Josh Levin--yes, the very same Josh Levin! what a busy guy!--does some explication du texte on the peculiar prose of EmperorsClubVIP.com, the escort service used by disgraced New York Governor Eliot Spitzer:
"Catering to the most financially elite social circles in the entire world," the site's welcome page begins, "Emperors Club is the elite recreation venue and private club for those accustomed to excellence." Apparently, those accustomed to excellence do not, as you might expect, demand copy written by native English speakers. ("When seeking an evening date, a weekend travel companion, or a friend to accompany you to your next business or social event, our Icon Models are paramount preference.")
I followed the link myself and found this amusing bit of New Age-y blather:
Emperors’ Club is a positive force, intensely committed to serving our customers honestly and discreetly. Our goal is to make life more peaceful, balanced, beautiful and meaningful. We honor commitment to our clients and members as we covet long-term relationships of trust and mutual benefit.
Covet seems a bit Biblical here--and not in a redemptive way.
But I absolutely loved this:
Each of our Icon Models is a gorgeous woman of kindred caliber with whom you can enjoy every moment.
Kindred caliber is so piquant, so alliterative, so ... utterly bizarre. I plan to drop it into casual conversation at the soonest opportunity. And I was moved almost to tears by the correct use of whom.
When I found my monogrammed hankie and dried my eyes, it occurred to me to be curious about that business name. Emperors' Club--plural!--evokes a forum of toga-wearing, laurel-wreathed patricians declaiming to friends and countrymen, "My empire is bigger than your empire!" (If the phrase "diddling while Rome burns" has popped into your head, you are forgiven.) On second thought, maybe they aren't wearing togas after all. The Emperors' Club has no clothes!
Then there's that "VIP" attached to the domain name, as though "emperor" weren't quite grand enough. Seems just a bit overcompensating, don't you think?
The whole dirty business did get us wondering about the difference between a prostitute and a call-girl. The Oxford English Dictionary comes to our rescue, once again, explaining that a call-girl is a prostitute who makes appointments by telephone.
So it seems we need a new term for one who is summoned by e-mail, text message, or Web form. iGirl? WWWgirl? Dot-ho?
I can think of a term that's pertinent to this sorry episode of "Sex and the City." How about schadenfräulein?
P.S. Quote of the week, from Alessandra Stanley's New York Times review of TV talk-show coverage of the Eliot Mess:
“Aren’t you sick of men?” Joy Behar, one of the hosts [of "The View"], said. “Viagra is destroying our government.”