but I was fairly confident that we’d be able to convince the majority of the applicants that there was nothing to fear and that he’d likely have the time of his life.

The biggest trouble was in finding someone who had the physical qualifications. How the hell were we supposed to screen them? I couldn’t very well just saunter up to every man I encountered on the street and say, “Hey, can I see your cock?”

And no one currently at the table – which made up the extent of our porn film cast and crew – seemed to know anyone who fit the bill.

“Why don’t put an ad in the paper?” Jason asked, out of the blue.


“In the personals or something. Like: Wanted, gigantic cock for porn film…”

“That’s a retarded idea,” I said, shaking my head.


“Because…because I don’t want people to know what we’re doing. I mean, we all still have to live in this community, we all still have to go to our day jobs and buy groceries and stuff. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be looked at as ‘That Creepy Pornographer’ while I’m trying to buy bread and milk.”

“They don’t have to know it’s us. Look, we set up a Hotmail e-mail address that can’t be traced back to anyone in particular – something like We use that as the contact point. No evidence. No phone numbers or addresses. There are enough digital cameras around that most people know someone who has one, and if they don’t they can track down a cheap Polaroid instant-style camera that doesn’t require them to send the film out to a developer. Then we just ask them to email head shots and penis portraits to us at that e-mail address. It seems like the perfect solution to me.”

It wasn’t perfect, exactly. Digital cameras weren’t quite as common as Jason thought, and the people who tried to use a Polaroid would have to track down someone with a scanner to get the photo into a digital form that they could e-mail. But even considering those little issues, it seemed to me as if maybe this wasn’t a terrible idea.

“Once we get the photos,” he continued, “we can pick out the ones who seem like the best candidates and go through an interview process. We should be able to track down at least one physically viable candidate who’s also interested in having sex on video tape.”

“Why stop at the male talent though?” Dan asked. “I mean, we could solicit actresses that way as well.”

“Who’s got a pen?” I asked.

“I’ve got one, and some paper, I think,” Karen said, starting to dig through her purse.

“Okay, so the ad reads: Local adult film production seeks…”

“Exotic film,” Dan said.


“Call them exotic films. It sounds less freaky that way. That’s what Burt Reynolds’ character called his film in Boogie Nights.”

“I think the word ‘exotic’ might confuse people. It’s not clear enough.”

“No, no, but it’s, like, exotic,” Dan said, with a weird kind of leer in his eye.

“You can’t really do a wink-wink, nudge-nudge like that on paper. We’re sticking with ‘adult film’.”


“Okay. Local adult film production seeks prospective talent. Men and women required. Please send head shot and full-body nude photo to…whatever the e-mail address happens to be.”

“I like the first suggestion,” Karen said. It’s got kind of a quaint feel to it.

“Fine, Jason, see if you can get that address.”

“I’m on it.”

“So…send head shot and full-body nude photo to blah blah blah. Please include any relevant experience…”

“What’s relevant?” Dan asked.

“I don’t know, acting experience, that kind of thing…”

“What if the guy has just had a whole lot of sex?”

“Well, I guess that’s kind of relevant too.”

“Are we screening for diseases?” Karen asked, her eyes suddenly bright. “Shit, I hadn’t even thought of that, we need to screen for diseases.”

“Don’t worry, Karen,” I said, “we’ll be screening for diseases, but I don’t think that’s necessary at this point. We’re just looking at prospective candidates. We can disease-screen the final round of applicants.”

“I don’t want to get genital herpes.”

“No one wants to get genital herpes,” Jason said.

“That’s not necessarily true,” Dan said, turning to Jason. “There’s all sorts of weird motherfuckers out there. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some bizarre, sexual sub-culture of people who were just desperate to get infected with herpes.”

“We’re getting off track,” I said. “What’ve we got so far.”

Karen, who’d been scribbling away on a scrap of paper, read the ad back to me. “Local adult film production seeks prospective talent. Men and women required. Please send head shot and full-body nude photo to, whatever e-mail address we end up with. Please include any relevant experience.”

“Only those applicants being considered for a role in the production will be contacted,” Jason added. “I think that’s a necessary inclusion, as we don’t want to be flooded by e-mails from people wondering why we haven’t written them back yet.”

I nodded. “Yeah, that’s good. That’s really good. Jason, can you see about getting that into the paper?”

“First thing in the morning.” He took the scrap from Karen and started to tuck it into his pocket, but I stopped him.

“Wait, there’s one more thing.”


I took the pen from Karen and tugged the scrap of paper from Jason’s hand, adding the final sentences in my own handwriting.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity of a lifetime. Fame and fortune can at last be yours too.

“There,” I said, sliding the paper back to Jason. “Now we’re ready to rock.”


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