Monday, August 01, 2016

The Best Little Whorehouse in... Denmark!?

If there's any doubt that the Chicken Ranch is the most famous (or infamous, if you prefer) brothel in the world, this should lay that to rest. Here is "A Little Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place" from a Danish theatrical performance of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Clearly, they grasp the whole prostitution thing--it's been legal in Denmark since 1999, with some exceptions--but there are clearly a few cultural disconnections in "Byens Bedste Horehus":

Strange hearing Miss Mona recite her "No-no rules" in Danish, is it not? Well, hang onto your hats, friends and neighbors, because it's about to get a lot weirder. The late Marvin Zindler, the famed consumer affairs activist for KTRK-TV in Houston who closed down the Chicken Ranch and served as the inspiration for the character Melvin P. Thorpe in the play and movie, well, he was a flamboyant character by any standards. In the various productions I've seen, Thorpe is both more cartoonish than Zindler while also falling short of the man's full flamboyancy. Part of the problem is the tendency to present him as a caricature TV preacher intent on imposing his own brand of morality on everyone. Well, that's not who Zindler was. He was a populist and an opportunist, and only became a moral crusader when it suited his interests. But this... I think it's safe to say nobody has seen an interpretation of Melvin P. Thorpe quite this outlandish (outside of Denmark, that is). And if you really want a cultural disconnect, take a gander at those disturbingly mutated Texas logos on the KTEX banners behind the dancers. Wow. Another one of those "you have to see it to believe it" things: "Texas has a Whorehouse in It! (in Danish)," lord have mercy on my soul!

Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse is now available from both and

Title: Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse
Author: Jayme Lynn Blaschke
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
ISBN: 978.1.46713.563.4

Ghosts of the Chicken Ranch is still available:

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