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Askew Review 15

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DIRTY WORDS
by
Ben Hunter 

    One good thing about working in a movie theater is that there’s a lot of time between shows to fuck around.  The building I worked in was owned by Boston University, and, due to a lack of space (and the inherent cheapness of B.U. to buy more of it), the five theaters doubled as classrooms each weekday morning.  Each had a portable chalkboard that could be hidden away when class was over, and each board was allotted a generous amount of chalk.
    One day my co-usher Terrence and I decided “gonad pouch” would be a good alternative for the word “scrotum.”  With this in mind, we took some of the B.U. chalk and inscribed our new term on the wall of the exit hallway we were standing in.
   
Soon, others got into the act.  Another friend and co-worker, Dave, scrawled “Pocket Pussy - $4.95” in the entranceway of Theater Four, crudely drawing a set of spread female legs nearby.  For good measure I added “Semen Pants” a few feet away.
   
About an hour later, John noticed.  John wasn’t exactly a manager, but he also wasn’t a regular member of our little proletariat either.  He wanted to be a manager, but the higher-ups didn’t think he was quite ready for it.  They decided to make him a pseudo-manager instead, advising us to generally do what he told us to but otherwise giving him no further authority.  John was basically a nice guy, but people tended to react negatively to his expansive girth and his slightly effeminate, lisping voice.  Soon after noticing our recent graffiti session, John came up to us and said, “Guyth, who wrote ‘Pocket Puthy’ by Theater Four?”
   
The answer we came up with was repeated often throughout the next month or so.  Suppressing a huge laugh (for some reason getting called on the stupidest things can be side-splittingly funny to me), I replied, “It must have been the B.U. students.”
   
My fellow ushers agreed.  This seemed to satisfy John, and it looked like we were out of the woods.  However, just as we started to head back to work we heard John say, “Guyth, they thtruck again!  Thomone wrote ‘Themen Panth’ over here!”
   
No one actually responded to John, but I thought I was gonna piss my own fuckin’ “panth.”  We all just sort of slid away, assuming he’d rub this blasphemy out too.
   
As the weeks went by, more people started getting in on the act.  Things like “chunky menstrual stew,” “rectal plasma nugget,” and “diced clitoral hood” began to pop up all over the theater.  Dave wrote “MEATFLAP” in huge three-foot letters.  Because we used chalk, it was easily wiped away.  The managers were on the lookout by now, and new creations were being destroyed almost as soon as we wrote them.  The claim that “it was probably the B.U. students” started to wear thin, but so far no one had been directly accused.
   
Soon we started to write things in more out of the way places.  Dan, a very funny young usher, wrote “unabashed peenie wacker” on the floor of Theater Five.  This lasted about a week, until it was finally scuffed out by the hundreds of nightly passing feet.
   
At one point I found a six-foot bamboo pole in the employee punch-in room (I don’t have a clue what it was doing there) and attached a piece of chalk to its tip.  Now I could leave my mark six feet higher than usual.  I even went as far as climbing a ladder and writing with the bamboo pole from the top step, ensuring the phrase “Tit Farm” almost eternal life in the ticket lobby.
   
The closest we came to getting caught was when Dave was trying to write “Fecal Disaster Area” on the wall near the concession stand.  He got as far as “Fecal D” when we heard a manager coming downstairs.  This cryptic message probably baffled several people before it was cleaned up.  Upon reflection we decided Fecal D. would be a good name for a rapper.
   
Eventually the situation came to a head.  Mr. Greasmer, the district manager of all the Loews theaters in Boston, came in to check things out.  He was escorted on his tour of the building by two of our own managers, Tony and Darren.  All three men were heavyset, serious types, and they were all wearing suits to let everyone know they were above the normal rank and file.  As they grimly toured the facility, phrases like “splayed scrotum,” “crushed cervical cap” and “vaginal blood fart” leapt out at them from all sides.
   
At one point I noticed they were all gathered under the phrase “Anal Lube” (a Ben Hunter original, I might add).  Shaking his head, Mr. Greasmer said, “It’s the same artist.  It’s definitely the same artist.” 
   
I got this insane mental picture of myself in a beret, holding a palette and brush, gaily lettering out “A-N-A-L L-U-B-E.”
   
Shortly after Mr. Greasmer’s visit, we decided to cool things down for awhile.  It actually wasn’t too hard to stop because the joke had pretty much played itself out.  Still, it was fun while it lasted.

 

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