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Sunday, May 29, 2011

THE COCK AND BALLS PHOTO

My apologies if you landed here after googling "the cock and balls photo." I know this isn't what you were looking for, but put your cock and balls back in your pants and stick around for a bit. This may interest you. A couple of weekends ago, the Colombian and I took a ride out to Brooklyn. We'd been hanging out in Williamsburg for the day and decided to catch the tail end of the New York Photo Festival in Dumbo on the way home. But upon our arrival in the Disneyland of Brooklyn, we chose to buy dinner with the thirty dollars we would have spent on the festival. There are events that sound cool and interesting until you're peeking through the window of some gallery, being shoved aside by a group of rowdy Puerto-Rican bridesmaids who are walking from their cars to a wedding photo shoot on the Brooklyn Bridge promenade, wondering if you wanna spend money to look at photographs you could probably see online for free. The dinner at Siggy's in Brooklyn Heights was quite good, and during our post-meal constitutional through the neighborhood, we decided to head back to Dumbo for a change of scenery.

We walked past the gallery we had originally decided not to enter, and the Colombian tried to drag me in. "But I don't wanna pay for this," I said, feeling cheap, embarrassed, unsupportive of the arts.

"Come on," she insisted, leading the way. I followed her sheepishly, hoping they wouldn't ask to see our tickets, and they didn't. The place was closing in about ten minutes and they let us give a quick snoop around. (So go ahead and post that tip on one of those sites that let's you know how to get shit for free, but please give a Jew his props when posting, tweeting, etc.)

I can barely remember most of the photos -- not because they were bad, just unremarkable -- except for one. Can you guess which from the title of this post?

As I made my way from the section featuring photos of extremely long haired Argentinean women (I think that's what they were), I stumbled upon a group of photos of some random young guy. The first few photos of him were a blur -- a headshot, in front of a tree, in a car -- I don't know. I was rushing through the gallery, trying to soak in as much free photo gazing as I could before they closed. But as my eyes glanced across the wall, my stare became momentarily fixed upon a photo of this blonde haired guy in his twenties with his cock and balls hanging over his pants. I started to wonder why the photographer thought this was art, and why the festival organizers agreed with him. But more importantly, I wondered why I was still looking at the picture for more than a second. I quickly turned away, my heterosexuality still intact, and I noticed a middle-aged guy standing a few feet away, looking at me.

"Interesting photograph," he said.

"Yeah, that's one way to describe it," I uncomfortably responded.

"What do you think it means?"

"Probably that the guy in this picture needed some quick cash."

"What does it mean to you?" he wanted to know.

"Honestly, not much."

"Are you a photographer?"

"No," I said, purposely keeping my response curt. Where the hell had the Colombian gone? I thought to myself scanning the room for her.

"I figured by the way you were admiring it, you were."

Admiring? Who's admiring? I thought. I saw a guy's shlong and nuts and it took me by surprise, okay? There was no admiring going on!

"No, just here to look at the pictures," I said, hoping he'd leave me alone.

"Does it excite you?"

"Excuse me?"

"Does the photograph excite you? I'm a photographer. I like to know what excites people about photos."

Suddenly, I felt like Dudley in that episode of Diff'rent Strokes where the guy from WKRP In Cincinnati gets him to take his shirt off in his bike shop. I wanted to just tell the guy to go away before I found myself full of wine coolers and posing for a picture in his studio somewhere under the Manhattan Bridge overpass with my junk hanging over my jeans. It's a good strategy -- hang out in front of a picture of a cock and balls, wait to see a guy you like "admire" said picture, and then go in for the kill -- but not on my watch, Mr. Carlson. Does it excite you? Shit, if I ever tried that line on a woman, I'd get kicked in the sack.

Before I could answer his question, the Colombian made her way over to where we were. I grabbed her hand and gave her a kiss in order to send a clear message that I had no interest in having my picture taken, and that I wasn't admiring anything. He smiled, and said, pointing, "We were just talking about this photo."

"Oh, really?" the Colombian asked curiously. "What were you talking about?"

"I think they're closing. We should go," I said.

"Are these your photos?" she asked, ignoring me.

"No, but I'm a photographer," he said, handing her a card. "If either one of you ever wants to have your picture taken..."

"We should do that," she said to me, excited.

"Yeah, sure," I said, nervously smiling at him before he smiled back, wished us a good night, and walked away.

"Why are you talking to some stranger about a picture of some guy's balls?" she asked, chuckling, teasing me, but also wanting to know why I was talking to some stranger about some guy's balls.

"Can't one guy admire another guy's balls without it meaning anything sexual?"

"Let's go home," she said, yanking my arm. "I think we got our money's worth already."

"Okay, let's stop for a drink first. Suddenly, I'm in the mood for a wine cooler."

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