My family and I spent a great evening in Baltimore at the Orioles game last Saturday. Even though we live in Wilmington, De., we make it to Camden Yards a dozen times a year. Our family are long time Orioles fans, and we look forward to spending time in both Maryland and Baltimore.
After the Orioles lost to Toronto on Saturday, we took our usual good time leaving the park. One of our stops is to check out the merchandise at the stands located on Pratt Street after the game. As we walked towards the souvenir stands, our nine-year-old son said, "What is that?" My 12-year-old son couldn't believe his eyes. Neither could my wife or me. "That" happened to be a delivery truck advertising a local "gentlemen's club" driving slowly down the street, obviously trolling for customers post-game. On the back of the truck was a large Plexiglas enclosure containing four barely clad pole dancers. It was bad enough that the dancers were scantily dressed, but in addition, one of the performers was making obscene and lewd gestures toward the pedestrians.
It's hard enough trying to educate my sons about sexuality and responsible behavior in a world filled with unrestrained sexual messages and easy access to such material via the Internet, cell phone, print and TV media. What's hard to believe is that I can't even be responsible for teaching my sons about such material — they are bombarded by it even if they go to a ball game. They literally cannot even walk down a street without being exposed to publicly lewd behavior.
We spent a great deal of time on the ride home explaining why people dance in "gentlemen's clubs" and why people patronize them. I would have liked to have done so when my sons were a bit older, but apparently the city of Baltimore feels it's their and the strip clubs' responsibility to educate our pre-teens about easy access to sexual activity.
As a fan and an ex-Maryland resident, I would ask the city to consider legislating such public obscenity out of business. Sure, drive around with a billboard on your truck enticing people to attend your "gentlemen's club," but leave the obscene dancing where it belongs — away from the eyes of pre-teens and children.
Marc Felizzi, Wilmington, Del.