29 May 99

My cable company is running a special tonight: for 99 cents I can buy a four hour "block" of the Spice Channel, one of the "adult" stations they offer pay-per-view. A year ago I would have found the offer enticing. I admit I had some curiosity about the movies and programs on those scrambled stations. Mostly because I had discovered that if you switch between scrambled stations quickly, for a second or two the picture almost straightens out and you get a slightly skewed view of naked people doing... things. Some of the things, viewed briefly and without any sound, seem quite intriguing...

But last summer when the cable company was switching equipment, late one night I discovered that the Spice Channel was coming in clear, with sound. Fascinated, I watched and listened...

It was... I can't find the right words to describe the experience. The sound track music was very bad rock-- like something you'd hear at a high school band competition. The principle actors were unattractive, and uninteresting, their facial expressions consisting of some teeth- clenching grimmaces-- no doubt intended to be indicative of a passion they obviously didn't feel--

The story, unsurprisingly, was non-existent, as was dialogue. The only sounds the people made were grunts and-- well. But the sound effects--! My god. I could only laugh-- and my amusement grew when I realized that some poor lunatic must have the job of foley artist! As the foley artist, you'd probably have to show up for work with a couple of Slurpies-- the mind boggles...

I have to tell you that even though I do like sex, and I wasn't uncomfortable as a watcher, and I was interested to see how other people "did it," I did get very, very, bored watching. And that's when I started flipping between channels.

Star Trek was playing opposite. I began clicking back and forth between the hot and heavy hetero-sex and the bridge of the Enterprise... and the sex... and the Enterprise... and the sex... and the commercials... I had a note pad and I wrote down what I was hearing-- remember there was no dialogue on the Spice Channel, just visuals and bad background music-- and those sound effects--

On the Spice Channel naked people were getting down to work...

[Star Trek] "Permission to come aboard."


[Star Trek] "Sensors report it as solid, but its composition is
                 unknown to us."

[Commercial] "With Smart Gym (Jim) you get a total
                     body workout..."

[Commercial] "Smart Jim can do everything those bulky machines
                     can do..."

[Commercial] "There's nothing small about the workout you get
                     with Smart Jim..."

[Commercial] "It can push you a lot farther than you think
                     you can go..."

[Star Trek] "Nearing tolerance level, Captain."


[Star Trek] "Still coming..."


[Star Trek] "Now, Mr. Sulu! Impulse power!"


[Star Trek] "She'll blow soon, Captain!"


[Commercial] "Libra, you'll want to make changes in love.
                     Pisces, keep at it and you'll reach those
                     deeper places in yourself..."

[Commercial-- Spice Channel]
                     "Prepare yourself for self abuse. Call
                     Mistress Domina.."

I watched the commercial. Then I turned the TV off.

Right now, I bet you're thinking that I made all this up. But I didn't. The intercuts of dialogue and action happened as if Mel Brooks had written the whole thing. It was a strange, one time only experience. And if it hadn't been for that experience, I probably would have bought a "block" of Spice tonight. But, I've been cured of my curiosity.

Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly dissatisfied with my lot, I still ponder the idea of being a foley artist in the adult film industry...

I bet I'd be good at it. If I could keep from laughing.


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