The Local Brothel
My mother grew up on a farm and has always embodied the no-nonsense approach to life that comes from getting up at 4am to milk cows and gather eggs. She's proud of always keeping her promises and never lying to her children. Because of her practice of always telling the truth, whenever I asked innocent questions about prurient subjects, I always got a cut-to-the-chase answer. Although, of course, it was tailored to my age and experience, and left me with the impression that sexual interaction was sort of an overlarge game for whacky grownups who had nothing better to do.
Our local brothel was (inconveniently) named "The Doll House", so I always wanted to stop there. It was on the way into the city, so we'd drive by it occasionally. Each time we passed, I begged to go inside. I imagined rooms filled with tiny furniture, miniscule plastic foods and dolls from around the world. It seemed like a sort of thing well-suited to a five-year-old. My mother--who presumably regretted the fact that I could read when I was two and therefore knew what the sign said--finally had to shatter my notion of children's utopia.
"They don't sell dolls there, Kathy." I, of course, did not believe this. Why call it "The Doll House" otherwise? Pretty stupid, if you ask me. When I told her as much, I got the response that loomed large in my mind for the next five years. "It's a place where men pay money to see ladies without their clothes." That shut me up, if only to ponder the larger consequence of this new (to me) avenue of commerce. I knew Daddy was a lawyer and Mommy was a teacher who stayed home to take care of the babies that kept showing up. I had no IDEA that being naked for people was an actual job. In my mind they were all standing naked behind cash registers, and you had to give them a quarter to come around to the front of the counter. It seemed stupid to waste your allowance on something you couldn't even take home with you.
From that point on, The Doll House became my mortal enemy. I felt personally betrayed by their choice of business names. If they wanted to be naked for men, then I thought it was only fair to call it The Naked Lady House. That seemed to make more sense, and wasn't so misleading to little girls. Ten years later the nudie franchises came to town and Deja Vu put our little homegrown brothel out of business. At least their name was more accurate. If you've seen one naked lady, you pretty much know what you're looking at.