There's nothing more rewarding than watching footage of people standing in line. Where would local news be without it? A television reporter, microphone in hand, reporting live from a multiplex -- that's what journalism is all about.
When Harry Potter made the transition from being a cult favorite with bookish youngsters to becoming the bloated product of an entertainment conglomerate, we all gained. We got the many hours of footage of people waiting in line, and an overlong movie that opened to mixed reviews.
But there was also a downside.
The Internet, home to strange phenomena, is haven for a group of women who write what is called "slash" fiction. The stories began as fan fiction around 1976, and featured the sexual pairing of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Those stories came to be labeled K/S, and then "slash" for short, and started to feature other pop culture males seized by passion -- Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, of course, Hercules and his buddy Iolus, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, etc.
It seems there is now a new subset of this fiction, Harry Potter slash, in which Harry and his arch-enemy Draco Malfoy become seized by passion and fall into each other's arms. Here's a sample, quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle, from a novella called "Irresistible Poison":
What just happened? He knew bloody well what just happened. He just kissed Harry Potter, that's what happened. The thought of it made him nauseated, even though at the very same time an entrenched part of him yearned for the perverse, forbidden pleasure of it all over again.
I suppose I should be outraged and dumbstruck by this hyperbolic depiction of underage shenanigans, but it's difficult for me to get bent out of shape about the nasty doings of the imaginary, whatever age.
Still, I find it interesting that these torrid tales are written pretty much exclusively by women. Reading this excerpt I found my mind drifting. If women fans can imagine the unlikely couplings of Starsky and Hutch, say, could I imagine myself as a woman fan who writes this sort of thing? And if I were the kind of woman who wrote this sort of thing, what sort of thing would I write?
Elmer's hands caressed the long silky ears of his arch-enemy. His voice was a husky whisper. "Wemove that cawwot you pesky wabbit, and kiss me ..."
Maybe. Or ...
"Loosen that tie, Brokaw," Peter Jennings murmured.
How about ...
Slowly, sensuously, David Letterman removed his socks, feeling Jay Leno's piercing eyes follow every move he made.
Or even ...
"Son, you know I like your music, but that's not the only thing I like about you ..." The Colonel's voice broke off. Elvis turned, hesitantly, his heart pounding in his throat.
The possibilities are endless, roaming wildly over space, time and reality. Rocky and Bullwinkle. Walt Disney and Stephen Spielberg. Nixon and Kissinger.
As a matter of fact, we could all just roll our own slash, if we're into that sort of thing. I've even made a slash template for you. Mix and match! And have fun.
___________'s strong hands seized ________ roughly, and pulled him close. "I've waited so long for this," he said quietly. __________ could only shiver and cling to ________, wanting the moment never to end, and at the same time never begin.
Pick two for each slash template you fill out: Clark Kent, Bill Clinton, Thomas Jefferson, Tonto, Thor, Winston Churchill, Lex Luthor, Jar Jar Binks, Larry King, Newt Gingrich, Norman Mailer, Rudolph Giuliani, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the Little Prince, Tom Sawyer, Julius Caesar, Harrison Ford, Jack from the Jack-in-the-Box commercials, Bill Gates, Wyatt Earp, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Merle Haggard, Jack Webb, Rod Serling, a Keebler elf, Alice Cooper, O.J. Simpson, Spongebob Squarepants, William Safire, Attila the Hun, Slobodan Milosevic, Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush, Vlad the Impaler, Daffy Duck, Grover from "Sesame Street," Pillsbury Doughboy.
Feel free to use this any way you want. You can set up your own Web site, e-mail your porn to a friend or just enjoy it in the privacy of your own home. But make sure to sign it "Anonymous," and don't tell anybody you got it from me. 'Nuff said.
Now shut up and kiss me, you big lug.