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getting my first professional massage
you'd think this would be simple... your forgot it's me.
by todd w bush

I’d finally had it. Waking up every morning with back pain at 27 isn’t something that’s supposed to happen. Not unless you live with a porn star that brings her work home with her. After two weeks of this pain, I decided to ask around for some “home remedies.” One my co-workers suggested to go the day spa and get a professional massage.

Now to me, professional and massage don’t belong in the same sentence, unless there’s a “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” accompanying them. But I thought about it, and decided it wouldn’t be a totally un-guy thing to do. Hell, athletes get them all the time, and if it’s good enough for MJ, it’s good enough for me, damnit! Although, I stopped short of the manicure. So, I called the place up one day while at work. Turning around in my chair, and hiding the fact that I was talking on the phone like I tried to avoid saying anything other than “appointment” and “yes” out loud. You’d have thought I was Michael Corleone not telling Kay he loved her so Sonny, Clemenza and the boys wouldn’t pick on him.

My appointment was made for a Swedish massage three days hence. Then, my supervisor let me off work early, and I had an entire afternoon to kill. Why not move the appointment up and let that be my afternoon? One little problem, I had left the number at work. I call back up to work and get my buddy Johnny V. The conversation went something like this:

Todd: Hey, Johnny V, can you look on that sticky pad by my computer and get the number for that massage place for me?”
Johnny V: Sure, ready? It’s 1-800-I’m-a-woman.

I hate my co-workers.

The place was all booked up, so I waited until Thursday morning. I arrived early, thanks to the fact that I was a) in the military and trained not to be late, and b) a premi and hadn’t been late even in birth. The place hasn’t even opened yet, and besides myself there are two other people waiting: a middle-aged woman who looked like she’d fallen asleep in a tanning bed at least a dozen times, and a smoking hot 18-year old girl. The door to the massage place is on the same hall as the barber shop in the base exchange, and when the 18-year old saw me waiting she motions toward the barber shop and says, “You know they’re already open, right?” I politely thanked her and said I was waiting for someone else, all the while a mixture of panic and terror set in, cause it was obvious by her helpfulness that she worked at the day spa. Doing what, I had no idea, but if she was the masseuse, my “this is the first time I’ve gotten one of these without a happy ending” joke wasn’t gonna go over real well.

After waiting for five minutes another lady came up the stairs with keys already out and being flipped through. Obviously the manager of the day spa, she could have come right off the main page of one of those “MILF” sites on the internet. Wearing skin-tight white pants, and a white shirt with blue stripes that was buttoned only twice exposing her obviously fake, but quite nice breasts, she moved gracefully over to the door and slipped in the key, tossing her blond hair back and smiled at her waiting customers. Mentally, I looked down three feet to “Little Todd” and said “Not now, damn you! We are here for the back, remember? Down!”

Me and the wrinkly-skin lady walk in and both pick up magazines to begin our wait. The 18-year old goes behind the counter and begins setting up for the day, while MILF lady goes to the back to get herself ready. After about ten minutes, MILF comes back and says something in German to the 18-year old while pointing at me. I don’t speak German, and was then kicking myself for not learning. Wrinkles and MILF then go to the back to do God-knows-what, but I had to put money on it, I’d have bet turn the tanning bed on. 18-year old is on the phone, so I delve into an article about the new Iraqi President, remembering a story a buddy of mine told me about him.

My buddy was in Iraq for a long time, manning a checkpoint. The Iraqi President came rolling through with his entourage, and wouldn’t produce any ID. Not only that, he gave my M-16 toting buddy some serious lip, so my buddy bitch-slapped him. Right about that time in my memory, 18-year old calls me, asking what I was there for. I told her, rather meekly, since it was obvious either her or MILF would be doing the massage and while both presented the obvious “physical” quandary, at least with MILF I wouldn’t get thrown in jail for my “problem.”

After I announce that I was there for the 9:00 Swedish massage, she smiled and said words that I didn’t hear. Or maybe didn’t want to hear and just blocked out, so I asked for a recount. She replied again, saying the same thing and causing panic about my reputation and manhood to rise like the Atlantic in The Day After Tomorrow: “He’s going to be a little late, but he’ll be here to do it shortly.”

Now, I have plenty of gay friends. Some of them are even close friends that I would trust with any secret I’ve ever had. Apart from the normal ribbing jokes friends tell each other, no one can say I have a homophobic bone in my body. I told myself this in the milliseconds after 18-year old clarified her statement. But one bone in my body spoke louder than the others and it’s message was clear, “Aw, HELL no!” I suddenly got visions of Edward Norton in the prison shower in American History X, and stood up. I told 18-year old that I had go to the bathroom. She informed me that the spa had one in the back I could use. Little Todd, who was already making like a turtle head and retreating inside my pelvis, told me “Good one, genius, the bathroom? That’s the best you got? How did we ever get laid?” So, then I came up with a good one. The best excuse I could throw out: “Yeah, but I also have to get something out of my car. I’ll be back.”

Bounding down the steps three at a time, my penis informed me that under no circumstances were we ever going to get a massage again, unless the place advertised in the sports section of the newspaper. I got to the bottom floor, coming out into the food court and did what every red-blooded male would do after narrowly avoiding such an event: I got an omelet and hash browns at Charley’s Steak Place, of course. Breakfast in hand, I drove home, wondering if I was going to get in trouble with my commander for “missing an appointment.” I decided that there was no way I would, but then I realized my commander was a straight-laced woman.

I called the massage place back and have now scheduled a new appointment, this time making sure to tell them I wanted it with a masseuse, rather than a masseur. I think it was the 18-year old who took down my new appointment, especially when I could hear laughing even after I hung of the phone. So the good news is, I’m going to get my back worked on finally. The bad news is that I have to actually go back up there to do it.


Todd's background includes military service, a stint at a movie theater, and getting turned down for a date by Sandra Bullock. All things that make him totally unqualified to be a writer. However, now that he's getting married in November, that might just do it.

more about todd w bush


planning the wedding
waaay different than i thought it'd be...
by todd w bush
topic: humor
published: 2.19.07

so... why are you getting out?
by todd w bush
topic: humor
published: 11.9.04


robert melos
8.24.04 @ 10:20p

Um, chicken?

You do realize MJ gets worked on by a guy. Most athletes usually get worked on by men. There's irony here, because I also prefer to be worked on by a woman. Personally I'm not big on massage in general. I usually end up aching more the next day.

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