After my mini-porn theater was shut down, heaven sent me an angel by the name of Chin Ho; an always grinning Korean guy who ran the newsstand on Lexington and 73rd Street, a convenient block and a half from my parents’ apartment. One afternoon, after stocking up on my daily supply of gummy worms, comic books and Mad magazine, I slipped in a Playboy, just for a fast thrill. Chin Ho wagged his finger at me, and then whispered conspiratorially, “This is our secret.” When I got home, I poured through Playboy and then told my mother I wanted to walk our two pugs Milly and Lilly. I loathed dog walking (their “walk” usually consisted of making them pee right outside the building then playing two handheld video games before going home). I trotted Milly and Lilly over to visit my new BFF and pornography supplier Chin Ho. Once inside the newsstand I bought Penthouse, Oui, High Society and various other very XXX magazines. “Don’t tell anyone or Chin Ho go to jail,” my friendly newsagent pleaded. “I won’t tell a soul,” I promised. And I meant it.
My mind was spinning. It was the dawn of my new career as a pre-teen Hugh Hefner. I envisioned monogrammed “CC” bathrobes, velvet slippers and a screening room filled with blonde babes hand-feeding me gummy bears.
Before school the next day, I carefully pulled apart the magazines and put individual nudie shots in different folders marked with various prices. A single, full nude page cost $1. A spread went for $2. A centerfold was $4. The next day at recess, the good word travelled fast throughout the middle school. “Charlie Campbell is selling porn. Real porn,” rang through the halls as if a gold rush had hit the classrooms of Barclay school. My folders (swiped from my mother’s home office) were soon empty and I had about $100 in my Brooks Brothers blue blazer. Naturally, right after school, I ditched my friends on Park Avenue and 79th Street and hit up Chin Ho for more mags—a lot more mags. Within a week, I was rolling in dough. The profits skyrocketed and for weeks I was a mini-Hef. I even went to Bergdorf Goodman and bought a swanky, paisley bathrobe (in size XS) that I’d sport after school while I counted money and prepared my nudie folders for another big selling spree.
But the XXX biz was too good to last more than a semester. Some bozo named Bif (how appropriate!) was dumb enough to tack a centerfold (Miss April) on the inside of his locker in the sports building. Coach Davenport spotted Miss April (who loved “skinny dipping, motorcycles and squirrels”) and demanded that Bif tell him where and how he got “adult only” material. Without missing a beat, Bif the bummer looked down at his shoes and said the six words that brought down my porn empire. “Charlie Campbell sold it to me.” [End Scene]
next month: Charlie Campbell charges his away all over Manhattan and narrowly avoids that boarding school for bad boys.