The internet dating scene has much to recommend it. In the past, one had to somehow overcome the biggest stumbling block of a relationship - you had to actually let the girl meet you. Clearly this was never going to work. For love to blossom, it's imperative that you never let the girl set eyes, ears, or just as important - nose, upon you. Well that's been my experience anyway.

Modern technology however has overcome this problem. The internet is overflowing with dating sites where you can post your profile and get to know women, hoping against hope that they'll fall in love with the way you type, before they ever find out that the photo you posted is 10 years old, and was taken before you put on 3 stone and lost your hair. The fact that the same is probably true of the woman you're talking to, is not something that tends to occur to you. Instead you can dream of starting a new life with this stunningly gorgeous and successful lady who loves you for who you are. After all, what's she gonna care if you turn out to be an unemployed overweight hunchback, when she knows the quality of e-mails you can produce.

But for those who want a little more security in a relationship, perhaps a way to ensure that the lady of your dreams won't leave town the day after receiving a recent photo of you and discovering you're a country music fan, there's even a solution for you. If you're looking for someone young, free and single, and you're willing to settle for two out of three, then try Jail Babes.

Jail Babes offers the best of all worlds. Gorgeous young women who won't run off with another man, because......... well because they're locked in their cells 23 hours a day. Yes, America's prisons are choc full of single babes looking for love, and it was only a matter of time before they had their own website. At Jail you can browse through photos of hundreds of eligible young women who are paying their debt to society with smiles on their faces and love in their hearts. And as well as listing each girl's hobbies, interests and vitalstatistics, you're also given her release date - so important when planning a wedding, I find.

Take 'Sarah' for example. She describes herself as "creative, fun loving, friendly, spontaneous, impulsive..." (I feel these may be the words her defence lawyer used to convince the jury that her crimes weren't premeditated), and she "enjoys travelling" (presumably across state borders). She's actually a very pretty girl, and I happen to think the black lipstick suits her. And what's more, she'll be out in less than 18 months. Who knows, with time off for good behaviour, you could be planning that spring wedding you've always dreamed of.

As the website says, "these ladies have nothing but time on their hands" (although I'm sure some of them also have the words "love" and "hate" tattooed across their knuckles), and we're informed that "the most common denominator among all inmates is loneliness". That and a criminal record, surely?

Currently, if you want to get to know any of these babes, you have to pay a small fee in return for their address, but in the future I don't see why they couldn't introduce a scheme along the lines of the local dog pound. Surely it would be a lot easier for us single guys to find love if we could walk along the line and see which one jumps up and licks us through the bars. I think I'll pop that idea in their suggestion box.

And for all you lonely gals out there - you havn't been overlooked. In the name of equal opportunities, there is of course a companion site to Jail Babes........ Jail Dudes. So if you fancy a guy who not only looks like Eminem, but also shares his passion for chainsaws, then look no further.

With the advent of the world wide web, there really is no longer any excuse for not finding love. And if you end up with someone who shows an unhealthy interest in the set of steak knives you got for Christmas, don't worry - love will find a way. And if love doesn't, the criminal justice system will.
14th March 2002

Jail Babes
by Phil Gardner
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   Phil Gardner 2002.