Dear Freakonomics,

I know you folks like to be edgy and cute and look at economics in a different way than your more stodgy brothers and sisters, but this isn't funny. But even if I grant you that comparing prostitution to rice consumption is a legitimate economic comparison--and I'm not ready to do that, as it places women and their sexuality in the category of a commodity to be bought and sold on the open market--what you did in the closing of the column is inexcusable. You asked your readers to "[provide] the best answer to the question of what prostitutes and rice have in common," and offered a prize for the winner, all without even stopping to consider what would come in the comments. Here's a small sampling.

they both seem more desirable when you’re not getting any — frankenduf

The wild varieties are the best! — Jason

San Francisco — billy

More prostitutes eat rice than any other staple?
“Rice. It’s what’s what does the trick.” — Jon L

In desperate times there is no substitute — Matt

Consumption of both increases in a recession.
Both can be small or large, hard or soft, and white or brown.
The desire to consume again returns very shortly after a serving. — Eric

Southeast Asia has a large domestic supply of both. — Tim

Despite the recommendation of suppliers, both should be washed before before eating. — Mike M

Yeast infections? — X

Sometimes they’re sticky? — The Notorious H.A.M.
That's just from the first 20 or so comments. There were 136 comments by the time I started this post, and only a very small fraction weren't of this type. Euclid, at coment #35 inadvertently got the answer right when he/she said "They are both tasteless." Euclid was just directing the answer at the wrong group--it's the Steven Leavitt (who asked the question) and the commenters who took this as an opportunity to let loose with some sexist and racist jokes who were the tasteless ones.

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