The change came a little after the first of the year. No longer would Vons offer re-ups for transit cards; the service now goes to Albertsons.
Doesn’t matter to me. Or at least it didn’t.
I dragged my ass into Albertsons, and I waited in line. The checker seemed angry. She took goods from her store and blooped them along; relatively little chit-chat. I don’t want to make a new friend when I shop. I want to get in and out. So I didn’t mind. But the more I watched her work, the more I realized she was pissed at something, everything.
As I looked around, I noticed strangeness. Magazines about the store were turned facing the cover purposefully so the customer couldn’t see. I found that immediately odd. I leaned over and checked the offending magazine.
It was the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. On the cover was my girl, Kate Upton.
I placed the magazine back, rightfully displaying Kate’s beautiful photograph.
Sir, the frumpy checker barked in my direction, please turn the magazine around. We’ve had complaints.
Well, I am not complaining, I whispered back, clearing my throat as others in line looked at me sternly. And I cannot see why anyone would complain.
The checker commiserated with another bitter woman in line, and I overheard them deploring the sorry state of male culture in general. I squinted over their shoulders, and a pleasant-looking checker smiled broadly at me. I grabbed my stuff and headed into her line, leaving the angry lesbians to themselves.
Kate was beckoning me. Buy me, she seemed to suggest, and protest against ignorance.
True enough, most classical art, perhaps some of humanity’s greatest pieces, offered naked people as muse. Male and female. This swimsuit cover, in a way, was a celebration of femininity. Say what you want about bathing suit pictures, the cover of THIS ISSUE was certainly affirming: Kate Upton is no waif. She’s a healthy, healthy woman. Wide hips. The works. So many of the world’s zealots would kill women for such a display. A swimsuit issue, featuring women of all nationalities and ethnicities, is a great sign in a free society. It basically means we have the wherewithal to support beauty for its own sake. Other cultures are literally selling their women into slavery. Here, we have gorgeous, well-fed, athletic women whose only talent is to smile … and they’re making millions of dollars in the process.
Hooray for economic freedom! Hooray for social complexity! Hooray for choice! Hooray for hot fucking babes!
You know I had to buy the issue. Destiny. Fate. All there.
I swooped up a copy, plunking it down for the smiling checker. She gave to a slight chuckle, and I told her, Look, when men STOP looking that’s when some women get bitter. Don’t be that way. Enjoy beauty in all its forms. And enjoy your own.
Thank you, she said, graciously knowing how to take a compliment.
When I got home, I suddenly realized I forgot to pay for my transit card.
And I mean it.
Craig Edward Kelso is the author of Anarcho-Capitalism (2014), a primer on the philosophy of peaceful, stateless cooperation. His curriculum vitae include a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University, and a Post-Baccalaureate secondary education credential in both Social Science and English Language Arts. Kelso taught for nearly a decade in the American public school system, and was voted by colleagues Teacher of the Year, twice in his short tenure, earning numerous accolades from chambers of commerce, mayors, state assembly persons, governors, congresspersons, senators, and even Wal-Mart. Currently he struggles to earn an opportunity to be employed, working as a laborer, dishwasher. He is deliriously happily married to Myra Kelso, living in Southern California with their adorable children.