I’ve always tried to minimise my carbon footprint. It was my ongoing concern for the welfare of the planet that inspired me, on moving to Miasma, Wisconsin, in the fall of 2007, to try to get myself into a carpool. I liked the idea of being able to drive in the special lane down to Milwaukee, sneering self-righteously at all the solo drivers who sat immobile in their living room-sized SUVs listening to their favorite conspiracy theorists on the radio and squandering the planet’s resources.
My wife didn’t believe me, but I didn’t specifically request former female porn stars with whom to carpool. That I was matched with Rebequa, Mysteri, and Brie was just blind good luck, or so I thought when they picked me up that first morning on the northeast corner of the big Walmart parking lot in Mysteri’s Prius. Each was…hotter than the one before, with porn stars’ plumped lips, blonde (or, in Brie’s case, flame red) manes, and enormous breasts, but it quickly emerged that all three had renounced Satan and embraced Protestantism after leaving what they coyly, I thought, referred to as The Industry. I was much amused to discover, via online research I conducted that afternoon at work, that Rebequa’s best-selling video, aimed at the doggy-style demographic, had been Get Thee Behind Me, Satan.
As we drove that first morning, we all — except for Mysteri, who was behind the wheel — showed each other photos of our children, and dutifully exclaimed, “Isn’t she just gorgeous!” of our respective daughters and “What a heartbreaker he’s going to be!” of my son Chip, though in fact he’s terribly shy and a lot more interested in video games at this point than in sex. Brie had had three children, by four different fathers, by 19, and had gotten into porn relatively late in life, after a successful career as a guest on the sort of afternoon raw-meat television programs on which young men with ghastly haircuts, too many tattoos, and apparently very low IQs are exposed, via DNA tests, to have fathered “shorties” they assert couldn’t possibly be theirs because they and their lavishly tattooed young mothers had…partied only a couple of times.
When the three learned that the defining accomplishment of my life was having written a disapproving review of the first Led Zeppelin album, the discussion turned of course to music, and each of us commuter disclosed what he or she regarded as the nine best albums ever. I was unpleasantly surprised to learn of Brie’s great affection for Tom Petty, no fewer than seven of whose albums appeared on her own list.
I learned that my three new friends unanimously felt themselves driven out of The Industry by the iPhone, by which I surmised that they meant all smartphones that could record video. What, Rebequa mused with palpable rancour, was the point of having spent $9K on her huge “boobies” and another $340 on acting lessons when YouTube was full of hot girl-on-girl stuff recorded on the very cheap at slumber parties? When I admitted that I’d never actually bought or even viewed a porn video, the temperature in the Prius seemed to drop 10 degrees.
There was a terrible accident on Interstate 43 that afternoon, and even those of us in the carpool lane found ourselves sitting there and sitting there and sitting there. Mysteri get off the freeway and drove into a little wooded area, where all three of my new friends, apparently having forgotten about Satan for the moment, demanded at gunpoint (Brie had a concealed-carry licence) that I service them. I attribute my being able to do so to a combination of sensible diet, vigorous daily exercise, and my implacably positive outlook.
When my wife asked, later in the week, why I’d taken to driving to work solo, I of course said nothing about what I’d been forced to do in the wooded area, and attributed my withdrawal from the carpool to my aversion to Tom Petty.