Published 2 years ago
The Mrs. got a call on her cellphone on Christmas Eve. We were actually on our way to church. What? Hoot knows the real meaning of Christmas! I also know that talking about love and actually doing it are two different things. Maybe that’s why I’ve always had sort of a bad taste where church and organized religion are concerned. Don’t tell me what you believe. Show me.
“We’ll be right there,” I heard her say. She began motioning to me to turn the car around. “Lindsay,” she managed to clue me, as she continued listening to the person on the other end of the line. “Well get her some clothing. Put her in a car or something to warm her up until we get there. We’re twenty minutes away.”
Get her some clothing? What the hell? It’s twelve degrees outside! Put her in a car? I couldn’t imagine what was happening. It seemed to take forever for that call to end, the Mrs. uttering an ‘Uh huh” or an “Oh my!’ every so often. Finally the call ended and she could fill me in.
Lindsay showed up for her shift late and completely strung out. “Coked out,” is how Melissa described it. A new manager, Stu–who all the girls hated–fired her on the spot and demanded she leave the premises. It got ugly when he told her she couldn’t leave in her uniform, as the rules stated, but also for appearance sake–she was obviously wasted. “What happened?” I asked. “Melissa says Lindsay stripped buck naked in the office, threw her uniform at Stu and walked out the back door. Stu locked the door behind her. Melissa ran around the building and found her on the fire escape. They’re trying to get her dressed. You heard me tell them to get her in a warm car or something.”
“And what exactly are we going to do?” I asked.
We arrived to find Melissa in her car–she’d decided to take a sick day, uncertain of how Stu would respond since she had already clocked in. “He said, ‘Go.’ So I went.” Lindsay was asleep in the passenger seat, wrapped in a fleece blanket. “Her clothes are in a locker and we don’t know the combination. She’s in no shape to tell us. I got the blanket from Kim’s car.” I’ve never mentioned that my wife has a nursing background–and nursing instincts took over, as she worked to stir Lindsay. “I’ve got nowhere to go,” was all I could make out of what Lindsay said. “We’re taking her to our house to sleep this off,” the Mrs. declared. And with that we were transferring a naked Hooters girl from one car to another in the glow of the big orange sign.
“We’ve got to warm her up,” we discussed our next steps as we neared the house. “Then when she sleeps this off, we’ve got to convince her to get some help. The girl is going to be dead at this rate.” That whole thing of talking about love and actually doing it was now forefront in my thinking. I determined to myself I was going to love this young lady as if she were my daughter or little sister. And I would need to keep reminding myself of that–as I carried her, wrapped only in the fleece, into our home, and laid her on our couch. The wife asked me to help her get Lindsay in a bath–reminding myself again, as I’m now assisting a naked girl into our master tub. I left the Mrs. to tend to her. I went out to turn on the TV and grab a beer. Not your normal Christmas Eve. There’s a naked Hooters girl in my bathtub–and I’m trying to think pure thoughts. Maybe when the tub is clear, I’ll hit up a cold shower!
An hour or so passed before Lindsay emerged under her own strength, wrapped in a bath towel. “Can I grab one of your sweatshirts?” the Mrs. asked me. It turned out to be a very long and–Lindsay wearing nothing but my Hokies sweatshirt–a very revealing night. The kind of Christmas miracle story you’d hope for–well, sort of. More to come.