The Happy Manhood Operator

 ♦  “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” — Zig Ziglar   

Last week I shared how daydreaming helped make my aspirations of moving to Los Angeles come true. I imagined a whole lot, but never that my daydreamy attitude would lead to altitude of…other kinds.

One of my first acting jobs in L.A. was a European energy drink commercial. I played a grad student in a physiology course, studying a cadaver with a group of classmates. We shot it in a functioning morgue.

My scene’s premise: Before “Joe” became a cadaver, he’d consumed a GoFast energy drink. As I bent over the body in the purposely low-cut scrubs, Joe’s manhood gave my chest a firm salute. Yes, friends, GoFast energy drinks keep one excitable—even postmortem.

The star of the set, in my opinion, wasn’t me, the other actors or even Joe’s elevating manhood. It was the manhood operator.

I don’t remember the man’s name, but I recall his attitude. He not only operated but created the remote control penis, precisely for such purposes. He sat off camera, pushing buttons to stimulate the punchline fodder like a professional fisherman—awaiting the next nibble, activating when necessary. He didn’t laugh or blush or show off. He simply did his job, took pride in it but stayed humble, and was happy to answer a curious actress’s questions. (You’d be amazed at just how handy an erectile contraption can be in Tinseltown—and no, I’m not talking projects rated X.) In a word, he seemed grateful.

There were numerous complainers on set—understandable to a point; the place did smell of embalming fluid and who knows what else. And there were actual corpses on the premise. But Mr. Manhood Operator stayed pleasant. I know what some of you are thinking: How could a manhood operator not be happy? Well imagine sitting still in a stinky, weirdly lighted corpse-cooler for hours on end, waiting to push a button then being scolded for being a half-millisecond off. It’s not as sexy as it sounds.

When the day was done, Mr. Manhood Operator smiled, thanked us all and left—probably eager to spend time with his wife and grandkids I learned some about. Arguably the most crucial piece of that commercial’s puzzle gained the least amount of praise or glory. Hopefully he was paid well. I also hope he talks about his job at his grandkids’ school on career day. Regardless, the experience and his character have stuck with me.

As they say in theatrics, there are no small parts. I think the same holds true in our careers. Not all of our work will be glamourous, or even pleasant. But if we do what we love and love what we do, and keep our chins up and hearts open, we can go a long way. More importantly, we’ll better enjoy the journey.

Before writing this post, I hadn’t seen this video—yet another perk of blogging. Thanks to YouTube, I can welcome you to sit back and enjoy the show. Have a giggle and let it be a lesson to all: Do not walk or drive mindlessly. As for stimulant use, I’ll save that for another post. 😉


Who’s YOUR manhood operator?
Let me rephrase. 😉 Have you encountered someone with an odd or unpleasant job who knocks it out of the park positivity-wise? Do you find it easy to stay positive through the grunt work? Any zany invention stories to share?

Leave a comment

47 Comments

  1. mgmillerbooks

     /  September 17, 2012

    Well, I’ll be circulating this one around the office today. Great laugh to start off a Monday. I needed that.

    No, I don’t stay positive through the grunt work, but this will help 🙂

    Reply
    • Ha! Glad you, too, are inspired by the manhood wizard. 😉

      Reply
      • journalpulp

         /  September 17, 2012

        I admit your post (if I may term it that) got a rise out of me, in the end, mainly because it’s uplifting, though I must also admit that I have a slight aversion to stiffs — and I’m not just spewing off at the mouth when I say that. Your counterpart, August, wasn’t given a lot to work with, I know, and yet, still, I found his performance a little wooden, frankly. In short, you’re without a doubt the star of that show, but what the clip really reminded me of is a friend I once had — Nick — who used a Go Fast can to smoke his weed out of, then left it on the floor of his pickup truck, so that when I saw it lying there, I swear to God my first thought was “What a dickhead.”

        On a different note, I see my friend Mike Miller is reading a book called Love Head. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

      • I don’t think so either, Ray… 🙂 Thanks for the thoughtful, smile-inducing comment!

  2. Great post August, and I will remember to be like the Manhood Operator when the grun work comes along!

    Reply
  3. What an interesting post! I’m not great at embracing grunt work, but this is a great reminder that I need to be.

    Reply
  4. Kourtney Heintz

     /  September 17, 2012

    Awesome commercial August! Love the look on your face. 🙂 Thanks for reminding me that everyone counts. Even the manhood operator. Especially the manhood operator.

    Usually with grunt work, I try to turn it into a game. Or focus on the moment. As part of my old job, I used to collect lots of data and analyze it. Then I had to build binders filled with it. Hole punching is not so glamorous but it can be fun if you stand up with your ipod plugged into your ears and sing along.

    Reply
  5. colinfalconer

     /  September 17, 2012

    Fantastic August. That just cracked me up. Brilliant. I once had to ask a paramedic if my mother had left her breast in his ambulance, (it was under the gurney) but that’s my only close encounter with prosthetics.

    Reply
  6. My manhood-operator: our veterinarian. She squeezes fluid out of my dog’s anal gland to keep him from wiping his butt on the floor.

    Reply
  7. Happy Monday! Or, should I say, Happy Manhood~day! Awesome post, August and I love the commercial. Now I totally have breast envy. 😉

    Seriously, though I’m like you. I find those quirky, fun people who have odd jobs or are always in the corner and I talk to them. Once, when I was an extra on Moonlighting (not as fabulous as your career highlights, but I did have fun with Bruce), I chatted up one of the gaffers. We ended up being great friends and he would give me all kinds of scoop on the industry. I love knowing what makes people happy in their jobs, or why they do what they do and I’ve found the only way to learn is to ask. People are (for the most part) thrilled to talk about themselves, their families, their life.

    Like Kourtney, if I have to do grunt work ~ cleaning house, anyone? I try to make it fun. Music, silly games, counting how many steps it takes to mop the downstairs, plotting out the next scene, anything that takes my mind off the nitty gritty of the grunt work.

    Reply
    • What? You have fabulous breasts! Not that I’ve like looked or anything. 🙂

      I so appreciate your Monday, life and people fervor, Tameri. Contagious in the best way.

      Reply
  8. Definitely one of the most unique posts I’ll read today! Well done. 🙂

    I have great admiration for people who clean buildings, particularly restaurants, as I used to do that. Cleaning public toilets is no fun.

    Reply
  9. My first reaction was to make a ‘stiff’ joke, but since everything can be found on Google (and I’ll regret it later when I’m more awake), I’ll just keep it to myself. Love the commercial though!

    Grunt work? REO Speedwagon and focusing my thoughts elsewhere. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Fun post with a wonderful message. I try to remind my kids about the fact every role is important when they get assigned roles in their theater class. It’s a hard lesson to learn for children, but a valuable one, too. Great commercial; your expression is priceless.

    Reply
  11. Nurses. I spent four weeks on bedrest in the hospital, and I love each and every nurse who changed my bedpan and helped me make it to the shower. They treated me with dignity when I didn’t feel like I had much left. They were awesome! Manhood operators indeed.

    Loved the commercial!

    Reply
    • Beautiful answer, Julie. It takes a special person to nurse others well, IMO. I’m so glad you had numerous to help you through your recovery. I’ve no doubt they appreciated your gratitude. 🙂

      Reply
  12. My midwives. Most of their job is very unglamorous and pretty disgusting. But their positivity makes a difficult situation a little easier.

    Reply
  13. Raani York

     /  September 17, 2012

    This is such a GREAT blog post! Not only about you sharing your experiences, it made me giggle and learn and enjoy – all to the same time!!

    I met a lady working as a so called “lavatory woman”… just sitting there and “protecting” the restrooms. She was located in Germany – and believe me – no matter how weird her job was – she always had a smile on her face and a friendly word for everyone!

    Reply
  14. I met with the creator of Go Fast at a fundraiser last night. I bought an amazing set of furniture from him…You must not have made this very long ago….Too funny!

    Reply
  15. Hilarious post with a great message. The commercial video was a cherry on the top. Some of the most positive people I have ever met take care of the youngest children in my kids’ daycare. Knowing how hard childcare can be (2,5 years spent at home with my twins), I admire the good cheer of the daycare ladies.

    Reply
  16. Manhood operator? Well there’s a new one. It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it. Sounds glamorous too. “. . . Sitting still in a stinky, weirdly lighted corpse-cooler for hours on end. . . ” Who wouldn’t want that job? Can’t say as I’ve heard of someone doing something particularly odd lately, although I once visited with the guy who sits inside the arena during a live bull riding event and snaps pictures. That’s gotta be pretty cool (and scary). He climbs fences with one arm very VERY well.

    You’ve done some very interesting things in your life time. Keep the stories coming.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Reply
  17. Great post and commercial. 🙂 I wonder what searches might lead to it… 😉

    Garbage collectors, cleaners, anyone who has to deal with the various garbage we all leave behind. Doing that with a smile would be so difficult everyday. But where would we be without their work?

    Reply
  18. Great post, August! It’s a good reminder to remember that things don’t get cobbled together in the middle of the night by elves. Thanks for sharing the video, too. 🙂

    Reply
  19. allright, I’m LOL. thanks for the laugh. I think about all the people working in administration. My secretary and the whole department. It’s amazing the amount of work they do and no one knows it but me. be nice to the administrators of the world – I couldn’t do their job for anything and they make the world go around.

    Reply
  20. Oh my word, August, I can’t stop giggling! What an awesome advert, surprisingly I never heard of GoFast, they obviously don’t supply it here. And you looked so lovely I’m surprised a Manhood Operator was needed in the first place! 😉

    Reply
  21. August, you write so well and so authentically. You also chose not to make this blog about you. I am touched by your taking us beyond the obvious snickers of this incident to the lingering beauty and inspiration in this most unlikely circumstance and setting.

    Reply
  22. 🙂 Very inspirational. And made me think too…who are my, erm, manhood operators? I live in suburban paradise so there isn’t the usual flotsam of urban life to draw from, the mailman never smiles even though I wave, the garbage guys go by way too early for me to appreciate them personally. Hmm, I’m going to go with my daughter’s bus driver. On the job at 5AM and still has a smile for my girl. Thanks, August!

    Reply
  23. LOVE the post and the commercial August. Beautifully done. And I think it’s a wonderful reminder to us all that no matter the task, doing what we love is doing what we love. And that’s a true privilege! I think I’m blessed with an overly optimistic and positive attitude. I usually enjoy all tasks in my day and outside work professions; from the grunt to the glory! Sure, I have bad says like everyone else but for the part, I am pretty enthused and happy…
    FAB reminder and giggle!! HEHEHE

    Reply
  24. Oh, this is halirious! And very sexy, miss August! lol I don’t think this commercial would make it through the censors here in the US, do you? I love talking to the people who have odd jobs like this, too. In fact, my friends laugh at me at parties because I don’t so much socialize as I interview people and try to find out why they do what they do. And why they aren’t doing what they love to do. 🙂

    Reply
  25. Coleen Patrick

     /  September 18, 2012

    Thanks for the smile lift August–and how cute are you in that commercial?? 🙂

    Reply
  26. Grass Oil by Molly Field

     /  September 18, 2012

    Fun post, thanks for the smirk! You did a good job of looking concerned, BTW, for such a short spot.

    For me, the grunt work of life is made better or sweeter knowing what I do matters and helps my team have a better day. For me, I translate it into the knowing that it will be over soon enough and that I can shift gears. Nothing need be grunt-y, it’s up to us. Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) is a fantastic reminder for me that smiles can last miles.

    Reply
  27. Karen McFarland

     /  September 19, 2012

    Ditto Miss Shannon. This certainly wouldn’t cut it with the censorship in the U.S. And we thought we had a hard job. LOL! I can’t imagine. Only this time I didn’t have to. Thank you August. I think. Ah, you silly girl! Or should I say commercial. 🙂

    Reply
  28. See, here’s my problem… if it’s advertising GoFast… shouldn’t it be “GoSlower” 🙂

    Hilarious, thanks for the laughs 🙂

    Reply
  29. Where have I been that I missed this post until now? 😦 Beautiful, my dear August. I love how you focused on “Manhood” operator. We need people like that. Just think of where we would be without them. They keep everything moving forward. Oh, and your commercial, very sexy.

    Reply
  30. OMG this is so funny. Only the Europeans could get away with a commercial like this. Then Journalpulp’s comment got me going all over again. Laughing I mean. I guess I can soldier through the morning’s drudgery now. Thanks!

    Reply
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