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Sex parties? Bethesda is not zoned for that.

Oh, it's good to get a laugh from the news.

I just read Paul Duggan's story about sex parties in a Bethesda neighborhood that are causing a stir. These are apparently pretty edgy sex parties, (and, really, aren't they all?) being hosted by one resident at his home. And who stepped in to put a halt to them? A guy from the zoning department!

Police said they couldn't do anything about the parties, but zoning Inspector Frank De Lange handed the host, Paul Pickthorne, a written warning that he could be fined for operating a commercial establishment, because Pickthorne accepted donations from his guests. The county can't really dictate what types of party games one plays in one's own home, but accepting cash at the door is a no-no in a residential neighborhood.

It's like busting Al Capone for not paying his taxes.

Now, a house party can tax the patience of any neighborhood, especially when dozens of people show up, like at these Bethesda soirees. Guests monopolize parking. They can be noisy. It's a disruption.

But these very special parties must cause a whole 'nother level of neighborhood distraction. If Pickthorne were my neighbor you can bet I'd be glued to the window, wondering if I recognize any of his guests. (No doubt neighborhood kids are full of questions.) What would I say to old Paul if we hauled our recycling bins to the curb at the same time? "So, who do you like in the Super Bowl, Paul?"

I laugh as the mind wanders, but I'm grateful this is not happening in my neighborhood. At least, if it is, it hasn't been disruptive enough to catch my attention. Maybe that's the message for Mr. Entertainment in Bethesda: If your party is big enough to disturb the neighbors, you need to invite them. Otherwise, maybe you oughta stick to the old-fashioned definition of an intimate party.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  February 4, 2010; 9:30 PM ET
Categories:  Funny , Neighborhoods  
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People are SO Puritanical when it comes to sex. Was it REALLY disturbing neighbors, or were the neighbors jealous because someone else in the neighborhood was getting sex on a regular basis and they weren't? Geez.

Posted by: linroy62 | February 5, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Actually, it's not at all like busting Al Capone on tax evasion. Capone was committing much larger crimes for which the government couldd not meet the burden of evidence. Prickthorne has run afoul of a technicality in the course of otherwise legal activities which happen to be distasteful to his neighbors.

Posted by: Kupkakken | February 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Accepting cash at the door is a no-no? How else would you share the cost of something like this?

It seems potluck dinners would be outlawed because they also involve people bringing items of value in order to share costs.

And God forbid that someone host a Tupperware party. Isn't that also an example of someone operating a commercial establishment out of their home?

It's fun watching liberals try to behave like conservatives.

Posted by: reston75 | February 8, 2010 5:10 AM | Report abuse

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