Friday, May 26, 2006

Illegal immigrants and porn

Fellow American expat London blogger Anglofille has a great post about the "tart cards" that fill London phone booths. She says:

The majority of these tart cards feature extremely graphic and vulgar images of women. In 2001 they were banned and anyone caught distributing them can be put in prison for up to 6 months or fined £5000, but it’s obviously not enforced. Nearly 40,000 of these cards are distributed throughout the city each day and you see them everywhere.
(BTW - she has photos over at her site)

To be honest I had forgotten about these, since I've had a mobile phone since 2000 - and so haven't been in a phone booth in ages. But as I remember, if you walk into a central London phone booth you'll be assualted by graphic business cards offering a variety of services. It's not legal to post the cards - and some councils have had crackdowns intermittently. But I guess, since most people have mobile phones now, the booths' main purpose is to serve the prostitution industry with a place for sex workers to sell the wares.

Prostitution is legal for a sole trader in a "residential" premise, but solicitation and advertising is not. Of course, many of these cards offer "massage*".

Who risks the fines and jail time and puts these cards up? Well, I happen to know someone who used to be in that trade. He is an Oak Ridge native and a graduate (I think he graduated) of the University of Tennessee. I've known him since he was six years old. He came over here about 10 years ago, overstayed his tourist visa - and the only employment he could get was as a "tart-card" poster and DJ'ing once a week at the Blue Note. Who says illegals aren't entrepreneurial? Illegals will do the jobs that native Britons just won't do.

The Vol-tart-card-poster is getting married this summer to a rich girl from Indianapolis. Congratulations Mr VTCP, enjoy the day! Perhaps I should send a pack of tart cards for old time's sake**.

_____
*When the Vol-in-Law's back problems were at his most severe, he had a fantastic massage in Finland - from a one-eyed man with shamanistic skills. He walked straight and without pain for the first time in over a year. Didn't last - (the shaman said it wouldn't) - and so the ViL decided to search for massage in London. A search through the yellow pages didn't offer much luck...after several misplaced phone calls to ladies of the night (his story) - he gave up. Now, he says real masseurs have wisened up and list their services under "therapeutic massage".

**Don't worry, VolMom, I won't actually send them. Please don't tell Mr VTCP's mom that he used to do this. I don't think she would approve.

1 comment:

Vol-in-Law said...

*One* phone call... *one*. :)