First, I must warn you this post links to an article that contains offensive language. Second, I will defend my decision to write about this because, well, it's what I do, and it beats real work. Besides, in addition to workers' compensation stuff, I write about employment related issues, and this was clearly the woman's job.
Now that I have that out of the way…..
It is embarrassing that this happened in the area in which I live. Bradenton, a town just to the north of Sarasota, was the location of this event, and frankly it reflects the economic hard times that have hit this area. (We share the aptly named Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. It is “International” because we get an occasional Air Canada flight to facilitate the rapid delivery of snowbirds from the frozen tundra of the north. And drug dealers from Mexico might use it sometimes. Not sure.)
In what is a frightening glimpse into how bad things are out there, a Bradenton prostitute was arrested recently for agreeing to have sex in exchange for two items off the McDonalds Dollar Menu. The 47 year old woman told an undercover detective that the two “could go have sexual intercourse” if he bought her “two double cheeseburgers off the dollar menu at McDonald's.” The cop agreed and purchased the cheeseburgers for $2.75. I don't know why 2 items on a “Dollar Menu” would add up to $2.75. I foolishly would've thought it would be $2.00 (not including tax, of course). I obviously don't get out much.
At any rate, the whole thing is ridiculous. I cannot believe she did not hold out for fries or a milkshake. I know I certainly would have.
Apparently it went down like this (no pun intended): The prostitute asked the cop what he wanted to do. He replied by saying “I want to engage in a sexual act known as coitus, where a man and a woman share the most intimate experience possible”.
Ok, he actually used a single word that essentially describes the same thing, and given my pathetic typing skills would have been much easier to use, but many would find offensive if I put it here. Ironically, it is a word I use on occasion here at the office, mostly in correlation with my pathetic typing skills.
But I digress…..
In all fairness, she did indicate that the man could also give her a tip, which he did. Apparently she got $40 in “gratuities”. This would probably keep her average hourly wage over the state mandated minimum, and avoid any issue with the State Division of Labor.
The cop and prostitute purchased said cheeseburgers and then drove to a vacant parking lot the prostitute had apparently secured for consummation of the agreed upon transaction.
Alas, the happy ending for the Happy Meal was not to be.
A “Takedown Team” did just what the name implies, and the prostitute was whisked away for an evening of fun and frolic at the Manatee County Jail.
There was no word on the fate of the cheeseburgers.
This area has been hit hard by the downturn in the economy the last few years. We led the nation in the housing bubble build up, with increases in property values in excess of 40% in 2005 alone. Summarily we led the nation into decay and despair over the following years, with real estate now selling at prices not seen since Coolidge was in office. Unemployment, at one time over 12%, still exceeds the national average. The odds are good the prostitute that I write about still has an active real estate license, since everyone here was selling real estate to each other a few years ago. We had more realtors than Chicago has dead voters, and that is saying something. The party is definitely over.
I just never realized how far prices for various services in my area had fallen. Some would blame Walmart; only because they blame Walmart for everything. I don't think we can do that, unless the prostitute was made in China. No, this is a home grown problem. I would start with the prostitutes union, because clearly she needs better representation at the bargaining table (or backseat – whatever).
She may even want to look at another profession. McDonalds might be hiring. Don't scoff. They have a strong promote from within policy, offer benefits, and she would start at about seven double cheeseburgers an hour. Not too bad, when you think what she would have to do to earn that on her own.