May 4, 2001
Here at This Week in Sex, we have nothing but respect for the good people of Appalachia. We’ve never met any of ’em, but we’re quite sure that they’re honest, they’re hard-working and they’ve been handed a bum rap by too many ignorant folk tales and Hollywood films to count. For that reason, we hereby vow not to make any easy hillbilly jokes in this item. No sir. You want cheap shots at the fine people of eastern Kentucky? Well, you’re going to have to go elsewhere for those, fella, ’cause you’re not gonna get ’em here.
Okay then. Now that we’ve cleared that up, here’s the item: according to an Associated Press report, surveillance cameras placed around illegal roadside dumps in Appalachian Kentucky have picked up multiple instances of lovers having sex at the sites. Apparently, local and state officials have placed hidden cameras at the roadside trash heaps as a way to cut down on the blight, but what they found was that local folks are using the spots, often secluded portions of little-used rural roads, for more than just dumping old engine blocks. Says Karen Engle, coordinator of PRIDE, a regional organization that helped pay for the video cameras, “It’s happening too often. One man returned to one of the dumps with four different women.” Then again, Engle’s revulsion is tempered with a newfound appreciation for the beauty of nature (and mildewing sofas). “I’ve learned that dumps can be romantic places,” she says, and let that serve as a clear hint to any suitors out there.
Please note that, as promised, there have been no hillbilly jokes in this item. Not a one.
Oh, man, this is killing us.
Times are rough in England right now, what with all the foot-and-mouth madness keeping the locals a bit on edge and, well, more than a little curious about the merits of vegetarianism. And so it’s nice to know that, in their time of need, Brits can always turn to their local pastor for some comfort, some guidance, some community. And of course, most importantly, for a scapegoat.
According to a report at Gay.com, pastor Ray Borlase of the Moreton Christian Assembly has suggested in a church newsletter that the devastation wrought by the notorious cattle disease can be attributed to God’s wrath over the British government’s recent decision to reduce the age of consent for gay sex to sixteen, putting it in line with the age of consent for straight sex. The ever-vigilant Borlase pointed out in his essay that the last major outbreak of foot-and-mouth occurred in 1967 right around the time of the U.K.’s Abortion Act and the formal legalization of homosexuality. Writes the pastor, “Those acts permitted behavior which would have brought the disapproval of God upon our nation. Soon afterwards the foot-and-mouth disease began to affect our country.” Local resident Julie Dean told the Website that she was “totally and utterly gobsmacked” by Borlase’s pamphlet, adding that “the pastor of Moreton Christian Assembly should be ashamed of himself,” but Borlase seems unbowed. “We have failed to protect our children from perversion,” he writes. “There is such a similarity between events in 1967 and this outbreak that we have to conclude this is more than a coincidence.” And San Francisco holds its breath.
Beating their Swords into Plowshares
Much hay has been made of the decision, announced months ago but only made official this week, that San Francisco’s city employees will be eligible for sex change surgery under their standard benefit program beginning in July. And indeed, with psychotherapy, hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery all covered under the plan, it’s an impressive benefit but if you ask us, it’s not the most impressive plan around. The way we hear it, things are even better across the pond, and all you have to do to take part in the largess is join the British military.
According to a report in London’s Sunday Times, the British army has also helped pay for some employees’ sex change operations, including pre-op therapy, drugs and other support, though the soldiers are routinely drummed out of the force after surgery. Still, it isn’t as though the Ministry of Defence (as those Brits spell it) is totally intolerant of transformed military bodies; according to the same report, the army has paid for breast-enhancement surgery on at least four women in the past year, including one twenty-seven-year-old corporal who underwent the operation to make her “a happier soldier.” And that ain’t all; apparently, about ten members of the armed forces have also been given free liposuction including one male soldier’s treatment that was deemed necessary “because his webbing was chafing.” And whatever that is, you can bet it’s a security risk . . .
Quotes of the Week
“He is a great respecter of homosexual rights, but he’s not gay, and he’s ready to prove this in court.”