It's a tradition nearly as old as American retailing: "Spend your Christmas bonus here!" "Spend your tax refund here!" "Cash your paycheck with us!" The latest incarnation, predictably, attempts to lure in customers fresh from the post office, still carrying this year's one-time federal "economic stimulus check."
Only in Nevada though -- at least, legally -- will businesses be inviting customers to come spend those federal handouts with ... a lady of the evening.
Bordellos aren't legal in far-flung Clark County, or in Reno or Carson City, for that matter. They tend to cluster outside the county limits.
That was fine when gasoline was a dollar a gallon. But now even your most eager sporting gentleman may think twice about spending $50 filling his tank for the 300-mile round trip to the Shady Lady Ranch, just north of Beatty.
The long-haul truckers just aren't enough, obviously. In recent years, Shady Lady owner Bobbi Davis has seen her two closest competitors, Angel's Ladies to the south and the Cottontail Ranch to the north, close their doors. So Ms. Davis is now offering a $50 gas card to anyone who purchases $300 worth of services at her establishment, and a $100 gas card to anyone who visits and spends $500.
Not to be outdone, owner Dennis Hof at the Moonlight Bunny Ranch outside Carson City is offering to double the money of the first 100 customers who cash their federal "stimulus" check at his brothel.
He's asking customers to sign a giant thank-you card in the brothel's parlor. Once it's filled up, Mr. Hof plans to send the card to President Bush at the White House, expressing his customers' gratitude for the way Mr. Bush has helped "spur" the economy.
"What are you going to do, take your stimulus check to Wal-mart?" Mr. Hof asks. "That money is going back to China. Give it to the hookers, and it will go to tattoo parlors and beer and massage therapists and hairstylists and manicurists. We're keeping the money in America."
It's heart-warming to know that -- as at any time in the past, when the nation has faced challenges and hardship -- Nevadans are out there in the front lines, willing to roll up their sleeves and do their part.