That's what he said.

Something Learned in Las Vegas

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 20:48 -- Doug

From my first morning workout in Las Vegas, I knew something was different—different from home, I mean. As I started my run south on the strip from The Paris Hotel, I was surprised to see that the sidewalk was paved with…no! Could it be? It seemed to be paved entirely with little pictures of naked women!

Though not entirely on purpose, I picked up my pace and looked down again just to be sure. No, this was definitely not my father's Old-Mo-Ville. It was more like what you'd expect to see falling out of a giant piñata of Hugh Hefner. And to think I was ever tempted by Heaven! Hell, their streets are only paved with gold! I made a long and careful third inspection as I continued running.

If you haven't already guessed, I have no problems with nudity at all. In fact, I'm a big fan. As far as I'm concerned, whatever consenting adults decide to do with their free time (and possibly their genitalia) is fine by me. Magazines, movies, escorts, Web sites—you name it. I really don't care. But anyone who wants that sort of thing usually knows where to go looking for it. These dopes pushing cards with phone numbers for escort services, and more especially the thugs that compensate them for it, seem just about as sleazy as you can get.

It just occurred to me today why. It's not the nudity. It's not the sex. And even though I can't imagine ever using them, I don't want to legislate escort services and brothels out of existence. It's just that proper human interaction ought to be governed by mutual consent. Anything else is a violation.

The Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, where we stayed for four nights.

These slimy creeps have achieved a level of obnoxiousness that surpasses an unwanted sales pitch and approaches the level of physical assault. They ignore personal boundaries, couldn't care less that you might not want their pictures, and they sure as hell don't care about women. They're so brazen that they'll even reach around the person you’re with as though she were invisible, on the off chance you might be a taker. Blocking out any degree of empathy for the feelings of women must be an integral requirement for keeping this job.

So imagine the shock on one crass, shameless little smut peddler's face in particular when Heidi turned the tables. She looked him straight in the eyes, grabbed the stack of cards from his dirty hands and threw them in her bag as she offered a sincere-sounding and enthusiastic “Thank you!” He couldn't have looked more terrified if she had pulled a loaded gun on him.

But what she did was more subtle, more powerful. She confronted an idea. And while I don't expect these people to ever change, I'd like to believe she at least made him pause for a moment. After all, if the girl who took his cards was real, then maybe the girls on the cards are, too.