Strippers at age 18? Out of the question!

While I have watched countless hours of "Law & Order," have covered several trials and look great in black, I'd make a lousy judge. Assuming I had the resume for the job (far from it), I wouldn't make it to the first coffee break before there would be trouble.

Like last week when we found out the state Supreme Court is going to have to decide whether young ladies age 18-20 can dance naked in clubs that sell alcoholic beverages in Atlanta.

Currently the law in the Atlanta says they have to be 21.

Because we have our own "gentlemen's" club here in Sandy Springs, this matter got my attention.

If I were a judge on this case, I wouldn't crack open one law book. I'd uphold the city regulation faster than you can say "sequined thong."

My decision would be based on the belief that no young woman under the age of 21 needs to be engaged in such employment.

I would back up my decision on the fact I don't see a lot of ex-strippers going on to do great things for society and drawing a straight line back to their exotic-dancing days as the catalyst for the greatness that followed.

I would further point out that strip clubs add nothing to the neighborhoods they occupy, other than a steady stream of easily excitable customers.

If some fancy-pants lawyer tossed out a bunch of legal precedent, I'd cite common sense and the fact no sane person would want their daughter gyrating naked in a public setting — at any age.

Then I'd throw out a contempt citation — and that's when I imagine my legal career would head south. They wouldn't even need to dry clean the robe for the next guy.

Of course I'm kidding. OK, I'm mostly kidding.

I know that what I'm suggesting throws our constitutional system on its ear, but isn't there something wrong somewhere in the system when someone too young to order a beer legally is going to the state's highest court so she can disrobe for a group of concupiscent conventioneers for money?

I'm sure the money they make far outdistances what they could pull in other places, but is this really what we want a portion of the next generation to be doing in their early adult years?

There is no chance that strip clubs are going to be legislated out of existence, no shortage of young women willing to sell a portion of their soul/self-respect/integrity for a big wad of cash and certainly no end to the supply of men to frequent these places.

While all of the above is true, it doesn't relieve us of the obligation to make it go away.

Jim Osterman has lived in Sandy Springs since 1962.