Posted by Joke at 11:01 AM
Friday, November 05, 2010
It's been election season ovah heah. I have been mulling a post that may edge over into the realm of polemics, and even came thisclose to posting it this morning.
But I didn't.
I was debating the exact phrasing of certain things (so as a- not to be misunderstood, b- explain my views while not being disagreeable to others who hold opposite views and c- detail certain things I had witnessed) when a friend on Facebook informed me she was flying out to help someone clean out Someone's Grandpa's apartment, since Someone's Grandpa died rather suddenly.
This reminded me of something (no really, stay with me) lighter.
Several years ago, I was the guy helping a friend clean out his Grandpa's apartment after Grandpa died.
It's something you do out of friendship and kindness and decency. The problem with being a loyal friend, kind and decent is that it does not prepare you for certain discoveries.
Oh, I dunno, things you weren't expecting.
Wanna narrow that down for us?
OK. But get the kids out of the room. This is pretty much Grownups Only stuff.
Let's just say Grandpa had amassed a collection of "gentlemen's special interest literature." The operative word being amassed.
And not, Dear Internet, the fluffy-frilly-giggly ouvre of visionaries such as Mr. Hugh Hefner. No.
It was more, um...yeah. Like that.
Grandpa, besides being a well-respected professor of Theatre Studies, also had something of a CIAish side to him. I was tasked with going to "the back room" where Grandpa the Respected Professor kept the chattels of his profession, and throwing away papers and bring out in boxes the books and VHS tapes Grandpa wanted to donate to the University Library. I innocently began to open filing cabinets and saw neatly organized interdepartment memos, performance evaluations, etc. I opened the first of eleventy zillion such drawers and started tossing folders into a cardboard "file box" such as offices use when they want to alphabetize the stuff they discard.
Did the same with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th drawers. Then I went around the back to unplug the fax machine when I noted the depth of the filing cabinet seemed not-immaterially greater than the depth of the drawers I had just emptied.
"Hmm. That's weird." I mused, returning to the front and reopening the cabinet drawer. I pulled it out to its fullest extent, peered and saw nothing other than it was not nearly as deep (maybe 2/3) as the cabinet itself suggested. So I went to completely remove the drawer.
But it wouldn't go.
Ditto all the other drawers. I looked at the left, right, top, rails, handles, etc. and saw nothing. I went flat on my back and looked at the underside and on the TOPside of the cross-rail of the drawer I saw a small, hastily screwed-in metal tab. Sure enough, that tab "caught" the trailing edge of a drawer being opened and wouldn't allow it its full travel.
Doing what any self-respecting Boy Scout would have done, I took out an ancient and battered Swiss Army Knife, such as has kept Switzerland free all these years, and unscrewed the screw and removed the tab.
Standing up, I pulled the drawer which slid out easily and with something of a...sound. Behind a partition in the drawer were some magazines. Some were merely...journals of...er...photography. Some were magazines of personal advertisements, with certain advertisers neatly circled or highlighted.
Other drawers had VHS tapes with intriguing titles -- puns on popular films and TV series -- which decorum prohibits my detailing.
One drawer had several Polaroid (!) photos of unnamed university-ish young ladies in various states of apparel.
All in all, an impressive volume of material.
Grandpa, as befits a man of the theatre, had eclectic tastes. Provided there were ladies involved, pretty much every permutation proved amenable to his collectioneering. A kaleidoscope of ethnic combinations (or not) a widely divergent array of scenarios, proclivities, activities...all were worthy of his inspection. One magazine which had a young lady posing with a small box (!) turtle in strangely innocuous poses. Except for the fact the young lady had neglected to array herself with garments...as if she said to herself:
"Oh! The photographer is here with his turtle! I am not yet dressed! Gosh, I hope he doesn't mind."
The problem, and I am dead certain you have spotted it, is the delicate issue of explaining to your very dear friend, whom you love like a brother, that his Grandpa -- that pillar of professorial respect -- was a man who dragged into his dotage an actively and eccentrically (did I say "actively"?) lascivious mindset.
Everywhere in this office area, Grandpa had hidden SOMETHING with ecdysiastic gamines disporting themselves with unsavory looking gentlemen, other gamines, or certain items that look as if they had extended warranties on all moving parts. Some were of very recent vintage, and some were definitely vintage.
I have no idea what he was thinking. Did he assume he would get some diagnosis like "You only have [however long you need to purge your home office of objets d'porne] to live?"
I don't know about YOU, but were I confronted with unarguable evidence my Grandfather was -- and there's simply no way around this -- a raving pervert, there wouldn't be enough psychotherapy to render me sensate again. So I thought I had best not disclose this discovery and conceal the offending material.
But that leads to a problem.
HOW do you conceal such a volume of...er...stuff? What's worse, if you don't conceal it properly then you are faced with a situation which is doubly troubling: Your friend finds out his Grandfather was the sort of man who spent many a pleasant hour exploring the nearly-limitless ways in which (on average) two people may interact AND that his best friend was smuggling the good stuff out.
That would have been bad.
So, realizing my time was not without limit, I hastily "leavened" the regular material (dept. memos, etc.) with magazines inserted "spine-down" and put the videotapes (spine IN) inside the box marked "Donate to Lib."
And then went home and got somewhat inebriated.
Now you know.
Posted by Joke at 12:27 PM