The Great Deception: Harvard Escort Service

I came straight from Ghana to sunny Miami for College. So when I moved to Boston last year, winter was something new to me, despite having lived eight years in the U.S.

In November I called one of my boys in the lower latitudes, lamenting how cold it was getting and how I did not know how I was going to cope with it.

First, he suggested I get a girlfriend. I told him I didn’t want no drama. So he suggested I get a dog. I told him that they frown on that at Harvard. In fact, I had to remind him such practice is illegal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and I cursed him for even suggesting that stuff. But, alas, I had misinterpreted his words.

Then came February. O how cold it got! And there I was: cold, lonely, no girl, no dog, wishing I had taken my boy’s advice to…eerm…get a girl. One particularly cold night I ventured to take advantage of a service which I had previously hesitated to take advantage of. When I first started seeing postings for Campus Escort Service I remember thinking “they must really do something about college tuition if this is what it’s come down to.” I swore never to use this immoral service. But my moral opposition fell with the temperature. This particular night was 23 degrees F, people. Cold. So I figured, well, if the school permits this service it’s got to be legal in the state, right? And if it’s legal, it’s got to be morally defensible, right? In fact, I thought it was quite thoughtful of the school to recognize the needs of students under these harsh circumstances. I blessed John Harvard’s soul for his vision, blah blah blah.

Long story short, I called the number. I’m embarrassed to admit it but I did. I swear it was the first and, as will soon become evident, the last time. As the phone rang, I contemplated my decision and all the things that could go wrong. Well, I did not have to think for long because I was rudely shocked by the voice of what was apparently a gruff, hardworking man in his forties on the other end. I cross-checked the number to make sure I had indeed called the Harvard Escort Services. He said I had. Well, I put in my request anyway: “Need an escort at 36 Oxford Street.” My surprise to hear a man’s voice on the other end of the phone was nothing compared to my trepidation when I realized that my escort was a two-hundred-and-something-pound man called Joe. The rest of the story is unnecessary.

Well, the last part of the story has been embellished somewhat but the moral of the story remains: Harvard Escort Service is not really an escort service. So, gentlemen, if you’ve been waiting for the temperature to drop below 40 as an excuse to call them, reconsider.

March 5, 2007
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