This is the kind of thing that probably has Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn burying his head in his hands and thinking to himself: "Maybe I should have made it the 6-mile rule."
By now, preparing for this summer's Republican National Convention has the village abuzz with a bevy of preparations — security, gussying up the landscaping, figuring out transportation issues and, of course, the mayor's plan to bathe the city in lights, recalling the splendor of Paris along the Seine. That's so cute.
But others are planning as well. What would a Republican National Convention extolling the virtues of family values and dredging up the obligatory 537,000 references to Ronald Reagan's "Shining city on the hill" be without Tampa's foremost economic stimulus — naked women.
As the Tampa Bay Times Forum is being readied for the arrival of thousands of delegates, GOP officials, the media and indeed all the protestors, elsewhere around our quirky hamlet the adult entertainment industry (read: strippers) also is hard at work refurbishing establishments to keep up with the expected demand for conventioneers looking for some hoochie-coochie diversions after a long day of decrying the moral decline of America.
New and improved seating is being installed. Special discreet suites are being improved at such joints as Tampa Gold Club, Alibi and Scores Gentlemen's Club and Steakhouse, where it is probably fair to say the definition of a gentleman is defined by the number of tattoos in evidence.
As well, the proprietors of these va-va-voom clubs plan to import additional fair maidens from other venues for the dining and dancing and . . . well, pick your poison pleasure of the GOP attendees to kick back and relax after a hard day of bemoaning the sad state of Judeo-Christian ethics in America.
Hizzoner, who as a City Council member championed the infamous 6-foot rule between pulchritudinous floozies and their customers, which has been enforced with all the gusto of cracking down on people who engage in the premeditated act of tearing off mattress tags, can't be happy with the efforts on the part of the hussy community to intrude on the feel-good/flag-waving/Bible-thumping RNC.
Buckhorn wants the city to be perceived for its Southern charm and Cuban-centric culture, a place ideal for corporate investment and family-friendly relocation. Now he's going to have to compete with Strumpets-R-Us.
Well, at least Newt Gingrich ought to be feel right at home. The Secret Service, too.
The ooh-la-la community in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where the 2008 Republican convention was held, have cautioned the Tampa brass pole crowd not to expect their garters to be overflowing with cash during the big event.
Please. That was Minneapolis-St. Paul for crying out loud, a locale noted for Lutheran bachelor farmers. This is Tampa, a destination known as the two-bit gin joint chippie capital of the universe.
Tampa revels in its debauchery from Gasparilla, to Ybor City's naughtiness, to the proliferation of "gentlemen's" clubs — and then tries to ignore it when fancy pants big shots come to town. This is a bit like hoping your future mother-in-law doesn't notice the porn films prominently displayed next to the whips and chains and — ahem — assorted electronic devices in your apartment.
So it would seem there isn't much Buckhorn will be able to do about the bump and grind shenanigans about to ensue, giving a whole new meaning to GOP — Grand Orgy of Pols.