Friday, January 22, 2010

Soldier's Joy

Approximately 25 miles southwest of Rock Eddy Bluff lies the Army Fort Leonard Wood, near the town of St. Robert, Missouri. While we reside outside the fort's zone of influence, it is apparent to a traveler that a certain "seediness" increases in direct proportion to one's proximity to the fort.

We were close by the fort yesterday to visit the dentist and drove by some of the many "clubs" that cater to soldiers. Big Louie's is the most apparent of these businesses as it sits alongside the interstate highway. Actually it appears to be a small shopping mall as several other businesses cluster around Big Louie's club.
Young soldiers can quite simply change their lives while visiting this little Mecca of "things of the flesh". Often the signage carries notices of special deals on lap dances (as low as $1 each, I recall). I thought of trying out a few of them myself until I remembered what a poor dancer I am.

One such club featured what appeared to be a small motel behind the club. I assume this was used for those who had finished their dancing and wished to move on with the experience.

Peep shows and sex toy exist in abundance in this the little settlements. And, should that not be enough, you can be tattooed before leaving, preferably while still drunk. (Can you guess the amount of buyer's remorse the morning after?)

The Army appears to tolerate these businesses outside the gates of the post. Intestingly, the name "hooker" actually comes from the Civil War when Federal General Joseph Hooker recruited prostitutes to accompany his troops. And, nearly the same situation exists today as thousands of young boys leave hearth and home, girlfriends, and parental control to join the military.

Viewed thus, perhaps Big Louie's Club actually performs a valuable social funtion. Still, I think it best to just wave as you go by. But then, I am older now.

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Please enlighten me. The Hired Man