Things I thought I’d never have to say, Vol. 1

They came, and they went. (Pun intended.)

“No mom, I’m not in a kinky sex cult.”

And yet, here I was saying it to my mom, whose friends had told her horror stories about the Furries, and she was … well, concerned.

The Furries say "Hello."

Let’s back this up a bit. As every Pittsburgher knows, the Furries hold their annual gathering here. Seeing people walking around with anything from a tail to tail and ears to full-blown get-ups that include heads with blinking eyes and animatronic mouths that open and close and noses that wrinkle is fairly common. So, Furry Watching has become a new event for a lot of us. Go Downtown, take pictures of them or with them, and generally watch them do their thing and be amused.

This year was my first year going down, and I was with my buddy Chris, who is a veteran Furry watcher. And honestly, we had a great time. The Furries folks are generally very friendly, always willing to pose for a camera shot and, in general, seem to be having a great time. Chris and I managed to sneak in to watch the Furries parade, and also walked around to see the convention center — it was a blast. It was kind of eye-opening, too. I mean, there were like 1,000 Furries with full-bore costumes going on, and over 30,000 there in attendance. Never could believe that there would be so many people there, and that I would be down watching them. I guess they were the second largest convention this year, only trailing the NRA. (And truth be told, I’d rather have the Furries back than those NRA assholes who kept gridlocking traffic downtown.)

Flash forward a few weeks later, and it’s my nephew’s birthday party. I’m talking to my brother-in-law about the whole thing. We laugh as we always do. I think nothing of it.

About a week later is when I got the call. Mom explains that she overheard me saying that I went to see The Furries. I say yes. She then says, “I have a question to ask you,” and then goes on with the usual claptrap that surrounds the group. “My friend says that they’re nothing but a kinky sex cult, and there’s Furries porn, and that some defecate into litter boxes and have the hotel staff empty them” …. That’s when I started laughing. I explained to her that there is a sex side to it, but for the most part, it’s just people who like dressing up as animals. It goes a bit deeper for some, but just like any group, you have your casual folks and your hardcore obsessives. I also told her that while there is, indeed, Furries porn, there is also porn for just about everything else, including the Smurfs, Cinderella, and just about anything else one can imagine. She seemed satisfied and to understand what I was saying.

“But I still have to ask you something ….”

“No mom, I’m not in a kinky sex cult. I mean, if I were, I think I would be a little more discreet than to talk about it at my nephew’s birthday party.”

She laughed, and that was that.

I still have no idea of what kind of man my mom thinks she raised.


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