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A $100 Client for Carrie

June 04, 1993|JOHN M. GLIONNA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Carrie the Call Girl sat inside a Ventura Boulevard coffeehouse and talked about her men.

Actually, clients was the word she used. Professional athletes. Fortune 500 types. Construction workers. Bankers. Lawyers. Nervous guys who wanted straight sex. The kinky boys. And those who just wanted to talk.

She drew on a cigarette and blew away the smoke, breathless.

"Smoking," she said. "It's my only vice."

Go ahead, call me a lonely loser.

The other night, I became one of Carrie's clients, one of her boys.

Hey, stop right there, I know what you're thinking. There was none of that stuff. No hanky-panky. Just some strangely revealing conversation as we gazed into each other's eyes for a couple of hours.

And all it cost me was a hundred bucks.

I'm a married man, living all by my lonesome for a few months while my wife travels abroad. That means dinners without her. Weekends without her. And, of course, those nights.

Well, I got tired of seeing all those other schmoes in the company of a woman. So I got this idea to write a "Reluctant Novice" column. You know, see a call girl, write about what happens.

First off, in my book, the word reluctant didn't exactly fit this gig. But novice sure hit the mark. So, I got my wife's permission and then I got out the phone book--the Yellow Pages under E for escort.

Not to mention eye-opener. Check out these listings: Dial-A-Blonde, Dynasty, California Foxes, Pretty Woman, Ravishing Beautiful Escorts, Absolute Fantasy and, my favorite, Classy Dates, Best Rates.

Most of these lines had already been disconnected, others were wrong numbers.

My rap went like this: I wanted to spend a few platonic hours in public with an escort--just to get the feel of things, the lay of the land, so to speak. The rates for dates varied from $350 to--get this--$950 per hour.

"So, what does she do for $950?" I asked, incredulous.

"She walks," the voice responded.

"Where does she walk?"

"She just walks."

One woman said I couldn't get anything, either public or platonic--that I had to use the service for a while first, let them get to know me.

"Well, then," I asked, "what do you do on a first date?"

"Don't be stupid," she snapped. "You know why you called an escort agency. Look it up in the dictionary."

Click.

Finally I got Carrie on the line. Without prompting, she described herself: "I'm 5 foot 9, weigh 120 pounds. I've got red hair and an incredible tan. I'm a professional model and a college student."

Then we got down to business. Carrie agreed to cut her $350 hourly rate to $100 for the two hours.

I'll admit I was nervous when the Big Night finally came. I felt like a dork. I walked into a Ventura Boulevard coffeehouse with a single red rose and a card showing Don Knotts as Barney Fife--after all, dweebs are known as barneys down at the beach. Inside was a hundred spot and a short note explaining that while I may be a barney, this was not an earlier photograph of me.

Then I saw my girl.

"Carrie?"

"No," she said. Then she spotted the rose.

"Blind date?"

"Sort of."

I'm sure Carrie was disappointed when she finally laid eyes on me. She had tried the usual arousal stuff over the telephone. She was sure I was reaaaallllly good looking.

"Actually, I'm not," I told her. "If we met at the gym, you wouldn't look twice at me."

I told her my friends say I look like John Lennon.

"Oh, I loooooovvvvveeee John Lennon," she said.

I'll spare you the details of Carrie's sad life. Child of alcoholic parents. Recovering cocaine addict with a 2-year-old to support.

The more I found out about Carrie, the less attractive she became. Sure, she was tall and tanned, but her reality was something less than I had imagined after she had so lusciously described herself.

Then I figured it out: It was the voice. Over coffee, she talked in a regular voice--not the sex-kitten croon she used on the phone.

But I got nervous. Every time the waitress came near our table, I clammed up--shot her a look to quiet down. I didn't want her to know I was out with an, er, escort girl.

So, I walked Carrie to her car. And then I watched her drive away.

Then I looked up at a billboard overhead showing that big, sleazy-looking cigarette camel. He had a single rose in his hand!

Suddenly, I needed a drink. I felt sleazy and lonely and glad I was married.

When I got home, I called my wife: "Betty, I miss you."

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