TROUBLE CITY

THE DEVIN'S ADVOCATE: TITTY TOUCH

Movie NewsDevin FaraciComment

http://chud.com/nextraimages/hanks.jpgYesterday I had to spend some time in the Brooklyn Supreme Court building. I won’t tell you why I was there, because making up reasons will be more fun for you, but it wasn’t a great visit. After being there for about an hour I began walking home – it was a lovely day – fully intending to get back on the computer and write something funny and interesting for you people. Something quite unlike this edition of The Devin’s Advocate.

I had made it halfway home when I succumbed to the siren call of beer and Titty Touch. I was walking down Atlantic Avenue past Hank’s Saloon, a totally and wonderfully incongruous dive in a rapidly gentrifying area, when the sounds of honky tonk music caught my ear*. Looking into the bar I could see it was mostly empty (it was 4pm, after all) and that the few patrons who were there were the types who had been punishing their livers on those very same bar stools for the last twenty years.

That, coupled with a couple of bucks in my wallet, is usually enough to get me into a bar. But Hank’s also has a shooting game – some light gun police nonsense – and after being in the Supreme Court building I was in the mood to shoot some people in the head. I got myself a pint of Brooklyn Lager, put my fifty cents in the machine… and found out that the game screen had been positioned in such a way that the sunlight was totally fucking up the light gun. It was a massacre.

Thankfully, Hank’s has two more game machines. One is the ubiquitous bar game system, the touch screen multi-game console. Next to that was a Galaga/Ms. Pac-Man machine. But get this – it’s a quarter a play for the touch screen machine and A DOLLAR a play for Galaga/Ms. Pac-Man. Who pays that sort of exorbitant fee to play Galaga? It’s madness. So, in between refills and trips to the jukebox (I played Neil Young’s Cortez the Killer four times that afternoon. It’s a wonder I wasn’t kicked out of the place), I settled down in front of the touch screen.

Here’s the thing about the touch screen game system – you can use a credit or two to play a card game, or maybe that game where you have to drop monsters in graves by touching similar colored boxes upon which they stand. But the reality is that if you’re an experienced drunk game player – and I am – you’re going to eventually end up playing Titty Touch.

http://chud.com/nextraimages/tittytouch.jpgSome of you may know Titty Touch by its Christian name, Erotic Photo Hunt, but my friends and I have always called it Titty Touch. Erotic Photo Hunt is a variation on regular Photo Hunt – two seemingly identical images are placed side by side and you have to touch the differences between them. In Titty Touch the pictures are stock photos of naked or scantily clad women from the 80s.

There are two all-time great drunk games: pinball, which is hard to find these days in New York City bars, and Titty Touch. I believe these games are the best for drinking because they become easier the drunker you get. Your focus gets a little more honed in, and you relax a little more, loosening up. All of my high scores on either game come after many, many pints. But unlike pinball, Titty Touch is a wonderfully social game – your friends can lean in and help out… as long as they don’t just mash their fat hands all over the screen. Titty Touch deducts time for hitting incorrect areas.

You might think that I gravitate to Titty Touch because of the naked women, but that’s not the case. I was actually initiated into hardcore Titty Touch fandom by some straight female friends of mine. The fact is that Titty Touch is easier than straight Photo Hunt – in straight Photo Hunt they’ll throw these absurdly complicated pictures at you, like a blank faced high rise, and you have to find the one incorrect brick. Titty Touch has a series of posing skanks and what usually is changed is that they’re missing an eye, or their panties are too big in one image. There are no crazy fractal pattern images in Titty Touch, which makes the game winnable. I don’t know what Hunk Photo Hunt is like, to be fair.

There are other great things about Titty Touch. The game has a limited repertoire of images, and the people who created the differences between them often seem to be absolute beginners when it comes to PhotoShop. Just look for the area of the picture that has been brazenly manipulated – your eye slides right to it. Also, Titty Touch is like the backbone of our country. Where ever you go to drink in America, there’s probably a touch screen game system, and if the bar is not some uptight shithole, it has Titty Touch on it. And every Titty Touch machine has the same girls. It’s a relieving sense of the familiar.

There’s something stranger that I like about Titty Touch, though – it’s a very sad game when you think about it. These women took their clothes off fifteen or twenty years ago, probably for not very much money. Their private parts have been placed into some stock photo catalog and have now ended up on millions of touch screens across the nation. It seems likely to me that the women who shed their clothes for these pictures would be the kind of women who today frequent (and I mean really frequent) bars that have Titty Touch. I love the melancholy image of a weather old lady, with bright tomato red hair and a cigarette with a long ash almost to the filter, sitting in front of the Titty Touch machine, looking at herself from two decades ago. And then in the background some asshole plays that same Neil Young song for the third time.

*It was, in fact, Honky Tonkin' by the great Hank Williams, after whom the bar is named. According to the t-shirts on sale there. I played Cortez the Killer four times, but I made sure to play a lot of Hank, too. In fact, I suspect I spent 20 bucks on the jukebox alone last night.