Despite the title of this piece, Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-New York) remains, at this writing, Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-New York); there's been no indication that he might step down from his House seat after the, um, disturbing revelations of late May that earned a Twitter hashtag (#weinergate) and reactions ranging from bilious to bemused. If you're coming in late, this is how it started, more or less:

The Internet was abuzz Saturday [28 May 2011] after it was reported that Rep. Anthony Weiner had apparently sent a lewd photo to a Seattle-area college student.

The New York Democrat quickly asserted that his online accounts had been "hacked" after Andrew Breitbart's reported that Weiner's Twitter account was used to send the photo, which shows the pelvic area of a man in gray undershorts with his tumescent penis bulging.

When the word "tumescent" appears in a news account, I submit, it's never a good sign. Journalist Robert Stacy McCain, who posted that story, quickly went all Weiner, all the time in an effort to stay on top of the ever-changing not-quite-facts of the matter. And it occurred to me, in my capacity as the owner of (1) a penis and (2) two pair of gray undershorts, that I probably should get all my own ducks in a row, just in case any similar questions are asked about me.

It should be noted here that my default condition is unclothed; yes, I do have a day job, and yes, occasionally I have to work in the front yard, but the combination of the two, unless things are going really horribly, accounts for less than 60 hours out of any given 168-hour week. That said, while I'm pretty open about the fact, I am generally disinclined to show it to anyone, much to the presumed relief of the postman and the pizza guy.

Which is not to say that no one has ever seen me in this state. Once in a great while, at least somewhat owing to the fact that I can't afford to take down the six-foot fence and replace it with an eight-foot fence, the maximum permitted under the overlay zoning in these parts, I am spotted by a neighbor. (Okay, twice in the last seven years. She was okay with it, or at least unruffled; he pitched a fit.) Still, I think it's safe to say that I'm not going out of the way to put myself on display.

In the matter of photographs: a small number of them do exist, taken by me. If any exist that were not taken by me, I'm not aware of them; short of declaring myself a candidate for office, I can't think of any way to turn up such pictures.

For several years, I participated in an AOL chat room devoted to the, um, clothing-optional lifestyle. This of course was mostly text; I didn't send out any pictures at the time, claiming, correctly if lamely, that I didn't want to cause any grief when I went to get my 35mm film processed. (Two women did send me pictures, which may have been of them; I had no way to verify them.)

For the brief period it existed, I was on the Skinbook social network, which expected its participants to provide nude photographs for their profiles. I did so: two, if I remember correctly. Ning eventually shut them down, and they were unable to make a go of it as an independent operation; I'm pretty sure everything by now has been deleted, though it's possible someone might have the archives somewhere. I have also participated in a couple of message boards, though generally all they got was a marginally-immodest avatar.

A few bloggers with whom I am acquainted have expressed a disdain for duds similar to mine; there has never been a picture exchange involved in those expressions.

And then there's the one photo (well, actually a link to a photo) I actually emailed to someone, mostly as a quid pro quo: she'd pointed to a relatively-revealing shot of herself, and I figured I was bound to reciprocate. (And by then, I'd acquired a new camera.) That link is now dead, though I still have a version of the picture on hand. It is, admittedly, somewhat coyly posed.

Long before any of this, though, there was The Calendar. Somewhere in the middle 1980s, a friend of mine wanted to do a gag gift for his fiancée: something similar to the beefcake calendars of the day, except with guys she actually knew. To make a long story short, I was October. The picture was shot in the back room of a northside retail establishment; I probably didn't have to take off everything, since one of the props a refrigerator door would have obscured the naughty bits, but in those days I was a purist. I haven't seen one of these in the quarter-century since it was produced. I am told that the young lady was most amused by the concept.

All of these were more-or-less full-height nudes, however, something Rep. Weiner has apparently not been sending out. To the question of "Have you ever taken a picture of your wang?" the answer is yes, I have; I was bored one night in a hotel room out on the road, and this killed a few seconds. The photo sits here on my hard drive. (Pun not necessarily intended, but what the hell.) No gray shorts, or any shorts, involved; however, there's no actual tumescence either. I am reasonably certain that no one has seen it; I am equally certain that no one wants to see it. And I have no account with any of the popular Twitter-related image sites. Still, "full disclosure" requires that I mention it.

And that, I think, is the end of that subject, at least for now. (No, I'm not taking requests.)

The Vent

  5 June 2011

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 Copyright © 2011 by Charles G. Hill