I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to laughing at a bizarre sex story online. In fact I consistently give my editors fits when I write stories about Occupy Porn and PETA Girls Gone Wild, but to me those stories are more fun than just covering who got caught tweeting their privates that month. However, the latest viral sex story de-jour gave me an initial laugh until I realized that amidst the carnal mirth a truly sad story was being overlooked.
The local Burbank California Police Department has been inundated with phone calls from press outlets all over the world since last Wednesday due to a very unusual arrest they made. Apparently, a local homeless woman Khadijah Baseer, was offering more than fries with that to local customers at the drive through window. The woman who had for months been begging customers to spare her some change or buy her food moved up the desperation food chain and began offering customers oral sex in exchange for Chicken McNuggets. Specifically Chicken McNuggets. I’m not sure if she was offering anything extra if you threw in some hot mustard or barbeque sauce; or if the offer still stood for an extra-value meal.
Of course now everyone’s got jokes, from what is the proper way to respond to a Mc-Proposition, to various double entendre about Big Macs and special sauce. Now, I am usually ready to pile on a snark-fest as much as the next person. But, when you’re so hungry, desperate or addicted that you’re turning tricks for McNuggets (or hamburgers) it’s actually more sad than funny.
While rates of prostitution have actually not gone up during this recession, the level of hunger has, as many people are literally starving in the streets through a combination of joblessness and lack of charitable or social services. Who knows what Khadijah Baseer’s back story is? Perhaps she isn’t just poor and hungry but is also addicted to drugs and would engage in this kind of behavior regardless. That doesn’t make her story any less sad or less compelling – nor does it make the lack of reflection in some of the snarky responses any less obnoxious. Sometimes a sex story is just a sex story, and sometimes it reflects some larger issue happening in our society. This incident is clearly about more than a bad day in the McDonald’s drive through and hopefully that part of the story will see the light of day as well.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.