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Selling Used Pregnancy Tests?

I love the Internet. I do. God bless that sprawling cyber jumble of eclectic digi-data. Today alone I used the dub-dub-dub to figure out what the hell is going on in Syria, to satisfy my curiosity about whether pigs can swim (yes! I saw the video!), and to find a synonym for uncouth (see crass, below).

And yet … I have to be the Cantankerous Person Born Before 1980 here and point out that having an information free-for-all at my fingertips also serves as a daily reminder that the world as we know it is coming to a crass and unattractive end.

The latest evidence: Pregnant women across the nation are posting ads on Craigslist offering to sell positive pregnancy tests to anyone who, um, needs one. No joke. They’re peddling used plastic wands bearing the little blue plus sign or parallel pink lines in the tiny indicator window — and they’re asking $20 to $40 a pop.

“I will provide the positive test and deliver to an agreed-upon public location,” read one last week.

“This will NOT be a dollar store test,” assures another — a label snob. “Will be either Clearblue, First Response, or e.p.t. Let me know!”

Some of the ads offer suggestions for precisely how to use the sticks to your advantage:

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Indecent Exposure

I hate things that make me sound like I’m 90 years old. And that’s what online porn is doing. Beckoning our teenagers from their laptops, iPhones, and tablets, X-rated Web sites are causing me to curse technology and pine for the good old days when smut knew its place: on the pages of a shrink-wrapped girlie magazine on the periodicals shelf of your neighborhood 7-Eleven.

Back in my day, we pored over dog-eared Playboys, passed around Penthouse letters, and stared agog at warbly VHS tapes of Deep Throat — all lifted from our parents’ stash. Or our friends’ parents’ stash. Or our parents’ friends’ stash.

We had to work hard to see porn, and I’m not complaining; we had quite the work ethic. But today’s teens have to work hard not to see it. It’s free, it’s abundant, and it’s a single click away. Most of it is explicit, and much of it (what? I conducted a study) is so in-your-face graphic that you have to wonder if it’s intended to turn off the viewer.

Our teens — and, in some cases, ick, our preteens — are looking at this stuff. It’s not a question of if or when. They. Are. Looking. And how can you blame them? It’s a fascinating alien world. A big-box toy store. A freshly stocked cookie jar. I think it’s healthy for teens to explore their sexuality, and at least on-screen you can’t catch anything. Or create anyone.

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Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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