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Dennis Asiimwe’s Notes: If I Were a Hooker

Disclaimer: No hookers were used while researching the material for this note. Yeah, sure, I talked to some, bought one or two a drink, lied to some (‘My name is Eustace’ — it was the dumbest name I could think of on short notice, but I wanted it to be dumb anyway) and told one that I thought if she really put some effort into it, her life story would make a bestselling novel with the right publishing house (she was 19).

But use them?

Nada.

That would be just wrong, see? Like a chef paying you to enjoy a sumptuous meal he has prepared. Never really figured out the whole hooker thing anyway.

But let me start at the beginning.

I meet clients in the oddest of places.

And they choose these places; I simply show up with a cheesy grin, a somewhat functional IQ and a notepad. (I hate iPads, and electronic note pads of any sort so I won’t be caught dead with one of those fancy gadgets; I prefer to reserve delicate finger work for other more fulfilling needs, like playing jazz piano — and yes, I know where most of your minds had dashed off to, you gutter — heathens!)

I think my clients mostly choose out-of-the-way places because they want to get away from concrete and glass, which is what the corporate jungle is mostly made up of.

They skip the places that might seem like obvious choices, like hotel lounges, because they have about as much chemistry as Donald Trump and Melania Trump, while cafes are annoying on general principles.

The yuppie bars don’t work either, with their whole ‘Hey-look-at-me-closing-a deal!’ approach to deal-making. Restaurants are a no-no as well; cutlery clinks in a frigging annoying way, and someone will always come along with a brat that runs around wailing ‘I want!’ at everything said brat sees, including the restaurant walls.

Instead, my clients, who can often afford to use $100 bills as impromptu ashtrays (I am not saying they do, I am just saying they can afford to!) go for those cozy semi-glamorous bars that are just above the definition of kafunda — think along the lines of what Iguana used to look like before the world moved on, and you are on the right track.

I have closed some of the most important deals I have ever been fortunate to, in these semi-bufundas. Often, they are located in the no-man’s land between the Central Business District and suburbia, so they will have a number of curious traits: they never run out of ice, never seem to close, always have suspicious furniture (Why the fuck do they have sofas?) and have a surprising bar list (I know one that serves Single Malt whiskies and yet never seems to have flushing loos).

And they often have a certain type of clientele:

Bleary-eyed males with beer breath that can sterilize medical equipment;

Young corporate types that are trying to make it look like they are wearing the tie (and not vice versa);

And hookers.

They always have hookers. World-weary, dolled up like they are auditioning for a role as the Joker in a Batman movie, they are hard to miss.

Today’s hookers look like ambulance sirens. They also sometimes sound as unpleasant as ambulance sirens, but mostly it’s the look they nail. You can understand why I guess. In a world where your average female dresses for a night out like a cross between Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian on crack, it’s impossible for a hooker to compete in the slutty wardrobe stakes — the average female nailed that ages ago (and I am not complaining). So hookers compensate with garish make-up, loud voices and cackling witch-like laughter (and yes, I know your typical partying female isn’t much different in this regard).

It means that hookers, for non-health-related reasons, are a dying breed, being made extinct by today’s average female. Something needs to be done. This is the oldest profession after all, and it is important to our identity as the human race to preserve it.

My client was running late, the evening traffic being as insane as ever. I sat at the bar counter trying not to look like I was here to pick up some action or trying to postpone going home to a wife that had morphed into an unrecognizable combination of hair rolls and cellulite — I was guessing that’s why most of the men were here.

There were about four hookers in the bar. It was still early; by midnight, most of the females in the bar would be hookers. They looked desolate, and you couldn’t blame them really. Increasingly, hookers just don’t seem to get as much action as they used to. I knew that by 2.00 am, there probably would be about 25 more hookers in the bar, but most of them would still be alone, and desolate. Men, for reasons that might seem odd, don’t seem to pick up these creatures of the night as frequently as they used to. And the hookers seem puzzled by the whole thing. What’s going on? is the question you see on their puzzled heavily painted faces as they cast furtive glances around the bar.

My heart (assuming I have one, which biology insists I do) often reaches out to them as I see the dark reality dawn on their faces — they will be going home alone, most of them, sober, hungry, and probably horny (if we are going with the argument that they followed their passions while getting into the business).

The barman came over for my order and I pointed at the cheapest whiskey bottle I could see from my perch (you only order the good stuff when the client is around).

‘Two shots’.

He nodded, and turned to splash my order into a glass. I threw it back, grimacing at the taste.

‘Two more.’

Almost on cue, one of the four ladies of the night sauntered over, smiling like plastic, with those wonderfully dead eyes they have.

‘Harro, wou…’

I cut her off. I could understand where she was coming from — I look wealthier than I really am (sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s not), and I look kind and understanding (I am told), which I am not. I am a hooker’s nightmare.

‘Listen.’ I spoke crisply, like it was an elevator pitch.

‘I am going to give you some advice. And buy you a drink, but that’s all. But this advice will change the way you do things, okay? Think of it as corporate social responsibility on my part (at this point I slipped her my card) but sit your ass down and listen.’

She seemed stunned, and that was okay. I wasn’t going to listen to her try her hooker spiel on me; it’s actually annoying.

She sat.

I sipped at my glass, a little slower this time, and went on.

‘Here’s what I would do if I were you.

1. I would get a Point-Of-Sale machine: 

Most men that go to bars are trying hard to manage their spending, especially at the local. So when you drop them that lame pick-up line you ‘night’ ladies use (‘Haroo sir, do you need some company?’) they will often have the perfect excuse: ‘Would love to darl, but I am sorta out of cash’. Then you can whip out your own little portable Point-Of-Sale device and say ‘I accept VISA and Mastercard’. If he doesn’t have a debit card, let alone a credit card, leave. He ain’t worth it girl. Not even for a couple of minutes, which is how long it will probably last. He’s probably a biter.

2. Learn a Skill (because your everyday girl is WAY kinkier than you are): 

Pick up a skill. All those things men used to come to you hookers for, ordinary girls do them (and then some!). You give good head, a girl with a degree gives head while humming (the vibrations make things interesting). You are willing to go for a three—way, the girl who works as a teller at the bank will show up for a four-way and bring twins. So pick up a skill, something that these yuppie non-hooker females have forgotten, like cooking, or sewing. It will dramatically improve your repeat clientele if a man knows you can help him fix his tie in the morning.

3. Avoid tapping away at your phone as you wait for clients: 

It’s fucking annoying. Heck, it’s bloody annoying when ordinary girls do it, but you look extra stupid doing it because you are supposed to be at work, looking for people to shag. For money. And no one wants to shag someone stupid. Put the phone away, and dance, or make — out with one of your girls, or something. Jeez.

4. Pretend you are not a hooker:

It is hilarious how this works. Many men have this dumb-ass move where they pick up a girl, take her home, and after the usual trysts and stuff, she spends the night. And in the morning, they will give her what they like to call (with a straight face, by the way), ‘transport’. Usually, this will be between 50,000 and 100,000 Ugandan-freaking shillings. This will be an ordinary yuppie girl out for a night with her girls. And after a night in a comfy bed, she makes the same money that YOU will make, and probably gets to even have breakfast! And this is the sort of chap that avoids your helpful services because he doesn’t want to live with the idea that he is paying to get laid (yet, of course, he really is. In this age of Uber, ‘transport’ of 100,000 is absurd — where the fuck is the ordinary girl he picked up for the night going, Congo?)

I was about to add a fifth point when out of the corner of my eye I saw my client walk in. It was a good thing I spotted him first because by now the hooker’s friends had joined us at the bar counter.

Sliding off my stool, I called quickly to the bar man: ‘Give whatshername…’

‘Loyce!’ the barman volunteered helpfully.

‘Yeah, Loyce. Give her and her friends a round on me.’

I turned to continue towards my client, then realized my blunder, and turned back to the barman: ‘One round of beers.’

The night ladies (it sounds way nicer than ‘hookers’) were giggling as I turned back and continued towards my client, wearing a toothy smile.

Loyce. That would have been point Number 5 — get another bloody name, for the love of the gods.

As I shook my client’s hand and we found ourselves a table away from the bar, I overheard one of the girls say ‘Kale that Eustace man is nice.’

Eustace. Way worse than Loyce; way worse.

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What do you think?

Written by Dennis Asiimwe

Dennis lives and works in Kampala as a communications consultant. He’s single because dating is a bit tedious in Uganda. He owns a marketing communications firm that develops radio, TV, and print ads and uses other media tools, and has an event management section. He also writes for the New Vision as a music critic and is a social critic with several magazines.

He owns a jazz outfit called Bonafide and plays jazz when he can find the bloody time. He loves dogs (German Shepherds) and is a major fan of Stephen King and Babyface.

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