Okay, I’ve got an idea for a new business. You ready?
High-School Yearbook Obscenity Consulting.
You know how every graduating high-school class has a couple of guys who like to give the finger in the swim team photo? Or how the art students will scratch tiny four-letter Hirschfeld statements into their senior page drawings? This service will vet high school yearbook pages for:
- Obscene gestures
- Drug and alcohol references
- Gang signs and neo-nazi symbolism
- Other prohibited freakyness
Core to this business model will be the assumption that obscenity and pranks are a relatively unchanging constant through the years (only the details change,) and that high school yearbook printers have seen it all. I have no doubt that you could get a seasoned seventy-year-old master printer, show him any yearbook from any graduating class in the world, and he’d start paging through it, saying:
“There, that kid is giving the finger. Him? He’s got no pants on. This drawing here says ‘Chess club blows goats’ when you hold it up to the mirror and close one eye. The entire volleyball team is displaying the shocker. That wall clock says ‘4:20’ for a reason. That’s not a flashlight she’s holding.”
“Okay, moving on to page two…”
We’ll get indemnity insurance for when the service misses the 10-pixel-high porno centerfold photoshopped onto the principal’s mirrored glasses, which will pay for yearbook reprints. We’ll develop a slideshow designed to shock and entertain PTA meetings, and advertise it like the sideshows of old: “In-formational purposes only, ladies and gentlemen! Do NOT attend if you’re easily offended! Por-no-graphic secrets will be revealed! Purely for edu-ca-tional purposes! You WILL be shocked!”
Man, we’ll pack ’em into the PTA hall, and we’ll have a big red light that goes on to signify when folks should hold their ears and close their eyes to the SMUT that’s about to be shown, which they’ll pretend to do. Once we get ’em convinced that their yearbook is destined to be a cross between The Necronomicon and Hustler: Campus Cuties, we’ll charge a reasonable hourly rate to protect them.
All we need is some venture capital, a snappy name, and a seventy-year-old veteran of the yearbook printing industry to actually do the work. Who wants in?