For most people, eating at the Belltown Dick’s restaurant would count as high adventure at a quarter to midnight on a Friday. For us, it was a mere aperitif, something to prepare and focus the mind for the orgy of perverse debauchery planned for later.
We had midnight tickets for…
The Hump! film festival is something special in this day and age. Not just a chance to go out and watch porn in a crowded theater, the Hump! prides itself as a way of allowing ordinary average people to become porn stars, but only for a day… NOT the rest of their lives.
How? By ceremonially burning all copies of the films entered on the last night of the festival, and A very simple but rigidly* enforced “no cameras or cell phones in the theater” rule. The event MC, Dan Savage, the justifiably famous author of the “Savage Love” sex advice column, repeated the phrase “We can, we will and we have taken away cell phones from people. Should we have to do this, you will not get your device back!” at least five times. This was before requiring that the audience repeat a similar phrase.
It should have come as no surprise then when one of the rather beefy looking ushers strode forth during the second film to relieve some schmuck of their brightly glowing digital device. And yet, they did seem surprised. This might have had something to do with the rather large number of Jack Daniels shots poured prior to the screening, but I personally suspect stupidity.
Stupidity–or at least it’s lack–might be the one unifying aspect to the films presented. Absolutely none of the 23 shorts (all entries must be five minutes or less) were what I was afraid of. They were not simply low-budget versions of run-of-the-mill porn-tube clip.
They ranged from the raunchy and disgusting “Master Cottonmouth’s Operate” to the delightfully cheesy spy thrillers “Gold Penis” and “Double-O-Sexy” (There was extra credit for the number “7” this year) to the sweet, sweet sweetness of “Donut” which happened to be sweet for a very different reason than the tender animation of “Miller’s Daughter” or the Glee inspired shenanigans of “Teenage Dream.”
Then there was the truly disturbing ones–for me at least–such as “Knife”, where the Phallic nature of that particular object is reconfirmed in a most cringeworthy way, or “The One Where The Girl Is Pushed Up Against The Door” which squicked me for reasons that I am both more reticent to discuss and less able to explain. This though, is the reason that most of the audience–for the most part young, urban and hip Seattleites, lest you think that I reported from a den of dirty old men in trench coats–were here for: an adventure. A three hour pass away from the everyday. Adventure, as a famous H*bb*t** once remarked, seemed to be mostly about “being uncomfortable and without pocket handkerchiefs.”
No further comment on the pocket hankies, but that sense of the vivaciously uncomfortable certainly applies here. Especially in my own choice of “Best in Show”, “Pedal to Pleasure.” Do we have a word for having erotic feelings for one’s bicycle? Let’s hope not, because if they don’t know what to call it, they can’t make it illegal.
Until they do, I’ll see you at the Hump!
*No, not a double entendre. Really.
**This unredacted word is copyrighted. Sorry!