County Lines by Bob
Whenever I drive Uncle Leo to an outpatient health facility in
Nashville, he says the same thing when he's through getting treatments:
"Come on, boy, let's go to a strip joint."
I usually say something like, "I don't want to see a bunch
of naked junkies lumbering around like they're lost in space. That's
not dancing. That's not a turn on. That's sad."
I don't have anything against strippers. In my younger days, while
working for an engineering company as an inspector of military road
and bridge construction, I spent a lot of time with Seabees visiting
We'd leave on these trips and return days later. I drank myself
sober on many of these occasions, something that's hard to comprehend
if you've never experienced it.
After several days of nonstop drinking, you're completely wasted.
You down another dose of alcohol and wham, the fuzzy, dopey feeling
Reality hits hard. The pain surfaces from the cuts and bruises
inflicted during your drunken spree. You wonder if any bones were
broken during however many brawls you were in.
Fighting while drinking with Seabees in stripper bars was common
and escalated to extraordinary heights when Navy Seals got involved,
which always happened if any were around.
I've seen four Navy Seals armed with only hands and feet pulverize
more than a dozen motorcycle thugs armed with chains and knives.
When I heard that Navy Seals might go after the Taliban, I knew
the Taliban wouldn't stand a chance. Praise Allah all you want,
boys. The game is over. You're dead meat.
One evening after inspecting a bridge at Roosevelt Roads, a Navy
base in Puerto Rico, I drove to an NCO hangout where everything
was a quarter. Quarter sandwiches. Quarter beer. Quarter shots of
Five bucks got you off and running. Ten bucks, you were lost and
I slid a twenty on the bar and began talking to a group of Seabees
about the importance of adequately compacted subbase in highway
The twenty was running out when someone slapped a fifty on the
bar and said, "Set ‘em up, barkeep, and keep ‘em coming."
Four days later I came to in a room above what could politely be
called a dating establishment. Yeah, right. "Come on, honey,
we're going to the prom."
I'm not going to say anything about the woman lying next to me
when I came to. Impressionable juveniles might be reading this and
all creatures are beautiful in the eyes of the Great Spirit.
I had many similar experiences when I was younger. I spent a lot
of time drinking in strip clubs. I'm not condemning that kind of
I'm not criticizing those who attend strip clubs. If that's their
bag, they have the right to pursue it. I'm not holier than thou.
I don't see sex as dirty.
If it were up to me, prostitution would be legal. Monitoring the
health of prostitutes would be one result of legalization.
Legalizing prostitution would reduce the spread of AIDS and other
sexually transmitted diseases. Not legalizing prostitution will
increase the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
More sickness and death? Less sickness and death? Prostitution
is a health issue, not a moral one.
I don't refuse to take Uncle Leo to a strip bar because I'm a prude.
I refuse because I don't like wasting time. I want to get home to
I didn't refuse last week after Uncle Leo finished his treatments.
It was his birthday.
Which one? I don't know. But he's my grandfather's brother and
Grandpa was born in 1895. Uncle Leo wasn't the oldest or the youngest
of six brothers. Neither was Grandpa. You figure it out.
On the way to a strip club, Uncle Leo said, "Quick! boy, pull
"Why?" I asked. Uncle Leo said, "That woman waved
I pulled over. Uncle Leo rolled down his window. "Hey, honey,”
The person wiggled up to Uncle Leo's window, "Hi, handsome.
You wanna party?"
Uncle Leo's store-bought teeth glimmered with anticipation. "Sure
thing, sweetheart," he said.
"Roll up the window," I said.
"Why, boy?" Uncle Leo asked.
"Roll it up," I said.
Uncle Leo rolled up the window. "What's wrong, boy?"
"That's not a she," I said.
"It ain't?" Uncle Leo said.
"No," I said. "It's a gander pretending to be a
"Let's go, boy," Uncle Leo said.
I sped away.
We'd gone less than a mile when Uncle Leo said, "Drive slow
by that one, boy.
Goose or gander?"
"Goose," I said.
"Stop, boy. Hey, sweet thing!" he yelled out the window.
She walked up to the car. "Hi, good lookin', I'm Angel,"
she said. "Wanna party?"
"I like parties," Uncle Leo said.
"It'll cost you," Angel said.
Uncle Leo said, "I'll go as high as $17 if it's a good party."
Angel pulled out a badge and a gun. "Get out of the car. You're
under arrest for solicitation,” she said.
"Give him a break," I said. "He's at least a hundred."
"You're under arrest too," Angel said.
"For what?" I asked. "I'm just the chauffeur."
Uncle Leo played the senile routine and got his case dismissed.
I pled guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a senior citizen
and was sentenced accordingly.
Pinchy says she'll be driving Uncle Leo to Nashville for his treatments
until I start behaving like someone with good sense. Yeah, right,
like there's a big chance of that happening.
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570