We were driving between jobs, barreling down Main Street with our overflowing trailer swinging behind us.
One of the guys, Juan, saw an attractive woman walking along the sidewalk, so he stuck his head out the window and whistled at her as we cruised past.
“OK, that crap’s got to stop!” said Crew Leader Carl, turning around with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. “We have a name on the door!”
I was in the backseat, sitting in the middle. Juan was on my right, and an overweight, acne-ridden guy named Slim was sitting on my left. He, too, was a smoker, and between every job he lit up and puffed like a maniac, filling the cab with both the scents of his smoke and his body odor.
“Hey,” he said, turning to me and elbowing me in the ribs. His breath smelled like limburger cheese and Pall Malls. “You want to know something cool? If you take a song — any song — and you replace the word ‘love’ with the F-word, it changes the entire meaning of the song.”
I looked at him, blinking.
“Seriously, try it,” he said. “Any song. Just replace the word ‘love’ with the F-word, and you’ve got yourself a whole new song. It’s hilarious.”
“Yeah, I’ll get right on that,” I said.
We passed another woman, so Juan stuck his head out the window and whistled.
“Dammit!” Crew Leader Carl said, pounding the dashboard. “I mean it!”
“Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane,” Slim said, hacking on his cigarette. “Let’s change the words! C’mon, man! Sing it with me!”
I shook my head. “I’d really rather not.”
Another woman was walking up ahead. Juan glanced at Carl out of the corner of his eye, then looked out the window and let out a small chirp.
Through the rearview mirror, I saw Carl’s eyebrows rise. “I heard that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Slim was singing Somebody to Love with the perverted lyrics. Every time he changed the word “love” to the F-word, he laughed and hacked on his cigarette.
Just then, on the left side of the two-lane street, we saw a heavyset woman walking alongside the road.
“Hold on a second,” Slim said. Holding his cigarette, he stuck his double-chinned, acne-riddled face out the window and bellowed “Moo! Moo!”
“Dammit!” Carl said, slamming the dashboard. “How many times do I have to tell you guys? We have a name on the door! A name on the door!”
I sighed, closing my eyes. “These morons are loved.”
Slim looked at me. “What’s that?”
“If you change the word ‘love’ to the F-word, then it makes sense,” I said.