An Open Letter to HBO by my 14-Year-Old Self Circa 1981
Dear HBO Executives,
I just wanted to write and thank you for your excellent service. If it weren’t for HBO, I would have no idea what bare breasts look like. Although I once accidentally walked in on my mom as she was coming out of the shower, but that’s an image I would prefer to forget. You see I am a 14-year-old boy and I have no other way to see boobs. My dad’s magazine stash is all fishing magazines and Readers Digest, and I don’t have an older brother to supply me with his porno-mag hand-me-downs. To top it off, I’m pretty much the Arnold Horshack of my school, if you know what I mean, so the chances are slim that I’ll be seeing real life boobs any time soon.
Instead, my best friend Brian and I eagerly await the arrival of the HBO Program Guide at the beginning of every month and plan our sleepovers accordingly (my family has HBO but Brian’s family doesn’t even have cable yet!) Thanks to your handy ratings system, we know which movies will give us the best chance to see the boobs. We scan the program guide looking for all the movies with an “N” (nudity) rating. If the lead actress has a Swedish-sounding last name then so much the better. We’re less interested in movies with an “SC” (sexual content) rating. Those can be a big fake out. We’ve watched these before and been ready for lots of sex and nudity and have to settle for a couple of middle-aged people discussing their sexual hang-ups for two hours. “BN” (brief nudity) is okay, but sometimes it can be all too brief. We once watched an entire Erik Estrada movie and only saw about 10-seconds of boobs. I’m not saying it wasn’t worth it, but I wouldn’t want to watch Erik Estrada movies on a regular basis. Seriously, have you seen CHiPs? It sucks! Luckily we had to keep the sound off so my parents wouldn’t know what we’re watching, and that kept us from having to hear the dialogue.
I would like to suggest some additions to your ratings system to help make it easier for kids like us to get the content we want without wasting too much of our video game time. First of all, when you use “BN” how about telling us how much nudity can be expected? Maybe something like “BN-20” which would mean 20 seconds of brief nudity. That way Brian and I can decide if it’s worth sitting through an otherwise dull movie or switching over to the Atari for a game of
Space Invaders. Also, maybe you could be a little more specific about the kinds of nudity we can expect. For example, the listing could read “BN-B-J-10.” That would translate to “Brief nudity with boobs that jiggle for 5 seconds.” Or the boobs could be “B” (bouncing), “XL” (extra large) or “S” (soapy.) Actually, it would also help to know at what point in the movie we can expect to see these boobs. During that lousy Erik Estrada movie there was some nudity around the 15-minute mark and then nothing again until almost the end. It would be nice to know that kind of thing in advance so we can play Space Invaders (Brian actually prefers BattleZone) in the gap between. That could look something like “BN-B-XL-10-15 and 70) which would translate to “brief nudity with extra large boobs for 10 seconds at 15 minutes and 70 minutes into the movie.) I know that sounds like a lot of work for you guys, but you’d be doing us a huge favor! Trust me, I’ve spent hours watching Sylvia Krystal wander the streets of European cities, but I’ve only seen her boobs for like three minutes. Finally, I’m hoping that you can throw in a “P” or a “D” or something when the nudity is of the male variety, so we can avoid those movies. I’m not concerned for myself, but I think Brian might have had some sort of awakening last time.
I hope this isn’t too much to ask. I dream that one day there will be some form of easy and limitless access to free porn – maybe something to do with computers – I don’t know. But until then, guys like me rely on your channel to get us through puberty.