The Time Dad Took Me to a Whorehouse
On the day I turned seventeen, Dad gave me a surprise. We were sittin’ in our kitchen and Dad was butterin’ toast and he said to me, ‘Toby, today’s the day I’m taking you to a whorehouse.” I said to him, “Pa, you don’t gotta do that. I don’t have to pay for pussy.” Dad said to me, “You ain’t paying for it—I am.” I said to him, “Save your money, Pa. I get all the pussy I want.” Well, Dad he knows I ain’t never had cooze so he cackled like a hen. “If you’re getting all the pussy you want,” he said, “I guess you don’t want no pussy.”
Well, I said to him, “Pa, what’s it matter to you if I ain’t gettin’ no snatch?” He said, “Ya been stealing my cock books—that’s why. Once ya get a taste of the real thing, Toby, I’m hopin’ that shit will stop.” I said to him, “Pa, I ain’t stealing your cock books. I swear on a stack of Bibles.” Dad said, “Toby, I take offense when you use the Lord’s name in vain.” I said, “But I ain’t stole your cock books. I swear on grandmother’s grave.”
Of course, I been swiping Dad’s porno, but I ain’t dumb enough to admit it. I figure if I keep on denying it, that’ll mean it never happened. Anyhow, if Dad hadn’t alphabetized them books, I’d have gotten away with it easy.
Well, Ma she came into the kitchen and heard our library talk. She said to me, “Toby, stop stealing Dad’s porn. As long as he’s pleasuring himself with those books, he won’t be bothering me.”
Dad shut up about the whorehouse because he didn’t want Ma to know. But later that morning, he loaded me in his pickup and we headed for East Chicago. Dad said all the best whorehouses in the state can be found in East Chicago. “You don’t gotta take me there, Pa,” I said. “I swear I ain’t stolen your books.” Dad said, “Toby, if ya keep on lying you ain’t gonna get to heaven”
Well, we got on US 231 and headed north to East Chicago, and Dad popped a cassette in the cassette player and we listened to a song. The song was “Another One Bites the Dust” by a group that calls itself Queen. Dad played the song a couple of times then he started to sing along. After singin’ a couple of bars he said, “You ready to pop your cherry?”
“I’m ready, Pa,” I told him, “if that’s what I gotta do. But I’d rather be shootin’ rats at the Putnam County dump.”
Dad said, “There’s a time for everything, Toby—that’s what the Good Book preaches. There’s a time to plant and a time to reap. A time to shoot rats and a time to go whorin’. There’s a time for everything under the sun ’cept maybe stealing God’s apple.”
“I read the Good Book, Pa,” I said. “It don’t say nothin’ ’bout cherries.”
“It don’t gotta say nothin’ specific,” Pa snapped. “It’s there between the lines when ya read Ecclesiastes.”
“So according to the Bible,” I said, “it’s time I had some snatch.”
“Naw,” said Pa. “It’s way past time. It shoulda happened years ago. Son, if you had taken the matter in hand, we wouldn’t be making this trip.”
Now I don’t think Pa can accuse me of not taking the matter in hand. But it made more sense to change the subject than speak in my defense.
“Hold old was you, Pa,” I asked him, “when you did what the Good Book says?”
Well, Dad told me about this cathouse he visited when he was thirteen. He told me how the madam took a liking to him and paid him to give her quickies. He said he bent her over her desk a couple of times every week, and she told him he was the best damn cocksmith she had ever met
“Was the Lord good with that?” I asked Pa.
Dad slipped a bottle out of the glove compartment and had him a swig of whiskey. Then he scratched his head all-thoughtful and talked more Bible talk. “Ain’t ya read The Book of Revelation?” he said. “Ain’t ya read about epic sin? Ain’t ya read about how the Great Harlot spread fornication throughout the land? Well, ya might say I corralled the Great Harlot—the Lord hadda be good with that.”
“Did you turn her into a sex slave?” I asked
Dad told me he put a collar around her neck and led her home from the whorehouse. And he kept her in the basement and fed her oysters and Spanish Fly. “But I finally let her go,” he said. “I got to feelin’ sorry for her. Hell, even the Great Harlot don’t deserve to be stuck in no basement.”
The thought of Pa taming the Queen of Darkness made me feel kinda ashamed. I felt bad that I stole his cock books, I felt bad that I told a big lie. I guess I have a long way to go before I measure up to Pa.
As we drove through East Chicago, I didn’t feel too inspired. The city is full of refineries, adult shops, and subsidized housing projects. Well, we cruised along Euclid Avenue and we crossed some railroad tracks and we pulled alongside this restaurant called A Taste of Bombay. Pa said to me, “Toby, ya gotta fuel up ’cause I booked you for an hour.” I said to him, “Pa, thirty seconds is all I’m gonna need.” Well, Pa he slapped his forehead as though he was swatting a wasp. He said, “Toby, you surprise me! Don’tcha wanna make the whore cum? It just ain’t Christian to mount a whore and leave her unfulfilled.”
Well, I hung my head like an egg-sucking dog that got caught with yoke on his snout. Guess it never even occurred to me that whores need pleasurin’ too. “Didja make the Great Harlot cum?” I asked Pa. Pa said, “’Course I did, Toby. But ya don’t need as much time for foreplay when you’re humpin’ the Great Harlot.” I said, “How long’s it take with a regular whore? I don’t think I can last for no hour.” Pa, he patted me on the head and said, “Don’t you worry about that. You’ll be lustin’ like a spring bull when you’ve had some Kama Sutra food.”
Well, we went inside A Taste of Bombay and Pa ordered me Indian grub. I had some butter chicken, I had some coconut chutney, I had some fried bananas that tasted sweeter than candy. But all that ginger and garlic didn’t make me feel like no bull, and I knew I wouldn’t do justice to Pa if I didn’t put iron in my pud. So when Pa left the table to take a piss and no one was watchin’ me, I took some coconut chutney and smeared it on my privates.
When we got back into the pickup, Dad quoted from the Gospels. He said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” “What’s that mean?” I said to Pa. “Do I gotta yank him off too?” Pa said, “It means when you go to a whorehouse you act like a gentleman. You call the whore ma’am and you compliment her and you tell her a couple of jokes. I wouldn’t be doing my duty, son, if I didn’t teach you these things.”
Before too long, Dad got us lost and we drove around in circles. We cruised up and down these neighborhoods that were full of weedy sidewalks, and gangs of dangerous looking kids were giving us the eye. I could tell Dad was getting nervous when he quoted from the Book of Psalms. “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me,” he repeated again and again. When we finally spotted the cathouse, all I wanted to do was go home. The building needed a coat of paint, the lawn was burstin’ with crabgrass, and that goddamn coconut chutney had glued my dong to my pants.
Dad parked the pickup deep in the driveway so no one would swipe our tires. And we climbed this narrow stairway that led to a tiny porch. A sign on the door said, No Solicitors, which kinda flummoxed me. Because Pa and I had come there in the spirit of the Lord.
Pa rapped on the door. The woman who answered it stared at us like we was tramps. She wore a pair of wire rimmed glasses and her hair was done up in a bun, and she asked Pa to pay for that hour before she showed us the girls. She didn’t look like no madam—she looked like a high school math teacher.
Pa paid the woman two hundred bucks in twenty-dollar bills, and we followed her through this foyer that smelled like mildew and cats. We came to a parlor with a bunch of sofas and a giant television screen. And a dozen whores were sittin’ on the sofas watchin’ a rerun of Cheers. All of ’em were dressed in lingerie like they were posing for a commercial.
Most of the whores looked older ’an Ma so I didn’t feel too aroused. But there was one of ’em sittin’ by herself that kinda caught my eye. She couldn’t have been more that eighteen years old, she was thinner than a snake, and she was clutchin’ a bottle of nail polish and paintin’ her toenails black. When she looked directly at me, I noticed she had a beak nose, but her dark brown hair, hanging down to her waist, made her look sorta like the Madonna.
Well, Pa he slapped me on the back and introduced me to the whores. “This is Toby, my boy,” he announced. “He likes it doggie style.”
Some of the whores tittered and smiled at me, and one of ’em showed me her tits. But the one who looked like the Madonna acted like I had fleas. “Bow-wow,” she said in a tired voice, and she went back to paintin’ her toenails.
When the madam asked me to choose my whore, I picked the Madonna chick. The girl looked a little gloomy, like maybe she was bored, so I figured she was ripe for a bit of pleasurin’. After all, Pa had brought me here to share the gifts of the Lord.
The girl put the cap back on her nail polish bottle and tucked it into her bra. Then she held me by the elbow and guided me down this hallway. Although Pa had paid for an hour, she seemed a little impatient. “Hurry up, Toto,” she said. “You’re not in Kansas anymore.”
She took me into the smallest room that I have ever seen. There was nothing in it but a bed, a dresser, and a tiny rusted sink. There were pictures stuck on the dresser mirror, all of them of some kid, and a poster of Brad Pitt was hanging on the wall.
I ain’t sure the chick remembered my name ’cause she started calling me Jasper. It was better than calling me Toto, I guess, but not a whole lot better. Her voice was so flat that I almost decided not to make her cum.
“Come on Jasper, let’s get you washed up,” she said as she undid my belt. She tugged down my zipper and lowered my jeans and her eyes grew bigger than doorknobs. “What happened to your junk?” she said. “It smells like a coconut!”
“That’s Kama Sutra paste,” I said. “It’s so I can pleasure you.”
She rolled her eyes and laughed out loud, she seemed to be really amused. “I think you’re supposed to eat it, Jasper, not smear it on your dick.”
She made me stand in front of the sink and she washed my Willie with soap, and it weren’t but thirty seconds before I shot my load in her hands.
“Hey, Warren Beatty,” she said to me. “You’re a little bit quick on the draw.”
When she saw me blushing and hanging my head, she walked me to the bed.
She said I shoulda gone to Hardees instead and ordered myself a slider. She gave me a towel and I dried my dinky and I pulled my pants back up. As I sat on the bed beside her, she started brushing her hair.
“Would you like some conversation?” she said. “You still have me for fifty-eight minutes.”
“I ain’t as good at conversing,” I said. “I don’t know too many jokes.”
She brushed her hair ’til it crackled then smiled like Mona Lisa. “You were forced to come here, weren’t you?” she said. She picked some loose hairs from the brush. “Let’s talk awhile, Jasper, see what happens. Maybe you’ll think up some jokes.”
She told me her name was Brandi and she had a three-year-old son. She said she was going to community college to become a paralegal. She said she only worked in the whorehouse a couple times a week. The money paid for her tuition and daycare for her son. She said she was gonna stop fucking strangers when she had her associates degree.
Well, she dabbed her eyes with a Kleenex, and my pecker stayed limp as a worm. So I told her I won’t be no stranger when we get around to fucking. I said I would drive back to see her once I have my learners’ permit. And we could maybe go to a tractor pull before I take her to bed. “Ya look like a dream,” I said to her even though she weren’t that pretty. But I remembered how Pa told me to compliment a whore.
She thanked me for the compliment and she chucked the Kleenex away. And she gave me a kiss so tender it felt like it came from a virgin. “Dreams are dreams, aren’t they, Jasper?” she said as she rose from the bed.
She dug into her dresser and pulled out a checker set, and we played five games of checkers before the hour was up. She won the first four games real quick—her mind was as sharp as a box cutter. I suspect she threw the final game outta Christian charity. “I’m sure you’ll do better next time,” she said, and she gave me a little wink. I weren’t sure if she was talkin’ ’bout checkers or keepin’ the juice in my spruce.
“Whatcha gonna tell Pa?” I said when she walked me back up the hallway. She was holding my hand kinda gentle, like maybe she’d caught a bird, but her nostrils flared at the mention of Pa. I think she was irked at him.
“Don’t fret about your daddy,” she snapped. “I’m going to take care of you.”
When we walked into the parlor, she limped like a three-legged cat. She told Pa to pay her more money ’cause I musta bruised something inside her. And Pa, he grinned like a crocodile and hollered, “Praise the Lord!” And he pulled a wad of bills from his pocket and gave her a hundred dollars.
As the madam escorted us through the foyer, I felt like a stud Quarter Horse. She thanked me for my business and she gave me a Jonathan apple and she looked at me with interest when she opened the front door. Pa gave her fifty dollars more then hurried me back down the stairway. I guess he wanted to get out of there while the tires were still on our truck.
We drove outta East Chicago, and Pa kept ravin’ like a preacher. He said I had done the family name proud and I wouldn’t need cock books no more. He said I deserved the key to the city and that he couldn’t have done better himself. He said it wouldn’t be too long before whores were paying me.
Well, it woulda seemed like blasphemy not to believe my Pa. So I stuck out my chest like a gamecock, I said the Great Harlot had better watch out, and I told him Warren Beatty didn’t have nothin’ on me. As we merged onto US 231, Pa popped the cassette back in the player. And all the way home we sang “Another One Bites the Dust.”
James Hanna spent twenty years as a prison counselor in the Indiana Department of Correction and another fourteen years as a San Francisco probation officer. He recently retired from the San Francisco Probation Department, where he was assigned to a domestic violence and stalking unit. Much of James’ writing is about the criminal element. James has had over fifty story publications and received three Pushcart nominations. His books, all of which have won awards, are available on Amazon.