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Sex in the Sub-City:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Bone

Against all odds, I've managed to do it. I've accomplished a spectacular feat, which no one, most of all myself, thought possible. What initially began as an accident, as a curious twist of fate, soon steamrolled, and has now become, I am happy to say, a record of sorts. What I have managed is this: I have not worn any underwear for an entire year. You heard me right. For a full twelve months I have forgone my standard boxer shorts, and instead have been flapping free in the breeze, unencumbered. And while over the spring, summer and even fall this presented me with only a slight challenge, the winter months were much less forgiving. But I persisted, and am happy to say that I have done it. Hurray for me.

Now, as mentioned, this all started as an accident. I did not sit down one day and think: "My life is so fucking boring. What can I do to spice it up? I know! I won't wear any underwear for an entire year!" No, while some of you may think I have thoughts like these, this was not the case. What happened instead was that, upon return from a trip to Oregon, my luggage was lost. My bags, or rather, my one large bag, vanished into the ether, never to be seen again. This was frustrating for several reasons, not the least of which was the fact that I was now without my nice winter coat, as well as several pairs of pants and shirts, many of them vintage and thus irreplaceable.

I was also without virtually every pair of underwear I owned. For when I travel, like most people, I generally take a few basic outfits and all the rest is socks and underwear. So all I was left with were a couple of old pairs, one with several holes in it and the other with the elastic so stretched that it was like wearing Roseanne Barr's shorts. Because it was springtime, I figured I would just go without for a while, until my check from the airline would arrive, and I could purchase some new pairs.

But the airline took its sweet time, and the check didn't come for another couple months. During this time I was laid off from my job, and when I finally got the check, I used it to pay my rent. So there was nothing left over for underwear. Although, by this time, it hardly mattered, as I was so used to going without it. In fact, I was so used to not wearing any, that months later, when I started working again and began replacing the clothes I had lost, I still hadn't bought any. By now it was a good six months after my luggage had been lost, and so far it had been pretty easy to live without underwear. Why not make it interesting? If I could go for this long, why not an entire year? The plan hatched, the challenge announced, I began my official underwear-less life.

Cheap thrill of the month

And I've done it. A full fucking year. The question now, of course, is can I go back? For I have gotten so used to it, that it may be impossible. I could probably even go forever. Or so I thought. You see, recently something happened that made me realize the importance of underwear. What happened was a wake up call of sorts, and it practically made me run to the store and buy some. And while I haven't yet, I may very well soon.

To understand exactly what happened, please excuse some relevant background information.

A few months ago, I was in my friend's apartment, looking through her bookcase. I came upon the first Harry Potter book, and picked it up. While I had of course heard all about the little lad, the uproar it had caused worldwide, and had even seen previews for the film that had just opened, I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. It was just some little myopic kid with a scar and a wand; just a book after all. But I was curious, so I sat down on her bed and began reading it. Hours later, I was still reading. In fact, I didn't stop until I had finished it, it was that good. While it certainly wasn't without its flaws, and was obviously designed with children in mind, it was nonetheless a great read. It wasn't just a book after all.

I went out and bought the next books in the series and devoured them. By this point I had gone to see the film, and while I enjoyed it, it was but a weak imitation of the book. A month after discovering him, and I was already a Harry Potter snob. I was also a little concerned about my new hobby, worried that there was something wrong with me. After all, for all intents and purposes, I was an adult, an adult who was totally hooked on a book for kids. Was I a total loser? And if so, was I alone, or were there others out there, just like me? I decided to find out.

One day, after a brief search online, I discovered an organization called Harry Potter for Adults. They were on Yahoo! Groups, and had an e-mail list that one could join and thus exchange messages with its members. I decided to sign up for the digest version, and eagerly looked forward to sharing my thoughts. Mainly, however, I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn't alone in my new obsession.

The next day I checked my e-mail, and there was my first message. I printed it out so I could read it on the subway, which is where I do most of my reading. But this message was not simply a few pages. In all it was fifty-eight pages long. One day's discussion and it was fifty-eight fucking pages. I didn't even have time to wait for the whole thing to print; I simply grabbed what was there and left my apartment. When I got on the subway and found a seat, I eagerly turned to the first message. This is what it said:

> Message 1
> Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 11:12:46
> From: "Hillman, Lee"
> <[email protected]>
> Subject: RE: Werewolves and related topics.

> Hello.

> Eloise addressed whether Remus could have been suffering from the
> aftereffects of a transformation on the train. The moon calendars I have
> consulted showed a full moon on 1st September, 1993, the same day they were > supposedly on the train. I believe that Rowling had admitted to "adjusting" the
> date of the full moon in PoA (Prisoner of Azkaban) to account for this problem;
> she moved it back one night to 31 August. Thus he was supposedly tired and
> sleeping it off in the compartment.

The message goes on and on. I stopped reading after page three. First of all: 1st September? 31 August? Anyone who writes their dates like this ought to be shot. Secondly: what a fucking loser! The guy actually consulted a lunar calendar to check on the accuracy of the book, to see if a particular character turned into a werewolf on the proper date. Who gave a shit about accuracy in a book that had fucking werewolves in it? It was a fucking children's book! I was blown away. So much so that I wanted to reply to the guy and tell him to get a life. But after reading on, I realized that this would have been pointless, for all the other messages were EXACTLY THE SAME. The group was composed of the biggest, life-less losers I had ever come across.

When I got back home, I immediately cancelled my subscription. I also did some serious deep thinking. Was I just like them? Was I total fucking choad? While I read the books purely for pleasure, for escape, and could give two shits about the accuracy of it all, it was still a little discomforting. I even put off buying the next book in the series while mulling over my dilemma.

But two weeks later, when I found myself in a bookstore and saw it, I had to have it. Loser or not, I needed to know what the fuck happened to that little Harry Potter kid. This book was twice the size of the others, and I couldn't wait to get home and start reading it. But it was a Saturday, and even though I wanted to dive in immediately, I had plans that night. This made me feel a little better, that I was not so far gone that I would sit home on a Saturday night reading Harry Potter. Not like some people (Lee Hillman, for example).

The next day I was too hungover to concentrate on much of anything, and so I didn't open the book until Monday morning, on the subway. After reading for a while, totally engrossed in the book before me, I looked up to check the stop, and noticed that the woman sitting across from me was staring at me. She wasn't staring at ME exactly, she was staring at my middle, right where the Harry Potter book was. And she wasn't exactly staring, but looking at me in horror. It was as if she had never seen anything so awful as the book in my lap.

At first, I wondered if my inclination had been correct, that the book was for kids and everyone knew this, and that I was a complete dork for reading it. But I waved this off: maybe she just had something against Harry Potter. Maybe she was some religious conservative who thought it was witchcraft, like those freaks in the south who burned copies of the book.

So I put her out of my mind and returned to the world of Harry Potter, where people were much more considerate. When I looked up again, however, she was still staring at me. And so was the man sitting next to her. And both of them were staring, once again, right at the book. I was about to say something, when I noticed that the woman on the other side of the man was doing the same thing. And so was a man standing near the door. And they all had the same expression on their faces, as if they had never seen anything so disgusting.

I couldn't understand why so many people could hate a book so much. I wanted to ask them about it, but my stop was approaching, so instead I closed the book and prepared to leave. That's when I felt something weird in my crotch area, a faint breeze, and looked down. To my horror, I realized that they hadn't been staring at the book after all. They were all staring at my naked penis, which was hanging out through my open fly. Red-faced, I tucked myself in, zipped up and bolted from the train.

While at the time this was quite embarrassing, in retrospect I find the whole thing deeply amusing. And what makes it even funnier is the fact that, not only was my dick flapping around, I was reading Harry Potter on top of it. I must have looked like the biggest perverted pedophile on the planet. I'm surprised they didn't alert the police.

I'm also surprised it didn't happen sooner. I mean, a year with no underwear, and only one time did I forget to zip my fly. When you think about it, that's pretty good. So maybe I won't rush to the store just yet. And if you happen to see some freak on the subway reading Harry Potter, his magic wand if full view, instead of staring, say hello. Just don't start talking about your lunar calendar. Loser.

--Russ Josephs

E-mail: [email protected]

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[email protected] | March 2002 | Issue 24
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