The first time I was introduced to the Sexy Sax Man was in Tenerife. I was lucky enough to be spending three weeks on that glorious piece of the earth. It was my second summer with the company. It was only my second time crossing the sea. Each year we travel to a beautiful destination and spend three weeks orchestrating the judging for our main award show.
Year one we went to Malta, Year two was Tenerife, year three was Bali. So for three weeks each summer I move into a beautiful resort, work incredibly hard, and make the some of the most wonderful memories life has to offer.
I’m lucky, the people I work with are not just co-workers or even friends, they’re my family in a city where I have none. They found me fresh off the farm, so to say. My first interview in New York City was with this company. They took me in and they’ve cared for me ever since, just as I care for them. We have seen each other through the most stressful of situations; we have been together through break-ups, death, wedding planning, hard days and late nights.
Most people leave their coworkers behind at the end of each day. Not me, at times it feels like my co-workers and I live in a really nice dormitory. Two months out of the year, we do. We travel a lot. I love it. I enjoy seeing new places and grow from touching new land. I’ve climbed volcanoes, rafted down rivers, and swam in three oceans and the Mediterranean Sea with these people. We are seeing the world together and we have no option but to bond. These bonds have grown to be some of the most beautiful in my life.
In Comes the Sexy Sax Man
Oddly enough, one of the things my co-workers and I most closely bonded over was this ridiculous video of the Sexy Sax Man. If you’re not familiar with this video, please click on the link below and I promise this story will make much more sense.
I’ve never laughed so hard . . . every time I watch it. It’s ridiculous! It’s completely absurd, but something about the idea of a man with a mullet jumping out in the middle of a crowded mall playing “Careless Whisper” gets me every time.
As I mentioned, the first time I saw this video was in Tenerife. Our team and our brilliant British counterparts were residing on a resort together for three weeks to come.
The Pirate Hooker
There’s one British bloke that I bonded with my first summer of judging in Malta. This gentleman, simply put, is Ridiculous. He’s sarcastic, self-deprecating, has great taste in music, and speaks movies, which is my second favorite language behind sarcasm. The first evening we met, he said Jaws was perhaps his favorite movie and we instantly became best chums.
Every time I’m around this bloke – I’d prefer not to use his real name for professional reasons – so let’s just call him The Pirate Hooker. Every time I’m around The Pirate Hooker I leave with a fine set of abs from the amount of laughter had. Naturally, he was the first person to show me the video of the Sexy Sax Man. He showed everyone this video. I mean, everyone. He was kind of like the Sexy Sax Man in how he would just randomly pop this video out at any instance. By the time we left Tenerife, everyone on the island knew of the Sexy Sax Man.
Tough Times Call For The Sexy Sax Man
Long working hours is always paired with high levels of stress, but every time the stench of stress released itself into the air, out would come the Sexy Sax Man and the repeated opening of “Careless Whisper.”
No one was immune to laughter.
It became our thing, even amid the hardest of moments the Sexy Sax Man could bring a smile to our faces.
On that trip, I did face one of the hardest moments of my life when my older sister’s husband of two weeks died. I was on the other side of the world when my sister’s life fell to shambles. It was devastating. I was mostly devastated for her. Naturally, I wanted to be there to comfort her, but to be honest, I didn’t think that would be fiscally possible. But thank God for my work family. They made it possible. Within 18 hours I was on a flight home to Kentucky.
It wasn’t easy to leave Tenerife. I was leaving behind our team during our busiest of times. We prepare all year for this trip. Everyone is vital to success. I also knew the horror I was headed home to. I wanted to be there for my sister, but I had no idea how to comfort someone in that situation. I wasn’t sure how to be comforted in that situation. The plan was for me to go home for 5 days and then I was going to come back to Tenerife to finish up the last week of judging – this was my request.
To make matters dimmer, when I returned The Pirate Hooker would be gone. So I had to say goodbye before I left. It was hard for anyone to comprehend the loss my family was experiencing, but that didn’t stop them from trying. And when I sat down poolside with The Pirate Hooker, the night of my departure, he told me how sorry he was for my loss and reminded me how unfair and cruel the world can be. We shared a deep heart to heart, and we’ve shared many since, but that night when the words began to quieten and he could tell I was lost in misery, he paused, pulled out his phone and said, “I think you could use this.” And the Sexy Sax Man came to life, as did a little piece of me.
The Spirit Of The Sexy Sax Man Lives On
When I returned to Tenerife The Pirate Hooker was gone, but the spirit of the Sexy Sax Man lived on. Our team continued to work hard. I privately worked through the nightmare I’d just witnessed in Kentucky, but my co-workers made the best of a tough situation and the Sexy Sax Man helped us through it. One night we even got the resort band to let the saxophonist play a solo of “Careless Whisper”. We recorded it and sent it to The Pirate Hooker to spread our laughter.
The Sexy Sax Man didn’t leave us in Tenerife. We brought him back to The States, more specifically to our office. From time to time he finds his way through email during busy and stressful periods. Sometimes, my co-workers and I will be having a hard day and suddenly the imitation of a sax wailing “Careless Whisper” will fill the airwaves. In a way, Sexy Sax Man has become a part of our team.
Discussions of Fate
Thanks to serendipity and the wonderful workings of the universe, last week, on our latest judging trip to Los Angeles, we finally got to meet the Sexy Sax Man. This was a special trip because it was The Pirate Hookers first time in Los Angeles. The only problem was I showed up for the trip with a disgusting cold, which I then shared with everyone else.
We were supposed to go see Whiskey a Go Go and The Viper Room on this trip. We were supposed to do a grand tour of L.A.’s finest music scene and craft breweries. But it all turned out to be a bust because we all felt terrible and had no choice but to work hard and pull off judging, which we did, as we always do because we are an awesome team. But our grand tour of L.A. had been coughed and sneezed away.
By the last night of the trip we were all starting to feel slightly better. We’d successfully finished judging and we decided to go out and celebrate and finally see some cool stuff in L.A. We went to Santa Monica, which in my opinion, is the best part of L.A. You get the pier and the ocean breeze and an area filled with craft bars and imagery of old Hollywood.
It was a great time. We sang, danced, and laughed immensely, especially when everyone at the table was asked for an I.D. save The Pirate Hooker. Among the group, we had deep conversations about life, love, and all the mysteries of the universe. Nearing the end of the night, we found ourselves discussing the workings of Fate. “Fate’s not real,” shouted The Pirate Hooker, in his questionably fake British accent. “Life’s what you make of it.” My two co-workers and I took on The Pirate Hooker and his rants about Fate. We dispelled his lies with our own truths of Fate.
Still, he walked away a non-believer.
FaceTime with The Sexy Sax Man
The Pirate Hooker was also walking away having never tried In-N-Out Burger. We could not let him leave L.A. being a nonbeliever in both. What kind of friends would we be if we let him leave L.A. without trying their most famous burger chain? We called an Uber and demanded they rush us to the nearest In-N-Out Burger, and we requested he make it snappy because they closed in 8 minutes and we were 12 miles away.
This driver was our savior and he got us to In-N- Out just as they’d stepped out to lock the doors. We were the last ones permitted entrance. Our group walked up to the counter basking in our victory. Our laughter and chatter filled the restaurant. Then The Pirate Hooker started playing an imaginary sax with his lips and belted out the tune.
“Hey, the Sexy Sax Man, I know him!” said some guy sitting among another late night crowd.
We all paused.
Finally, The Pirate Hooker spoke up, “You know the Sexy Sax Man?”
“Yeah, he’s one of my best buds.”
“Sergio Flores? THE Sexy Sax Man?”
“Yeah, Sergio. You want me to FaceTime him?”
Our mouths dropped open. “Uhh . . . yeah,” said The Pirate Hooker.
“Is that even a real question? Call him up!”
Moments later we were face to face ( via an iPhone) with Sergio Flores, The Sexy Sax Man. Like jackasses, we did our best “Careless Whisper” impressions and gawked over this internet sensation. We talked to the guy for like a minute, but it didn’t matter, our experience had come full circle, we had met the man who’d blessed our team with so much laughter. The guy who cheered us up when we were down and could magically clear the air of tension, we met our other team member.
And we proved to The Pirate Hooker that Fate, Serendipity and all of the other magical workings of the universe did indeed exist. The four of us – my co-workers/ friends/ family – walked back to our hotel room with our bellies full and our hearts filled with hope. We’d had another random night. A night no one expected, but none of us will soon forget. We’d spent the week overcome by sickness, exhaustion and bad cases of Jet Lag, but you would’ve never known it because the entire walk back we gave our worst Sexy Sax Man impressions.