In the early ‘90s I semi-regularly attended the United Church with my family. This involved weekly Sunday school lessons, plus the occasional extracurricular congregational picnic or evening potluck.
The evening potlucks were my favourite events because after dinner, while the parents drank coffee and chatted (or whatever parents did in the early ‘90s), the children were allowed to form a posse to explore the clay cliffs, which beckoned just beyond the fringe of the church parking lot.
On one such sojourn about half a dozen similarly-aged explorers, myself included, hiked into the woods behind Main Street and discovered more than we ever dreamed: blown by the wind and caught amongst the bushes were a few dozen glossy pages, torn from a magazine.
Investigation revealed that these pages had not come from any old rag; they had been ripped from a dirty magazine. There, tangled in the northern foliage, were men and women woven together in lewd poses.
And amidst the body parts flailing every-which-way there were clearly identifiable breasts. Breasts!
This was no sly glance at a Sears catalogue; this was the real deal.
In the currency of youth in the early ‘90s, our little troupe had stumbled upon a treasure chest. Not quite believing our luck, we mostly just giggled and pointed.
I wasn’t quite sure what it was that we had found, but I knew it was valuable; so when our parents’ voices echoed in the clay cliffs, beckoning us back, I grabbed a wad of loose pages and jammed them into my back pocket. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
The drive home was a nervous one. I knew my parents would not approve of my hidden bounty so I sat quietly in the back seat and hatched a plan to safely stash my plunder.
In those days we lived in one of the old steel duplexes in Hillcrest and our backyard bordered a greenbelt that functioned as a park for the neighbourhood kids. I decided to bury my loot in this vast expanse.
So, on the next available weeknight, I took my collection of magazine pages, carefully sealed them in a Ziploc bag and headed into the back 40 to find a suitable hiding spot.
I dug up a big patch of moss about 10 yards off the trail, placed my baggie against the raw earth and then resurfaced the whole area.
It was safely secured there for about a week and then it was gone. No doubt one of the other kids from Park Lane made a giddy discovery of their own.
Like it or not, finding your first porno and deciding what to do with it was one of the essential rites of passage for youngsters of my generation and the generations that came before.
But the early ‘90s gave way to the late ‘90s, which in turn gave way to a whole new millennium. And with the march of time came the advancement of Internet technology, which rendered this rite of passage completely obsolete.
The kids today just don’t get it.
A recent article published in the Daily Mail reported that when a group of 20 multi-gendered 13-14 year olds were questioned, every single one of them confirmed that they had seen sodomy porn.
Sure, they’ve leered upon things I could barely have imagined at that age, but I bet none of them know the clandestine thrill of sneaking out after dinner to hide a few crumpled pictures of naked women.
As far as I’m concerned, I win.