The Stag

A former sex worker recounts a harrowing night in Abbotsford, BC, circa 1980

We exit to the parking lot, where it’s dark, and half the crowd is either getting into cars or pissing up against them. I miss the city lights; better the devil you know. I rush to the phone booth between the hall and the road, digging out a handful of change, and call the Vancouver cab company I call every day. I hear the dispatcher’s familiar voice and hope she can recognize mine.

“I need a cab to Vancouver, west end. I’m at a hall in Abbotsford, but we can’t stay here. We’re four girls, and we need a cab desperately. We’ll just keep walking down the highway until we see it.” Silence. “Please … ”

“Just keep walking. I’ll send a cab right away,” she interrupts. The phone goes dead.

I am about to hang up when he pushes his way into the booth. He grabs the receiver out of my hand and smashes it into the phone box, then he rips the cord out. “You fucking whore!” he yells as I run to the girls.

“We have to walk down the highway. The cab is on the way,” I tell them, leading them past drunk bastards jumping into their cars.

“I’ll give you a ride!” one shouts.

“You can’t walk away now, you ugly bitch.”

We keep walking.

“You can trust me, baby. Just get in the car.”

“I think we can trust him,” Candy calls out to me, trying to keep up. She is the smallest of us and is wearing the highest heels.

I don’t know how far we’ve walked, what time it is. The cars pass less frequently now, but we can still hear the shouts. Candy and Mary sit down. “We’ll stay here. Come back for us when you get the cab.” I’m about to vomit when Judy lets out a cheer. We see the headlights, the light on the roof.

“You could have been waiting a lot longer,” the cabbie says as we pile in ecstatically. “You’re lucky I was — ”

Candy cuts him off: “Stop for cigarettes as soon as possible.”

As I listen to the girls in the back seat, I can’t make out who’s laughing, who’s talking.

“The bars are closed now.”

“I’m starving. Let’s get some Chinese.”

“Let’s go back to my place.”

But as we pull up to Candy’s, I’m thinking about the fathers. I’m thinking about the bride.
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5 comment(s)

DagnaJune 14, 2011 14:23 EST

Thank you for sharing your story Deirdre, so visual... and scary. I was relieved to learn how this stag turned out.

ShawnaJune 14, 2011 23:11 EST

If your life involves drugs and prostitution, I think it would be a given for an event like this one to occur at some point. While I was reading the article, I found myself wondering, "When is the shocking part of this story happening?" Seriously, 65 drunk and horny guys? What did you think would happen?????

DaynaJune 17, 2011 14:17 EST

Oh, Shawna. Don't you remember the Slutwalk message? Please, stop blaming the victim.
No one deserves harassment or intimidation and it's the perpetrator who's to blame; no one else.
I'm glad the writer got out physically unscathed, if not emotionally unhurt.
This is why the laws around prostitution need to be changed: to protect and regulate the women and men at these type of gigs.

SkepticJuly 19, 2011 20:12 EST

Dumb, really dumb. IF this story is true (can you really rely on drug-fuelled memories?), then you've got no one but yourself to blame.

This is a HIGHLY unusual circumstance in the business. I've never come across anything like this ever. But then again, I'm not a junkie.

It's articles like these (and publications like Walrus who print them) that make me so angry. Accepting money to entertain men is not inherently dangerous. Being dumb, on drugs and being desperate and vulnerable seems to be the problem. If you weren't a streetwalker, you'd very likely still have had an abusive boyfriend or husband and you'd still have the drug habit.

I really doubt this story is true though.

RitaAugust 24, 2011 07:29 EST

I met her just recently. Sadly, It is true. You people are cruel.
I wonder how this is normal and not "shocking" that men behave this way. No matter what they are "celebrating".

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