VIRGINITY FOR SALE
Over the weekend I read a story about a girl selling her virginity on the Internet.
According to the British tabloid News of the World (the biggest selling Sunday newspaper in Britain, by the way), an 18-year-old college student named Rosie Reid is struggling to get through college. She works a job that only pays the British equivalent of minimum wage and can't get enough money via government grants to make ends meet. She estimates that at the rate she's going, she'll leave school fifteen thousand pounds in debt (that's pounds as in money, not pounds as in too many hamburgers - the English monetary system is a little different than the USA's).
So Rosie had the incredible idea to put her virginity up for auction on eBay and sell a roll in the hay for as much as she can get - one bid was as high as ten-thousand pounds. Of course, the freaks came out - one asked what her bra size was before placing a bid (always a huge priority), another asked if she was into "unusual sex" - and I don't even want to think about what that means.
You might be saying, how could she? How could a girl who's kept herself sexually pure for 18 years suddenly want to drop her drawers for a little cash?
The answer: Rosie's a lesbian. A very active one. She could care less about a man's equipment. That's why this isn't a big deal to her - just a common sense way to pay for school. A business decision. And, by the way, her girlfriend is okay with this.
She was quoted in the article as saying: "I wish we could concentrate on learning rather than constantly worrying about money or working to get by. [My long working hours] affects my studies. When I come home I'm so tired it's hard to fit in university work. I'm not willing to sacrifice my future for the sake of a part-time job, so I am faced with two choices—years in debt or prostituting myself on the internet for my education."
Rosie isn't the first to offer such a deal on eBay. An American girl, with a big credit card debt, tried the same thing earlier in January (whether or not she was successful wasn't mentioned).
Being an intrepid young journalist, interested in only the facts, and not at all interested in seeing if I could win the auction, I logged on to eBay and typed in "virginity" to see what I could find. Rosie's add did not show up (blast it!), which means either eBay pulled the plug or the auction ended (eBay could not be reached for comment). However, I did find a post from an American MALE offering to deflower women at a nominal fee. I had a nice laugh over that one. Of all the tricks and schemes guys have pulled over the last 6000 years to get girls out of their knickers, that one has to be the most pathetic.
You're probably telling yourself how horrible this is, that this is an example of what happens when a world society rejects Absolute Truth, Right and Wrong; that instead wants to be "enlightened" and do its own thing without any thought as to the consequences.
But you need to rearrange your thinking. Rosie is showing that the free-market spirit is alive and well - especially in jolly old England, where such a spirit isn't exactly encouraged. Education costs big bucks, no matter where you are; instead of saying how wrong she is, we need to cheer Rosie because she's doing what it takes to get her education so she can be a good, productive, tax-paying member of our world society.
On the other hand, it also makes you think that maybe Jesus had a point.
THE HOMELESS HAVE IT PRETTY GOOD
This past Monday night I accompanied some of my church friends to the City Team Ministry shelter in beautiful downtown Oakland, a portion of the San Francisco Bay Area that has the highest homicide rate. Last year, over 100 people were murdered; this year, so far, at least ten have met a sudden and violent death.
Other than that, it's a nice place to raise a family.
Us happy Bible thumpers had a plan was to serve chow to the homeless, the less fortunate, the bums, who make use of the shelter for such things as beds and food. A good time was had by all, I must confess; we really overwhelmed the mission with a force of 30 or so, to the point where there were some of us standing around begging for something to do.
But that's not the point. While I was watching the collection of homeless, the less fortunate, the bums, choke down a hearty dinner of pork hash, rice, salad, bread, and pie, I realized a couple of things.
The homeless, the less fortunate, the bums, actually have it pretty good. The joke is on all of us rich white folks who ask "What Would Jesus Do" before we venture out to help these individuals. Just what has our education and upward mobility brought? Cars to pay for and maintain; a job to perform well in order to keep; a house to pay for and maintain; various odds and ends we’ve acquired while keeping up with the Joneses (that also need to be paid for and maintained); and a stack of bills every month (covered by a paycheck that never goes far enough).
And what do the homeless, the less fortunate, the bums, have to contend with?
None of the above.
Okay, they sleep outside most of the time. Get rained on. Some may suffer violent attacks that cause grave bodily injury or death (but that affects us rich white folks, too). That's not so good. But if they can find a nice bridge or building nook to sleep in, that takes care of the rain. They go to missions for food and beds (the mission we were at serves chow three times a day - good stuff, too). These same missions also provide showers and donated clothes.
Sounds good to me.
The homeless, the less fortunate, the bums, are free spirits who can go wherever they want. Nobody's lording over them. Their time is their own.
Granted, for those who have chosen this lifestyle, they live dirty, don't smell too good, and other people tend to want to stay away - so, I probably will continue living the happy joke that is my so-called normal life. There are others, those on the street who are mentally damaged, that certainly need an extra hand, and our Society is perfectly willing to provide that extra hand.
Wait, that's not entirely true. While spooning out the pork hash, I heard several of the mission managers report that Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, a Democrat who embodies Liberal Compassion, wants the mission out of the city. He's trying to clean Oakland up, after all, and the mission attracts the wrong kind of people. Only the right kind of people should get to experience beautiful downtown Oakland, so the homeless, the less fortunate, the bums, gotta hit the road.
That's okay, though. They're used to it.
It would probably be better for Mr. Brown to work on getting Oakland’s homicide rate down, but when you're learning to climb mountains, it's best to start small.
Brian Evankovich lives in California. You're welcome to knead his dough-brain at firstname.lastname@example.org.