Sex, Golf and Videotape?

Here’s a great story by California Appellate Judge William Bedsworth about a recent scandal involving a golf course and some prostitutes. Acidman, have you packed your bags and booked a flight to Orange County yet? I’m sure you could stay on Da Goddess‘s couch….

[Article reprinted in full….]

From: http://www.law.com/regionals/ca/stories/020719bedsworth.shtml
A Criminal Waste of Space
A Good Walk Improved
Our South-of-the-Tehachapis correspondent reports on the newest development in Southern California criminal law
By William W. Bedsworth
The Recorder
July 19, 2002

Ogden Nash once said, “Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you.” Bedsworth’s Corollary to Nash’s Law states that, “Old age is when you’re sitting at home on Saturday night and the telephone rings and you don’t care if it’s for you or not because you aren’t answering anyway.”

I think I have officially reached that latter stage. I have become so frightened by my own inability to understand what younger people are doing that I have decided I will no longer answer my phone unless I have a research attorney around to explain the phone call to me.

I came to this conclusion in New York. I went to Manhattan for a wedding and stayed in a friend’s apartment. There my wife Kelly and I were treated to Manhattan-style community access television — which turned out to be much like Manhattan-style clam chowder: so much more colorful than the original as to be unrecognizable as the same thing.

I don’t know what community access TV is like in your neck of the woods. In mine, it’s high school volleyball and city council meetings and interviews with local personalities[1] and Wayne’s World wannabes — all of which are strangely engaging in a sadomasochistic sort of way. But in Manhattan, it is much different.

Kelly and I were treated[2] to a 20-minute videotape of a woman trying on pantyhose. That’s right. She would put on a pair of pantyhose, take them off, open a new package, try them on, take them off, open a new package, try them on, etcetera usque ad somnium. I don’t know how long this “show” lasted, because we caught it in midstream, while changing channels. But it was at least 20 minutes and a half-dozen pair of pantyhose.

To fully appreciate the entertainment value of this programming, you need to understand that the … protagonist … was not especially attractive, was wearing decidedly unsexy underwear, and never revealed anything more than she would have revealed at a public pool. She said not a word, except to muse upon each pair of hose before she tried it on (“Suntan beige,” or “Honey nude,” or — and Olivier couldn’t have delivered this one better — “Taupe”).

Furthermore, she did nothing remotely provocative[3]. Only when the … presentation … ended, and the credits appeared, along with a promo telling us we’d been watching, “New York’s Number One Fetish Show,” did we realize just how far we’d strayed from Kansas, Toto.

I was reminded of a friend who, years ago, fell asleep in front of KQED and awoke in the middle of an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which he had never before seen and was utterly incapable of imagining. He thought he’d lost his mind.

All in all, “New York’s Number One Fetish Show” was one of the most entertaining half-hours of my life. Kelly and I vacillated back and forth between hysterical laughter and absolute mystification. The vote on going to the wedding the next night or staying home and looking for another episode of the Pantyhose Lady was one-to-one[4]. But much as I enjoyed it, the inescapable fact was that I was completely out of the loop on what the cool fetishes were.

Initially, I was ready to write that off to right-coast lunacy. I had just about convinced myself that my inability to relate to this divertissement was a function not of age, but of cultural deprivation. I am, after all, nowhere near as sophisticated as folks in midtown Manhattan. I haven’t had the same exposure to culture — or, in this case, subculture — they’ve had, and couldn’t have expected to be as hip as they are, even when I was in my prime[5]. Besides, Kelly’s not old, and she purported to be as bewildered by the Pantyhose Lady as I was.

But today’s paper disabused me of all my defenses. Today’s Los Angeles Times stripped away the last vestiges of my “cultural differences” claim and instead demonstrated my complete inability to appreciate modern vice. Today I read, “Golf Course Prostitution Raid in Norco Leads to 6 Arrests.”

Here is what it said in the very first sentence of the article: “Authorities arrested six people early Saturday morning, hours after raiding a Norco golf tournament that allegedly offered romps with prostitutes inside tents set up on the greens.”

Sex tents. On the greens.

Now I know I’m old. Now I know I am completely out of touch with the younger generations[6]. Here is a crime which combines my two favorite things in life, and I have never before heard of it.

And it was going on right next door. Not in Manhattan, not in Newfoundland, not on some asteroid in the outer Van Allen Belt. In Norco. You can drive from my home to Norco in 45 minutes. Less, if you know there’s golf prostitution there.

GOLF PROSTITUTION! Where was that when I could have benefited from it? How many abysmal rounds of golf have I played that could have been immeasurably improved by the simple erection[7] of “tents set up on the green”? Now I’ve reached an age where “lost balls” and “two strokes a side” are terms I relate exclusively to golf, and I fear it’s too late for me to adjust to the game as it’s played in Norco[8].

According to the article, “Riverside County sheriff’s deputies, some of whom hid in trees to conduct surveillance,” broke up the tournament that was being played and arrested three women, two golf course employees, and a prospective customer.

Picture this, if you will. The golf course is littered with tents. ON THE GREENS. There are deputy sheriffs perched in the trees. Prostitutes are plying their wares while golf carts driven by men in plaid pants whiz by. And somewhere in the midst of all this, some poor fool is shanking a six-iron into the woods and worrying that he’s two shots back with four to play. This isn’t a golf tournament, it’s a Marx Brothers movie.

And what’s the response of the golf course owner? “These are clean-cut guys, and I can tell you we had no connection whatsoever to what was going on.”

Obviously, this is a man who failed Marketing 101. Here he’s handed the best publicity in the history of the game — which dates back to a British Open won by a Neanderthal with three sticks and a rock — and he tries to dodge it. The Los Angeles Times wants to tell everyone within fifteen Zip codes of his golf course that it’s the best place in the universe to play a round [9], and he’s trying to say it was a fluke. Jeez, has he no sense of public [10] relations at all!?

Let me try to help him out. This took place at Hidden Valley Golf Club. The address is 10 Clubhouse Drive, Norco, Calif., 92860. And yes, that was its name before this took place.

Golfers — or aficionados of the criminal law, wishing to make a pilgrimage to the site of this historic crime — may call 909-737-1010 for tee times. Or whatever.

I’ve never played Hidden Valley, and now I probably never will. Kelly tells me I’ve lost another tie vote on whether I want to play there. Besides, I guarantee you their phones have been ringing off the hook with people who’ve never previously played there, but want to now.

You probably can’t get a tee time until 2008. Hell, you probably can’t even get a space in the parking lot until November.

The Times, which is even older than I am, finds this inexplicable. It says, “Despite the scandal, Hidden Valley wasn’t hurting for golfers Saturday morning. Employees scrambled to keep up with customers streaming in the door.”

“DESPITE the scandal?”

“DESPITE?!” The Los Angeles Times is surprised that the day after they revealed there were prostitutes working a local golf course, a large number of men inexplicably appeared? Quick, somebody call Woodward and Bernstein; we may want to look into this.

I dunno. The Times may find this mysterious. Me, I just find it depressing. I’ve learned this week that I am too superannuated to appreciate a fetish channel, I’ve spent my entire life playing golf courses which did not feature prostitution, and I subscribe to a newspaper which purports to be puzzled by the one thing in their entire story that seems self-evident to me.

I have little doubt that when that newspaper arrives tomorrow, it will contain even more evidence that age has overtaken me. And if the phone rings, I’m afraid it will be someone inviting me to partake in still another vice which seems to have passed me by.

About all that’s left for me is the security of my daily routine: my walks, my work, an occasional trip to the market. Let’s see, a dozen eggs, a quart of milk, a loaf of bread, a dozen golf balls, six pairs of pantyhose … .

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