Thursday, 4 August 2016

My awkard threesome with the ladies of the night



I’ve never availed myself of the services of a prostitute. In Amsterdam in the late 1970s I gawked from afar with youthful curiosity at the ladies of the night, each sitting in her individual shop window, before my trance was disturbed by the appearance of a testosterone-fuelled snarling pimp, who triggered my hasty retreat. But the prospect of entering a cavern where a multitude of semen-seeping males hitherto thrust and drooled has never appealed to me. There was, however, one occasion in 1987 – at the age of 29 – when I found myself up close and personal with a couple of working girls.



I’d opted to pursue some further vocational training that necessitated Mrs Jones and I moving home to live in the centre of Birmingham (England’s second largest city). Money was tight so the only place we could afford was a £20 ($28) per week ground-floor flat in the red-light area. The landlord, a pleasant gentleman of Asian origin, lived upstairs from us and dined on curries each evening; the unsettling smells of cinnamon, drifting down the stairs to mix with the mustiness rising from our carpets, lingers to this day.



Around 8.30 pm one dark winter’s evening I headed out for the shop on the corner of our street to buy bread, my coat collar pulled up over my ears and my head bowed to defend against the icy December gusts. Fifty metres from the grocery store, I glanced up and spotted them; standing outside the shop entrance were two women, perhaps in their early 40s – although the daily grind of their profession might have rendered this an overestimate – wearing only black stilettoes, flimsy tops and crimson skirts that scarcely covered their pubic bones.



I hesitated. My instinct was to about turn and head back home, but the two shivering ladies had spotted my approach and appeared to be anticipating a transaction, so my retreat at this point would look absurd. Trying to adopt a nonchalant, man-of-the-world, seen-it-all-before swagger, I continued my journey, avoided any eye contact, and strode past them to the entrance of the shop, keen to escape into the well-lit interior. But to my horror, the door was locked.



‘I think he’s just nipped out for a few minutes, love,’ said one of the ladies. ‘Should be back soon.’



‘He’ll have left a note on the door telling ye how long he’s gonna be,’ said her colleague.



While offering this helpful clarification, both women had approached and flanked me, each peering over my shoulder, forming a huddled trio, as we searched for the message estimating the time of the shopkeeper’s likely return. Their faces within an inch of my own, the pungent smell of excessive perfume caused my eyes to water.



Disturbing images of potential exclusives in next week’s Birmingham Post pushed into my mind, a photograph of our crouching threesome captioned by:   



TRAINEE PSYCHOLOGIST IN RED-LIGHT SCANDAL



PUNTER AND PROS DO THE BUSINESS IN SHOP DOORWAY



THERE MAY BE MORE THAN BREAD AND MILK ON SALE AT YOUR LOCAL GROCER



I was about to state my intention to come back later, when the shopkeeper appeared and unlocked the door. Muttering my thanks for their help to the two ladies of the night, I slipped inside to obtain my loaf, ensuring that my time spent browsing the shelves was sufficient for the women to vacate the doorway. As I left the shop I spotted one of the prostitutes leaning into the open window of a car that had pulled up alongside her.



‘If you want a blow job, it will cost you 40 quid, love,’ she said to the punter.



As I sped for home, I remember thinking how that was 2-weeks rent.


Photo courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net








16 comments:

  1. Your mention of the smell of cinnamon reminded me of an apartment building that I lived in about 20 years ago. The smell of curry, being prepared by a couple from India, was overpowering and I have never forgotten it to this day. I am not a fan of hot and spicy foods so I never liked the fragrance.

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    1. I rather like Indian food, but back then I think it was the combination with a damp smell that made it unpleasant.

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  2. You've been a lot closer to prostitutes than I've ever been. By the way, I always smile with anticipation when I see one of your posts appear on my blogroll. Take care.

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    1. Cheers, Stephen - happy 5-year anniversary.

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  3. You truly have a way with words! I was reading this and it was as if I saw the entire thing happening, even shivered a little at the brisk cool air while snickering! It is, as usual, a great glance back at a little history - and too, too funny!! At least you were smart, even back then, because I couldn't see you having to tell the wife you lost two weeks worth of rent to... prostitutes? Yeah, no, we wouldn't be reading you now, for sure!

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    1. Your right, LBD; the 'lost 2-weeks rent' line would not have been swallowed by my lady!

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  4. I remember being at a pub in a Dubai hotel several years ago. Some women there were looking me up and down with admiring glances. I remarked to my companion how the women were ogling me. Clearly, they were "warm for my form." Hearing this, he replied, "They're working girls, you know."
    Crestfallen, I took comfort at least in the fact that they were looking my way and not ignoring me. How bad would I have to be for hookers to ignore me?

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    1. I'm sure they looked at you 'cos you were the best- looking bloke there. But then again, perhaps they assumed you were the only one with any money?

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  5. Ha, brilliant! I really enjoyed reading that - chuckling all the while. Sounds like an "interesting" area you lived in!

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    1. Yes, it was an interesting area, although we did enjoy our 2 years there.

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  6. I'm proud of you, Mr. Jones, for keeping your dignity, darling! x ( even at 29 )

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    1. I do my very best, Kim, although I often don't succeed. Take care.

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  7. " THERE MAY BE MORE THAN BREAD AND MILK ON SALE AT YOUR LOCAL GROCER"....that's hilarious!! Love your story!

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  8. Today, the headlines would be far more clickbaity:

    MAN MEETS TWO PROSTITUTES...YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

    HE GETS A SANDWICH AT THE LOCAL GROCER...FIND OUT WHAT KIND (IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK)

    17 WAYS NOT TO SOLICIT HOOKERS YOU'LL WANT TO LEARN RIGHT NOW. NUMBER 4 IS MY FAVORITE.

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  9. Your headlines are so much better than mine, damn it! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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