Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Monday, May 17, 1999

Escort biz tiptoes
through Yellow Pages

THE new phone books are out and under the federal Newspaper Columnists Telephone Book Coverage Act I'm obligated to write at least one phonebook-related column.

Some columnists take the easy road and just make fun of the new telephone book cover art. This year's cover art is particularly awful, supposedly pictures of rocks under water but they look more like the herpes virus viewed through a microscope. (Or so I'm told. I've never seen the herpes virus under a microscope. I try to keep my eyeballs at least 20 feet from anything that can cause open sores.)

Other columnists count the number of pages listing attorneys, as if that is significant. (For the record, there are 90 pages of attorney listings. In contrast, only one-tenth of a single page lists gun dealers and there are even fewer golf cart distributors. Now, THAT is significant.)

Anyway, when the new phone books come out, I go directly to the fun section: the escort services part of the yellow pages. These are companies that provide men and women escorts and probably have absolutely nothing to do with sex. Really.

"Playtime" escort service, for instance, has photos of three lovely ladies: one in a fire helmet, one in a nurse's cap and one youngish-looking lady in pigtails. According to the ad, these are the kind of escorts you can hire from Playtime: "Sweet School Girls, Feisty Firewomen, Nasty Nurses, Malicious Mistresses, Dazzling Doctors and Sophisticated Psychiatrists."

An ad for "Exotic Treasures" escort services offers: "Anxious Asians, Jazzy Japanese, Kreative Koreans, Precious Polynesians, Classy Caucasians and Lovely Locals."

A smaller ad for "Adult Phone Fantasy" escorts offers: "Bored Housewives, College Girls and Older Women." I guess they are sort of a niche market.

I called Playtime to find out how much it costs to rent a Malicious Mistress, but the lady who answered the phone said I had dialed the wrong number. I called back and she said she had made a mistake, that she was with Playtime. When I started asking questions, like how much does it cost to hire a Feisty Firewoman ($200-300 per hour), she seemed to get nervous. When I told her I worked for a newspaper, she said she was just the "phone girl" and hung up.

That seemed kind of weird for a business that spends thousands of dollars on advertising in the phone book. I was offering free publicity, essentially, and she didn't want to talk me. I only wanted to find out just how malicious the Malicious Mistresses were. I also wondered whether the Sweet School Girls could be malicious or whether one could get a nurse that was feisty instead of nasty.

So then I called Anxious Escorts and, surprise, the "Uncooperative Phone Girl" from Playtime answered. She was not happy to hear my voice. She hung up on me before I could find out whether the escorts were anxious, as in "eager or agog" or anxious as in "afraid, aghast or fearful."

I tried to call a few others services, but no one answered at all. I suspect the same "Uncooperative Phone Girl" from Playtime handles the phones for several of the services and since she was mad at me for pestering her with questions, she just refused to answer any calls at all. Pity the poor tourist in Waikiki who just needed a Bored Housewife or Jazzy Japanese to escort him to McDonald's for breakfast but couldn't get one simply because the "Uncooperative Phone Girl" was in a huff.

Charles Memminger, winner of
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
awards in 1994 and 1992, writes "Honolulu Lite"
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Write to him at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802

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