Steps for Buying a Hooker

by Kevin Camp

Forget what you may have read in books. The era of the self-contained brothel run with startling efficiency by a crusty, but ultimately well-meaning Madam is strictly the domain of romantic fantasies buried inside romanticized tall tales of the Wild West. Vice squads created by politicians, who, true to form, are forever in search of the latest theatrical token gesture with which to satiate the roar of the disapproving masses have changed the entire character of the business. Most operate on the fringes of the legal, demanding complicit silence for the wares they peddle. Faceless anonymity now exists included in the price one pays for service, or "company" as the girls refer to it - the good customer merely the man with the familiar voice on the opposite end of the phone. The old-timers hook their thumbs into their jeans, lean back slightly, and wax nostalgically about the good old days when they were on a first name basis with Miss Ethel, Miss Sue, Miss Mae, or Miss Jean.

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Kevin Camp, though a native of Alabama, declines to write about front porches, wicker brooms, dysfunctional Southern families with secret incidents of incest, or coon dogs with hearts of gold. When not writing, he splits his time between his imaginary homes on opposite ends of the country.