Friday, February 12, 2010

One More Excuse To Run A Simpsons Quote

Loyal reader ST sends us this story from the same county where we both work...

"R-60" is a zoning classification for subdivisions of single-family houses where commercial activity generally isn't permitted. The 6300 block of Tone Drive in Bethesda is such a place, a tidy street of mostly 1950s brick ranchers just across River Road from Walt Whitman High School.

"BDSM" is short for "bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism." Velvet whips, leather hoods, six-inch stiletto heels, that kind of thing. If you were into the BDSM scene and periodically threw BDSM parties in your home -- as Pickthorne, a burly, jovial Briton, does in the castlelike 3,600-square-foot McMansion he rents at 6304 Tone Dr. -- you'd attract quite a crowd.

"Section 59-C-1.31" is the zoning code provision you'd be violating by having said parties in an R-60 zone if the guests pay to get in, as they do (or used to) at Pickthorne's nocturnal get-togethers. His events draw dozens of people. The cost: $20 for a basic ticket, $50 for VIP treatment.

"Kinky people" is the accepted term for folks who derive erotic pleasure from BDSM. "An amazing cross-section of humanity," says Pickthorne's friend Susan Wright, founder of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. "Men, women, transgender, heterosexuals, gays, bisexuals. Every ethnicity. White-collar and blue-collar. It's really very, very diverse -- though we do have an unusually high percentage of lawyers. I don't know why."

Anyway, you can imagine what Pickthorne's non-kinky neighbors think of all this. Fed up, they convened a meeting in someone's living room last week, then fired off indignant e-mails to County Council member Roger Berliner (D), whose district includes their Merrimack Park subdivision.

"I share your sense of outrage that a sex club is operating in your lovely neighborhood," Berliner wrote back. "I want you to know that my office has been advised that our County has moved aggressively to put an end to this blight on your community."

The county moved, all right. Pickthorne received a written warning from a zoning inspector Monday. But hold on. Suppose Pickthorne stops charging admission, as he says he might? Suppose he complies with the regulations and holds all BDSM gatherings as strictly noncommercial functions in accordance with Section 59-C-1.31? What then?

"Well," Berliner says on the phone, hesitating. "Certainly one has to respect everyone's constitutional rights."
As the Lord of Truth pointed out over drinks in St. Croix when I showed him this article, the story's sudden transtion from zoning codes to BDSM is pretty funny. Better yet is the line later in the story, where it's explained that partygoers often park in Unitarian Church parking lot. which brings to mind a great Simpsons quote...

Bart: "Ice cream at church? I'm intrigued, yet suspicious."
Lisa: "Wow, look at all these flavors! Blessed Virgin Berry, Command-Mint, Bible Gum?"
Reverend Lovejoy: "Or, if you prefer, we also have Unitarian ice cream." (hands Lisa an empty bowl)
Lisa (staring into bowl):
"But there's nothing here."
Reverend Lovejoy: "Exactly."

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Blogger The Research King said...

There's nothing like a good BDSM news discussion over drinks in St Croix.

4:24 PM  

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