The Gospel According to Jerry: Tit for tat

Commentary by Jerry Sternberg
Commentary by Jerry Sternberg Image courtesy of the author

This year’s Go Topless rally, the bare-busted parade that annually turns Pritchard Park into Hooterville, has sent shock waves through our town that have reverberated all the way to Raleigh. Many people are beating their chests in outrage over this display of titillating torsos.

My bosom buddy Boyle, the celebrated columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times, has milked this subject in several of his pieces, declaring in his last one that we must do something about this exposure.

Scores of papilla-parsing politicians have tried to get out in front of this affronting parade, demanding live action.

Our own beloved Machiavellian mammary maligner, Mayor Manheimer, is frustrated and desperately trying to keep abreast of this challenging situation. And Former City Council member Carl Mumpower seems to be particularly outraged. This exposed chest candy makes Carl’s case for “kinder” corruption compelling.

Meanwhile, down at the Legislature, Rep. Tim Moffitt is noodling around with a new nascent nipple negation that would nullify this notorious nudity. I recommend to Tim a different solution. While most conservatives are opposed to new taxes, this idea might be acceptable.

Why not impose a Titty Tax that would be levied on both men and women who want the privilege of exposing their bare chests? As evidence of payment, they’d be given official little silver-star pasties to cover their awesome aureoles. This would not only mitigate the mammary muddle but also help offset the state budget deficit.

How can I forget, during my very early formative years, those graphic photos in National Geographic of Nubian women, bare breasts exposed, as they walked along barefoot, each balancing a basket of fruit on her heads and clutching a baby to her bust.

(Note for you young people: Go to your grandparents’ house and root around in the basement. You’ll find stacks of those periodicals, because no one ever threw them away. Just look for the dog-eared pages. I think the photos were the reason those magazines were so cherished and preserved. In reality they were the hottest thing published before Playboy came along and stole their allure.) For me, these pictures, plus those tiny little X-rated comic books of Maggie and Jiggs and Blondie and Dagwood, were pretty much the extent of my sex education.

Still, it is curious that in Europe and South America, women parade topless at the pool and on the beach and are barely noticed by anyone except us redneck tourists, who’ve been mercifully sheltered from such depravity. And while children are present at these venues, I am not sure there is any empirical evidence that this has caused any more child immorality than we experience here in America. After all, any teenager is now about one click away from porn perversion on the Internet.

And where are our plucky police in all this? Standing there peeping behind their Polaroids, failing to either protect us from this prurient public pestilence or pacify the petulent preachers present.

The munificent Boobmeister Jeff Johnson of jangling jugs fame — who brought all these boobies to boggle the minds of the boorish boobs who came out to ogle and behold — claims constitutional benefits, encouraging men and women alike to “man up” and show their mammillae.

So when does this stop? Only when the media stop nattering about these nasty ninnies, thus nullifying their momentary notoriety.

As for me, I can only hope that, after this article comes out, they’ll refuse to udder another word on the subject.

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