Wednesday, November 9, 2011


The fact that the economy sucks right now is no big surprise to anyone. Many are out there, sweating it out under a blistering heat with bumper-to-bumper traffic and infuriating people just to get to that 30-minute interview at the end of a 20-mile long drive. And, unfortunately, I’m one of the many.

Everyday I scan the job postings on Monster, Career Builder, and Craig’s List. They say to check everyday so you can get in before the position gets filled, which is all fine and dandy….when there are actual jobs that you can apply for. Most of the time I just sit there and openly declare “no jobs” after having gone through about 15 pages worth of nothing. I’ll pretty much consider any job at this point. And then, one day, I found an ad for a phone sex operator. No experience necessary. Flexible hours. Work from home. Pays…..$26 an hour! What!? Seriously? I hummed with intriguing wonder. It’s not like I’d actually be doing anything. Just talking, listening, agreeing mostly. I wouldn’t have to leave the house, and I’d be banking $26 bucks an hour. How bad could a gig like this be? And that’s why I chose to read 1-900-ANYTIME by Tracy Price-Thompson.

Bertha, A.K.A. “Bliss,” is professional about her work and awards her clients top-notch service, which is the main reason why most of them keep coming back to her. She has the gift of painting lustrous fantasies of pleasure with her sultry voice. With words so provocative and scenes so vivid, the experience explodes into a gratifying reality for her clients. Everyone loves Bliss, especially Bertha, because being Bliss is the only way she is able to release her own fervent desires—desires that are buried underneath the fragmented skin of a disfiguring “beast.”

Sadness envelops you as you learn of the pain and humiliation Bertha had to endure growing up with this congenital disease. When I think of people like Bertha, I get the impression that they live a cloistered, lonely life. They don’t go out, they don’t meet people, and they surely don’t get “normal” jobs. I honestly thought her reason for this phone sex gig was purely to make ends meet. But, instead, it was to fulfill her own aching sexual urges, which, surely, are also left forgotten for a “beast” like Bertha. Perhaps the monetary reason may have made Bertha more sympathetic, but the fact that it was purely sexual definitely made her human—a horny human, but human nonetheless.

In the story, we learn about Bliss’ clients—their history, their family, but, most importantly, their reason for wanting to call Bliss. Jim Burgess is an honest, hard-working man who wanted nothing more than to make a decent living and, eventually, fall in love with the right girl. But then a fraternity prank left him with an ailment that destroyed his hope of having the All-American package. His calls to Bliss were so earnest and genuine that they seemed to have a special connection.

By the end, all hell breaks loose when her clients discover that their fantasy girl was not what they had imagined. I gotta say that I was surprised to find out who actually wanted Bertha dead—always the last person you expect.

The writing was so raw and powerful that you could feel the characters come alive with crippling anger, sadness, and passion. However, the energy of the words wilted towards the end as some editing issues floated to the surface. Many of the sex scenes may have been too graphic—too disgusting, really—for my usual taste. Did they really have to be that descriptive? And then I thought, yes! Isn’t that what a sex operator does?

But, seriously, those scenes were still too nasty. I only kept on reading to explore the danger Bertha finds herself in, and I have to say the whole thing was pretty anticlimactic. The book started off well, but then it kind of tapped out in the end.

In conclusion, I think I’ll keep skimming the job ads.

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