Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

Pop-Tarts, And That’s My Final Answer

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Sep• 23•10

Have you ever been right smack in the middle of a tough situation and realized that it could have totally been avoided had you just taken a few moments to think things through before diving head first into it? Well, this was the case the other day when I found myself wearing a Baltimore Raven’s t-shirt in DC—Redskin territory—for wear-your-favorite-sports-team’s-jersey-to-work day. First, let me be honest with you. In no way, shape, or form am I an authority on sports. Make no mistake about it. If you’re ever on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and the question is sports related, if you decide to phone a friend, you may not want to call me. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who knows less about sports than I do. Except toddlers, maybe. But trust me, I will not be offended by your calling my mother or one of my sisters instead. I guess all those years of my grandmother tackling me in the middle of the yard and dunking on me in high heels and her Sunday best didn’t pay off.

Actually, it’s really not my fault that I know so little about sports. First, it’s a huge myth that all men like sports. Some of them like Pop-Tarts instead. Second, my mother raised me in a very religious household. If it didn’t involve a bible, I probably didn’t participate. Matter of fact, I could have told my mother that I was going down to check the mailbox and she’d tell me to make sure I took my bible with me. I once told her I’d failed a math test and she said, “That wouldn’t have happened if you’d had your bible.” Then she’d send me upstairs to read the “Book of Genesis” again and do an essay to summarize what I’d learned. Because of this, I may not be able to rattle off the difference between a free throw and a field goal when questioned, but thanks to Google, I’m never more than just a few clicks away from figuring it out.

That noted, common sense should have probably told me that, given my limited level of sports knowledge, it wasn’t smart to be strolling through one major city while wearing the sports team of another city. But you know what they say, common sense ain’t so common. Thus, as I walked the few blocks to work, I began to panic. It was as if the Ravens’ logo on my t-shirt had become a scarlet letter once I’d crossed the DC city line. I was so ashamed. At any moment, I expected torch-wielding villagers to start darting out of alleys and begin chasing me down the street until they cornered me at a dead end. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe that scenario wouldn’t have been so bad. What if, just as the villagers were about to get me, someone threw me a red jacket and a silver glove, and we all broke out into Michael Jackson’s “Thriller?” If you ask me, that would have been kind of cool. Especially since I practically minored in Michael Jackson in college. Hee-Hee. Crotch grab.

I wondered what I would say if someone asked me why I like the Ravens. What if someone wanted to know specifics about a certain game or the team roster? Better yet, what sport did the Ravens play? Golf? Then it hit me. I could probably make it through any line of questioning if I just randomly threw out words like “offense” and “defense” every chance I could. I think I’d heard those terms used when I accidentally sat on the remote one time and the channel changed to ESPN for a few seconds. Anyway, when I made it to campus, I noticed one of the armed guards eyeing my shirt. I knew what was coming. So, when he asked me how I thought the Ravens would do against the Bengals at the next game, I smiled and proudly said, “With Kobe Bryant as quarterback, our defensive line is looking awesome. We got this game in the bag. No sweat.” The guard gave me a blank stare. Maybe I had gone a tad bit overboard by mentioning Kobe by name. Other than that, I think I handled it pretty well. Later that day, I even went on to explain to someone why Kobe and Derek Jeter were the best things that had happened for the Ravens in a long time. People were stunned at my level of knowledge. I considered it a job well done. But between you and me, I’m just hoping the Ravens don’t trade Serena Williams anytime soon because I plan to mention his name the next time someone questions me about baseball.

Moving right along, have you ever had something so strange happen to you that you wished you could freeze time to ponder the situation further or call a reverend for a second opinion before responding? Well, the other day, I had yet another Comcast technician out to try to resolve some issues I was having with my home phone and internet service. Being that he was the third cable guy I’d had out in less than two months, I was a tad bit annoyed when he arrived. Anyway, after about a half hour of his working downstairs in my living room, he then went upstairs to start testing things out in the loft area. Once he began fiddling with the connections, he turned to me and asked, “Could you go downstairs and get my cable bag?” Hmmm. In the past, I’ve had cable guys ask me to help them move a TV, but I’d never been sent to fetch something as if my name were Fido or Muffin-top. In this case, I decided to take one for the team and headed downstairs. I mean, he was a little older than I was, and maybe his arthritis was acting up. However, when he asked me to also bring him up a beer, that was taking things just a little too far. Who did he think he was? The Rock? Fortunately, he finished up soon after and he left before I had to make him dinner or run him a bath or something.

As some of you may know, in two weeks I’ll begin embarking on the next stage of my quest for higher learning. As if all the essays, mid-terms and finals during my undergraduate years weren’t enough, I’ve now decided that my life won’t be complete until I get a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Why? First of all, my living room wall will look more balanced with two degrees hanging there instead of just one. But before you start thinking that’s a silly reason to get and MBA, I did take the more rational route of searching for a painting that I could hang there instead. However, after coming up empty handed at Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Target, I decided to just settle for another degree. Indeed, the benefits of an MBA don’t simply end there. Just imagine the speedy service I’ll receive at McDonald’s when I don’t just request a Big Mac, but instead say, “I’d like to have the MBA Big Mac value meal, please.” And do you think the cable guy would have sent me downstairs to get his bag if he’d seen an MBA degree on my wall. I think not. Thus, I know I’m making the right decision—at least until I find a picture that will match my drapes. If I do, I’ll be promptly ending my grad-school venture.

On a final note, as you may know from previous posts, I drink coffee. So, the other day, I was on my second or twelfth cup when someone casually mentioned that coffee is bad for my blood pressure. Actually, that was a nice way of addressing it. In the past, various terms like “addict” and “should be a criminal offense” were thrown around. Immediately, I began to wonder whether people would give me such grief if I had an MBA—another excellent reason to get one. Also, there are so many other things that I could be doing that are far worse than drinking a gallon of coffee every morning. I mean, it’s not like I keep a flask of vodka at my desk or take hits off it during board meetings. Technically, I guess I’d have to be promoted to head janitor before I’d even be invited to attend board meetings, but that’s beside the point. I don’t smoke. I’m not mean to puppies. And I only curse when heavily provoked—or when the coffeepot is empty. In all, I’d say I’m a pretty decent person. Because of this, I’m starting a new campaign called, “It’s Not Crack, It’s Just Coffee.” Feel free to support this worthy endeavor by donating Starbucks gift cards to my attention. Seriously, if Lady Gaga can wear a rack of lamb on her head at the MTV Video Music Awards, certainly I can enjoy a cup of coffee every now and then.

Michael Rochelle

Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
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