La-z-boy endurance tester. Ferrari reviewer. Ray Charles's ironing lady.
Those are some of the sweetest jobs in the world, but they are oil-well-fire capper compared with my job this weekend: painted-on-swimsuit assistant. Hey, you take the assignments they give you. What are you gonna do, file a grievance?
There are four of us in this villa in the Florida Keys assisting Joanne Gair, who will paint swimsuits on five naked, wriggling canvases. Life is very good.
Day 1: I am not allowed anywhere near a brush. I am Broom Boy. I am Empty the Empty Trash Can Guy. I try to look busy, whistle a lot and catch good mirror angles. You learn the Rule right away: Keep meaningful eye contact going with the model's feet or else. Like you could do that?
"Dude, your eyes are gonna get you tossed," whispers Richard at the paint table. "We gotta get you a pair of training sunglasses."
Richard is a slave to his work. Poor bastard. He forces himself to focus, hour after hour, on painting supermodels' butts and breasts. At one point he is doing a particularly tricky section of buck-naked Marisa Miller, who is just slightly more gorgeous than a winning Power-ball ticket, when she pulls his chin up and says, "Uh, maybe this is a little late to ask, but you're gay, right?"
Richard's eyebrows slide up his face and he squeals, "Oh, please, girl! My boyfriend is going to be pissed!"
Later I'll say, "You're not gay, right?"
He shrugs and whispers, "Nah, I'm straight. But from here on in it's gay all day, O.K.?"