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— It's a shame that, among the luxurious amenities attached to Super Bowls, there won't be a few massage parlors built into Qualcomm Stadium for the game this year. San Diego is a good massage-parlor town. And after all, even the ancient civil religions conducted prostitution in the temple during festivals of their religious calendar. If the Super Bowl isn't the most significant liturgical event of American civil religion, then I'm a celibate monk.

Fortunately, however, during Super Bowl week there will be plenty of action in San Diego outside Qualcomm Temple. I will give you some suggestions in a second. But the Babylonians would never have approved. Prostitution made money for their temples, it is true; but more importantly, sex with a priestess of the goddess Ishtar was thought to increase fertility in agricultural cycles. Selling sex for commercial profit in the marketplace was profane. We owe our less "superstitious" view in part to the Hebrew prophets, who, though they condemned harlotry outright, reserved special wrath for its practice in the Jerusalem temple. That drove prostitution into such secular streets as El Cajon Boulevard.

We Americans have discovered that market competition is better to worship than fertility. So prostitution goes to the streets and into acupressure emporiums, where it helps grow the GNP instead of the corn. Meanwhile, the Super Bowl in recent years has risen to supremacy as our cultic celebration of competition par excellence. And if we can believe Playboy (February '97), it is the scene of the greatest temporary concentrations of prostitution in America today, well beyond even a Mike Tyson fight at the mgm Grand in Las Vegas.

The Babylonian god Marduk was something of a competitor himself. He vanquished all his political rivals in battle, not to mention Tiamat, the monster of evil chaos. I propose that the god the Super Bowl worships might look in visual art like John Wayne, another duke, and be called Scorduk, the god simultaneously of the touchdown and the cash register's "cha-ching."

So what can all you disciples of Scorduk do for your god and country during Super Bowl week, whether you will be in the Temple for the game or not? Go get a hooker! It's the least you can do. Whereas those silly worshippers of fertility only believed they improved the crops by spewing their seed with their favorite priestess, we science-wise johns know that spewing ours also circulates cash into the economy. It's just doing our part.

In San Diego during this Super Bowl week it will be easy to buy what the Greeks called hierodouleia, or "sacred service." It will depend only on how high a roller you are. Stunningly dressed, gorgeous, high-class hookers will be turning up at Super Bowl parties in hotels all over town. Many will be coming here from glitzier cities. Lots of booze and other temporary stimulants will be passed around. Go for it -- if you can afford it. You may pay $1000 for a girl that will give you the sensual time of your life. To even get invited to these parties you will have to be a real winner in the corporate world, much like Brett Favre is in the nfl. But if you're that big, you'll deserve the reward. Throughout fiscal '97 you will have logged enough hours of hard work, of delayed gratification, of worldly asceticism to deserve a month of Super Bowl party heaven.

Just don't let the fun sap your drive to produce in fiscal '98. It is said that some of the desert fathers of the early Christian Church, who had fled the debauchery of Alexandria to save their souls in ascetic communion with God, occasionally succumbed to horrific inner temptation and ran wildly back to the city to indulge their passions "just once more." No doubt there were those among them who never made it back to God in the Egyptian desert and lost their souls and heaven too. So be careful at the Super Bowl parties, for you too could lose the heaven for which you are working so hard, whatever that is.

Now, maybe you're one of those other organization men, who do lots of the dirty work for which the corporate Brahmans don't recognize you, and you can't afford one of those girls at a Super Bowl party, even if you do attend one. You like to get together with your buddies and get rowdy anyway. And all of you actually like football for its own sake, not just as a pretext for being seen at the biggest game of the year.

Here's what I recommend for you guys. Get your buddies to go in with you, rent a stretch limo (forget it if you didn't book for January 25 before early December, say the limo services) and pay some "sacred servants" to go along with you for the ride. The girls might even think it's fun too. You can take along a half to a fourth as many of them as there are of you. Naturally, they will take this into account in their price. But eight or nine of you ought to be able to handle this -- the limo and all the booze you bring along -- pretty easily with the modest paychecks and corporate expense accounts you have. Don't forget during the week to have a drink with a client or two, or bring them along in the limo, to justify the money you're going to spend.

The Yellow Pages will give you plenty of leads for finding girls. It lists 24 pages of escort, lingerie modeling, exotic dancing, and outcall-massage services. True, you might not get what you're paying for when you patronize these businesses. I know a girl who bragged about taking a man's $150, dancing for him for ten minutes, and then informing him self-righteously that the ad doesn't say she would do anything more.

So for a little more reliability -- maybe -- there's Swing. Swing is a monthly tabloid sold at F Street and other adult bookstores around town. One opens it to find pictures of naked women (and transsexuals) advertising coyly what they do. One of the ads in the December issue reads, "I am a lovely, petite, hard-bodied blonde with your pleasure on my mind. Call for an erotic interlude of sensual delights."

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