One guy that I grew up with here in small town America -- I'll refer to it as Bugtussle -- was telling me that not only are there drugs on the street in some of the poorer neighborhoods, now, there are also streetwalkers.
He said that he hasn't seen one in a while, but he described to me in some detail the time a few years ago he picked up a girl -- a white girl, in her late teens or early twenties -- for a $50 handjob.
"I don't get it," I said. "Where do they even walk? Nobody walks in this town. Back in Vodkaberg they used to stand around the bus stops, after the buses stopped for the night, but there aren't any bus stops here."
"Well, that's it, nobody really walks, so a girl walking by herself at night, in this neighborhood, is kind of obvious what she's up to."
"And you just, what, roll up and honk your horn or . . .?"
"No, well, you kind of catch her eye and she smiles, and of course I ended up circling the block a few times because I was shy."
"Okay, gotcha. And then what?"
"Well, I asked her if she wanted a ride, and she got in and we started talking."
"You just asked her how much?"
"No, well, it took a long time to get around to that, actually, we just made a lot of small talk, I can't even remember what we talked about, usual stuff."
"Did you ask her if she knew a good shallow grave in the vicinity?"
"Well, we were both nervous, I stayed away from the jokes. Finally she said something like she was working or she was trying to make some money or something, and we talked about how much."
"And you did it in the car? Right on the street?"
"Well, we drove to a dark street."
"You took her to the cemetery, or the abandoned slaughterhouse?"
"No, just a dark street around there."
"It's part of the experience, I guess. Then, the funny thing, a couple years later I was out again in that neighborhood, and I saw the same girl."
"You mean, just driving around, you saw her, or you were looking for a hooker, and saw the same girl?"
"Looking for a hooker."
I laughed. "I didn't even ask, was she good-looking?"
"She was okay, kind of a white trash type, as you might guess, but well-built, nice boobs, kind of pretty face."
"Was she wearing a miniskirt and high heels?"
"Oh, no, of course not, just jeans and a top, you know, usual clothes."
"Cool. So you saw her again, did you say, Hey baby, how you been? Obviously you're moving up in the world."
"Well, yeah, we talked more comfortably. She recognized me. And I can -- okay, well, let me back up -- another time, I picked up a girl, a different girl, a hooker, on the street, and this guy was very obviously following us in his car, and the hooker said, oh, he's just to protect me, and she wanted me to go to a certain place, and I got a very bad feeling about it. I told her to forget it, to get out, and she got out and started yelling to the guy in the car that I wouldn't give her the money, and I was kind of blocked in by his car, so I had to swerve over the sidewalk and zoom away."
"Wow. Big crime in the small town. The Badger Game!"
"Yeah, anyway, I told the girl, the hooker that I'd picked up before, this story, and she said she thought she knew the girl -- that she and her boyfriend were famous for robbing the clients."
"Clients. They call them johns, man. Kid Rock said there are only two kinds of men in the world, pimps and johns."
"Which kind was the Green River Killer, for example?"
"Good question . . ."
We rode around the bad neighborhood for quite a while looking for an example of the Small Town American Streetwalker, but we didn't see any.