Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

Twitter Superstar

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Aug• 04•19

Either this alert could be good, but it could be oh so bad.

The day I was born, I looked over at my mama and said, “One day I want to go viral on Twitter. I don’t know how it’s going to happen or when, but I promise to eventually use Twitter to make you proud.” Perhaps the conversation didn’t exactly go that way. After all, I was a baby who was probably drunk at the time, and Twitter wasn’t even a thing in 1920. Maybe my memory isn’t serving me correctly.

That noted, one day I was minding my own business, scrolling through my Twitter feed when I saw the cutest video of a young mother playfully using all types of gymnastics to get away from her son who appeared to be about two or three years old. Her skill at dodging the toddler reminded me of my skill at dodging responsibility. You should see the ducking and tumbling around I do on the floor whenever the rent is due or when the student loan police come knocking at my front door.

Seeing that mother and son having fun reminded me of that one time my own mother decided to play with me. I treasure that memory because it was one of the few times she let me out of the closet as a child. Perhaps I shouldn’t give her all the credit, though. Something tells me that those few minutes of playtime were probably court ordered. But I digress.

After watching the clip, I replied, “I keep asking my mom to do this with me, but she says it won’t work because I’m 39 and she’s 58.” While I pride myself on having an amazing sense of humor, I know that I have two more blog posts to go before people will consider me on the same level as Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, or Joan Rivers. Clearly, I’m close and I should be considered in the conversation with these comedy icons, but, because I’m humble, I don’t raise a stink if my name isn’t mentioned. Anyway, I posted the reply and moved on with my day.

A few hours later, I saw that something was happening on Twitter because I had over 20 notifications. This filled me with excitement and dread. Usually, it’s not a good thing. The last few times it happened, I was being dragged up and down the Twitter streets for posting an unpopular opinion. I think I wrote “Good morning” one day and the Twitterverse found that a little too cheery and positive for their liking—especially before they’d had their coffee and vodka for the day.

Before checking to see what I’d done wrong this time, I called my team of shrinks and told them to be on high alert. If this was anything like the last time, I would need all hands on deck. Instead of taking just one of the anxiety pills that I bought off the black market, I took a handful of them and said a quick prayer. When I felt ready, I took the plunge an opened Twitter. What happened next would change my life for the remainder of that minute.

To my surprise, hundreds of people had liked my response. Some had even retweeted it. Immediately, I tossed my work laptop in the trash and quit my low paying job on the spot so that I could bask in my new Twitter celebrity status. I was not going to let this moment pass. I needed to be available for when Stephen King and J. K. Rowling came along offering multi-million-dollar book deals. And if they asked nicely, of course I would make time to sit down with Oprah. Why not?

Like any other celebrity, I made a few calls to let people know not to be alarmed if I suddenly started acting differently. I informed one of my best friends that if she wanted me to attend her baby shower, she would have to make room for six more people so that I could bring along my security detail. I comforted her by telling her not to be offended when some of my security staff arrived early to do a quick sweep of her house to make sure it was safe for me to attend. I’m happy to say that all was clear, but her baby’s father was escorted from the premises. He didn’t pass the background check.

Next, I called my mother and grandmother and told them that, although I appreciated all they had done for me, all future phone calls and scheduling of family outings would need to be coordinated through my team of assistants. My mom wasn’t happy, but I explained to her that if she wanted to check on me, an assistant could easily pass on my status to her. It’s more efficient that way. I told her not to think of it as her losing her relationship with her closet son. Instead, I was giving her the opportunity to bond with new people depending on which assistant answered the phone that day. Sometimes you have to help people to see the positives of a situation.

By the time the dust had settled, almost 3,000 people liked my response. Do you know how many people that is?!?! Let me try to put that in perspective. That is the equivalent of the number of people that routinely block the path of my shopping cart at Walmart when I’m trying to buy toothpaste. 3,000 is the number of active credit cards I have with outstanding balances. That’s pretty major.

Likes, Retweets, and Replies, Oh My!

Building of my new Twitter celebrity status, I had my lawyers contact the people over at MasterClass to let them know that I’d be available to teach a class or two if they so desired. Apparently, they hadn’t done their research on me. At one point I had to snatch the phone from my lawyer. In the deepest, most authoritative voice I could muster, I asked, “Do you know who I am?” They said no. I quickly hung up. Clearly, those people weren’t worth my time or energy. Their loss.

Because some time had gone by, it was at that point that I began to feel nervous. The phone hadn’t been ringing the way I thought it would based on my viral post status. I kept checking my phone to see if I had a signal. I called Verizon to have them do a system test. I blamed them for being the reason that Stephen King hadn’t called yet. When the representative informed me that nothing was wrong on their end, I attempted to recall the message I’d sent to Beyoncé telling her that my new status meant she could no longer have a photo with me if we ever met in person. Perhaps I’d gone a bit overboard.

After remembering that I was unemployed, I called my former boss, but I was informed by the operator that my number had been blocked. Tears trickled from my eyes until I realized that I could call her from a payphone. I jumped into my car and set out to find one. Twenty-two hours later, I realized that all the driving may have been unnecessary because I could have simply called her from my home phone. I was in Arkansas by then.

Fortunately, she answered on the first ring. I begged. I pleaded. I sounded like James Brown and the Pips. I told her it was just an April Fools’ joke. She told me it wasn’t April. People will always try to nail you on a technicality. Never one to lose an argument, I told her that it may not be April here in the US, but I was pretty sure it was April somewhere. I would have Googled it to confirm, but they don’t have the internet in Arkansas—or Twitter. I learned that the hard way.

Adding insult to injury, when I apologized to my grandma, she laughed and told me to check her credentials. Whereas I thought I had done something special with my tweet, apparently my grandma routinely wins Twitter and goes viral all the time. Yesterday, her post that read, “I’m eating liver and chicken gizzards” got over 30,000 likes and 5,361 retweets within 15 minutes. Perhaps I need to step my game up. Oh, wait. She just did another post. Apparently, my grandma is having a hot girl summer.

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: http://www.humormike.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

Help! Has Anyone Seen My Brows?

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jul• 21•19

Don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful

The other day, I was minding my own business when I looked into the mirror and saw something very disturbing. I almost screamed. My eyebrows had grown so bushy that they looked like The Lion King reboot could have been filmed up there. If you listened closely enough, you could hear lions and tigers singing the “Circle of Life.” No kidding. I wouldn’t lie to you unless it was about my weight or my credit score.

At that point, I would have called the situation dire. It was definitely above me. There was nothing I could do to fix it on my own. Even if I had broken out a couple of chainsaws and set brush fires to my eyebrows, it wouldn’t have helped a bit. Clearly, I needed to bring out the big guns and seek professional help. Some matters you shouldn’t take into your own hands. A wise Oprah once said, “Thou must know thy own limitations.”

Immediately, I visited my team of plastic surgeons for a consultation. Unfortunately, they were all busy because one of the Kardashians had scheduled a tune-up, oil change, and other general body maintenance. The surgeons refused to see me unless I was willing to pay $4.99 to have the Kardashians bumped. When I came up a dollar short, I offered them the leftovers from a six-piece chicken nugget pack I’d had earlier that day. It didn’t work. They wished me luck and sent me on my way. Artificial tears welled up in my eyes as I exited the parking lot.

On my way home, I happened to see a glowing sign off in the distance that stopped me dead in my tracks. There it was. Calling out to me from a storefront in neon lights: Walmart’s House of Eyebrow Waxing and Pickles. Making things even better, this location took food stamps. My innards leapt with a joy that can only be described as being the equivalent of waking up to learn that Beyoncé released a secret album, movie, and line of classic automobiles in the middle of the night. I was overjoyed.

I swerved into the parking lot with a level of determination that I hadn’t experienced since that one time I opted to not super-size my milkshake. I mean, sometimes a large is more than enough. Why go bigger if you’re already having problems squeezing into your Spanx? Accordingly, I threw caution to the wind and attempted to hand my eyebrows over to the professionals. Before you even ask, clearly, they were professionals because they had a store. Since this was an emergency, I didn’t allow their one-star Yelp rating to sway me. Haters are going to hate.

I walked in with a sense of pride and determination that is rarely seen in me. Immediately, the hostess asked if she could help me. It was as if she couldn’t hear my eyebrows crying out to her for healing. She gasped as I brought my brows closer. She said a few words under her breath and looked at me with disgust. I understood the feeling. I was disgusted as well.

Her reluctance to take me on as a client reminded me of being in middle school when no one wanted me to have lunch at their table. It was there that I learned to eat standing up, a skill that would come in handy later in life during several of my stints in prison. And before you even ask, I did learn to sleep standing up in that middle school cafeteria as well. Unfortunately, not all the skills I learned back then were helpful in the big house. Some of the inmates simply could not appreciate my ability to knit pull-over sweaters out of two sheets of toilet paper.

My brows and I sized up the hostess and wondered what it would take for her to consider me worthy of assistance. Maybe she was hungry. Maybe she wanted a glass of wine. Maybe she needed me to beg. Perhaps that was the expectation. So, I got on my knees and lunged for her leg. That did it. She looked down on me and said, “Child, I will help you with the mess you have made.”

Hand in hand, the hostess led me to the area where my eyebrows would face the judge and the jury. It was clear that me and my brows were walking into a room that we would not all be walking out of intact. There would be pain. There would be yelling. There would be casualties. It was like an episode of Game of Thrones.

As I sat down in the chair, I explained what I wanted. I needed my eyebrows cleaned up a little. I didn’t want them arched. Even though it’s 2019, I didn’t want them to look super manicured. I just wanted them to be neat and masculine, so they could match those key moments when I add a little bass to my voice for authority at the grocery store. My eyebrows certainly won’t command the same level of respect if you can’t even see them when I frown about the cost of parsley. Regardless, my waxer had plans of her own.

Four hours later, after my brows had been tucked, plucked, and a few other things, I was handed a mirror so that I could assess the damage. Fortunately, due to that one acting class I had with Jack Nicholson back in the 70s, I was able to hide my initial shock and horror. I pretended to love my new eye curtains. However, as soon as the eyebrow thief turned her back, I fell to the floor and rolled around. I tried to scoop up the remains of my eyebrows. Unfortunately, nothing could be salvaged.

Snatched!!!!

As I continued to look into the mirror, my new eyebrows looked back at me. There wasn’t much left. Instead, there was nothing but skin where hair used to be. The cast of The Lion King had been evicted. No matter how hard I listened, I could no longer hear animals singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” or “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” It was absolutely heartbreaking.

Making matters a bit worse was the response from friends and family. Of course, my momma was judgemental. That was a given. However, several of my friends laughed at my perfectly arched eyebrows until they had to be taken to a local hospital by ambulance. Well, if I’m being honest, I consider these people to be former friends. Sure, they haven’t exactly died, but because my brows and I can’t bear to look at those people until my hairs have grown back, my remaining eyebrow pride simply can’t take another hit. I won’t allow it. And although you probably can’t tell by my hairless frown, I mean it!

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: http://www.humormike.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

Yes, I’ll Have My Beer With Ice!!!

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jun• 30•19

I’m a Steel Reserve kind of Guy!!!

So, I know that many of you consider me to be fairly knowledgeable in all things. Some of you have even called me a leader. Some people have claimed that they use my blog as their sole source for information. While I don’t consider myself the equivalent of CNN, I can say that I’m doing kind of, sort of, partially a little OK at this whole adulting thing. My mommy doesn’t exactly see it that way, but I believe she is secretly paid to disagree with me.

In order to maintain my status as an almost expert, I am required to try new things every now and then for research purposes. Some of this research has led me to some very awkward and unfortunate outcomes. Perhaps I could have avoided that whole pink mohawk phase last year. Maybe I should have talked myself out of wearing my underwear on the outside of my clothing that one week—especially while I was at work. My boss was not very happy. On the other hand, the janitor was ecstatic.

Because I have always believed in the healing powers of alcohol, I considered it my duty to delve into and investigate the wonderful world of beer. In all honesty, I have never liked the taste of beer. I can struggle through a Blue Moon or two. Angry Orchards don’t exactly make me hurl. And when I’m feeling really fancy, I’ll have a Corona because it’s legally required that you drink it with a lime. That’s right up my alley.

In any case, I decided to branch out and try some new beers to expand my pallet. I mean, who knows when you’re going to need other options? What if Oprah or Rihanna asks me out for drinks one day? I could never order a Corona in front of them. They probably don’t even know what a Blue Moon is. They have class.

For research purposes, I found myself wandering through the beer aisles of my local grocery store. Because it felt weird doing this at 7:32 in the morning, I kept explaining to other customers that I was a journalist and that they should mind their own business. People can be so judgmental when they think you’re going to have a drink before 8 AM. Or, as my mother would call it, “a nip.”

As I attempted to make life decisions about malt liquors, eventually my eyes landed on a can that stood out from the rest. It called out to me. Immediately, my innards lept with joy as I thought I’d found an option that would solve my issues with the yucky taste of beer but wouldn’t destroy my budget in the process. There it was, in all its radiant glory: Steel Reserve Spiked Watermelon. I hadn’t been that excited since they created Spanx for men.

Soon after, this beer became my drink of choice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It didn’t even taste like beer. Instead, it tasted more like adult Kool-Aid. Because it seemed more like juice, I had no problem downing a can or two in one sitting. Since I like my beer cold, I would have mine on the rocks. For the uninitiated, that means I poured it in a glass over ice. I know what you’re thinking. That Michael is one classy guy.

I’ll take my beer with ice, please!

After a few weeks of this adult Kool-Aid routine, I began to notice subtle changes in my body’s composition. My shirts began to feel tighter than usual. On several occasions, coworkers pointed at my protruding belly and asked how far along I was. I was offended. People shouldn’t assume that every man they see with a belly is pregnant. It’s just wrong. Sometimes we’ve just had a big lunch. Besides, you aren’t supposed to drink when you’re pregnant. What type of barbarian do these people think I am?

Eventually, I decided to get on the scale to assess the damage. When I saw that I’d gained 10 pounds in 3 days, I screamed for 20 minutes. It was then that I called the police and the FBI. I had to get to the bottom of things. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I did what I had to do.

When the authorities arrived, I quickly explained the situation. At first, they appeared annoyed, but they seemed to understand that I was a single male who needed to remain marketable until further notice. If something was causing me to gain weight, it needed to be abolished immediately. After an officer performed a sweep of my apartment, he reached into my trash can and held up a Steel Reserve can. “I think we’ve found the culprit,” he said. I gasped.

I then went through the five stages of grief. I refused to believe that my newly beloved beer would betray me in such a way. I mean, it’s spiked watermelon, which is kind of a fruit. Aren’t they supposed to be good for you? I assumed that each can was only about 200 calories. However, after doing some research, I learned that each 24-ounce can actually had 574 calories! Now, I’m no mathematician, but that’s like the equivalent of three Big Macs and a six-piece chicken nugget in one meal! Again, I screamed.

Although I had gained a double chin and three necks in a very short period of time, apparently the calorie content was the least of my worries. As I shared my Steel Reserve revelation with friends and colleagues, I had a sneaking suspicion that they weren’t laughing with me. Instead, they were laughing at me. Immediately, I ran to the bathroom, pulled out my phone, and asked Siri where I had gone astray. What I learned was earth-shattering. Hold on to your pearls.

Apparently, ladies and gentlemen, although I always drink beer while sticking out my pinky finger, I learned that my choice of beverage was considered “cheap.” Sure, on a good week I could buy Steel Reserve at four for a dollar, but I just thought it was a decent sale. However, now that I think about it, this revelation may have explained the judgmental looks I’d get from various cashiers when I bought them in bulk—especially if I also had a Four Loko or two in the cart as well.

After doing a bit more research, I found that some people describe the taste of Steel Reserve as being similar to gasoline. One person said they only drink it when they are broke and desperate, but it works well to take the paint off the walls in a pinch. At first, I was concerned about how the beer could be affecting my liver and my pancreas, but then I remembered that I could always just order a new ones off Amazon Prime.

Putting the last nail in the coffin, one colleague said I may as well drink Steel Reserve out of a brown paper bag in my closet. They then called me a low-class wino. That would have been offensive, but I was raised in Baltimore. My pre-school teacher was a wino. My librarian was a wino. My pediatrician was a wino. Essentially, winos are all I know and looked up to during my formative years. That noted, I’m having a Steel Reserve right now while adding the tag “proud wino” to my dating profile on Kind-of-Christian-Mingles.com. Don’t tell my mommy.

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: http://www.humormike.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

MBA Blues

Written By: Michael Rochelle - May• 19•19

I’m not recommending that you don’t get an MBA because it will be bad for you; I’m recommending that you don’t so I won’t have to compete with you. Self-preservation, baby!

As some of you may know, four score and fifty-three years ago, I decided to pursue a Master of Business Administration, also known as an MBA. The main reason I made this decision was because I wanted to add more capital letters to my name. My parents only gave me four, so I didn’t think I had enough. People have asked why I didn’t choose to pursue a Ph.D. instead. First of all, stop being so judgmental. Secondly, Ph.D. only has two capital letters whereas MBA has three. Clearly, an MBA is a better choice.

Although I only have 368 credits remaining toward my degree, I’m really starting to question my decision-making skills. I mean, I have a humor blog. Isn’t that good enough? Must we all aspire to greatness? Isn’t it OK to settle for being partially adequate? There are literally billions of people out there walking the earth that don’t have MBAs and they all seem to be doing OK. If you ask me, and I assume you did, personal growth is highly overrated.

Another reason I began the pursuit of an MBA back in 1872 was because I wanted to add some credibility to my existence. Imagine me walking into a Walmart and saying to the greeter “My name is Michael Rochelle, MBA.” That has so much more weight to it than some of the other labels I’ve been given. “I am Michael Rochelle, convict.” Or, “I am Michael Rochelle, poor.”

Without those three capital letters, part of me believes that there is a whole world of opportunities I may be missing out on. Maybe McDonald’s offers a discount on fries to MBAs. Maybe I’ll be let in through a secret back door at all the Janet Jackson and Beyoncé concerts if I simply wave my degree around. Or, even better, maybe my boss will stop calling my “peasant” every time I have a question. The possibilities seem limitless.

From my perspective, now that I’ve accumulated $1,356,892.53 in student loans, there have to be some hidden benefits to all of this. I mean, it is partially gratifying to see that whenever Good Morning America shows charts about U.S. student loan debt, they always have my name listed as a footnote since I make up most of the debt. See, I always knew I was destined to be famous one way or the other.

Rumor has it that the pursuit of an MBA degree can help to build a person’s skills and knowledge. I guess I can say this is true. Since I started the coursework, I haven’t been having as many issues counting the number of paper clips in my desk drawer as I used to. Of course, my counts are still off a bit, but at least I’m no longer off by hundreds like I used to be. See what happens when you only have an inner-city elementary school education, kids? I should have never dropped out of the fourth grade simply because they didn’t have the Fruit Roll-Ups color I wanted. I had a point to make. Grape Fruit Roll-Ups Matter!!!

If I’m completely honest, although my coursework makes me cry a lot and drink more than I used to, I have to give myself credit for making it this far. I remember going to Harvard to turn in my application. The admissions staff looked over my credentials and laughed for a good hour and a half. Making matters even worse, the admissions counselor walked my transcript around the campus to give faculty and students a chance to have a good cackle as well.

Fortunately, my mama was there to dry my tears and remind me that Harvard was just one possibility. It wasn’t their fault that they could only see my lack of potential. Picking up my pride off the sidewalk, I gave Harvard the finger and headed off to my next school of choice. Let me clarify. We didn’t exactly give them the finger you’re probably thinking of. My mom and I kind of stole a finger from one of the science labs to keep as a souvenir. Since Harvard wasn’t going to let me in, we decided to give it back. It seemed to be the Christian thing to do. And by Christian, we mean Christian Louboutin.

Next, we stopped at Johns Hopkins University where we were sure I would be welcomed with open arms. After all, they are based in Baltimore, which is where I’m from. My acceptance was pretty much guaranteed. However, we were wrong. As soon as we arrived, my mama and I were promptly escorted off the campus by security and a janitor. Apparently, my reputation as a former stripper had preceded me, so they wanted no parts of it.

As I was pulled by my left arm and my mama was yanked by her fake ponytail, I reminded the staff that my stripper days were long behind me. Nowadays, I only perform as Caramel Macchiato Thunder at sporadic graduations and company parties. I mean, the fact that I stripped at Apple’s holiday party and a pre-school graduation on the same day back in 2013 shouldn’t still be held against me. The video footage never even made it to YouTube.

Of course, all is not lost. I persevered. The 463rd school I applied to accepted me as long as I agreed to pay them an additional $10,000 per course and I promised to never—EVER—name the school in public. So, although I can’t share which school is allowing me to slowly crawl toward my MBA degree, as a small hint, I can say that my classes are held in the stockroom of an abandoned Family Dollar. If the room is in use because Alcoholics Anonymous also holds meetings there, we head over to the nearest 7-Eleven instead.

All of that noted, I sincerely apologize to my two readers for my delay in updating the blog. Although I thought I could breeze right through the coursework because my mama said I was kind of smart, it is taking me way longer to get the wrong answers on every test and homework assignment than I originally expected. Really, someone should have warned me about all the work you have to put in just to have three capital letters added behind your name. If I had known the pursuit of an MBA would be this intense, maybe I would have chosen a Ph.D. instead.

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: http://www.humormike.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

Carpets and Strippers and Grandmas, Oh My!

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Apr• 22•19

Look, Mama, I’m doing manual labor!

The other day I lost an argument to my carpet. You should have been there. It got pretty heated. At one point my sofa and my love seat had to hold me back. Well, if I’m completely honest, it wasn’t really an argument because it was very one-sided. I was actually being lectured. Apparently, my carpet has needs that I haven’t been meeting lately, so it decided to no longer just lie there and take it. It was very disturbing. I hadn’t been that distraught since that one time my first-grade teacher told me I had no skills or talents. It’s a cold world.

I learned about my carpet shortcoming because of another area of my life where I’d been falling short. Let’s just say I’d had one of those wild Friday nights where you have so much fun with yourself that you accidentally leave a raisin or two out on your counter and wake up to find your entire household under attack by an army of ants the next morning. It was my following the trail of ants across the counter, down the wall, and over to the front door that led me to the argument with my carpet.

Much like my life, from a distance, my carpet looked perfectly fine. However, up close, it was absolutely appalling. There was so much that I wish I could unsee. My carpet could have easily been mistaken for several crime scenes. At one point I even decided to call the police to allow them time to collect a few samples so I wouldn’t be brought up on evidence tampering charges—again. I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to go back to jail this year, even if orange is the new black.

As I looked at the carpet and the army of ants, I knew something had to change. I mean, who lives like that? Maybe my carpet had been the reason I’d been single for so long. All that time I’d thought it was my paltry looks and my less than desirable personality that kept people running for the hills, but maybe it was really my 50 shades of carpet stains that had been so problematic.

The experience was very eye-opening. Although I was happy to cancel the face and personality replacement surgeries I had scheduled with a doctor who offered his services on eBay, it was clear that I needed to get my entire life together and become a better person fast. The ants and the carpet agreed.

After I vanquished the ants Game of Thrones style, I got my mom, my team of shrinks, and somebody’s pastor on a conference call to seek their advice. After 3 hours of debating, it was clear that none of them knew what they were talking about or had any reasonable insight. In life, it’s your responsibility to know when people are being unhelpful and unrealistic, so I went to the next best sources for guidance: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

I’d barely begun my search when I stumbled across a nugget of wisdom from some lady who advised, “Eat bread and desserts and just get all fat and sassy.” Clearly, this lady was after my own heart. I identified with her immediately. Although I’m allegedly working on my beach body, I would love nothing more than to sit back, eat bread, and be sassy. However, I didn’t think either of those things would clean my carpet, so I kept searching.

The next source recommended that I wear comfortable underwear. This was very intriguing. I pondered the connection between wearing comfortable underwear and being a better person. After a while, it started to make sense. At least once a day, my manager, my mom, and the Walmart greeter each tell me to stop getting my panties in a bunch. They are so wise.

While we’re on the topic, if I’m allowed to be honest, on most days I’m not even wearing panties. I don’t really like the word. It’s not that I have anything against panties, to each his own, but I’m more of a boxer shorts kind of guy. However, back in my stripper days, I was forced to try out other styles of undies. I learned quickly that boxers aren’t a crowd favorite. All the grandmas in the audience gave me way fewer quarters when I wore boxers than when I got more creative with my unmentionables. Surprisingly, grandmas really like thongs.

Another source I found recommended that I compliment myself more to become a better person. At first, the concept seemed weird and uncomfortable. I mean, what would I compliment myself about? “Whew, Michael, you sure ate that hamburger well.” Or, “Oh, Michael, the way you pushed that button on the elevator today was absolutely superb.” I was also a bit concerned about getting a big head. I mean, in addition to my being extraordinarily handsome, intelligent and overall fantastic, I’m extremely humble.

Eventually, I started to make the compliments about me specifically. Each morning I stand there in the mirror and congratulate myself on whatever jumps out at me. Sometimes I give myself props on the way my grey hairs divert attention from my crow’s feet. Sometimes I give myself kudos on the way my belly looks like there could be abs somewhere in there. The whole compliment process has added an additional 30 minutes to my daily routine, but if it helps make me better, I guess it’ll all be worth it in the end.

After days and days of giving myself compliments, I realized that my carpet still wasn’t clean. No matter how much I wished the stains would go away on their own, they just wouldn’t. After consulting my team of shrinks, I did what any normal person would do. I threw on my best underwear, turned on some Beyoncé, and got all sassy while working my vacuum cleaner. I figured it was a step in the right direction. The remaining ants agreed.

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: http://www.humormike.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

Mama, I Must Confess

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Mar• 31•19

OMG, What Are Those?!?!

So, allegedly, honesty is the best policy. Actually, someone probably made that up just to make people feel bad about shopping on Amazon at 3 o’clock in the morning and then telling your significant other you have no idea why packages keep being delivered at your front door. For me, I always blame it on my fish. They’ve gotten very active online since I brought them iPads. One of my fish even has more Instagram followers than I do.

In any case, I have a slight confession. Yes, I was arrested back in 1932 in a very unfortunate mix-up over herbal shampoo. I mean, if the package says it’s organic, then that’s what the product should be. I was simply explaining my viewpoint to the manager when—never mind. It’s not important, and that’s not exactly the confession I need to make. At least not today.

Instead, my dear readers, I have to confess that after holding out for over two years, I may have accidentally purchased AirPods. Wait a minute. Before you judge, please hear me out. I know you’ve come to expect more from me. And you expect a certain level of transparency here. I get that. Perhaps you’ve never thought paparazzi would ever catch a photo of me with those things hanging out of my ears. Well, I apologize in advance for letting you down. You truly don’t deserve this.

However, since this thing has happened. I feel there is nothing that we can do except to face it head-on and move forward. The deed has been done. My fate is sealed. The AirPods are here, so we must address the shiny new white elephants in the room.

Because we are a mature crowd, I won’t trouble you by bringing up the variety of things I’ve heard people say that AirPods look like when they are dangling from a person’s ears. I won’t even mention it. It’s completely unnecessary. I won’t bring it up. We are above that. And I don’t think they look anything like tampons anyway, so there is no point in even addressing it. Nope. I refuse. We’re better than that. Kind of.

Fortunately, I waited so long to buy them that there are numerous articles and guides on how to wear them without looking silly. According to my grandma, none of those techniques work for me. Whenever I wear them around her, she just laughs. One time she cackled for a full 45 minutes before I finally decided to take them off and hide them under the bed out of respect. It was the least I could do for the person who had introduced me to my first cup of coffee when I was five.

That aside, some of the concerns about AirPods are well-founded. For some, just randomly talking to Siri in public is a problem. For me, it added a bit of validity to the fact that I already talk to myself anyway. I mean, sometimes you’re standing in the middle of the grocery store and you find that to be the perfect time to argue with yourself about important things like the meaning of life or whether Charmin is better than the competitors.

I find that having the AirPods serves as a great alibi. Whenever someone starts to look at me like I’m crazy because they overhear me arguing with myself over which Beyoncé album is best, I normally just clutch my ear and say, “Oh, don’t mind me. I’m talking to Siri. Siri just said she liked Beyoncé better when she was with Destiny’s Child. I don’t agree.”

There are times when Siri truly does come in handy. I’ve started asking her to change songs and adjust the volume for me. However, I had to learn the hard way that if you don’t have phone service, Siri is absolutely no help. On several occasions I’ve found myself in an uncomfortable circumstance in the restroom and asked Siri to bring me some toilet paper. In those instances, she has always let me down. She says “searching,” but she never actually shows up with anything. I’ve sat there waiting for hours. It’s truly disappointing.

A surprising bonus that seems to have come from having these things dangling from my ears is that it appears I now look less threatening when I roam the streets than before. Instead of ladies seeing me and clutching their purses tightly, they tense up and then relax a bit once they see the AirPods. They immediately understand that if I can afford AirPods, I don’t need the $5 and dusty mints they have in their purse.

These things make me look so trustworthy that one lady saw them and handed me her newborn while she reached for some oatmeal on a top shelf at the grocery store. I told her it would probably be easier for her to hold the baby while I got the item from the shelf, but she insisted. Three minutes later, after she’d run off to get a manager to help, she finally got the oatmeal down and I handed her baby back to her. It wasn’t a moment too soon either. That baby definitely needed Siri to find some toilet paper quick.

Because I no longer have wires hanging down my shirt, it makes it a bit harder to pretend I don’t notice people trying to talk to me or get my attention. When I’m on the street, I usually shrug and walk away quickly while pointing to my AirPods. However, this is not as effective when I’m at work. Whenever my director calls on me during a meeting, I have to point to my ears and say I didn’t hear the question because I was listening to Hannah Montana. She’s never exactly happy with my response. It’s probably my choice of music that upsets her. If I had said I was listening to Cardi B, she would probably understand.

Lastly, I think it’s important to dispel the myth stating that people who don’t have AirPods are broke. In my case, it’s the exact opposite. I’m now broke because I have AirPods. At an interest rate of 1,492%, Visa says I’ll be paying for these things through at least 2099. I just hope they’ll last long enough so I’ll be able to leave them and the remaining credit card balance to my children’s children. I’ll let them figure it out. I won’t be here, so it won’t be my problem.

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: http://www.humormike.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

The SlimFast Chronicles

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Mar• 17•19

Anybody want a mixed drink?

The other week, I was challenged by my manager to join her in doing the SlimFast diet. Now, any reasonable person probably would have revolted for several reasons. However, because I am neither reasonable, nor am I a person, I agreed to join her on the weight loss journey. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering why I didn’t stomp my feet, toss my laptop out the window, and storm off when she asked for my participation. Well, for one, I’d already done that several times that week, and you really shouldn’t overdo it. If you do that more than five times, you end up in fired city. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do.

Perhaps I was a tad bit agreeable to my manager’s request because she handles my performance evaluations each year. I remember her disappointment that one year she thought my use of paper clips was excessive and caused a deficit in the company’s office supply budget. That was a very tough time for me. This year I’d like to be rated more than a “needs drastic improvement.” For me, it would be a first.

As you all know, for the last few years, I’ve been preparing my body for Summer 2025. If things don’t work out as planned, I’ll shoot for Summer 2030 instead. I know what you’re thinking. 2025 is at least eighteen years away. Well, my shrink says I need to be realistic when setting goals, so I’m governing myself accordingly. If McDonald’s fries ever go on sale, I can pretty much cancel any alleged dieting plans.

Although I agreed to do the diet thing, there are a few problems with me beginning to embark on this journey. First, if anyone should know how terrible I am at pursuing a goal, you would think it would be my manager. She should have known better than to consider me reliable. I mean, after she documented all of that disappointment in my work effort last year, you would think she would have learned not to challenge me with anything besides maybe showing up partially on time on the days I make it to work. But, nope, not her.

The second problem is that SlimFast has several flavors, but none of them are steak, Big Mac, or vodka martini. If I’m being honest, this is a real oversight on management’s part. Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry are fine and all, but I wouldn’t exactly call them original or groundbreaking. However, the person who comes up with a pizza flavor, or maybe even a creamy iPhone glaze, that person should be voted Miss America or elected to Congress immediately for their contributions.

Because I’m an overachiever, I opted for the two-meal replacement plan. Under this legal arrangement, I would have a shake for breakfast, a shake for dinner, and a sensible meal for lunch. Where I went wrong was with my definition of “sensible.” You see, I considered a cheesesteak, fries, and a large Coke to be “sensible.” I also thought fried pork chops, mashed potatoes and a Long Island Iced Tea were “sensible.” However, SlimFast and my team of shrinks did not agree. We didn’t agree to disagree either.

Fortunately, a coworker was nice enough to pull me to the side to address the error of my ways, which I’ve found to be a recurring theme in my life. First, she sat me down and handed me a dictionary. All I remember is that the word sensible means something, something, yadda yadda yadda, good sense and sound judgment. This is probably where I went wrong. Anyone who knows me knows that good sense and I do not go together. Clearly, one of these things just doesn’t belong.

Secondly, my coworker pointed out that I was supposed to be restricting the one meal I was allowed to eat down to only 500 calories. 500 calories!!!! I immediately had several problems with this revelation. I mean, I searched the world over and didn’t find any quarter pounder and large fry combos that were less than 500 calories. Adding insult to injury, no matter how I played with the numbers, I couldn’t find a way to squeeze in a bottle of wine and a Mai Tai without exceeding the daily calorie limit. Absolutely unacceptable on multiple accounts!

After the lecture, I decided to dig my heels in and commit to the diet. It was the least I could do. I mean, by this point I had already purchased several boxes of the shakes, so I was going to drink them one way or the other. When you think about it, I believe people have done way harder things than doing the SlimFast diet. I mean, the other day I saw someone running down the block after a dollar bill. In comparison, that’s arguably a lot harder.

Although there aren’t as many flavors of SlimFast as I would like, in case you want to jazz things up a bit, I can say that some of the flavors go really well with Kahlua or Baileys. Oh, and before I forget, if you want to give the shake an extra boost, adding two or eight scoops of chocolate ice cream always helps. Once I made those minor adjustments, I was good to go.

If you’re wondering if I felt deprived while being on the diet, the answer is yes. I absolutely did feel deprived. On most days I found myself staring off into space daydreaming about steak and potatoes. I don’t know how vivid your daydreams are, but in mine, the steak and potatoes broke out into song and did various dances to get my attention. If you’ve never seen lasagna twerk, you’re really missing out.

That noted, after several weeks on the diet, I am sad to announce that, instead of losing weight, I have somehow gained ten pounds. I’m not exactly sure how this happened. When making my Kahlua milkshakes, I know I measured the ice cream and SlimFast proportions accurately. Even when I ate a whole pizza for dinner, I washed it down with a SlimFast, so that should have offset at least some of the calories of the pizza. However, it doesn’t appear that things worked out that way. In any case, all hope is not lost. Maybe next week I’ll make my SlimFast milkshakes with only seven scoops of ice cream instead of eight. I hope that will help.

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: http://www.humormike.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

Pickles and Pregnancies

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Feb• 17•19

The other day, I was minding my own business in the middle of Target. As usual, I was only there to pick up one or two items, but I ended up with a cart full of stuff. It’s really not my fault though. Once you find out that BiC has a line of gel pens in assorted colors, you do what you have to do. At that point, they’re a necessity. Once you know better, you do better.

For those of you wondering, yes, I did have a shopping list. The problem is, I usually take a pen with me so that I can add things to the list as I go along. My shrink says I need to be more accountable, so at least I can be honest when I tell her that I only got the things that were on my list. There is no need to overshare and tell her exactly when I added the items to the list. I mean, it’s really none of her business.

After making major life decisions about colored markers, I made my way over to the food section. Before I go any further, I must address some disturbing news I heard on The Joe Budden Podcast. Apparently, the world is split into two types of people: those who feel it’s ok to buy food from Target, and those who don’t. This was news to me.

You should have heard the disgust in the hosts’ voices as they talked about people buying tomatoes off aisle six. They mentioned something about Target having a smell and there being something wrong with purchasing your underwear and your spaghetti from the same place. From their perspective, you might as well have gone dumpster diving at a landfill for leftover lobster and potato chips.

I, myself, have never thought about it that way, but I did start wondering if I had been one of the people they observed getting excited and doing a jig after finding bananas and Ziploc bags on sale. For me, it really is about the little things. You should see what I do whenever they take a nickel off the price of Pop-Tarts. Let’s just say you may have to cover your toddler’s eyes.

As I was strolling down the condiment aisle, trying to decide which mustard would make my mama proud, my eyes landed on a jar of pickles. Suddenly, everything seemed right with the world. Before I realized what was happening, I had moonwalked right on over to the Vlasics as if they were a new invention. I never knew that choosing dill spears could be so thrilling. If I wasn’t middle-aged, I would have done a back flip right there in front of the bottles of hot sauce and relish.

Twenty minutes later, as I was still deciding which pickle jar would be coming home with me, I hit a wall of panic and dread. Why was I craving pickles all of a sudden? I probably hadn’t eaten a pickle since at least 1984, but at that moment, I would have chosen pickles as my last meal if I were given the opportunity. Something was clearly wrong.

I ran over the various possibilities in my head. But, because I never trust my own information, I tapped the lady next to me on her shoulder and asked for feedback. She had on jeans and UGG boots, so I knew she was smart. She looked me over and said that I was probably ovulating or about to get my period. When I informed her that I was a guy, (it’s 2019, so I understand why she didn’t want to make any assumptions), she told me it didn’t matter. Hmm. Maybe she was onto something.

Immediately, I grabbed my phone to ask Siri if I was ovulating. If anyone should know my cycle, it would be her. When she responded, “I’m on my break,” I decided to take matters into my own hands and quickly headed over to the feminine hygiene section. One way or the other, I was going to get to the bottom of this.

As I passed a variety of feminine products that I would never quite understand, some with wings and some without, I did my Googles to narrow down my search. It was then that I was assaulted by an idea I hadn’t considered yet. Maybe I wasn’t ovulating or getting my period at all. Maybe I was pregnant. How would I explain this to my mom? Who was the father? Was I the father? I fainted. Fortunately, I landed on a shelf of maxi pads, which broke my fall. For the record, they really are absorbent! I didn’t feel a thing.

Frightened by the idea that I could be with child, I considered the options. What type of mother would I be? What if I was having triplets? More importantly, do they even sell fashionable maternity clothing for men? It was at this point that I realized I was getting way ahead of myself. Before jumping to any conclusions, I would have to do what any normal guy in my situation would do: I would have to take a pregnancy test.

As I looked at the test options, I realized how unprepared I was for this venture. Some were digital, and some weren’t. Some could provide my results within a minute, while others would take a little longer. Some showed the results as a plus or minus, and others displayed your fate with either one line or two. It was as if you needed a college degree just to understand the options. If I chose correctly, I could take the test right there on aisle ten and learn whether I’d be a mother before I made it to the checkout line. I wasn’t excited.

Well, my dear readers, I am happy to share with you that I am not pregnant. Just to be sure, I took 8 tests back to back. I even had several other Target customers and a manager look at the tests behind me to confirm. I am not sure why I got so many strange looks as I thrust the used test sticks toward them. I just wanted them to give a second opinion. After all, my life was depending on this.

As it turns out, I wasn’t ovulating or on my period either. Now, I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable by oversharing, but I can say that I took a test to prove I wasn’t ovulating, and I chose one of the options with wings to find out whether I was on my period or not. After walking around uncomfortably for a whole week, I can say that Aunt Flo and the Redcoats never showed. It was a joyous occasion.

Now that I think about it, maybe it was a bit unrealistic for me to have even thought that I was pregnant. I mean, I’d opted to be spayed and neutered years ago to avoid these types of scares, so I really should have known that there was no need to be picking out car seats and bassinets so quickly. Apparently, you can want a pickle just because you want a pickle, and it doesn’t automatically mean you’re having quadruplets. Very good to know.

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: http://www.humormike.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

90 Day Fiancé

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jan• 21•19

I’ve got love on the brain…or on the finger.

So, I was minding my own business at a comedy club the other day. No, I was not performing. Although I appreciate your faith in me, I’m just not at that level yet. Give me about 10 more years of performing for my fish in the comfort of my own dining room and then maybe I’ll be ready. I need more time to perfect my act. As a matter of fact, I’ve been working on this totally new joke concept. No one’s ever heard of it yet. Ok, three men and a baby walk into a bar—umm, never mind. Let me copyright that first.

Instead of me performing, I was there to see Heather McDonald. Because I appeared to be the only person there by myself, other attendees decided they needed to investigate. Who was this weird creature that dared go out and about all by his lonesome? Well, once my background check turned out ok, they labeled me “a single” and allowed me to stay for the show. And, because I know what you’re wondering, yes, I did pee in a cup. I’m just happy they got my results so quickly.

Anyway, once they accepted me as a person, although they still gave me the side eye every once in a while, my new friends started telling me about a TV show called 90 Day Fiancé. For those that haven’t paid their cable bill in a few years, (I have a GoFundMe to help pay mine), the show is about foreigners who use 90-day engagement visas to get into the US. Once they arrive, they have to marry within 90 days. Immediately, I had questions.

At first, I couldn’t tell whether I was being told about the show because they wanted me to watch it, or because they wanted me to be on the show. Now, I know I’m considered “a single,” but I don’t think my situation is that drastic just yet. I mean, I have at least two more weeks before I should start considering taking out a global personal ad. I’m not even sure, how much that sort of thing would cost. Perhaps I should just take out a few billboards on the side of the highway instead. Just imagine a huge advertisement with my picture on it popping up every three miles on your local interstate.

Although I’ve always wanted to be on a TV show, I had a few things to consider. I mean, what if someone who didn’t speak English found me absolutely adorable and responded to my ad? How would they read my blog? Clearly, the number one thing I look for in a mate is their ability to pat me on the head and tell me what a good job I did on my latest post. It could take years for them to learn to say, “Michael, you’re awesome.” Who has time for that? If your spouse can’t support and promote your blog, then what’s the point of marriage anyway?

If I am completely honest, I may have fantasized just a tad about my foreign soulmate and our wedding day. I wondered if I would wear white. I wondered if Beyoncé would be available to sing while my mother walked me down the aisle. I also wondered if The Electric Slide is listed as a required dance in the marriage handbook. Before now, I had no reason to be concerned about these sorts of things. Somehow, the idea of starring on 90 Dance Fiancé gave my life a new sense of purpose and endless possibilities.

I was just about to start putting out calls to wedding caterers when my new friends informed me they only wanted to know if I watched the show. Just like that, my dreams were shattered. Apparently, I wouldn’t be needing Beyoncé after all. I was just glad I was able to cancel the 50 red doves I’d ordered off Amazon Prime.

Once things were cleared up, I was told to watch the show because it makes you feel better about your own life. Something about that concept seemed wrong, but also seemed very intriguing at the same time. I mean, the whole reason I see my team of shrinks is so that I can feel better about my life, right? Could I avoid paying that weekly copay simply by watching a TV show?

I started watching as soon as I got home as if it were a homework assignment. I was hooked almost immediately for all the wrong reasons. Watching these “couples” interact was as fascinating and suspenseful as me wondering whether I’d pass a credit check. For the record, I never exactly “pass” a credit check, but it never hurts to try. I simply tell them to run the numbers again until the results are better.

If I am completely honest, watching these alleged relationships was very eye-opening. It was like having a lesson in all the things not to do to be a successful couple. I took notes. One day when I order my spouse off eBay, these notes may come in handy. A key observation I made is that I’ve had more meaningful connections with my gynecologist than some of these “couples” have with each other. And, because I’m a guy, that’s pretty hard to do. All of my gynecologist visits start with the doctor asking me why I’m there. We work through it though. It’s fine.

A key theme of the show is the disappointment that the foreigner feels when they come to the US. Their hopes and dreams are shattered almost as soon as they step off the plane and some even call it a nightmare. Though a tad bit dramatic, it reminds me of some of my most recent blind dates. As soon as I walk in and the person realizes I’m the one they’re meeting, the light kind of disappears from their eyes. Maybe it’s my fault. Perhaps I should stop using Brad Pitt’s photo as my dating profile picture. However, it can be argued that Brad Pitt and I do kind of look alike—especially when you squint and view us both in dark lighting after you’ve had four or five shots of vodka.

While watching, I remembered that I originally thought I was supposed to star on the show. I may have even accidentally gone to the TLC website to fill out an application and to send in a recent headshot. Unfortunately, I didn’t get too far into the process before I realized I wasn’t their ideal candidate. They need their cast members to be flawed, so, clearly, I am out of the running. My team of shrinks agree.

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: http://www.humormike.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

Piano for Dummies…or for Michaels

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jan• 06•19

This time next year, I will know how to play “Ode to Joy.”

When I was just a little boy, you know, back in 1858, I had big dreams of what I would become when I grew up. I don’t remember ever wanting to be a teacher, or a doctor, or a bus driver. Instead, I wanted to be famous. I didn’t know how I would become famous, exactly, but I knew it would involve me being either a rapper, an actor, a singer, a dancer or a stripper. Perhaps I’d be a dancer who stripped, or a stripper who danced. Either way would work as long as my name was in lights.

At some point, my mother thought tap dance lessons would be a good idea. Apparently, she forgot to factor in that we were from the hood. As if I didn’t have enough things working against me, if I had ever walked out that front door wearing tap shoes, I wouldn’t have made it down the block. The only safe place for me to tap dance in Baltimore was in the closet, and there just wasn’t enough space for that. The closet was also my bedroom and recreation area.

Furthermore, coordination has never really been my strongest suit. Whereas some people seem to dance with ease, it has always taken a lot of focus and brain power for me to get these legs and hands to do exactly what I want them to, when I want them to. It appears that my arms hear jazz while my hands hear country and my legs hear hip hop. It also doesn’t help that I thought I had arthritis at the age of five because my grandma kept saying she had it and I wanted to fit in.

After trying out for the dance team at school and being shown the door, I tried my hand at singing. For some reason, I thought that my singing in soft, low tones was beautiful. I called myself mastering a Mariah Carey song before trying out for the choir. I was halfway through the first verse when the teacher escorted me out of the room and told me not to come back until I had a better voice, which is pretty harsh when you’re 7.

Even as a child, some would say that I had a flair for the dramatic, so, naturally, I enrolled in drama class. At that point, I was getting smart. I knew better than to try out for optional, after-school activities. Instead, because it was an actual class, I figured the teacher would be stuck with me. That’s right, I had the drama teacher by the gills. No matter what I brought to the table, he would have to invest time in me and make me an Oscar-winning actor.

Or so I thought.

My drama teacher absolutely hated me. And not just some typical teacher-student general hate. Oh no. My teacher’s hate for me was on that same level of hate that you get for simply writing “good morning” on Twitter. As I’ve learned the hard way, nobody wants or has time for your funky little positivity on there. As a matter of fact, maybe my drama teacher started Twitter. Hmmm. I’ll look into it.

Although my teacher couldn’t exactly fire me as a student, he did have incredible power. Instead of me ever having anything close to a leading role, I was always cast in single-word, offstage parts. My teacher pulled me to the side and explained, “Michael, there are no small parts, only small actors. And you, Michael, are very small.” He then went on to tell me that I was not going to ruin whatever Shakespeare play we were working on under any circumstances. Not on his watch!

Of course, my next stop on the road to fame was to take up piano. When I think about it, I was truly an innovator with my thought process because I chose piano before people like John Legend, Lady Gaga, and Alicia Keys made it cool. Ok, so maybe I didn’t decide this before Elton John was a thing, but he’s at least 362, so not many people can say that they did anything before he did. After all, he invented the piano.

I have mastered this one note!

As it turns out, the piano wasn’t exactly my groove. I thought you could sit there and go from playing “Mary Had A Little Lamb” to playing Beethoven or Mozart in one or two sessions. Unfortunately, I was wrong. On day one my instructor started talking about reading music and knowing octaves, so my brain shut off. Because I almost died of boredom during that session, I voted piano lessons off the island at the next tribal council. My mom was actually happy about this because it allowed her to save $3 a week, which was equivalent to one month’s rent.

Now that I’m an adult and somewhat more mature, my desire to learn to sing and play piano has returned. Well, if I’m being honest, I’m trying to find relaxing activities to get into to offset the stress of Big Macs being 2 for $5 when I specifically asked McDonald’s to reduce them down to $1 a piece at most. See, that’s the problem with the world today. Nobody listens.

Surprisingly, even though it’s 2019, if you want to learn piano, there still hasn’t been any major advancements in that area. There isn’t a pill or a quick course you can take that will have you playing like a professional within a few minutes. I just wish I had known that before I put the ad out on Craigslist to be the musical guest at several weddings. And maybe I shouldn’t have tried to join the orchestra until I knew how to do more than find middle C, which is still the only note I know.

Fortunately, this time around, I didn’t have to sign up for classes, which I think would have killed me. As a matter of fact, while we’re on the subject, perhaps forced piano lessons should be used as capital punishment for citizens who choose to break the law by going 36 in a 35 mile-per-hour zone. Clearly, I’m no criminal justice major, so perhaps forced piano lessons may be a bit excessive as a punishment, but it should at least be considered.

This time around, because I know that in-person lessons or working my way through a piano book on my own would make me feel like I was on death row, I have become like a toddler who purchases millions of apps on his mom’s iPad to keep me entertained. So far, I think it’s working. After several weeks of practice, I can find middle C a lot quicker. Although I can’t do it when I’m blindfolded and acting out scenes from Bird Box, I have high hopes that I will master that at any moment now.

On the flip side, although I embarked on this piano journey to help relieve stress, I have to say that the stress seems to return every month when I see the cost of the app subscriptions. As Homer Simpson would say, my bank statement gives me many reasons to slap my hand against my head and go, “D’oh!” Apparently, learning a new instrument isn’t cheap even if you have a Groupon. Maybe I’ll have to go back to stripping.

If you want me to play “We Are The Champions” at your wedding, I may be able to do that!

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: http://www.humormike.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo