I need to come up with a new money-making scheme. Really, “scheme” might be the wrong word here. I need to get out of the restaurant game, though. That’s for sure. Some days I think that I would be better off financially if I pretended to be blind and took to selling pencils on the street corner for a living. That would require both lying and lingering on street corners, though — two things that I’m not altogether comfortable with.
I suppose I’m not as averse to the street corner thing as I am to the lying. I would consider doing something else that involves hawking my wares on a street corner, but those guys who sell giant inflatable bananas and balloons at parades only work sporadically. Also, I’d have to work at parades. I don’t mind parades, as long as they don’t include fleets of noisy, irksome fire trucks. Let’s face it, most of them include the stupid fire trucks.
Oh, you thought when I mentioned plying my trade on street corners that I was referring to “The World’s Oldest Profession”, did you? Get your minds out of the gutter, people! It’s not that I’m above that sort of thing, mind you — not for anything like moral reasons, anyway. My morals are loose enough to withstand the job. There are other things, outside of the obvious drawbacks that employment in this arena carries — sex with strangers, dangerous situations, disease and/or moving to Vegas — that are, if not just AS troublesome, bothersome ENOUGH to remove it from my list of possible careers.
Primarily, I’m not wild about the hours. I don’t do my best work at night. The uniform of your average hooker presents its own set of problems. Wearing heels would wreak havoc on my plantar fasciitis and polyester chafes. Also, prostitution requires a certain amount of personal maintenance — like shaving your legs on a regular basis, plucking your eyebrows, and keeping your lips moistened — activities that, frankly, I am far too lazy to keep up with.
I can never find a chapstick when I need one — even in my medium-sized purse. Everyone knows that prostitutes carry overly large handbags. Presumably they need these luggage-sized bags in order to keep the tools of their trade handy — things like razors, tweezers, and lip gloss, not to mention those items that are necessary for pleasing their more adventurous clientele — handcuffs, mouth gags, and bull whips, for example.
I can’t even remember to pack hand lotion when I travel. I’m always reduced to using whatever sample-sized crap the hotel provides for its forgetful guests. Running around with a duffle bag filled with clean underwear, back-up fishnets, and the rest of the crap that a successful hooker has to tote around wouldn’t just be a pain in the ass, it would likely be near impossible for someone as disorganized as myself to master. At my age, I know my limitations.
Age is also a factor. While I’m sure there are nearly 50-year old professional prostitutes who make fine livings, they are probably the exception, not the rule. Certainly experience is as important and, quite possibly, even sought after by a segment of their market share, just as much as it is in any other profession. Gaining this experience and expertise would, however, take a toll on a person’s physical health. Part of the reason I’d like to bid “Adieu” to the restaurant business is the sheer physicality and stamina that is required — and it is required for those of us who aim do it well.
While I have no experience being a prostitute, I’m sure that if I took it up, I’d like to do it well. I’d wager a guess that it is grueling work. And sweaty work. I’m not a big fan of perspiring — at work or elsewhere. I’m the person who holes up in her air-conditioned house once the outside temperature reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity hovers over 40%. I’m the person who bitches incessantly that customers need to come with sweaters, that we needn’t increase the ambient temperature to accommodate the underdressed.
As if I needed another reason to eliminate hooking as a possible mid-life career choice, there is another area, central to the job, which I haven’t yet covered in my admittedly anecdotal, but I think, in-depth analysis, of the industry — the sex part. Without revealing too much regarding the nature of my sexual proclivities, let’s just say that they’re kind of “vanilla” and leave it at that. Fang and I have gotten a little lazy over the years, which suits the both of us just fine — we found what worked years ago and we’ve stuck with it, so to speak. That being said, I don’t imagine that there’s much call for the “lazy prostitute”. You don’t hear much about her, do you?
I’d rather not engage in a performance review with my unsavory pimp, either — especially not one where my performance was judged lacking based solely on my, let’s call it a lack of “enthusiasm”, which sounds better than what it really is — laziness — in the bedroom. I’d like to think that I’m an independent person, one who could work alone, but I think it’s standard operating procedure to have a pimp. Further, I think I’d need one. If for no other reason, I’d want him (or her, no need to be sexist here) around for protection. I mean, that’s what they’re paid for, isn’t it?
Pimps are, no doubt, expensive — at least I would assume that the good ones are. I’d be okay with that. After all, I’m used to “tipping out” support staff in my current line of work — bartenders, food runners, bus people, etc. Professionals who work in the entertainment industry are required to give a percentage of their salaries to the folks who arrange for them to have work. They employ lawyers to handle contract negotiations, to in a sense, “protect” them from being taken advantage of.
All of these things fall well within what I think would be the job description of a decent pimp. That he (or she) also packs some sort of weaponry? All the better. How one would go about finding a good pimp? That I couldn’t tell you, but I think I’d rule out anyone named Roscoe — mainly because I just don’t like the name Roscoe. It’s a shame Huggy Bear isn’t real — do you remember him? He was the pimp on Starsky and Hutch. He was the quintessential “good pimp”. And, well, I just loved his outfits — particularly the lavender fedora with the feather in the band — that hat was something else. I think we can agree that a good pimp would be hard to find.
Figuring out what to do with the rest of my life — something that doesn’t involve researching “How to Find a Good Pimp!” or the sheer backbreaking physical labor that I must endure in my current line of work — that’s presenting a bit of a challenge. Maybe I’ll have to revisit pretending to be blind, get myself some pencils, a tin cup, and a pair of Ray-Bans. Or, I could just invest in some ear plugs and inflatable bananas and find myself a few parades. Columbus Day is coming up soon, I’m sure there’s a parade scheduled somewhere close by. Do you think I could find some blow-up Nina’s, Pinta’s or Santa Maria’s in time for one of them? More importantly, do you think anyone would buy them? I have no room to store a fleet of ships — even ones as historically significant as those commanded by Christopher Columbus — in my house.
photo credit: swanky purple pimp hat