Exhausting Research in the New Navy.(NATION)(PRUDEN ON POLITICS)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 10, 2002 | Go to article overview

Exhausting Research in the New Navy.(NATION)(PRUDEN ON POLITICS)


Byline: Wesley Pruden, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Uncle Sam's sailors come with standard-issue red blood, lots of it, with a sturdy cut of the jib, always spoiling for a fight, ready to sink the enemy's ships or break up a saloon. We all know that. Donald Rumsfeld and George W. can be pleased, and so should we all.

Every hooker comes with a broken heart of gold. We all know that, too. And every newspaper editor comes with two hard fists and a determination to report the news. "Without fear or favor," as the cliche goes. He's scared of no one.

Well, maybe not always. A sailor's mom can be a fearsome creature.

When three U.S. warships, the carrier John C. Stennis, the guided missile cruiser Port Royal and the combat support ship Bridge, sailed into Perth the other day the guys - 5,500 of them - were weary of the stresses and deprivations of war, thirsty and eager to see if everything they had heard about kangaroos, koala bears and Aussie hospitality was true. The young women at Langtrees, Australia's most famous seminary for young ladies, were eager to do their bit for the allied war effort.

But enough, as our commander in chief might say, was soon enough. Only hours later, Mary-Anne Kennedy, the madam of Langtrees, pushed out the last of the sailors and locked the doors for the first time in years. Her young ladies were exhausted.

"We're the biggest and best," she said. "I'd rather take nothing than offer poor service. The girls were starting to refuse to have sex but still wanted money just to take their clothes off. That's not right."

Mzz Kennedy was not complaining, exactly, but she had some advice for the Navy. "I just wish they could dribble-feed the Yanks in, fly a thousand off at a time. We usually find the Yanks hard work but lots of fun. This time they needed the company, too."

Soon the grief - some might call it opportunity - began to spread. Hookers in Hobart, in the southern Australia state of Tasmania, are braced for a hectic week. The state Family Planning Agency is on alert, promoting a message of "safe sex" and has laid in a supply of condoms.

"The Americans are known as big spenders who have a good time," says the director of the family planning agency. There is no evidence that "local women" are turning free-lance tricks but he expects what he delicately calls "interstate sex workers" to hurry to Hobart to take advantage of "excellent business opportunities.

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