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New biz could give stadium a slight boost

May 25, 2004|by TIM ROWLAND

The big debate in Bunker Hill, W.Va., last week was whether or not it is appropriate to have a lingerie shop within 800 feet of an elementary school. A lot of local people were upset about this, and I certainly can understand. If you're visiting an adult-oriented store, the last thing you want to listen to is the din of hundreds of shrieking kids at recess, which, quite frankly, makes it difficult to concentrate on choosing just the right bustier.

Chances are, nothing would happen, but you just don't want to run the risk of being approached by some shifty kid selling bad chocolate to pay for band uniforms or something.

It's a close call, but in the end, I think it would be in everyone's best interest to move the school. Now I suppose if they would build a big concrete fence with razor wire around the school, perhaps ... what's that? Oh, it's the school that doesn't want the shop as a neighbor. Well, that never would have occurred to me, but OK.

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About 100 people showed up at a public meeting to protest the fact that a Virginia father-daughter team wants to convert a former gun shop into the Slightly Sinful adult-oriented boutique. I'm not sure I see what the big deal is. I mean, if it's only "slightly"...

It would be another matter if the name were "Morbidly Raunchy" or something.

But there is a citizen group now that calls itself Citizens Against Slightly Sinful, which, according to its owners, will sell lingerie, clothing for dancers, jewelry, candles, videos and "marital aids," by which I assume they mean rolling pins.

They say they will not traffic in "gambling, drugs, alcohol, dancing girls, massages, escorts or peep shows."

No gambling, drugs or dancing girls. I see. Well, now that I've lost any interest in ever visiting the store, I feel free to comment on it without bias.

Kind of an interesting comment on the Tri-State population that apparently no one had any problem at all with a gun shop being located within 800 feet of a school, but a place that sells women's underpants is different.

Naturally, you applaud the members of CASS who care and are concerned about what their children are - I was going to say exposed to, but maybe that's not the right word. Too many parents today not only would not care about an adult store, they probably would take their kids along when they went shopping there.

So I have no problem with CASS. The group's leader said she plans to organize protests near the store, but here I offer a well-intentioned word of caution. I'm thinking that if Slightly Sinful attracts a clientele consisting of a bunch of babes walking in to try on nighties, all the CASS husbands are going to be falling over themselves volunteering for stakeout duty. Just something to think about.

The group also questioned why, if the business has no bawdy intent, why it would name itself Slightly Sinful.

Owner Alan Jackson said it's all perfectly innocent, that the name was taken from a shop out West that sells chocolate. And to make his case, he produced a recipe for Slightly Sinful Shortbread.

Oh come on Alan, shortbread is the best you can do? That's like saying the Gay Pride march got its name from a group of happy lions in the Serengeti.

Speaking of names, I noticed that on the same day as the ruckus over Slightly Sinful, the boosters for a new stadium at North Hagerstown High came out and said they would be willing to sell naming rights to the new facility for $1 million.

This seems like fate to me. "Slightly Sinful Stadium" works on so many levels. Even the boosters could become the bustier-ers. Fans at the football games could cheer for the "Double D-Fence." If the stadium has lights, you could attend a nightie game. I don't know if you want to go so far as renaming the Hubs the North High Teddies, but it's something to think about.

Could cause some confusion on the field, though. "But coach, when you called for a naked bootleg, I assumed..."

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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