A man named Jack residing in Lewiston, Idaho, this week called the telephone operator and told her, "I need a newspaper because I have an idea and need to tell them some news."
Of all the newspapers in all the world, he was given the number for SF Weekly
, which he dialed. He then offered to tell us, in five minutes or fewer, how San Francisco could solve its "drug house" and prostitution problems:
"Yeah, it's simple. You decriminalize or legalize all the adult massage parlors. And you regulate them. Up here in the Spokane area, they have it regulated, it's 50 dollars for half an hour. Now, rich men don't go there, they go to the escort services. They don't want to go to the drug houses to buy it.
What you do then is have vice cops go out into the streets and give two options to the men who go out to street prostitutes: They give them a listing of all the adult entertainment businesses that don't cause trouble, all the regulated massage parlors -- or, if they come back out on the street, the get some pretty good punishment!
In Reno, you know, they have a bunch of escort services, and they don't touch them as long as they just do things adult boyfriends and girlfriends do. If they do drugs or steal you've got to crack down on them."
He paused, and took a few deep breaths.
"I don't know," he continued. "It makes sense to me."
Jack was ambivalent about SF Weekly's request to write a letter to the editor -- he doesn't have an e-mail account. He gave us his phone number, but warned us not to expect to get a hold of him. He doesn't have an answering machine and he's "in and out."