This morning on my way to work I passed by a beat-up white van with a ladder clamped to the side and a bumper sticker that read:


It made me wonder where one would purchase such a bumper sticker. Surely, the market for elevator men products was fairly narrow. There must’ve been an elevator men trade show or convention, I figured, an event which probably took place on a high floor of some swanky downtown hotel so the attendees could admire the building’s elevators on their way up. “They got an XG-2000 here, ya know,” they’d say to each other as they scribbled names like “Gus” and “Julio” on their name badges. “Yeah, that’s one smooth ride!” And then, while sipping complimentary coffee mixed with lukewarm hotel creamer, they’d survey the souvenir table and discover the “do it” bumper stickers. Gus would belch out a big massive belly laugh that would shake the room, and Julio would say “Aw, man, I gotta get one a’ those for my van!”

And then I realized the reason I was focusing so much on the origin of the bumper sticker:

I had no idea what it actually meant.

Clearly, it’s something sexual, but the literal meaning kind of escapes me. “Up and down”? I don’t want to think too much about elevator man sex, but what exactly goes up and what goes down? Doesn’t all sex include some degree of “up and down”? Is that what they’re talking about? Why not something simpler like, “Elevator men know how to press the buttons”? Wait, does that make sense? What about “Elevator men do it on every floor?” I wasn’t even sure if there was a double entendre in my own dirty jokes.

It’s kind of an embarrassing confession, but the truth is I’ve always been clueless about sex jokes. I remember when I was about 7 or 8 years old I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Nurses call the shots!” I liked it so much, I pointed it out to my Mom. “Isn’t that great?” I said.

My mom made that jeery sour face moms make when they feel their child is being corrupted. “It’s disgusting!” she sneered.

It was only from witnessing my mother’s reaction that I realized the bumper sticker was implying something sexual. I had been thinking it was simply some kind of nurse empowerment slogan, the RNs’ way of demanding respect from those stuck-up doctors.

Social hierarchies have made sense to me from a young age. Sex still confuses me.

Okay, I’ve got it: “Elevator men do it in a big, shiny box.”

Wait, does that make sense?

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