“Crawling into a fox hole – that’s one thing you’ll never have to worry about being asked to do.”
My dad said that to me once a few years back. We were watching “Forest Gump.” It was the scene set in Vietnam where he cocks his 9 millimeter pistol and dives head first into a Viet Kong tunnel.
Having seen fox holes up close, pops sounded relieved I wouldn’t. I, on the other hand, never even considered the day when it’d be my turn to crawl underground and hunt the man in the black pajamas. Never worried about it once. Also never worried about getting asked to wear a speedo, be a horse jockey or sit in the back seat of a car. That’s because when you’ve got a wide body with a pretty face, the only thing people ask you to do is help them move.
“McGuire, you’re an ox. Can you give me a hand this sweltering weekend lifting everything that’s heavy in my house into some challenging location. I’ll offer to pay you in beer but mysteriously won’t have any when you get here. In actuality, there won’t be any beverages.”
Seriously, I get volunteered to move people to and fro so much that even if there were plus-sized fox holes, I wouldn’t have time to go down in them. Usually I’m too busy hustling a stackable laundry set out of some basement, often too hot and lightheaded to hear the machines’ owner telling me – while they lightly toss down pillows into the U-Haul – to be careful (not to break it).
In fact, I’m moving a friend out of her apartment this weekend. A fellow mover briefed me on the operation earlier today:
“Here’s the what we know: Three flights of stairs. Dark. Narrow. Steep. Sharp corners. Lots of errant roller skates lying on the steps.”
“Sounds fun,” I said.
“We’ll be moving two couches, a pool table, an oak armoire, a fish tank shaped like a llama, one of those old TV’s that’s built into the fancy-looking wood, a 10 square foot snapping turtle habitat and 4,000 individually wrapped pieces of ‘Wizard of Oz’ memorabilia.”
“Not counting the clothes, beds, dishes, glasses, and 5 section cast-iron boiler we’re assuming she never told us about.”
“That bad, huh?”
“Our guy on the inside says back in the early-80’s he saw some hungry East Germans get an entire McDonald’s over the Berlin Wall with less hassle than what we’re up against.”
Can’t hardly wait.
Yeah, we’re all built for something. I’m big. Moving is my duty – I get it. But what about everybody else’s duties?
What has the really good looking girl I know done for me lately?
“Hey, are you busy this Saturday? I’ve got to go to this lame dinner at the Country Club and I really need some top-notch arm candy. Since you’re great at looking fine, I figured it’d be easy for you to help me out. Thanks, I really appreciate it. I’ll take you out to lunch sometime.”
How can the really nerdy numbers guy I know help me out?
“Yo Stephen Hawking, what’s up? Hey man, you’re awesome at adding, right? Well I’m really busy and broke, do you think you could do my taxes for me this year, free? It would be a huge help. We can split a six pack while you get at it. Sound good?”
Cooking, cleaning, praying, spelling, gambling, yelling and fighting – I’ve got friends that can do it all, except move. Even so, maybe they’ll do me some favors. Who knows, one might even have to head down a fox hole for me someday.