Odd Jobs: The Happy Manhood Operator

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

Like many bohemians, I’ve had my share of odd jobs, many of which took place during my acting and modeling days. One of my oddest gigs, playing a semi-voluptuous graduate student in a fully functioning morgue (yep! full o’ corpses), introduced me to a man with a job far odder.

This Labor Day, I thought I’d share a story I posted last fall and revamped for today. While not Girl Boner specific, it’s definitely related! (In fact, I should track the guy down for in interview.) You’ll soon see what I mean…

*****

One of my first acting jobs in L.A. was a role in 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 stocked, operational morgue. *nose-quivers from the stenchy memory*

The premise: Before “Joe” became a cadaver, he’d consumed GoFast energy drink. As I bent over the body in my purposely low-cut scrubs, Joe’s manhood gave my chest a firm salute. That’s right, 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. Throughout the shoot, he sat off camera like a professional fisherman awaiting the next nibble. Then he’d spring into action, pushing buttons to stimulate the punchline fodder – SCHWING! Up went the manhood! Penisus erectus!

He didn’t laugh, make crude jokes, blush or show off. He stayed focused, taking pride in his work yet staying humble, and between shots was more than happy to answer a certain curious actress’s multitude of questions… (You’d be amazed at just how handy an erectile contraption can be in Tinseltown—and I’m not just talking all things X-rated.) In a word, he was gracious.

There were numerous complainers on set, for understandable reasons. The place stunk of embalming fluid and who knows what else. There were actual corpses throughout the premise. Another actress nearly fainted about 17 times, and a few crew members were too nauseous to eat. But Mr. Manhood Operator never faltered. Sporting a genuine semi-smile, he stayed braced almost zen-like throughout the day for, er—action.

I know what some of you are thinking: How could a manhood operator not feel happy? Ecstatic, even? He was in charge of the starring penis, after all—and Hollywood’s premier erection conductor! Well imagine sitting still in a stinky, weirdly lit 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 director called wrap, the Happy Manhood Operator smiled, thanked us all and left, probably eager to spend time with his wife and grandkids I’d learned so much about. Arguably the most crucial piece of the commercial gained the least amount of glory and praise. I can only hope he was paid well. I also hope he discusses his job at his grandkids’ school on Career Day. (Can you imagine???) Regardless, the experience and his strength of 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’ll very likely go far. More importantly, we’ll be better able to savor the journey.

Before writing this post, I hadn’t seen this video—yet another perk of blogging. Thanks to YouTube and you all, I can invite you to to sit back, relax 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 whose attitude rocks? Do you find it easy to stay positive through the grunt work? How are you spending this Labor Day?

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20 Comments

  1. Ha! Mathair and I are laughing are butts off! We’re so glad that you had the commercial posted as well. You look great BTW. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered someone with an odd job, but Mathair has had some odd things happen to her at work and kept trucking. On her first day working for the State Attorney, she got caught in her seatbelt and had to have one of the many Leon County Police Officers that were there cut her out. It was one of those automatic retractable ones and it had managed to trap her face to the head rest on her chair and pin her arms to her sides. It was actually her first job and she was at the ripe ole age of eighteen years old, just married and a couple of months pregnant with dear old me. Even through the embarrassment, Mathair still went to work, eager to provide for her family and climb the ranks in the law enforcement world. Of course, she blushed at the snide remarks the other secretaries made and the jokes that were unabashedly made by the men in the building, but she soldiered on nevertheless. Don’t think I could’ve done it. Probably would’ve ran home crying to my mommy. Great post, August. Loved hearing about your past. So intriguing. 🙂

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! The acting life certainly furnished some interesting stories…and while I much prefer writing, I do miss having others do my hair, wardrobe and make up (ha).

      Mathair’s seatbelt trap story is priceless! I hope she’s able to giggle about it now, too. Very brave of her to forge on regardless. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Bahahahaha! August, this is priceless! So glad you included the commercial clip with the background story. You’re right – there are no small parts. (Especially in this commercial. Bud-ump-bump….) Seriously, it’s amazing how it takes a complete team of individuals bringing their specific talents together – no matter how obvious or obscure – to produce a finished project or product, isn’t it?

    Reply
  3. I’m reading a book in which the protagonist is a movie director. I’m amazed at some of the scenes he does that may end up taking up five seconds in the movie but are of great importance to him.

    Reply
    • It really is amazing, David. The crew, in particular, words extremely long hours—often for scenes that never even make the cut. I suppose it’s somewhat similar to writing a book, then cutting the “fluff.”

      Reply
  4. All things considered, I think I’ll pass on applying for that job. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Raani York

     /  September 2, 2013

    Okay, dear August. This article left me crying behind my desktop… I was laughing so hard, it was nearly painful.
    I thought it was great you added the commercial! Thanks for that!

    You’re doing such a great job in the commercial – as well as with your writing! Thanks for the laugh – I really just needed one!

    Reply
  6. I think the best application of grace-under-pressure I’ve seen lately is the Australian runner at the last Olympic games, who came last in his heat. On camera afterwards, he talked about what an honour it is to make it to the Olympics at all. This in a year when Australian swimmers threw tantrums at only getting silver.

    Reply
    • I love that he expressed that, Sarah! I’ve often marveled at Olympians who place 2nd, 4th or 10th and seem totally crushed. I’m sure “losing” can be a letdown, but as that swimmer said, IT’S THE OLYMPICS! (Easy for me to say, but still. :))

      Reply
  7. Gosh. What a titillating title! Love it. As for the whistle while you work kind of folks? There was this couple who used to clean my retail store. It didn’t matter how big or small a job they had, they always had a smile. They also had a little bit of language barrier, but it didn’t stop them from cheerfully chatting with my staff as they cleaned. They brightened our day.

    Reply
    • Happy cleaners—that’s huge, Kitt! I think the whole world would be a brighter place if everyone whistled while working. (I’m sure you brightened their day, too. :))

      Reply
  8. LOL that is too funny! If my brain was working better I’m sure I’d have a wonderful witty comment right now.

    Reply
  9. Catherine Johnson

     /  September 3, 2013

    That is hilarious! You looked awesome and I love your line, ‘there are no small parts’ LOL

    Reply
  10. Hi August, it’s me Mathair, coming by your blog to snatch up Inion & tan her hide but good, for tellin’ my seatbelt story! LOL~Just kidding! Funny enough, I still turn beat red when I think about it, even though two weeks after that incident they recalled the vehicles for the defect! Now for the real reason I came by. Inion & I have nominated you for: The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. So when you get a chance, swing by our blog to pick up your nomination~ 🙂

    Reply
  11. Hilarious! Good on the – uh – puppeteer for being so professional through a day’s hard work. (I had to say that…) And unsurprising that it took a day to get less than 30 seconds finished material. You were pretty professional too, to put up with the ‘ick factor’ of a real morgue..

    I suspect writing has a better hit rate for time-to-finished-output. Maybe. Thanks for sharing the clip – a good laugh!

    Reply
  12. Love the commercial…and the fact that you got to know the erection guy so well. 🙂

    I have to say the worst job I’ve ever seen is the guy who cleans my septic tank out once a year. That is a HORRID job. The smell is so bad once he turns the suction thing on that I’m sure people can smell it five miles away…and he bends over the tank without benefit of a gas mask…and winds up with all sorts of icky black stuff on his hands and clothes. He still thinks I’ll take the receipt after I hand him my check, but he’s still wrong. I’m not touching it. And he still laughs at me. Every time.

    Reply
    • The erection guy? LOL I love it, Kristy.

      Ew! I can almost smell the horridness of that gig… Sounds like Mr. Septic Tank Cleaner has a great sense of humor. Wow.

      Reply

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