A story about a time...BEFORE THE INTERNET.
A story about a time when typing "tits" into the search bar got you nowhere - because there WAS NO SEARCH BAR.
A story about a time when we used to use something called a "card catalogue" at the library.
A story about a time when you could look up "tits" in the card catalogue but you wouldn't find anything.
A story about a time when your brother's friend Tommy Nickelchuk wouldn't let girls into the basement and you therefore had no access to Tommy's dad's prodigious porn collection.
A story about a time when you made do with what you could find.
Probably the best source of smut in my innocent youth was the public library, which housed all manner of bodice-ripping romance novels full of fairly tame love-making. I particularly remember reading the racy drama Lace and its shocking and aptly named sequel Lace II on the recommendation of friends who shall remain nameless (you know who you are, girls). Other favourites included the Clan of the Cave Bear series (you know you read them too, so zip it) and, naturally, the dirty bits of Sidney Sheldon novels that some helpful perv before me had marked by folding over the pages.
I would never check these books out of the library, you understand - that would be CRAZY. I just enjoyed them in the study carrels, taking mental notes on vocabulary and anatomy, but mainly blushing.
My other library reading passion was books about the making of films, which, for some reason, I also never checked out. I read about the making of Blade Runner, Dune, A Chorus Line - endlessly. I couldn't get enough.
And then, one magical day, my two secret library reading passions collided in one perfect book: Ultimate Porno - the Making of Caligula.
Here's the short version - the making of Caligula was a clusterfuck in every possible sense. And someone wrote it down and it made for really excellent reading and kept me clandestinely occupied for several weeks. Naturally, I could NEVER check out a book called Ultimate Porno - just the thought of the librarian giving me "the look" if I were to take it to the desk kept me from even considering removing it from the building. But I sure did enjoy it.
It's been a long time since I read Ultimate Porno but it all came rushing back when I saw the following tweet from my film-critic friend Paul Matwychuk:
Paul and I had a little more back and forth and then I checked out Paul's excellent review of Caligula.
And then, a couple of days later...THIS HAPPENED:
That's right - the Edmonton Public Library responded to my tweet about Ultimate Porno.
First of all - how awesome is it that the EPL is on Twitter in the first place?
Secondly - how hilarious are they? VERY HILARIOUS.
Thirdly - what happened to the EPL's copy of Ultimate Porno?? That book was genius! It had it all! Drama! Action! Extras complaining about improperly sanded wooden dildos! I bet some less scrupulous youth than I made off with it after my love affair with it ended. Godspeed, Ultimate Porno Stealer - godspeed.
Fourthly - the librarians are ON TO ME. And it's TERRIFYING.
Don't leave me hanging like a well-hung Roman here, people. I encourage you to tweet about your own young adult horndog books and see if your local library responds.