My girlfriend moved apartments on Saturday. Part of me was happy that she was going to live closer. Then I realized I probably had to help her. And all of me thought, “I don’t want to.” Girls own heavy shit.
Luckily, she told me she had a credit from a moving website, so I wouldn’t have to do very much. She wanted me there, though. The guy from the website had already called her to ask how old she was and whether or not she was single. It seemed sketchy, but this guy had rave reviews on the website (40 reviewers gave him 5 out of 5 stars) so we figured he had to know what he was doing.
We waited at the storage unit for a while until we saw this 27-year-old hillbilly making a big entrance in a beater pickup with a flatbed utility trailer connected to it. I actually turned to my girlfriend and said, “How funny would it be if this was your guy?” Then it fucking was. Not a fun realization. Two guys got out of the truck. Jason, the main guy, had a blonde pony tail. On purpose. That, along with his severe under-bite, gave him a look I would best describe as ‘young carny.’ His sidekick was a rail-thin teenage black kid who looked like if Kevin Durant was in Odd Future. His ear buds hung off of his ears so that everyone around him could hear whatever shit he listens to that makes him think sagging his pants past his ass is okay to do on the job. As if his look and brittle bird bones weren’t enough, Jason pointed at his partner as he struggled with even the smallest items and said, “This is his first time.” He was instilling no confidence in anyone. But what Jason lacked in absolutely everything else, he made up for in unabashed hillbilly confidence.
Jason was the storage unit champion of the world. He kept saying, “This ain’t nothn’” while he packed all of the small items perfectly into the back of his truck. “I worked at UPS. I know sizes. And I’m good at Tetris.” I was thinking, “Fuck yeah, you are, Jason!” I was back on board. As he walked past us effortlessly with a heavy item he would give us a rundown of his greatest hits with factoids like, “One time I moved a solid mahogany armoire up six flights of stairs.” And then when my girlfriend would say, “Wow. Mahogany?”, he’d pause and say, “Solid mahogany.” And then run off to be more awesome. This wasn’t nothin.’ He worked at UPS.
Jason was so good at the storage unit that I was even willing to look past the fact that he hated me. He hated me just because I was there with my girlfriend. One time when I went to use the restroom, Jason turned to my girlfriend and said, “I wish that guy was here” as the skinny hip-hop kid was wobbling with a box. He also turned to another pretty girl who was waiting in the lobby and said, “I hope your boyfriend is helping more than this one is.” But it didn’t matter. He totally redeemed himself when he announced to no one in particular, “I’m doing another job after this. Charity job. Just for fun.” When it came to moving, Jason was Michael Jordan.
Things changed when we got to my girlfriend’s apartment.
Jason hit a wall somewhere between the storage unit and the apartment. He’d punched himself out like George Foreman in 1974 or Clubber Lang in Rocky III. I knew he was getting tired when he paused to get a drink of water. The same enthusiasm wasn’t there as he gave us more awesome facts about his life. “I’ve had over 40 jobs. And I’m only 27.” My girlfriend asked him what his favorite was and he said, “Probably UPS.” Which was hilarious, because he’d already mentioned working at UPS a hundred times by that point. When we asked him why he didn’t work there anymore, he said something completely unintelligible as he gnawed on an ice cube, pointed at me, and then was off to the truck again. Oh, you were fired.
I tried to revive Jason a little later by offering him a beer. “Believe it or not, alcohol has no affect on me.” I had to know more. “You know those big bottles of vodka? I can probably drink two of them. Nothin’. Novocaine either. No affect on me. I have a what’s-it-called…. high immune system. Good hearing. Good sense of smell. 20/10 vision.” Then he turned to my girlfriend and said, “Like an astronaut.” Yes, because NASA wants dudes with ponytails who need an industrial stapler for their resume. A little later, Jason said, “I notice the most smallest of details.” Then he let out the loudest burp I’ve ever heard.
Eventually, all that was left in the trailer was the heaviest item - my girlfriend’s custom-made 300 pound armoire. Jason had been avoiding it all day, the way he avoids haircuts and tact. He announced that he and his partner were going to take a quick break to go to Subway, and that when they came back they’d do the armoire. Then something happened. The black kid, who hadn’t said a word all day long spoke up and said, “Hell no, we ain’t takin’ no breaks on the job, nigga. We work until the job is done! Let’s go get that dresser.” All Jason wanted to do was go to Subway. It’s all he wanted in the world. Now the student had become the master. The kid wasn’t done. “Plus we made them do too much today already. They been doin’ too much labor.” Jason was deflated. He goes, “Well… I mean, it is their stuff.” Black kid wasn’t playing that shit. He demanded to get the armoire. Now. Jason had a complete meltdown.
That’s when I knew that the black kid and I were going to have to move the armoire, ourselves. Me, the laziest person in the world, and the 90-pound teenage gangbanger. Jason was only a shred of the person he was at the storage unit. He was tired. He was cranky. He was a six-year-old who badly needed a nap. And that was before the entire 300 pound armoire squashed him like Frogger on the first flight of stairs. At that point, he was just whelping and making noises. He made one awkward adjustment that had me holding most of the heavy-as-fuck armoire above my head until the teenager came to my rescue. He scolded Jason. “We got this, nigga!” And the two of us lugged this goddamn thing into the apartment. Jason began screaming at me. I still have no idea what he was saying. And his ponytail, much like his mind and ego, was in shambles.
When we got the armoire into its proper place, Jason was rambling about how he wasn’t even breaking even on this job because he had to put $120 in gas in his truck. When my girlfriend handed him the cash, he did a weird stereotypical Asian voice and said, “Errrrr, thank you verry mahch.” Then he asked how much she was paying in rent. When she told him, Jason goes, “Ouch!” The black kid shook his head and apologized profusely for Jason’s lack of professionalism. Jason gave one last feeble attempt to hit on my girlfriend before she told him we were a couple. “Cute couple,” he said sarcastically. Then they were off to Subway.
As the door shut behind them, the two of us burst into hysterical laughter. The only argument my girlfriend and I got into all day was whether or not Jason had aspergers or was just a simpleton. It was easily the strangest and most entertaining moving experience of my life. The moving website contacted my girlfriend yesterday to give Jason his review.
5 stars out of 5.
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