VII. The Editing Suite

"Got to remove golden girl from the wheat
But each time I do the scene's incomplete
Her frames are gone but there's something lacking
That makes what all is left look like packing.
Some folks acquire an incandescent spark
We can't measure but is light in the dark
And so these scenes I've erased of Raquel
Seem missing something that's elemental.
There hasn't been such boggle to the brain
Since that H. G. Wells movie with Claude Raines,
Trying to make a ham invisible
Either with strings or with nothing at all
Just a disembodied voice on the track,
Like trying to squeeze Shakespeare from a rock."

"I'll have one Cafe with deleted scenes,
To show the Meese Commission, that is clean
Of the travesty of a girl my age
Carrying on like Mistress Betty Page."
"The problem there, I can't let you do it--
If Meese sees that then they'll hold us to it,
A sex film so lame to it I liken
Roger Moore in Man with the Golden Gun.
Without Felch, the work's so dispirited
To kill porn itself, I won't hear of it!"
"Oh, come on Steven, can it be that bad?
What about the naughty theme song it had,
By that same bird who sang like a blue jay
That message of love to Sir Poitier."

"No! And besides, Rinse Dream would attack me
For letting you and your charms hijack the
Project he worked so hard to realize
And release it in a flimsy disguise.
Did you know that at first he intended
A mainstream film, not the "X" it ended,
But the financiers balked unless it had
Explicit sex for the raincoat-lapped crowd
Who still go to smelly porno theaters
With other lonely, old beat-the-meaters?
Well, thank god for the Home Video boon:
VHS and Beta and none too soon.
Adult films could be a huge industry
If it weren't public who sneaks in to see."

Determined, Emily leaned in real close
To Steve Awesome, practically nose to nose
"Worried I might dissuade?" she said to him,
Reaching a manicured nail to the brim
Of her baseball cap, giving it a flick.
Then suddenly the editor looked sick.
"I'm outta here!" he said, dropping his work.
"In the words of Harry Kalas," she smirked.
Emma grabbed a film reel quickly and got
A foot of tape stuck to the right spot,
A specially mastered sound sequence
Engineered by Vern to play a frequence
Inaudible to conscious listening
But indelible to its underpinning.

Traci Lords (her name comes from the Kate Hepburn character in A Philadelphia Story) was a big star in a hundred adult films before revealing in 1985 that she'd lied about her legal age to work in them. She made several mainstream movies after her adult career, and was a regular on Roseanne.

The last adult movie theater in Philadelphia closed in 2013.