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Pat McMahon: Sick

Some things just make me want to throw up. When the news broke a few days ago that the immensely successful founder of the Wild Oats natural foods chain was arrested in a Phoenix child prostitution sting, I experienced a combination of anger, wonder and nausea.

Two of those responses are fairly obvious, but my wonder was that this well-to-do businessman was accused of soliciting sex, online, from what he thought was an underage girl. Mike Gilliland was arrested entering the hotel that allegedly had been agreed upon by him and what turned out to be an under-cover cop.

The arrangements were made online, so this man who had developed a grocery empire seems to be not only a pedophile, but stupid. Why are some men attracted to the inexperienced? If it was erotic desire, wouldn’t greater pleasure come from a partner with sophistication and knowledge? Perhaps, rather than for sexual reasons, maybe these deviants only desire power and control over the weak and innocent.

Gilliland, formally of Wild Oats Markets, if you’re found guilty, I hope the rest of your life is spent in the company of fruits and nuts, and I don’t mean your produce department.