>Last Sunday, I had brunch with my friend Sara and she mentioned that she wanted to see the film Lars and the Real Girl, which is about a mentally disabled young man who gets a blow up sex doll, names it Bianca, and introduces it to people as his girlfriend. It's a movie that is very supportive of mentally ill people and also stars Ryan Gosling, who rocks, but I decided that I can't sit through more than 30 minutes of such precious concepts.

However, I could spend hours observing people at my neighborhood sex shop as they shop for blow up dolls and other sex play items. Yesterday Des was on the hunt for some black fishnet stockings. First we stopped into a "normal" store, Ricky's. (Ricky's is a local chain that used to be a pharmacy and sell sundries and beauty products. A few years ago, they realized that there is no money to be made in selling medications, so they took out the drugs and sundries, kept the beauty products, and put in a sex toys section. Plus they sell all kinds of doodads like slippers, funny t-shirts, and tights.) Ricky's didn't have fishnets that Des liked, so I suggested that we go to the local sex shop, which I knew had a variety of fishnets because I noticed a red pair in the doorway one day as I passed by and went in to check them out. Des agreed, and our hilarious adventure began.

The stockings section at the store is right in front near the door. As we were browsing the various fishnets, a woman about our age reluctantly stepped into the store. As she took off her hat, I was pretty sure that she wished that the ground would swallow her. The two guys at the counter asked if they could help her. She must've whispered what she was looking for, as I didn't hear her response. On the other hand, it was impossible not to hear the guy as he boomed out, "Of COURSE we have this! Follow me!" and led her to the back of the store where the porn videos are.

In the meantime, Des and I commented on gross giant dildos with blue veins painted on them, crotchless leather and mesh panties, and a mesh tank top for men which we thought would likely not be sexy on an actual man. I eyed the fake vaginas, which always fascinate me in their pinkness. We went to the counter so Des could pay for her tights and a cute pair of fingerless lace gloves a la Madonna's "Like a Virgin" era. As the cashier ran Des's credit card, I heard the other customer approach the register behind me.

"So what did you pick?" the non-cashier employee asked her.

I didn't turn around to see, so I can only assume she held her item up to show him. "Why did you pick that one? He showed you much better stuff?" the employee pressed.

"They're all the same," the woman mumbled. I swear I could feel the heat radiate off her blushing face, although I did not turn to look at her. I didn't want to add to her embarrassment. It most of my willpower to not start laughing.

"NO!" the employee said loudly in disgust. "All pornos are not the same! The other one he showed you is much better quality! Better pictures, better sound, better everything..."

Now I was biting my lip at the ridiculousness of the situation. Des finished paying, the cashier put her items in a plain black bag, and we left. In that time, I decided that I should just hang out at the sex shop all day some time and record the absurd conversations that I suspect go on multiple times.

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