by Norma Jean Almodovar

Reviewed by Pat Hartman

This is the true story of a woman who, during her many years in the traffic division of the Los Angeles Police Department, attained a reputation as a troublemaker and a whistle-blower. Burned out and totally disillusioned with the world of law and order as seen from the inside, she decided to quit and go into another line of work.

Since Almodovar became not a mundane streetwalker but a classy call girl, this in itself might have led to a peaceful and prosperous life. When you get up in this price range, it's not wham-bam-thank-you- ma'am - we're talking about art. One long chapter deals with the various ways in which she was required to use her fertile imagination and abundant acting talents to please her clients.

There were the experiences connected with working in the dominatrix mode, and the time she met up with Cary Grant in an elevator and he guessed that she wore nothing under her raincoat. The hilarious chapter about a john with a Julia Child fixation is alone worth the price of the book. Nobody could have made this up.

But for her second new career, she also decided to become an author - of a book about corruption on the police force. That was the big problem.

Aware of Almodovar's literary ambitions and proposed topic, and of the vulnerable position that her labors in the sex industry put her in, the authorities began a campaign of discouragement by taking her in for questioning during a roundup of call girls. Next, she was entrapped and sent to prison for fifty days on a pandering charge. During her absence from home, the manuscript of the book on police corruption disappeared.

Each chapter of Cop to Call Girl begins with a poem. Here are a couple of verses from one:

I am a cop, I have a gun.

My gun and dick both work as one,

I rape and pillage, rob and steal.

I do about damn what I feel

Oh, he is innocent, you say!

That's all right...more fun that way!

What's that you say? How can that be?

'Cause I commit more crimes than he!

Once free, Almodovar ran for Lt. Governor of California, with a campaign promises to abolish that very office and a slogan "Sell Your Body, Not Your Soul.". Libertarian activism became her life. Getting rid of laws concerning victimless crimes was a high priority. There were innumerable TV shows and speaking engagements, and in the election she garnered over100,000 votes. Meanwhile the District Attorney's office was busy finding a way to overturn her probation. This time she was sentenced to three years in prison.

Back in the free world, Norma Jean Almodovar became a spokesperson for COYOTE, the organization that promotes rights for sex workers, and finally got her book published. Aside from the Julia Child saga, the most interesting part is the "postscript" where she answers the questions most frequently asked about prostitution.