Albuquerque JOURNAL Tuesday, Jan 26, 1982
City, Church Roles in Sex Candy Matter Bring Few Laughs
You can knock off the lauging right now. No smiles, no chortles, not even a smirk. This is sex. Serious sex. This is pornographic peanut clusters.
What follows is The Making of a Nuisance. It involves a businesswoman, the Albuquerque Police Department, the city’s chief administrative officer, the zoning administrator, the city attorney, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Bible thumpers who can define odscenity but can’t spell it.
At the center of the issue is Debbie Dorbandt, owner of the Candy Lady, an Old Town sweets shop. Among Mrs. Dorbandt’s wares is X-rated candy, the sort of thing people buy as a joke for wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend or whatever. But this is sex. No laughing allowed.
Our story begins when the Zoning Enforcement Department, apparently in the midst of a slow year, purchased samples of this chocolate-covered prurience. It was bought only as evidence; I’m sure no one laughed, smiled, or even smirked.
Then began discussion among the chief administrative officer, the zoning administrator, the city attorney and others with better things to do. The question: Do we or don’t we remove this cream-filled menace and thwart a life of cinnamon red hot sin?
Mrs. Dorbandt, now an official alleged nuisance, contacted the American Civil Liberties union, where cinnamon red hots are ordered in bulk.
Meanwhile, the city fathers decided Mrs. Dorbandt was not in violation of any regulations.
End of story? Don’t bet your Whitman Sampler on it. Enter the North Valley Gospel Church.
One church member protested at the candy store and pinched (figure of speech) by the cops. Later, more protesters gathered, more cops gathered, V cameras gathered, reporters gathered, and Mrs. Dorbandt expressed gratitude for the bargain-basement advertising.
The crime statistics for the period of Dec. 30 (about when this started) to now are not vailable. Chances are the Bible thumpers could have protested murders, rapes, assaults and burglaries. Instead, they found busy bonbons more thumpwhile. One carried a sign that said: “Pornography & Obsenity Is Sin.” So is misspelling. It’s enough to make your nougat naughty.
End of story? Not quite. Enter the Candy Lady’s landlord.
Mrs. Dorbandt, now established as a purveyor of devilish divinity, was no longer an alleged nuisance. She was offical, the result of tangling with organized (figure of speech) government and organized religion. Mrs. Dorbandt did not protest in the streets. She did not harass citizens. She was not arrested for anything.
Even the casual observer will recognize these as the common traits of a nuisance. So did the landlord. He threatened to evict Mrs. Dorbandt.
We will leave it to the computers to figure out the number of hours spent by police officers, attorneys and high government administraters. The figures will give us a price tag to hang on this grave threat to the community’s well-being.
In the meantime, we have but one question to ponder: If the candy problem was that serious, why didn’t somebody call a dentist?