When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's... Gak.

Yes. Gak. The latest word in love. Well. Not really love. Marriage. Well, not really marriage. Bliss. Marital bliss. Maintaining it, that is. Which is where Gak comes in.

Gak is a new phrase for when a wife confronts her husband over a credit card bill for Internet porn. "Gak!" goes the husband. "That's not mine! We're being swindled! Someone has our credit card!"

At which point the sympathetic wife, bolstered by her love for her husband and her concern over their financial future, calls the credit card company and demands that the fraudulent charges be removed. And the credit card company not wanting to lose customers immediately obliges. Until now.

American Express, citing millions of dollars in disputed fees, announced that it is no longer accepting transactions from any adult site.

The Gak factor, it says, is too high.

"We've examined the digital adult content industry," a spokesman said, "and there was an unacceptably high incidence of disputes." (By the way, don't you love that phrase? "Digital adult content industry"? So much nicer than "smut.") The thing is, this isn't about fraud. And it isn't about credit cards.

It's about getting caught.

Getting caught with dirty pictures is as old as, well, dirty pictures. I'm pretty sure somewhere back in ancient Egypt, there was a guy in his cave, checking out the risqu & #233; hieroglyphics, and the wife yells down: "Ramses! What are you doing?" and he quickly throws sand at the wall and says, "Me? What? Nothing!"

(Or remember Woody Allen's movie "Bananas," when he tries to purchase a smutty magazine by burying it in a bunch of serious periodicals? Only when the clerk rings them up, he can't find a price on the dirty one, so he waves it and yells, "Hey, Al! How much is Orgasm?")

Now, I must confess, I have never been into the whole Internet porn thing. First of all, I'm in the word business. Do you know how hard it is for me to take something called HotBabes.com seriously?

Also, I'm embarrassed. Not by nudity. By my computer skills. I am so bad with the mouse, I am liable to think I'm clicking to some beautiful blonde and wind up on a farm animal. With my luck, an armadillo.


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