In 40 years as a freelance journalist, I've never been asked to cover a story quite like this one. But money is money and this certainly was a story, so I graciously accepted the assignment and off to California I went.
It seems America has reached a new milestone, there are almost 750,000 registered sex offenders in this country. Mind you, these are only the ones which have been caught and gone to jail. According to unconfirmed estimates, there may be thrice that number loose and running around on the streets.
Needless to say, this group of pedophiles, child molesters, violent rapists, statutory rapists, man/boy aficionados, and any other sicko whose hands wandered where they shouldn't have, comprise a constituency a politician of like mind drools over; literally).
Well, its happened. My assignment was to fly out to San Diego and cover the first National Convention of the PNP: The Pervert National Party. By invitation, the chairman and host of the event, Mayor Bob Filner began welcoming the delegates as they clamored into the San Diego Convention Center, each carrying a banner from their respective state.
Once everyone was in place, Filner received a raucous ovation as he approached the podium and was interrupted no less than 6 times with applauds throughout his 20 minute introductory speech.
"Welcome, welcome my fellow perverts. We've been castigated throughout most of our lives; he brought down the house when he winked at both Weiner and Spitzer seated with the New York delegation and said. "Don't worry boys I said castigated not castrated."
"As a group, the decent people of this country have oppressed us like no other. We've been sent to jail, had our civil rights taken away, ostracized from normal communities, and looked down upon by these sanctimonious do gooders." And for what? Who are they to dictate what's normal and what's not?" Again, shrieks of approval emanated from every corner of the hall. He went on:
"Just last week I received a letter from a recently released man who served a full year in jail for fondling a 5 year old boy walking home from school. According to this man, and I believe him, this supposed child looked every bit of 6 1/2 and on top of it, the fondling was consensual." You could hear a pin drop. However I was able hear an irate man standing nearby mutter: "Can you imagine, this poor guy spent a full year in jail just for that.
Filner continued: "Irrespective of home state, I now want everyone to congregate into groups according to sexual predilection. Violent rapists over here, statutory rapists in the back, defrocked priests up front, and tuchy grabbers alongside me near the podium. I do ask one thing, if an urge comes over you please wait until the lunch break. And by the way, I'm very familiar with that old trick of dropping your keys in front of the guy next to you. Control people, control. there will be plenty of time to socialize once we set our platform.
After several hours of caucusing the delegates broke for the night and went back to their hotel rooms. I don't know about the other reporters but I used every lock in the room and pushed a dresser against the door. The last time I heard as much shrieking as I did from the rooms of that hotel was watching Ned Beatty in "Deliverance."
The next morning the delegates piled back into the hall and the heads (If you'll pardon the expression) of the various interest groups addressed the audience. First up was the aforementioned, candidate for New York controller, ex governor, Eliot Spitzer.
To a rousing welcome that lasted almost 2 minutes, Spitzer stood at the podium and finally rose both arms in the air in a Nixon like gesture and said: "Back in New York I'm known as Eliot Spitzer, disgraced former Governor and present candidate for Controller. But here amongst my own kind, I'm just Client Number 9 and that's how I wish to be referred to."
"Client #9!," "Client #9," "Client #9," thundered across the convention center. Pandemonium broke out and I heard more than a few say, forget about Controller, this guy is presidential timber. When things finally quieted down, in a winsome manner Spitzer deadpanned: "cheating on your wife is OK, no matter what you do when you come home you'll still be #1. But if you cheat on your hooker, that's a different story, you'll end up #9. Just ask the 8 guys that went before me. With that he graciously thanked the crowd and introduced what he deemed, the keynote speaker and "the next Mayor of the City of New York, the honorable Anthony Weiner."
Once again the tumult was deafening. Walking down the aisle toward the podium Weiner kept stopping to autograph pictures of his privates on program cards entitled, "Weiner's Wiener."
"Folks, like my friend and fellow sleaze bag, client #9, I too feel at home here and would like go by my nom de plume, Carlos Danger. Why do I use that name? Once I'm elected Mayor of New York the straights will find out soon enough. There's going to be change they can believe in. Forget about Ground Hog's Day, once in office I will proclaim Ground Hug Day. A day in which perverts like us will have the freedom to be as sick and distorted as we choose to. If the decent people don't like it, too bad. They can arm themselves and stay in doors for 24 hours. One day a year we're entitled to live our lives without fear of persecution."
With tears of joy streaming down his face reminiscent of Jesse Jackson when Barack Obama became president, a pervert from the New York delegation arose and screamed out: "We love you Carlos Danger, we love you."
With that the delegates wrapped it up and the place went wild. Unlike other conventions, in place of confetti, underwear and panties cascaded down from the rafters along with 10,000 balloons donated by the Trojan Balloon factory. At this point I had more than enough.
Holding on to myself with both hands and my backside pressed firmly against the wall I slithered out the convention hall, and flew home to my wife where happily, I'm still client #1.