Thursday, September 3, 2015

Doorman Tries to Show Off, Nearly Kills a Pretty Girl in a Wheelchair

I realize the title of this story is, in fact, a spoiler. Said pretty girl in wheelchair survives in the end. I tell you this, not because I wish to suppress the suspense, but because if in the event that I really did accidentally take the life of another human being, I wouldn't be blogging about it the next day. Sorry to disappoint, you sick fuck.

I don't know what's happened to me in the women department. There was a time in my life (through the majority of my twenties, mostly), where I never doubted myself when I had a thing for someone. I'd meet them, decide I wanted them, and find a way in. I'm 31 now, and that confidence I rode high in my coming (and cumming, heh heh) of age has dwindled some. I blame a few things -- holding a door open for people who don't so much as look in my direction for 40 hours a week doesn't do a whole helluva-lot for my self-esteem.
I also think it's tougher to sell what I'm doing with my life to women my age. Whereas it might have been endearing, say, five years ago to proclaim, "well, I'm just schlepping bags for people till I get my career going", the novelty wears off when you see the same guy, older in the face, body, and mind, using the same line.

But before you click away and find something less violin-inducing, I'd like to share an amusing story with you. Before you read this, I highly recommend you watch Season 1, Episode 4 of my web series, if you haven't already (and if you're a fan of this blog and you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? Dick.)

 In the first two minutes, I handle a large, heavy, clunky manual wheelchair ramp. Yes, that's the ramp I use on a daily basis and yes, we shot the series at my hotel. To get a better idea of the story I'm about to tell you, please take a look at the opening sequence of this episode (if you have seen it already, thank you and please share it with your friends):



Here's a bit of trivia about that scene -- I never have to do that by myself in real-life. Why? Because it's physically impossible. There's no way for a man of my height and arm-span to collapse it on my own. If I were Scottie Pippen, maybe. But 5'10, stumpy-armed, sausage-fingered Doorman has no shot. 

During pre-production, I initially wanted to film the entire sequence in one take, but after a few rehearsals, I found that physics were not on my side. So, when we shot the scene, I had carried the ramp as far out as I could, we'd cut, and the bellman on duty would come help me extend the ramp the rest of the way.

Having said all of that, here's what happened yesterday:

At the start of my shift, a taxi pulls up. It's not a handicap-accessible one, so I don't expect anything other than luggage. The cabbie starts pointing to the trunk, which, if you've been reading blog this for a long time, drives me fucking insane.

Ready to start calling the cabbie out for not finishing his job and earning his tip, I notice the door swing open. A young woman, "Friend", gets out and jogs to the trunk before I could get to it. She pulls open the hatchback of the yellow Ford Escape to reveal two small carry-on suitcases and a collapsible wheelchair.

Doorman - "Hi, do you need me to put down the ramp?"

I pull the suitcases out. With a smile, she answers:

Friend - "Yes, please!"

Doorman - "Sure, let me drop the cases off at the front desk and I'll grab one of the guys to put down the ramp."

Friend - "Cheers!"

I quickly bring the luggage to the front desk, then grab a Bellman on the way back outside to put down the monster of a metal ramp.

When I return outside, I find the recipient of the wheelchair adjusting in her seat. The "Girl" wore shorts, revealing many scars and indentations, leading me to believe this was the result of an accident (clearly the observations of a learned doctor). 

My gaze panned up to her face, where her ocean-blue eyes met mine -- her perfect smile a genuine, grateful one. I see beautiful women every day, most of which won't so much as look up from their phones when I greet them. The rarity of the situation is almost off-putting.

Girl - "Hi!!!"

Doorman - "Hi, welcome!"

We get to the ramp, where she tries to figure out how to take the uphill climb. It's a bit steep, so the usual process for me when someone in a wheelchair first arrives is to give them a second to let them decide whether or not they want my help. 

I've learned over the years to not interfere with their independence and that, if they need my assistance, they'll ask. After a moment of her trying to get up with to no avail, I give her my usual line:

Doorman - "Need a boost?"

Girl - "Yes, please..."

I get behind her and push up, a seamless ride to the top. She hands me a five.

Girl - "Thank you so much!"

Aaaaand I'm in love.

After they check in, I go about my business. And by business I mean farting into the hot wind whilst delving into an old-reliable daydream about pitching a perfect game in the World Series.

As Joe Buck's appropriately mundane call bestows upon a national audience, who watch me blissfully dive into the arms of Travis d'Arnaud with an army of blue and orange uniforms creating a dancing fort around us, I see the pretty Girl in the Wheelchair and Her Friend approach the stairs, with the Bellman already following to help with the ramp.

The Bellman had brought them up to the room on a front, and they yucked it up on the way down. The Girl is charmed, laughing. He's better looking than me. I get jealous, quickly attempting to gulp in my double-chin, like a frog asphyxiating itself.

We unfold the ramp while she waits at the top of the steps, smiling, hanging on the Bellman's every word. As the iron monster comes crashing on the concrete steps, echoing through the lobby and startling a family waiting for their bags from storage, the Bellman makes the first advance up the stairs to guide her down, beating me to it. 

Wait! Fucker! 

Any other scenario -- if it's an elderly person or what-have-you, the Bellman let's me go up and get the person to guide them down. Yet this time, he sees a pretty girl and pounces.

Fuckface! Dickhead! Jerk-off!!!

She looks up at him, flirting as they glide down, whizzing past me as if I were a third-wheel at some carnival. 

Her Friend thanks me. Whatever.

Cut to later that evening, where I'm brain-stem-deep in yet another one of my recurring daydreams about hosting Saturday Night Live. As we come back from commercial, the camera operator counts down from five (mouthing, "two, one"). He points to me, where I look nice and slim in a fitted suit jacket. I read my line from the cue-card:

"Ladies and Gentleman, Bruce Sprinsteen and the E Street Band!" As the camera dollys away from me and onto Bruce, I spot my parents, beaming with pride in the audience. I blow them a kiss before being whisked backstage by one of the producers.

I spot The Girl and Her Friend down the block. The Girl holds one of those caricature posters from Times Square. Knowing she'll need the ramp, I look inside the lobby to see the Bellman, looking bored at the desk. Anticipating another round of them flirting in front of me while feel sorry for myself, I drag my feet to go in and retrieve him.

But in a stroke of luck, a guest comes with a luggage ticket, bouncing him up to the storage rooms.

Terrific! This will buy me a few minutes! 

He disappears into the elevator, leaving me with the two girls.

Doorman - "Hey, ladies! How was your night?!"

They tell me about their first foray into Times Square, which they both hated and will avoid for the rest of their stay. My kinda tourists.

The Girl looks up at me, smiling, her eyes as big and bright as the embellished cartoon drawing she held in her hand. I can't make her wait. I look in the lobby: no one else to help me put down the ramp. Panic sets in. 

Do I sit there and get all hot-in-the-neck, stalling and apologizing for no one being there to promptly get her back to her room? Do I wait for the Bellman to come back, so she can see that I can't finish the task of putting down the ramp without a real man?

Fuck that. Time to man up. Time to show her that this unassuming, weak-chinned doorman has some brute-force in his blood.

I puff out my chest and lower the bass in my voice.

Doorman - "No one around right now-"

Girl - "Oh, that's alright! I can wai-"

Doorman "Gonna have to put this down myself."

I march over to the ramp and get face to face with it.

Gravity chimes in:

Gravity - "Hi. What are you doing?"

I grab both sides of the ramp and do a test-lift. It's not too bad.

Pssshhhh, I could bench-press this thing with one hand.

Gravity - "Yes, condensed and uncollapsed, it's well-within your strength. Congratulations. Being a doorman has made you strong. But please, let's not move any further."

My plan of action was to duck-walk it backwards, bear-hug the front-end, and slowly open the ramp by taking teeny-tiny baby steps. Reading this might not make much sense. Friends, I assure you -- it makes even less fucking sense in person.

I lift it up and take a few steps back with no issue. Brava!

Gravity - "You don't have the fucking wingspan to pull this off, dummy. Please abort."

I step to the side of the contraption, and use my left arm to get a grip on the other side.

Gravity - "I'm warning you..."

I take two small steps forward, and immediately feel my left arm about to give out. I, indeed, do not have the wingspan to pull this off.

Now I have three options:

A - Keep moving forward and likely tear every tendon in my arm to shreds.

B - Stand there in pain and wait for the Bellman to come back into the lobby, so he could bail me out and make me look like a wussy.

C - Take a step back and hope I don't drop it, then adjust my grip.

Gravity - "DO NOT take another step or I will pull this fucker down."

I go with option C.

I take a step back and attempt to corral the ramp back to the upright position.

Gravity - "Okay... Fuck you."

I feel the ramp slip from my hand.

The Bellman yells from a distance:

Bellman - "DUDE!!! What are you doing?!?"

The ramp falls backwards, like a movie character doing an exaggerated faint. It timbers down onto Girl in the Wheelchair -- a massive shadow quickly running up her face. Her friend screams.

Her Friend - "OH MY GOD!!!"

I spin my body around as quickly as possible. Before I could reach my arms out to catch it, I hear a thunderous, echoing crash.

Oh, fuck! I killed her!!!

I close my eyes for a beat, hoping this will somehow teleport me into some alternate reality, where I could live out my lavish daydreams without any responsibility.

I peak out and see the Girl siting there, horrified, having narrowly escaped the giant metal ramp of death.

Doorman - "HOLY SHIT! Are you okay?!?"

Shaken, she answers.

Girl - "Yes. I'm fine. I'm fine."

The Bellman comes running down the steps.

Bellman - "What's that matter with you, man? Don't ever try and do that!"

I could feel everyone in the lobby's stare burn through me. I could have seriously injured, or killed, this poor girl. All to appease some foolish pride.

A bead of sweat races down my armpit. I'm so lightheaded I could faint. The Bellman and I pick up the ramp and properly collapse it down onto the steps. Not to have him step in on me again, I advance to help the Girl. In an attempt to break the ice, I make a joke:

Doorman - "Do you trust me?"

Had I not been so unnerved, it may have landed the way I intended. But it doesn't. I end up sounding like some bad 90's Keanu Reeves action-movie character. She's not impressed.

I give her a boost up. She completely avoids all eye-contact with me. We get to the top, and she locks eyes with the Bellman, thanking him for saving the day. 

The Friend tip-toes up the side of the ramp. 

Friend - "Thank you, anyway..." 

The Bellman and I fold the ramp back up. I never saw The Girl or Her Friend again.

I continue on with my evening, jumping into another daydream, one where I remember how to act like a desirable man.

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