News item: The proprietor of a suburban West Palm Beach Christian bookstore says her customers are sometimes confused when they go to the former store location, which is now Hustler Hollywood, a sex-themed department store operated by pornographic magazine mogul Larry Flynt.
“My poor customer ends up in there every day,” said Cyndi Smith, the manager of The Tree of Life on Okeechobee Boulevard.
The store, which used to be called Inspiration House, moved down the block after Flynt opened his sex super-store at the religious shop’s prior location earlier this year.
As a full-service local newspaper columnist I consider it my calling to do what I can to make this a more enlightened community. But I’m not sure I can fix this one.
The idea that on a daily basis, would-be seekers of divine inspiration would be perusing the aisles of battery-operated gadgets, furry handcuffs, and “latex rear view mini skirts” in search of a new King James version is hard to imagine.
Even for Florida.
And I have personal experience in dealing with local people who get quite deep into accidental behavior. I routinely hear from readers who say they don’t really “read” my column. Instead, random chance sometimes brings them into contact with it, and without even realizing what’s happening to them, their eyes start running over the words. All by accident.
They don’t intend to read what I’ve written. But they somehow allow the words to take advantage of them before they can engage their brain in corrective behavior. And then they get to the end, only to marinate in their own self-regret.
And the next thing you know, they’re not only reading the column but taking the time to write me about it — all while continuing to maintain that this was purely the result of accidental conduct.
So I know how accidents can happen. But confusing a religious goods store with a Hustler store?
How could that confusion last beyond the parking lot?
And yet, we are told that people are getting inside the store looking for spiritual enlightenment amid the crotch-less underwear. Now, that’s what I call faith.
Or as they might say in the video section of the store, “Oh, God, that’s good!”
But a tough one to imagine.
You would think it wouldn’t take long inside the Hustler store — perhaps moments after looking at the giant mural of Flynt extending you his finger — before you call off the search for a framed tchotchke with a heartwarming Bible verse on it.
But hey, I guess pious people are finding themselves unwittingly trapped inside the Hustler store for who-knows-
how-long — dancing with the Devil perhaps well beyond the lubes and lotions section — before they realize they’re in the wrong place.
Maybe they’ve tried on one of the $11 satin blindfolds, which would make it harder to spot the sex doll inventory. I guess it could happen.
Although, I’ll bet if the circumstances were reversed, if the religious store moved into the Hustler storefront, there wouldn’t be sex-store shoppers mistakenly wandering the aisles of religious texts in search of dungeon wear.
But maybe I’m wrong. After all, Oral Roberts would make a terrific stage name for an x-rated movie star.