Every girl has a lackey at least once in her life.

When you first met him, you get the same epiphany that the guy who invented caller I.D. did.

But then the bastard went ahead and blocked his number to private. Thus, it could be grandma calling or it could be Lackey.

Every time Lackey gets through on the line, you sound like your dog just died. The entire time his mouth is running you pray the house catches fire. An earthquake occurs. There’s a SARS outbreak next door. Anything to get him off the line. His voice is like nails on a chalkboard. He looks something like Steve Nash’s little brother (that’s right, little brother). He weighs less than you sopping wet. He reminds you of Hepatitis because he sticks with you for the rest of your life and you always have to explain how you got it at the most inopportune times.

This is Lackey. And for some reason, you learn to live with him like a terminal illness. You even humor him by going out with him once in a great while, mostly because you have absolutely nothing else to do and because you get free dinner out of it. He’s your eternal fallback crutch. Your 150th option, if all else fails.

You know Lackey will do anything for you, in the most annoying way possible. He doesn’t have to work on it because the way he inhales (wheezes) irritates the shit out of you. Yet you consistently make the choice about once a month: sit on the couch and watch re-runs of “What About Bob?”, or go out with Bob the lackey?

And he thinks that when you go out with him, he’s doing you a favor. You know this because his mouth never stops moving. You are fascinated at the contours of the spit crusted at the corners of his mouth. You hear one long stream of vowels when he’s telling you about his CCS research. He talks about something intelligent, handsome, coy and cool. Paying you a compliment? Then you remember he’s still talking about himself.

The minute you arrive anywhere with Lackey, you scan the room for two things: to see if there’s anyone you know (God forbid), and a bar. It doesn’t matter if vodka tonics are $17.95 – you need a drink. So, like the smart girl you are, you proceed to guzzle four mixed drinks, on the rocks. Lackey starts to look like he’s got a smooth complexion. His mouth is still going. You consider running out the window but settle on trying to tie a maraschino cherry knot in your mouth.

Wait, he paused. This means he asked you a question. “Yes, err uh, I mean no.” What’s the right answer? Where’s your multiple-choice scantron? Is it A and C or all of the above?

“So how do you feel about doggystyle?” Shit, you said yes and no. He might think he has a 50-50 chance. Wait, when did we start talking about sex? You ponder who in the world he could convince to sleep with him. Does he cruise the junior highs when he’s not harassing you on speed dial?

You excuse yourself to the bathroom. You pray the check has come upon your return. You check your cell phone to see if your roommate can bail you out of this one. Damn! Only one reception bar in the stall. You slowly saunter back in failure to the dinner from hell only to see he’s ordered dessert.

He insists upon the sex talk. “How often do you have sex, really?” How much more damage could he do in the next 10 minutes, really?

“I’ve decided to become celibate.” He laughs. Shit, I’m funny. How am I ever going to survive this torture? How will I remind myself to “Just Say No” next time a free dinner with Lackey sounds better than Bob? How can I warn every woman to not be fooled by his seemingly charming chivalry?

Then it occurred to me – I could tell the whole campus about it on Wednesday.

It’s great to be me.

Learn how to not be Lackey: Check out the Sex and Relationship Interns’ Tunnel of Love (read: Play With Dildos) today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. out on the Women’s Center Lawn.

Daily Nexus sex columnist Beth Van Dyke will have a lot more lackeys by the end of today.