I wrote most of this last Thursday during my trip to Utahr, but then I got distracted by something really important, probably either a movie or a meal or the variegated color of my arm hair.
I’m in Utah right now attending a conference about sex addiction. Because I’m going to specialize in that. Which means that I’m a sex worker.
While here, my sister Jenni and her husband Justin were nice enough to volunteer to shuttle me around and allow me to stay at their house. This means that I didn’t have to pay to stay at the hotel where the conference is being held, which as it turns out is also the hotel I lost my virginity aka spent my wedding night in so really it’s very fitting that I would spend three days talking about sex there, right? Except we’re talking about sex addiction. Not ending 22 solid years of virginity to consummate a marriage. But let’s not sweat the details here, folks.
Tonight when I got done with eight hours of intensive training, Jenni called me as she approached the hotel. Her car had died, and she was at the side of the road.
I don’t know about you, but like most guys I know who write poetry and play the violin, I don’t know the first thing about cars. Yet, at the same time, because I’m a guy I feel an unspoken responsibility to not only know about cars, but to help women who are broken down in them. Most especially when those women are my sister. And also my ride home.
Miraculously Unfortunately, she was too far away for me to walk over and meet her, so I tried my best to give her advice over the phone. “I think you should… check the gas gauge. Do you have gas?” I asked. She did. She had filled up the tank the day before. At about that time, I heard a guy talking to her asking “Do you need any help?” and so I panicked and yelled “Hang up with me so you look more damsel in distressy so they help you!” and then hung up on her.
Because I’m a hero.
When she called back she reported that he helped her push the car into a parking space nearby and then left. So she was officially stranded with two kids in the car.
Justin, who was busy riding his motorcycle/dirtbike/crotchrocket/motorcade/bike thingamajig–you know one of those things with two wheels that can go on jumps and stuff–after a long day of being a lawyer, eventually came to the rescue. He picked me up and we drove over to Jenni and the kids. They were stranded by a restaurant called Scaddy’s (which is probably the worst choice in names for a restaurant ever selected because it sounds similar to an incredibly large number of repulsive words. Scabbies, Scabies, scab, crab, cabbies, cat, scat… shall I continue???). We got out, said hello to the car’s occupants, and then we men went over to the car to diagnose the problem
Imagine this scenario. Justin is decked out in his biking gear. He’s covered in mud. He just got back from jumping life-endangering jumps on a track. He casually shows us his injuries from where he wrecked earlier that day. There was blood involved. He didn’t give a crap.
I, on the other hand, am shivering cold in a button-up shirt and hoodie jacket thing. I just got back from a conference where I saw grown men weeping openly, and where there was more talk about feelings than a book club filled with pregnant women discussing The Notebook.
One of these things is not like the other. Nonetheless, we went around to the hood so that “we” could fix the car.
Justin: Hey man, will you hold the hood up.
Me: Sure. Did you know in England they call this the bonnet?
Justin: *ignores me as he messes with some plugs and stuff*
Me: I bet I could make a good joke about it being the bonnet…
Justin (to Jenni): Go ahead and start it up!
*whir, whir, whir, whir* *whir, whir, whir, whir*
Me: Sounds like this car got its bonnet strings in a knot! *stifles laughter* *looks around to see if anyone heard the joke*
Justin: This just doesn’t make any sense. (to Jenni): start it again!
*whir, whir, whir, whir*
Me: Well, I for one think it might be..
Justin (to himself): I wonder if it’s the spark plug.
Me: I was literally about to say spark plug! And I’m actually totally serious. Because that’s the only engine part I can name. Besides “engine.” Oh, and alternator. That’s in the engine, right?
Justin (to Jenni): One more time please!
*whir, whir, whir, whir*
Justin: (shakes head solemnly)
Me: (resists the urge to give Justin a hug of comfort)
Justin: Hey, Josh can you…
Me: Continue writing a poem about this dead car in my brain right now? Sure.
Justin: No, not that. Could you lift the hood off my head, please.
Me: Oh. Yes, of course. I forgot I was holding it for you!
Justin: …Could you also stop hugging me.
Me: But you need a warm hug! You just lost a friend! *sniffles*
Justin: You are making me uncomfortable.
Me: Hug it out, Justin. Shhhhh. Just hug it out. *starts rubbing his back tenderly*
Justin: Please stop touching me. You’re not making things better.
Me: Or am I?
Me: Just a little bit?
Justin: *walks away to call a buddy to come pick us up, shuddering violently*
Me: …I think he really needed that. (decided head nod)
See, I could never make it as an auto-mechanic because I just feel too deeply.
Which is why I became a sex worker.
Stay tuned for part II of the car breakdown story where we break down again two days later at the mall and while we’re waiting for our ride we enter the coolest most hilarious store I’ve ever seen. There are pictures!