Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Used To Work In Porn - Part One

This post inspired by the writing prompt at Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine With My Morning Quiet Time?Writing prompt: When I was younger I tried...



When I was younger I tried to manage a pornography ring.

I know that is a heavy statement. Let me back up and explain.

When I graduated from elementary school and entered high school, I was scared out of my mind. I just knew I would get stabbed the first day. If for some reason I did survive, I would have to spend all my energy dodging junkies, avoiding getting sucked into a gang and practicing to "Just say NO!"

When I actually got there and lived through my first day, I concluded that it wasn't that bad. I was a puny nerd and it was still a bit intimidating, but I was more comfortable than when I first entered that morning. After a couple of weeks, I began to get a feel for the place.

I very quickly began to notice some of the differences from the years before. In junior high, we paid for our school lunches well ahead of time. Our parents could pay for the entire year up front or cover a month at a time. If they were behind, they would get billed and catch up, but high school did it differently.

The high school sold lunch tickets to be presented in the cafeteria in exchange for a meal. These tickets could only be purchased before school or during lunch period from the guidance counselor.

One ticket = one cafeteria meal = $1.

One week's lunch. It all started with this.

Every Monday, my parents gave me five dollars to buy a week's worth of tickets for my lunch. I bought them as soon as I got to school and put them in my wallet. However, not everyone had the foresight that I did. Many students never thought about their lunch until the lunch bell rang. Then they would have to go stand in line at the guidance counselor's office to get a ticket before crossing the parking lot to the cafeteria to stand in line again to get their food. By then, all the best stuff might be gone and they had already lost almost half of the already short 30 minute lunch period.

One day in class, I pulled the tickets out of my wallet to rip one off and stick in my pocket. The bell was about to ring and I didn't want to waste any time. It was pizza day and I wanted to be ready to bolt as soon as I heard that bell. 

A guy in the next row saw my tickets and asked if he could buy one. He had forgotten to get his earlier and didn't want to stand in line and miss the best pizza. So, I sold him one. That caught another guy's attention and I ended up selling all I had, except the one for me. All that meant was that I would have to buy more tickets the next morning. It was no big deal.

The next day, I was asked again if I had extras. I said I did and sold them, but griped that they should plan ahead and buy their own. Once again, I had to stand in line the next day to replace them. I hated standing in that line and vowed that I would not sell any more tickets. It just wasn't worth it. It's not like I was getting anything out of this......WHOA! Wait a minute! What if I could get something out of it? If I made a little bit of money, it would be worth it.

When I was asked for my extra tickets right before lunch the next day, I held my head up and demanded $1.50.

DUMB JOCK: "What? Tickets only cost a dollar."
ME: "Wrong. The guidance counselor charges a dollar, but she doesn't sell tickets in this room. This room is my market and here they cost $1.50. If you don't want to pay it, then go stand in her line."

While he thought about it, the guy behind me decided it was worth it to be able to avoid the delay and lose all that time. He paid me what I asked for, which prompted others to do the same. I only sold four tickets, but that meant I had made a two dollar profit. I used all that money to buy more tickets and keep doing the same. Within a couple of weeks, I was buying 10 to 20 lunch tickets every morning before school. I sold them at a 50% mark up selling out almost every day. I averaged $25 to $40 a week in profits. Not bad for a 14 year old kid.

Like most people, I got a little greedy and wanted to make more money. I tried jumping the price to $1.75, but no one would buy at that price. It hurt my sales which killed my profits and I quickly dropped the price back again. Since I always had extra money, I tried loaning some occasionally. I would buy someone a soda or candy bar if they agreed to pay me back within a week plus a little extra. I even carried a pocket notebook around to keep track of my transactions. However, being a little nerdy guy, I really had no way to enforce collections if someone stiffed me. It never occurred to me to hire a bruiser, so the loan shark game was short lived. I went back to all money up front.

Soon, I lucked upon the knowledge that there was a way to get two sodas from the soda machine when only one was purchased. After school, I stood beside the machine and would offer to get students an extra soda if they paid for one and a half. Sodas were $1. If they put a dollar in the machine and then gave me fifty cents, I would get them two sodas. They got more than they paid for and I made fifty cents per transaction. That added a few extra dollars each day to my profits, but it was too slow. I needed something bigger.

It wasn't long before bigger happened. A friend of mine was wandering around town and decided to go into an abandoned house one weekend. This house had sat empty for well over a year and he just wanted to see what was inside. He discovered a closet full of pornographic magazines. He told me about it at school the next day.

As a 14 year old boy, I was very interested in seeing these magazines and accompanied him to the house the following weekend. I was amazed. There were literally a few hundred magazines of all types. Up to that time, I had only seen a couple of Playboys at a friend's house, but these were different. They were not standard publications. They were not just full of naked women. They were hard-core porn and a lot of them. I had never seen anything like what was in these pages and it occurred to me that most other kids hadn't seen this stuff before either. Remember - this was years before the internet.

Then, the idea hit me like a thunderbolt. Other kids hadn't seen this stuff. I was sitting on a goldmine.



Everything about my little business was about to change, but this post has gotten long enough. I will wrap it up in the next post. I know it seems unfair since I just now finally got to the porn part, but there was a lot of back story.

For those of you who are overly excited and are unsure if you can wait for the porn, I hear that there are plenty of other sites that can accommodate you until then.


15 comments:

  1. You were quite the business man in high school. Here I thought babysitting was the only way to make some spending money.

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    1. I wish I still had a business sense. I'm broke now.

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  2. Oh my gosh, I love you so much! I can believe what an entrepreneur you were. Loved this story, and I am super excited to hear about the porn! Hmmm, that sounded kinda weird.

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    1. Thank you. It does sound a bit weird that I go you worked up about porn. The next post is already written and will go up tonight at midnight.

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  3. Wow! Thanks for the shout-out. Obviously, I can relate to this. You happen upon an opportunity, so make some coin from it. Looking forward to seeing how you went about the transactions in part 2.

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    1. You are quite welcome. I have enjoyed digging through your blog. I am going to be participating in some of your writing prompts in the future.

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  4. Replies
    1. As you will see from the next post, this venture was fairly short lived.

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  5. Oh you sod! I was sat gripped by the whole thing and then it just ended!! Look forward to the second part. :)

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    1. Thank you. It will be wrapped up in a few hours.

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  6. You really knew how to make money. I'm really curious as to how this story is going to end.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I could use some of that entrepreneurial spirit today.

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