You Should Be Ashamed of That Magazine
Rick Landau 2000/02/01
Modesty at Any Price
Went to a new supermarket tonight, Randall's, Open 24 Hours. Not bad, reasonable layout, good selection. Near the checkout, I passed by "Randall's Family Reading Center," the magazine and book stand. The word "Family" in the title is a tip-off. Translation: "No 'men's magazines.'"
Ever since Ed Meese in the Reagan days, most grocery stores and major convenience stores have refused to carry any magazines that feature sexually-oriented content, even relatively innocent magazines such as Playboy. Relatively innocent. However, all these stores carry all of the "women's magazines." Cosmo, Glamour, Seventeen, ym, Self, Shape, etc., etc.
Let's take a look at these magazines as a group. All of them feature scantily-clad models on the cover, often with more T&A than you'll find on Playboy. The blurbs on the cover promise "Twenty-six Ways to Better Orgasms," and "Oral Sex: Practice Makes Perfect." (Playboy, for comparison, touts interviews with Jeff Bezos and John McCain, and, just for balance, So Many Women, So Little Sex.") Basically, some of the women's mags are soft-core porn for women. No problema. Whatever floats your boat.
To quote that great sage, Tom Lehrer,
"All books can be indecent books
Though recent books are bolder.
For filth, I'm glad to say,
Is in the mind of the beholder.
When correctly viewed,
Everything is lewd."
Well, it seems that some wowser with an overdeveloped sense of propriety has been working in this store lately. As one waits in line for the cash register, what does one do? One reads the headline blurbs of the tabloids and magazines on the checkout racks. Well, in this store, you can't read some of them. Some of the magazines are stacked behind spring-loaded modesty panels that hide everything but the title. I couldn't see the delicious ladies and slinky gowns on the covers of Cosmo and Glamour, nor the lycra stretched within an inch of its life on Shape. Nor could I read the titillating blurbs promising Great Sex on the First Date.
No joke. In airport newsstands, they hide the more lurid covers of some skin mags. Here they hide the cover of Cosmo, ferchrissake. Did I make a wrong turn and end up on Mars? What on earth are they thinking?