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The Saga of Freaky Porno Guy

There are weirder things than me out there, and people with worse social skills, apparently.

I spent the last weekend with my girlfriend (Tina) and my roommate (Elizabeth). On Saturday night, we decided to go to the Gallery Hop, which is basically a trip through all the galleries in the gay part of Columbus.

While planning our evening, I noticed (from an insert in the Other Paper) that The Garden and The Chamber were both listed as part of the Gallery Hop. The Garden is an adult store that's been in the Short North area for years, and it recently expanded to move all the bondage gear to a new store, The Chamber.

I asked (jokingly at first) if Elizabeth wanted to go with us to The Garden. She said she'd never been to an adult store before, and thus it was sealed.

Well, we went out to eat first, and Elizabeth got a bit drunk. Then we went to get some cat food for Sable and Veda (Elizabeth's cats). Finally, we decided to go down to the Gallery Hop.

We found a parking space just south of 5th Avenue on High Street. As we got out of the car (we were parked right in front of Skully's Bar), Tina decided that she wanted to try to visit with her friend, Elton, who was bartending. She was shocked to see him though the window with long hair.

Anyway, we decided that we'd go to The Garden and The Chamber first, since bars are open deep into the night. So we wandered across the street to The Garden first.

We wandered in, and just walked around the clothes area. The Garden stocks all sorts of odd things that really make you wonder about your fellow man. There were man-sized heels, lots of see-through clothing, and even a Snow White outfit (I didn't see any dwarf outfits, but I wouldn't be surprised if they could order them).

As we wandered around the left half of the store, a guy came around the right half. He was about as tall as I am, a bit skinnier, and wearing a black leather jacket, a gray sweater, and jeans. He also wore round glasses. He was generally clean-cut.

He said to us (as a group), "Heh. They should make this part of the Gallery Hop."

"It already is," I said back. And he wandered off a ways.

We then went downstairs into the "adult" section of the store. This is where all the dildos and movies are (apparently, it's just clothes upstairs, and lube, and everything else you would probably need).

We wandered around for a while, and we noticed the guy wandering down there as well. He was always hovering fairly close to us.

Tina actually recognized him at that point. Apparently, he had asked her to have coffee with him at the Borders Bookstore on Kenny and Henderson a few months ago (possibly up to a year ago, because we were up there with a friend who has since graduated). At this point, we started to think there was something odd about him, not just in the usual porn shop customer way.

We didn't really think much of it until we came across some interesting contraptions that people apparently use for their pleasure. She couldn't figure out what the open cylinder was used for, and while expressing this inability to understand, the guy who had been hovering around us chimed in with some smart remark that I don't remember.

At this point, we decided to leave the basement.

We went back up the stairs and looked around at the right half of the store, which had some more odd things in it. We decided to leave the store entirely, though, when he came up the stairs and looked over at us.

I moved the girls outside, and we made for The Chamber as quickly as possible. As I slipped in the door, I saw him step out onto the street and see me. Busted, I wandered in after the girls, and we made for the back of the store.

As we were standing around the back, looking at various curiosities, I look up toward the door, and he walks in. He makes his way toward the back of the store in a manner that spoke with a veneer of coincidence.

As soon as he reached the area we were in, I said (loud enough for everyone to hear), "Alright, ladies. Ready to go?" Apparently, Elizabeth saw him at this point, and was very agreeable to leaving, as was Tina.

We got outside, and Elizabeth and Tina were incredulous as to this guys persistence. We were going to go into Magnolia Thunderpussy (a record store), but they were closed. I also thought about getting into the car and driving off, but we figured he wouldn't follow us into another place.

We crossed the street through heavy traffic and went into Skully's. The girls went into the ladies' room, and I went to the men's room. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw him standing, staring into the darkness of the back bar. I knew he was looking for us, so I walked up to the bar in front and ordered a water, where I could see both him and the opening to the ladies' room. When he saw me, he came straight up to me, and asked, "You were with the girls, right?"


"Are you, like, a boyfriend?"

"Yes." At this point, I see Tina and Elizabeth emerge from the bathroom. Tina sees me talking to him, and jumps into a corner out of sight. Elizabeth stands there for a moment, just gawking. I think Tina must have said something to her after a moment, because she disappeared in the opposite direction back into the bathroom.

"Which one?" he asked me then.

"The tall one. The other one is engaged."

He stood there for a moment, and then, as if as a recovery, said, "Yeah, I just wanted to get the low-down before I said something. And ya know, you just can't say anything in shops like those."

"Yeah," I responded, turning back to my drink to show that the conversation was over.

After that, he acted a bit like a fish out of water. He opened his mouth, thought better of it, shut it, and opened his mouth again. Then he walked into the bathroom.

About this time, I saw Elizabeth poke her head around the corner. I motioned her out, and she and Tina came out of the bathroom. Elizabeth ordered a drink, and Tina asked if Elton was still around. The bartender informed us that he was working the back bar tonight.

Once Elizabeth's drink was poured, we went straight to the back bar and sat down. Elizabeth could see back to the front, and told me that he came back out of the bathroom and was looking around the bar again. He left a few minutes later, we presume because there weren't any more girls there who were worth hitting on. We didn't see him the rest of the night.

You'd think the story would end there, but it doesn't.

The next evening, we were eating at Friday's on the corner of Kenny and Henderson (right across from the Borders Bookstore that Tina had first encountered this guy in).

In the middle of our meal, I saw the guy walking (dressed the same as the last night) past the windows of Friday's. "Oh, my god, is that him?" I asked. Tina saw him and confirmed, and Elizabeth turned around and just got a shocked look on her face. "What's he doing here, stalking us? Two porn shops, and now two bars?" she said.

Well, we weren't actually at the bar, which is where he headed. About ten minutes later, without seeing us, he left the restaurant and went out to the parking lot, where he wandered around aimlessly for a while. Then he got into his car (a fairly nice car) and drove off.

Elizabeth's comment pretty well sums it up: "What, there weren't any women worth hitting on in the bar, so he tries the parking lot?"

Anyway, so far, that's the last I've seen of him. But the day is still young.

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