Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

Damn, Damn, Damn Near 40

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Oct• 22•11

Tomorrow I’ll officially be 32, which one of my aunts so lovingly describes as “being damn near 40.” Well, yes, I may have graduated from high school the same year that Betty White did, but I bet nobody would look her in the eye and tell her that she’s damn near 40. I don’t know what it is about getting older that allows people to make such a giant age association. I mean, I won’t be 40 for 8 more years. That’s two whole presidential terms. I could plant and grow a school-aged child between now and then. In my opinion, I’m still closer to 30, but in everyone else’s opinion I’m almost 60. Apparently, those age leaps only work once you’ve reach a certain age because I never remember anyone telling me that I was “damn near 20” when I was just 12. Now that I think about it, it would have been awesome to have been able to say, “Mom, you can’t send a 12 year old to his room. I’m damn near 20. Now get me a beer.”

I haven’t really thought much about the big day. Honestly, it was just a few days ago that I realized my birthday was at the end of the week instead of two weeks away like I’d been telling people. I hope that won’t throw everyone off in terms of getting my gifts on time and ordering a big cake that Beyoncé will jump out of while singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.” The funny thing is, when I mention my age—the official one that the government won’t allow me to change despite many attempts—people typically look me over as if I’m some form of alien or something before saying things like, “You look good to be 32. What’s your secret?” Well, first, I’m not yet 32. I assume my appropriately aged face will be delivered by FedEx on October 23rd. Second, I guess my secret to looking young is a healthy avoidance of water, exercise, and vegetables. It’s either that or my face is simply confused as to whether it should age based on the passing of time or my stagnant maturity level. I’ll say it loud, I’m 12 and I’m proud—which is really damn near 20.

For the past few weeks, people have been asking me what I’d like to do to celebrate the aging process. Actually, since my birthday is on a Sunday, I will probably spend the entire day sitting on my couch doing homework because that’s what a responsible adult would do—allegedly. I mean, I could reach out to my professors and ask if they would give me some form of special birthday homework pardon, but if they weren’t willing to offer me a Columbus or Labor Day pardon when I asked, I doubt they’ll be open to giving me a free pass this time around either. But like they say, nothing beats a failure but a half-hearted try. That noted, I’ll reach out to them and see what they have to say. At the least, maybe my mentioning the big day will convince them to get me a nice gift from Kohl’s. Hey, I’m not picky as long as people get me exactly what I want. I probably should have established a birthday registry. Hmmm. I wonder if it’s too late.

The good thing about getting older is that you can blame everything on old age and entitlement. If I fall asleep at my desk, it’s because of old age. If I happen to put a ton of items in my shopping cart and accidentally leave without paying, I can blame that on old age. If your name is Sharon and I walk around calling you names like Rehoboth or Missouri and then swear that those were the names you gave me when we met and then refer you to your own birth certificate for verification, chalk that up to old age as well. Although I know that I’m nowhere near the age where I can just say whatever I want and get away it, I’ve certainly been getting in some good practice over the past few years. So far, I’ve only gotten two black eyes, a busted lip, and a three-week suspension from work. Hey, you live and you learn. But when I’m 65, a lot of people are going to get a real piece of my mind! Who knows? Maybe I’ll be the next Andy Rooney.

Speaking of birthdays, I recently took my annual trip to Gatlinburg, TN to help one of my buddies celebrate his big day, which is also in October. Each year he rents a log cabin in the mountains and invites a handful of friends out to drink, play cards, drink, sightsee, drink, have intelligent conversation, drink, watch movies, and occasionally have a drink to break up all the monotonous drinking. As usual, I had a great time and the scenery is absolutely beautiful this time of year because the leaves are changing colors, and there is nothing but trees as far as the eye can see, which means none of the basic necessities for human survival are nearby like Starbucks, Macy’s or J.C. Penny. Yes, I had withdrawals, and I know that if I had stayed just one more day, I probably wouldn’t have lived to write this story—I mean blog.

Unfortunately, during the trip I was viciously attacked by a huge insect that was impersonating a twig. I mean, this creature looked as if it could have been a fill-in for one of the dinosaurs on Jurassic Park. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little bit, but I’m pretty sure the thing would have launched an attack on me if one of my buddies hadn’t risked his life to save mine. Actually, the incident is kind of foggy now because after I spotted the insect, I did a very manly scream, and then promptly passed out. When I recovered, I was lying face down on the wooden floor and my buddy—also known as my hero—was escorting the bug out the door with a pool stick. I’d never been more grateful in my entire life—except for maybe that one time when Britney Spears hired me to be a backup dancer to her backup backup dancers. All I need is like 30 of them to get sick or injured at the same time and I’ll finally get my big break!!!

Each year the group goes into town and takes old-timey photos where we’re dressed up as gangster mob bosses. For some, it’s their favorite part of the trip. For me, it’s the most dreaded. First, because we’re acting as if we’re mobsters, the photographers always tell us not to smile. Apparently, people with names like Bugsy, Hachette, or Bullet Tooth aren’t supposed to show any signs of happiness. Unfortunately, I fail at this every year. Even when I believe I’ve positioned my face in a manner to look the most ferocious and hardcore I’ve ever been in my entire life, I always end up appearing as though I’m smiling for a Colgate commercial. Second, because I’m one of the shortest people in the group, I’m always put in the front, which emphasizes the fact that I’m the only grinning gangster and that I don’t know how to hold a tommy gun properly. I’m typically the only one who needs a tutorial. For everyone else, it comes naturally. When the pictures are finally printed, the fellas just shake their heads. All I can do is shrug my shoulders and tell them that I’ll try to do better next year after I practice making mean faces and watch a few more episodes of “The Wire.”

In closing, I’m very excited about the opportunity to use my birthday as a fresh start. 32 is my year. This will be the year that I get this so-called life together. This will be the year that I start being more productive. This year will be the year that I finish the alleged novel. This will be the year that I stop waiting until the last minute to start my homework assignments. And this will be the year that I finally pay off that library fine I was charged 12 years ago. Who knows? Maybe this will be the year that I save up enough money to settle down and purchase a spouse. Yes, this will be the year that Michael Rochelle single handedly takes over the world!!! And if not this year, then certainly next year or the one after that!!!

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
Add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1

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3 Comments

  1. Shawn Bonner says:

    Happy Birthday Michael. At least you aren’t 41 like me. Enjoy your special day.

  2. “Maybe this will be the year that I save up enough money to settle down and purchase a spouse.” This is funny! Nice blog entry. I am 36 and people tell me all the time that I do not look like my age. Let me know when your book comes out.

  3. Tersh says:

    Sorry been out of the loop on reading your blogs, but this one was really funny, haha..And on one note at the beginning of your blog, you write about your mom sending u to your room..but you still cant drink at 20..can u? lol

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