“Curiosity killed the cat.”
Do clichés get dumber than this? Curiosity actually probably led to every great discovery and interesting idea out there. And I don’t think it really kills that many people outside of horror movies. (“What was that freaky noise?” “Let’s find out!”) I’m sure heart disease kills a lot more people, and you don’t see anyone coming up with witty aphorisms about that.
Me, I am a curious soul, living in jaded times. Information is always at our fingertips. If you are curious about something, you can often find out about it in a matter of seconds. This takes the edge off curiosity a lot of the time, and maybe that’s sad. I think it might take away some of the satisfaction of finding things out.
But sometimes, there are things that you can’t just look up. For example, whispering. People whispering drives me absolutely mental with curiosity, which is funny, because if they speak at a normal level, I will do everything in my power to block them out. And diaries. If you have one, don’t leave me alone with it. My conscience could probably keep me from reading it for about an hour. After that, I’m pretty sure my curiosity would beat down my conscience with almost no trouble.
I also am always extremely curious about presents. The idea that someone saw something and thought, yes, I think Stephanie will like this, is fascinating to me. Even when they are totally wrong. Maybe especially so, although it is also fantastic when someone gets it completely right. It’s a very exposed feeling, but in a good way.
I digress. What I am leading up to here is a little story from my trip to Portland the other week. See, we went to this great Mexican restaurant, Santeria. The food was excellent and cheap and the atmosphere was simple and rather authentic, I thought. Definitely go if you’re in Portland sometime and you like Mexican food.
After a while there, my husband went to the washroom. He came back with fascinating news: the washroom was shared with the strip club next door and you had to walk through the strip club to get to it.
I have never been to a strip club. The opportunity has never spontaneously arisen, and I’ve never cared enough to seek one out. I’m also not particularly comfortable with the idea; I think I have issues from the objectification angle. That said, if I was ever going to see one, this was probably the least threatening situation it was ever going to happen in. And I’m all for trying new things.
So I went to check it out. It was a bit underwhelming, really. I think there were only one or two patrons in there and just one topless girl dancing on the stage. So now I know. But what was exciting was the vending machine in the washroom. Now, many washrooms have vending machines. They sell tampons usually, and sometimes condoms and mints and wet-wipes and lip-balm. I’ve even seen one selling designer imposter fragrances.
None of these conveniences were on offer, however. No, the sign on this vending machine said, “Give her a thrill tonight! [Why this was in the ladies’ washroom, I don’t know.] Sexy Surprises! Fifty cents each! Collect all twelve!” There was a cartoon picture of a buxom lady in a bikini, looking thrilled.
I had to have one. I had to know what they were. I mean, fifty cents! What can you buy for fifty cents? Almost nothing! Definitely nothing thrilling. And probably nothing sexy either. (Have you ever been to a sex shop? There are a couple really close to where I live. That stuff is crazy expensive.) And there were twelve different types! But I had left my purse back in the restaurant. I had no quarters. Argh!
I decided it would be weird to come back to the washroom again, so I gave my mom some quarters and got her to go buy a couple. Luckily, she’s a good sport.
So now I have two different, matchbox-sized “Sexy Surprises” as my souvenir of Portland. My curiosity was satisfied and the whole episode was greatly entertaining. However, I don’t think I’ll tell you what they were, just because I’m evil like that. (Feel free to guess though.)
On a related note, there is a sex shop on Granville Street with a big sign in the window that says, “Peep show 25 cents.” I’ve always wondered about that. I remember seeing a similarly priced offering called “Zapping” in Paris. Now I know what I can get for 50 cents. I wonder what a quarter would get me? Maybe one of these days I’ll have to find out.