Hot time in the old vice district this Wednesday

Free vibrators to be given out at Stingaree hot spot

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, pimps and prostitutes prowled San Diego's Stingaree district south of Broadway, roughly bounded by 1st and 5th Streets, and Market and K. This Wednesday, March 27, more modern forms of pleasures of the flesh will be in evidence. Trojan, the venerable old maker of condoms, has diversified into vibrators -- servicing both women and men. From 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Trojan will be handing out free vibrators at the Stingaree, 454 6th Ave. in the Gaslamp, "while supplies last." The vibrators will be handed out from Trojan Vibrations Pleasure Carts, which were modeled after traditional hot dog carts. "The pleasure revolution that swept New York City, D.C., Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, and Seattle [is] heading to San Diego," exults Trojan. These products sell for $29.99 to $39.99.

The Stingaree night club bills itself as "a premier destination for celebrity guests and the city's sexiest party goers." It is "home to the hottest San Diego nightlife," it boasts.

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I hear they'll be playing "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys!

dwbat: Whatever music is played, there will be lots of vibrato. Best, Don Bauder

If we feel a temblor Wednesday afternoon, it's probably just from product testing going on at Stingaree!

dwbat: If you want to live like a Sheik, you have to work like a Trojan. Ergo, you must practice, practice, practice. Best, Don Bauder

I really don't think a vibrator would service me all that well.

I have to wonder; are they handing these things out in the afternoon because they're solar powered?

Pleasure revolution? Did I miss out on that, too? Darn.

Don Bauder, why are you covering this? I thought you mostly covered business and government issues. Or is the byline a mistake.

mridolf: Yes, I cover business and government, but there are a couple of ways I can rationalize publicizing this event: 1. The Stingaree district, which was closed down early in the 20th century, was a center of commerce -- admittedly, not the kind of commerce normally covered by business columnists, but lucrative nonetheless; 2. The subject is normally Barbarella's beat. Her name is just above mine in the alphabet. Note: I rather doubt that they are solar-powered because, I understand, they are mainly used in the evening, in the dark. Best, Don Bauder

This has every hallmark of Mencken spoof piece. But, as I often observe, the headlines of normal blogs are often stranger than the satire.

Visduh: This is no spoof. It's the real thing, should you want to show up Wednesday. This is the second time in a week you have linked my name to that of H.L. Mencken -- er, Walter Mencken. Best, Don Bauder

Well, then come with another weird story, and we can make it three!

Visduh: I don't make these things up. They come my way. (In this case, both a call and an email.) But you raise a good question: why do the people with oddball stories contact me? Could weird minds run in similar channels? Best, Don Bauder

They did a pretty thorough marketing job with this one - I got the press release as well.

Walter: It's called double-planting. Best, Don Bauder

I wonder if this is a trick, like that Trojan Horse ruse way back when.

dwbat: Well, Trojan is indeed bearing gifts. Beware? Or be thankful? Best, Don Bauder

It HAS to be real. You just can't make this stuff up: " modeled after traditional hot dog carts". Hilarious!

Duhbya: I was skeptical at first, but looked into it and decided that life's true pleasures have eluded me these nearly 77 years. Do you remember the days when vendors would push their carts along the street, ringing a bell, selling ice cream? Maybe the vendors will be selling vibrators now. Best, Don Bauder

If that happens, I'll never order a push up stick again.


by Duhbya

Duhbya: Congrats for that one. I have been pondering my statement that men pushing carts with bells ringing were selling ice cream. I am not so sure of that. I think the ice cream was peddled from motorized trucks. It was the old men sharpening knives who went up and down the street in a push cart with a bell announcing their arrival in the neighborhood. Best, Don Bauder

tomjohnston: I understand the purple one is the most popular. Best, Don Bauder

Well, when I first read your traditional cart statement, I envisioned a push cart as well. It seems entirely plausible if it's in use in NYC, Boston, Chicago, etc. But when you mentioned neighborhoods, I have to agree that trucks were the norm, whether the commodity being peddled (as opposed to pedaled) was ice cream, milk, bread, blade sharpening, and so on. At least in Kearny Mesa in the 50's and 60's, and I presume most other areas in SD.

Duhbya: Yes, but in regard to knife-sharpening push carts, I am referring to the 1930s and 1940s -- not 1950s or 1960s. Best, Don Bauder

Don--it's almost a new day; what's the latest "buzz" on this developing story?

aardvark: Wow. I wish I had come up with that one. The latest buzz is today is the day if you want to get in on this deal. Best, Don Bauder

Don--sorry; someone had to ask that "probing" question.

aardvark: Man! You are hot, aardvark! Probing question, indeed. Get thee to a nunnery! And watch your step. Best, Don Bauder

Duhbya: The product is dispensed from a push cart, but alleviates the need to push. Best, Don Bauder

I realize that - I'm just taking one of my frequent respites from my elongated working day. At your expense, admittedly. But I can't restrain myself: If the cart jockey gets a sore throat today from hawking the product, could we say that he/she has a case of Trojan hoarse?

They did this last year in Manhattan. I understand it aroused quite an interest among the locals. It was reported that they gave away 10K "pleasure devices". And the cart was staffed by women.

tomjohnston: My experience interacting with New Yorkers, which mercifully lasted only ten years, led me to conclude that nothing aroused them. But maybe a product designed for arousal did it. Best, Don Bauder

Don Bauder, "Aroused and staffed" - play on words, pun, allusion, double entendre!! Sex humor, Don, sex humor.

tomjohnston: It's called the staff of life, and it ain't a loaf of bread. Best, Don Bauder

Duhbya: Another winner. Congrats. But, just to be finicky about this, if the product is being given away, why would he get hoarse hawking the product? On the other hand, you have a valid point: the vibrators will be given away as long as they last. After the last one has been given away, the vendor may go hoarse arguing with those who didn't get a free one. Best, Don Bauder

Now I'm dizzy from all of this mental mastur......well, you know.

Advantage, Bauder!

Duhbya: I already said I can't top you. I have no advantage. A century ago, I couldn't have made out in the Stingaree with a ten dollar bill. In today's Stingaree, I couldn't make out with a hundred dollar bill. Best, Don Bauder

You really WERE serious when you said you don't play slot machines.

Duhbya: Advantage, Duhbya. Best, Don Bauder

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