TRAINJOTTING TURNS 5: Lust

Each day this week, to commemorate our fifth birthday, Trainjotting is publishing memorable posts from the past, grouped under a specific Seven Deadly Sin. Today’s sin is Lust.

This post ran in August 2008, written by then “Foot It” columnist Tim Coleman, who covered the walk-to-work beat for Trainjotting.

FOOT IT: King Dong vs. the 50 Foot Woman

Posted on August 20, 2008 by TJ

 

Tim Coleman covers the bipedal commuter beat.

 

 

 

Ah, the air is warm, sun-dappled and mercifully free of humidity. It’s a perfect day to walk to work. My wife even joins me. I’ll accompany her to the subway and then continue on to the office.

 

But at the corner of Mott Street and Houston comes a sight that startles me like the stomp of Godzilla’s foot. Earth-shaking! Horrifying! Only it isn’t a giant lizard.

 

It’s a giant penis.

 

My wife nods in just-kidding admiration. But me? My knees buckle. Yet I keep pace, barely, and edge past Milano’s dive.

 

The pecker belongs to a billboard spanning five stories of a six-floor walk-up. Do the unusually long division, and that’s a story-high schlong. At least the frank-and-beans are covered—there is a God—but only by a pair of tourniquet-tight boxer briefs.

 

In black and white, the billboard depicts a shirtless model cut off at the knees and just above his alarmingly plump lips.

 

CAUTION, screams the copy. ONE BRIEF ENCOUNTER MAY LEAD TO ANOTHER.
—KENNETH COLE

 

Now, full disclosure: I am a copywriter for an ad agency. I had nothing to do with this, well, piece, but I understand the use of an arresting photograph and a cheeky headline. I’ve written billboards. But isn’t this bit of communication a bit much?

           

Call me homophobic. Possibly, but I am more, um, open than some straight guys. (Hell, I paid to see Brokeback Mountain in the theater.) But having a dude’s package shoved down my throat—I mean, in my face—I mean, whatever—releases my inner Jesse Helms. And I have to pass King Dong daily.

 

I bet even gays would have my, ahem, back on this. Google the ad and up comes the link. One of the posts mocks Kenneth Cole’s punny business. Then again, the same post urges, “Let the model’s penis speak for itself.” Maybe this link isn’t helping my case.

           

Which is what, anyway? I have no idea. All I know is I keep walking, now in a daze. My better half has already moved on and is talking about… something. A red traffic signal at the intersection of Lafayette and Houston pokes through my fog. We wait for the light to change.

 

Suddenly, I’m struck by yet another mammoth billboard. Not at all horrifying, but still earth-shaking.

 

This one features a woman: Pam Anderson.

 

 

Baywatch’s own towers 50 feet above us in buxom profile, her lips suggestively akimbo. Pam is also surrounded by Pam and more Pam: one a butt shot of her frolicking in a bikini, another an illustrated profile of her lying more-than-suggestively on a motorcycle. The billboard is for her new TV show Pam, Girl on the Loose.

 

I stare with keen interest. My wife does her head-shake/eye-roll combo, and I half-expect her to crack, “Talk about the boob tube.” But we just say good-bye and part company. I think she’s silly for dissing the attack of this particular 50 Foot Woman.

 

But is it really any different from the ’board member of a few blocks back? Nah. Marching along, I take some comfort in the fact that at least there’s something for everybody.

 

Comfort. Yeah, that’s the word.

 

—Tim Coleman

 

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