Off the Clock with The Checkout Girl: Not a girl, not yet a Palin

The Checkout Girl shares her thoughts on the Candie’s Foundation campaign challenging America’s youth to make healthy decisions about sex through spokespeople like…Bristol Palin and The Situation? Ok…

Is it just me or is the Bristol Palin who recently won the yellow ribbon on Dancing with the Stars more zaftig than the one who started the competition a mere two months before? Is that even possible, considering she spent nine weeks dancing (while barely moving her hips because, you know, abstinence) for hours and hours, every day? Oh, dear god, Bristol and Levi Johnston reunited (and immediately unreunited) right around five months ago. You don’t think…? Let’s hope that there’s not another bun in the oven and she just discovered In-n-Out Burger while in L.A. Mmm…In-n-Out.

But Bristol Palin is totally beautiful, and I worry about her. Have you seen her PSA with Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino? It’s her second for The Candie’s Foundation (yeah, like the shoes) as part of their “Pause Before You Play” campaign, and it’s downright cringe-worthy. It features the two of them, backstage on DWTS, just casually rapping about, well, not humping, really, or sexually transmitted diseases, exactly…or anything specific or useful. The shockingly bad dialogue includes The Situation busting out such gems as “Oh snap! B Palin!”, “Wha-bam! Magnums!”, and “For real, for real?” Meanwhile Bristol, all at once seeming like a sex doll, marionette, and corpse, responds with “For real, for real, for real” and calls him “Sitch” in a way that makes it seem like the dialogue is the first time she’s ever interacted with another human being. Or spoken aloud. She does use the phrases “teen parent” and “safe sex” and he waves around a strip of condoms so you know what they’re talking about, without ever being able to shake the feeling that you’re watching a Saturday Night Live skit gone horribly wrong.

But the vomit-inducing acting is just the cherry on this shit sundae. The message is confusing. She’s preaching abstinence and says she is saving herself for marriage, and he’s preaching rubbers and saying he uses them all the time. ALL THE TIME, he emphasizes, wanting to be sure we know that he’s getting pussy on the regs. Yeah, we get it: you’re breaking hearts and dislodging Bumpits all over town. And, maybe it’s just me, but I’m finding both claims hard to swallow. After all, she’s got a baby and he’s a walking genital wart. THESE are the people we are hoping will get through to Generation Meh and make them committed to practicing safe sex?

The website for The Candie’s Foundation features a few pictures of celebrities who, apparently, also endorse “Pause Before You Play”. Notably, Fergie of Black Eyed Peas fame and married lady who has all that pee pee in her pants as a cock block if she needs it, and Hilary Duff of Lizzie McGuire fame whose animated gif featuring her being proposed to then immediately going down on her new fiancee, proves that tiny, shiny rocks are where it’s at if you want to bring out the dirty girl in her. Plus, taking a load down the throat is one of the safest forms of sex, right behind Bristol’s immaculate conception.

So what is to become of today’s youngsters who are being raised by Gen Xers like me? You know, ones who came of age five minutes before AIDS was a thing and still think of condoms as gross, uncomfortable, and something to be used when having sex only with one night stands or the most unsavory (though, obviously, good in bed) two night stands. In fact, my serial monogamy is directly related to the fact that I hate condoms and, consequently, don’t want new sexual partners. Yes, yes, I get tested regularly. Yes, yes, I am careful about pregnancy. And I use condoms when appropriate. Most of the time. Grudgingly. But I’d rather my teens see condoms as a normal part of the sexual experience, rather than a necessary evil, and I try to convey that to them. A little help from the media would certainly not be refused by me. But putting the unsexiest people Hollywood has to offer in ads that make me want to run right out and have unprotected sex, just so I don’t end up like them, is not what I had in mind.

So, poor Bristol Palin is saddled with a mother who makes me feel guilty about thinking my own mother is embarrassing, a son that she can’t seem to stress enough she wouldn’t have if only she could go back in time and do things differently, and arms that look disturbingly (or deliciously) like hams. But let’s hope she’s not saddled with another child in a few months and can get on with the task at hand for any 20-year-old: figuring out who she is. Hell, Keith Olbermann just declared her the “worst person in the world”, so she must be doing something right. For real, for real.

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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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