Jailbait squad nabs 10 guys

POLICE HAVE CREATED an all-babe “jailbait squad” to catch misbehaving jerks.

The group has kicked jerk butt, arresting 10 guys on their first day on the job.

Commentators are talking about spreading the system, launched in Patna, India, around the country or Asia-wide.

I learned about this from a report in the Times of India forwarded to me by reader Erik T. Here’s how it works.

1) Women officers who look like they are in their teens or twenties wear casual clothes and hang out in public places.

2) Jerks, rather quaintly known in India as “Eve-teasers”, approach, making shockingly lewd remarks, such as “Hi, esteemed babe, your sari becomes you exceedingly well.”

3) Male officers spring out of hiding to arrest them.

4) Newspapers run headlines in the delightfully old-fashioned Edwardian English that you see in parts of India: “Eve-Teasers Hailing From Patna Nabbed After Modesty Outraged.”

But you know what? The press coverage really highlights an east-west difference. In western countries, or in Asian places with a western-style press, like Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines, a story about a cute female police jailbait squad would have massive front-page images and a blurb saying: “Picture special, pages two to 10 AND 11 to 15 PLUS 20-page full-color pull-out.”

But the traditional, old-school Asian press is different. The report I saw had no pictures. The newspaper was filled with the usual images of boring old fat politicians. (Pic at the top shows actress Genelia D’Souza.)

In those countries, the first item on the TV news bulletins is always the same: “Premier makes speech, cuts ribbon.” The second and third news items are identical. Sometimes the entire news bulletin is the premier cutting ribbons.

***

Anyway, that night, I mentioned this story in the bar in Hong Kong and got a curiously mixed response. An Australian woman said that it wouldn’t work in most Asian countries since the jerk-density rate would be too low. Oddly, the men present felt insulted by that, as if she had accused them of having low testosterone levels.

She explained that in her experience, Asian guys were shy, puny, uptight nerds. A member of any jailbait squad would have to “hang about for days” before a guy would approach, and then he would say something excruciatingly naff, such as “Wanna see my cool new Hello Kitty iPhone cover?”

Interestingly, a male, also Australian, who worked in the same office as the woman, had the exact opposite view. He believed pretty much every woman in the world was a member of an informal jerk-detection squad poised to report him to the authorities (the police, his boss, his wife) every time he stepped a centimeter out of line. This may have had something to do with the fact that he was a jerk, and happy to admit it.

Before the evening ended, his female colleague did backtrack a little on her allegations. “Of course I do believe that there are Asian men who are neither nerds nor jerks,” she said. “And I hope to meet one one day.”

Ha ha, very funny.