Hookers at the playground

Responding to complaints about nearly naked prostitutes in a popular park, Madrid's police chief proposes a ban on underdressing.

Published July 5, 2000 7:00PM (EDT)

Madrid has a problem. At Casa de Campo, a popular park featuring restaurants, a zoo, soccer games and an amusement area, couples strolling with their children have been bumping into half-dressed prostitutes, who stumble down the boulevard wearing smeared lipstick and sloppy grins.

In addition to being a delightful family playland, Casa de Campo is also a popular meet-and-greet area for the city's hookers. More than one child has apparently pointed to a nearly naked hooker and asked his or her parents for some explanation.

Parents complained to the police, and the police chief proposed that his staff charge prostitutes with indecent exposure. (He didn't say that prostitution is illegal and the hookers should be arrested for providing sexual services for money; no, they should just be more covered up.)

But the chief public prosecutor, Mariano Fernando Bermejo, rejected the proposal. "One thing is indecent exposure, another is the wearing of a uniform -- or in this case almost the lack of one -- related to one's job," he told a local newspaper.

So thanks to the chief prosecutor, hookers can wear whatever the hell they want when they strut the sidewalks around Casa de Campo, and damn the inquisitive children. Justice has been done.

By Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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