Hypothetically Speaking . . .

It’s All In The Mouth

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Feb• 12•13

No I won't open wide!!!

No I won’t open wide!!!

If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you enjoy receiving an unexpected compliment every now and then. At 33, I’m honored to still be asked to show my ID when I purchase alcohol milk at the liquor store. In fact, I practically leapt across the bar to hug a Hooters girl to death the other day for doing me the honor of checking my license when I ordered a Coke. I was absolutely thrilled. Unlike when my mother asks to see my ID and a copy of a canceled check before she lets me in for a visit. Actually, that could just be part of the training since she also works at Hooters. And so does my grandmother.

While I’m being honest, I can admit that it’s not completely unheard of for me to be walking through the mall and overhear someone asking, “Is that Denzel Washington?” or “Isn’t that David Beckham?” I can understand the confusion. Sometimes I get confused myself. I leave the house every morning not knowing whether to head to a corporate office or to a movie set. That’s exactly why I never correct my fans when they confuse me with Channing Tatum or Matthew McConaughey. I graciously sign the autographs, pose for the pictures, and kiss a few babies in the process. Hey, it’s all in a day’s work. In my opinion, it’s a compliment to Denzel for someone to think he looks like me. I’m sure he’s honored.

On the other hand, one place I never expect to get compliments is at the dentist office. They usually just take one quick glance at my teeth and advise that I have them all pulled so that I can start fresh. Apparently, dentures and bridges are all the rage this year, and you can even use them to do party tricks. Not to mention that you can wear them with anything. That blue sweater in the back of your closet? Yup, your dentures will go with it perfectly.

Shortly after I arrived in the lobby and signed in for my appointment, I wondered if it was too late for me to call in and cancel. I mean, it wasn’t like they could charge me for being a no-show. I had shown. I just wouldn’t stay for the drilling. Besides, I was in no mood for a teeth cleaning. I’d just had one a year and a half ago. If I wanted someone to come at me with sharp objects that could possibly kill me, I’d take my chances in prison—which is way safer than some dentist offices.

Just as I whipped out my iPhone to call in sick, I saw a sign that read, “No Cellphones Allowed.” Crap!!! What would James Bond do? The only option left was to bolt towards the door. Unfortunately, that’s when I noticed that the female receptionist looked as if she was ready to fill in for any one of the linebackers at the Super Bowl! Even if I made it out of the lobby, there was no way I’d make it to my car. She’d tackle me and then take my teeth with her. It simply wasn’t worth the risk.

I decided then and there to man up and get it over with. I’m sure other people had gotten teeth cleanings before and lived to tell the story. The real incentive came when I remembered that I’d get a Barney toothbrush after the whole ordeal was over. The hygienist would just have to put me to sleep and move forward with the cleaning as scheduled. It was the only way we’d both make it out alive.

I was barely in the chair before the judgmental questions started. “How often do you floss?” she asked. I responded, “When you think about it, Mrs. Hygienist, how often does anyone really floss?” She frowned and then scribbled something on my chart. I failed the follow-up questions just as miserably. No, I don’t gargle with ACT. No, I don’t always brush before bed. And, yes, I’m happy that Tierra finally got sent home on this week’s episode of “The Bachelor.”

When the actual cleaning finally began, the strangest thing happened. I was laying there with my mouth wide open, gripping the armrests as my gums were being assaulted, when the hygienist began making small talk right in the middle of me taking a mental picture of her facial features so that I could provide an accurate description for the police sketch when I’d file a complaint later. Out of nowhere, the following conversation took place:

“Michael, it’s a real pleasure to work on your mouth,” said the dental hygienist.

“Are you hitting on me, Mrs. Dental Hygienist? I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to talk to me that way in the state of Maryland,” I replied.

“Your mouth is just so convenient.”

“Convenient? Are you trying to say I have a big mouth?” I asked. I was shocked and appalled.

“I’m just saying that your mouth provides easy access. Everything is just right out there in the open. I’ve had a long week of small mouths, so your mouth is a wonderful change,”

As opposed to being offended, I decided to take it as a compliment. Apparently the dental community thinks I have a big, accessible mouth, which really comes in handy when you’re used to using your mouth as a foot warmer. I couldn’t have been more proud. Six hours later, when she was done using the chisel and the power sander on one of my front teeth, I told her that she could use the handsaw on my choppers anytime. I then signed an autograph for her, “Sincerely, Denzel Washington.”

In closing, on a totally unrelated note, I’ve heard a rumor that I have some readers who haven’t left comments simply because we don’t know each other personally, or because they don’t want me to know that they have a huge crush on me and want me to be the mother of their children. Well, maybe I don’t say it enough, but I love getting comments and they are highly encouraged. In fact, the more comments and feedback I get, the more I know that you’re reading, which then makes me write more. So don’t be frightened to comment or say hello. I truly appreciate it when you do!

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

A Resolution Worth Keeping

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jan• 14•13
It's Not Really New Year's Without Starbucks!!!

It’s Not Really New Year’s Without Starbucks!!!

So, we’re a few weeks into the new year, and I’ve already become a 2013 statistic. Yes, I’m one of those people who get super excited about making New Year’s resolutions, but then abandon them in a ditch on the side of the road around noon on January 2nd. 2013 was supposed to be the year that I gave up fried foods and soft drinks, but that went right out the window when I was tempted by a wayward Popeye’s commercial. It’s not really my fault though. They were having a sale on chicken and biscuits. I’m sure you know what that type of pressure can do to a person. In fact, you’re probably craving a hot, flaky, buttered biscuit yourself simply because I brought it up. I’ll give you a moment to wipe the drool from your chin.

The good thing is that I know I’m not alone in canceling resolutions soon after they are created. Some of you, too, have joined a gym and then stopped going solely because the other members wouldn’t let you change the TV channel to “The Bachelor” or “Grey’s Anatomy.” And, if you’ve ever purchased workout equipment, like me, you know that nothing dries clothes quicker than hanging them on an unused treadmill. I mean, who needs a clothesline or a dryer when you have an elliptical machine just sitting there? You might as well put it to good use.

By now, you’ve probably burned your 2012 list of resolutions and buried the remains in your neighbor’s yard so there would be no remnants of old goals long forgotten. Since I brought in the new year holding a shovel in one hand and a lighter in the other, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that I failed miserably with ALL of my 2012 resolutions. If there were a Guinness World Record holder for the individual with the most discarded New Year’s resolutions, it would be me. You can bet your first born puppy on it.

Although I gave it my best try, I am sorry to report that I did not win the 2012 National Brad Pitt or George Clooney Look-alike Contest. Seriously, I thought I had it in the bag. I had everything down. The hair. The swagger. The swimsuit. But, still, I lost to some Asian guy whose hair was bouncier than mine. And he got extra points for being a natural blond. Oh well. I guess you can’t win them all. I guess if God wanted me to be a natural blond, he would have made me Asian as well. But I digress.

Adding further insult to injury, neither Britney Spears nor Beyonce has contacted me about being a backup dancer in one of their videos yet. This is in spite of my very theatrical rendition of “Hit Me Baby Because I’m Crazy in Love,” which I performed in the middle of the local Target store. However, all is not lost. The next day I learned that someone filmed the routine and posted it on YouTube. So far, it’s gotten three whole views!!! It may not exactly be the viral sensation of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” yet, but it’s well on its way.

For the past few years, my main goal has been to write more. As you all know, I’ve been working on the same novel since I started kindergarten. Actually, that’s not exactly true. I’ll write twenty pages and then toss it. Start over. Write forty pages and then toss that. Start again. Eat some ice cream while writing eight pages and then, you guessed it, toss it. So, when people ask how it’s coming along, there really isn’t much to say. Except that I’ve perfected the beginning over the years. You know what? That gives me an idea. Why don’t I share an excerpt from my forthcoming novel with you right now! A blog-reader exclusive. We never get exclusives. Ok. Here we go:

It was a dark and stormy night…

And there you have it. Absolute perfection. I can tell that I’m on the verge of a best seller. I can just see it. My book, on the shelf, somewhere between “Fifty Shades Darker” and “When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?” That has always been my dream. Since I was placed in my mother’s womb, I knew that words would be my thing. Not football. Not firefighting. Words. I knew it would be my destiny. For it was written.

On a serious note, I want this to be the year of no excuses in terms of my writing. Sure, I probably won’t go to the gym as often as I’d like—or ever—and I doubt that Starbucks and I will see each other less frequently over the next few months, but I went to school to be a writer for gosh sakes! I paid to graduate magna cum laude for crying out loud! I have over 2 million dollars in student loans! Besides my blog and its 3½ readers, what do I have to show for it? Were all those years of writing something brilliant and then standing there naked in front of the firing squad of teachers and students for nothing?

These days, everyone and their dog’s ferret has a column in a magazine AND a book deal. Why don’t I have one yet? Am I not as cute as that puppy who wrote the New York Times bestseller, “It’s A Doggy Dog World”? Granted, if someone asked what I’ve written so far, I’d only have a solid first line to show them, but if I did a page a day and KEPT it, I could finish a book in 2013. It will be hard to stay motivated with my working full time while pursuing an MBA and watching Netflix, but, certainly, it’s possible. Right? Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a book—my book—to shove in the face of everyone who snickers at my majoring in English instead of engineering or criminal justice?

That noted, I ask that you, my readers, join me in my quest to get moving toward our goals. If you have a passion that has fallen by the wayside because you had to focus on seemingly more important things, I’d like you to try to get your fire back. I’m talking to you. Yes you!!! Whether you got your degree in crop rotation or salsa tasting, 2013 could be your year to reignite that flame. In the words of one of the most intelligent people of our time, Katy Perry, “Baby you’re a firework / Come on show ‘em what you’re worth.” Don’t act like you don’t know the words!!!

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

Confessions of a Fat Red-Light Runner

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Dec• 19•12

First of all, let me just go ahead and put it out there: The photo isn’t of me. I’ll admit that there are some similarities—especially around the eyes, but that picture is of Wilbur, my African Dwarf Frog, who I’ve mentioned a few times in the past. After watching the Victoria Secret fashion show the other night with me, Wilbur decided that it was his time to shine, so he submitted some of his best shots for my consideration. I explained to him that my blog was typically G-rated, and I wasn’t sure how my readers would feel about the nudity, but although I strongly disagreed, he thought you’d all be mature enough to handle him in his full glory.

Honestly, I’m more than happy to not be the focal point for this entry. Just because it’s my blog, doesn’t mean that it always has to be about me. I mean, who do I think I am? Oprah? Because my readers know me, there is no need for me to always be the “face” of every entry. I’m sure some of you could pick me out of a police lineup based on my left elbow alone. That noted, I’m sitting this one out to allow Wilbur to have the limelight he’s always dreamed of. And, who knows, maybe there is some big-shot talent agent that is looking for a frog to star in the next big action movie alongside Tom Cruise. It will have all started right here!!!

Oh, and although his pose may be a little concerning to those of you that don’t know him personally, he’s not dead. Instead, he is lying upside down on his back—which is completely unnatural for him—because I’d just informed him that it had been over two months since I’d posted anything. So, in true diva fashion, he flipped over on his back in exasperation. It was either that or he got upset because I’d arrived home a few minutes later than expected and made him miss the first few minutes of “Extreme Couponing.” Just like his owner, Wilbur loves a bargain.

Anyway, so much has happened since my last posting. I turned thirty-three, finished another semester of school, went to the gym once, received two red-light-camera tickets, and visited the doctor for my annual health inspection and tune-up—not necessarily in that order, though. Now, I know that nothing short of a bout with tiger shark flu would serve as an acceptable reason for keeping me away so long, but in my defense, if you look at the big picture, I haven’t exactly been slacking off, even though I’ve somehow managed to squeeze in every episode of “Undercover Boss,” “New Girl,” and “The Mindy Project.” Yup, I’ve been pretty busy. That’s my story, and that’s what I’m sticking to.

Let’s start with the red-light-camera tickets, shall we? So, I was minding my own business on the way home from work one evening when I noticed several quick flashes of light while I was making a right turn at a red light. Since I am sometimes mistaken for Prince Harry, I assumed the flashing lights meant that the paparazzi had finally figured out where I lived, so they were hiding in the bushes on that corner to get candid shots of me for the tabloids. Because of this, I believed that it was in my best interest to shoot right through the light as quickly as possible as long as I beeped the horn twice to give the pedestrians sufficient time to get out of the way.

Well, a few weeks later, instead of receiving a glossy magazine with a picture of me breezing through traffic on the cover, I received a ticket in the mail for $75 because I’d allegedly run a red light. Since the fine wasn’t worth me taking a day off work to go to court and proclaim my innocence, I opted to just pay the ticket. However, when a second ticket arrived a few days later with photos and a link to video footage of me someone allegedly turning at a red light without stopping, I decided that enough was enough. I called for backup. And there was only one person that I could think of that could help: Barbara Walters.

When Barb opted to not return any of my calls, I decided to take matters into my own hands. If I was going to fight “the man,” I was going to have to do a little research first. My findings were absolutely shocking. Apparently, red lights and stop signs are not optional. Even if you are simply making a right turn, you must come to a complete stop before doing so—even if nothing is coming for miles and miles. You absolutely must not roll right through them at over 13 MPH like I did in both of the speed camera videos. Who knew? See, just when you thought you couldn’t learn anything from my little blog, here I am passing on wisdom and giving you a driver’s education refresher. I should put “teacher” on my resume.

Another troubling incident that happened over the past few months, took place during a recent trip to my doctor’s office. The visit started off well enough. I paid my copay, and the transaction miraculously went through. I was shocked. Usually they just cut up my card and escort me out of the building. After the receptionist and I high-fived each other due to my good fortune, I was then escorted down the hall toward the scale. That’s when things took a turn for the worse.

OK, everyone knows that I’m kind of a foodie, especially if it’s bad for you. Don’t give me a vegetable unless it’s fried. If you hand me something low in fat, cholesterol, or sodium, I’ll probably end up hurling it back at you and demand that you put some butter on it until I’m pleased. However, recently I’ve been trying to make better food choices by not eating out as much and replacing fatty foods with something healthier. Because of that, I wasn’t afraid of the scale because I knew it would be the first time that things tipped in my favor. Surely, that one time I had a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a burger would have to pay off.

As I watched the numbers fluctuate, I felt like I was on “The Price Is Right.” I even clapped and yelled, “Big money!” I knew the first digit would be a one because there was no way that I was over two hundred pounds. No surprise there. But as I watched the second digit rise from a six, to a seven, and finally to an eight, my heart dropped. When the last numbers finally stopped at a whopping 189.9, I slapped the nurse and demanded a do over. She then slapped me back and said, “It is what it is. You’re fat, so get over it, you [insert expletive here]!!!”

When I met with the doctor, she reintroduced me to one of my enemies: the body mass index (BMI) chart. Whereas a person considered “normal” would fall below a 25 on the chart, I was at a 29. Even if I rounded my height of 5’8 up to 5’9, I was still solidly ranked within the overweight category. To further put things in perspective, when a person goes over 30 on the BMI chart, they are considered obese. One more French fry, and I’m pretty much done. Feeling fat, sad, and dejected, I hoisted myself off the examining table and slunk down the hall the way you’d expect someone of my immense proportions would. That hour I’d spent at the gym and that salad I’d suffered though instead of a burger turned out to be all for nothing.

So, my dear readers, if you’ve learned anything from this blog entry, I hope you’ve learned the importance of not being a fat red-light runner. Not that being a normal red-light runner is any better, but if you have a choice, take it from me and try not to be a fat one. Maybe if I weighed just a few pounds less, I wouldn’t have set off the red-light camera. My skinny friends never complain about getting tickets in the mail. Surely, there has to be some relation. I mean, if I don’t get things in check now, one day I may find that I no longer have the energy or flexibility to keep up with the dance moves from the latest Justin Bieber video. And who wants that? Oh, and before I forget to mention it, my doctor said that if I keep eating the way I do and not exercising as I should, I’ll be lucky if I live through the end of this senten…

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
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What Do You Mean I Look Sick?!?!?

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Oct• 21•12

I don’t look pale. I was born this way!!!

In my opinion, there is nothing worse than being sick. Then again, now that I think about it, arriving at a Starbucks five minutes after it has closed for the day is pretty bad. Oh, and cold fries from McDonald’s certainly ranks up there on the list of horrible things too. And I guess I should mention that having your rent check bounce isn’t too good—especially when it happens twice within the same week, and the only thing that keeps your landlord from tossing you and your fish out into the street is a last-minute presidential pardon.

But even worse than all of those things is returning to work after being out sick for a few days. I may feel well enough to do the Electric Slide or the Boot Scootin’ Boogie in my seat at each traffic light during the drive to work, but there is just something about taking that first step back into my cube that instantly makes me feel a little feverish and gives me hives. First and foremost, because of all your awesome awesomeness, your work has been left there for you to tackle just to let you know that it couldn’t possibly have been done as efficiently without you. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for being so special. You deserve it!

In addition to that mound of responsibility that built up on your desk over the two or three days you were out that suddenly has to be done within a single 8-hour shift, you then have to maneuver through the gauntlet of questions to justify the reason for your absence. It’s as if people think you were in the middle of working on a spreadsheet on a Tuesday morning but then decided to gas up the private jet for a quick, 2-day trip to Paris. Granted, I used to do that type of thing, but now that I’m in my thirties and I have a blog, I’ve decided to use the jet more wisely—like when I’m headed out of state to meet up with foreign diplomats to talk about blog policy.

No lie, answering the follow-up questions when you return to work is like attempting to win the “Hunger Games” when your only weapon is a safety pin. If you had a fever of 104.6, then someone has to trump that by telling you about the one time they had a fever of 210.2 and lost an arm but still made it to work on time. Making matters even worse, they typically attribute that amazing accomplishment to the one cold and cough medicine that you weren’t smart enough to take. Silly you for not knowing that Robitussin with a shot of whiskey cures all. How foolish of you to have only taken three Tylenols, five Excedrins, twelve Advils, and a bottle of Dayquil before heading in to work that morning.

And if you’re truly lucky, you’ll have made some great friends and associates that will be more than happy to let you know whether your decision to come back to work was a good one or not. Like the person(s) who insists on letting you know that you still look horrible, and, if you were a dog, they’d recommend putting you out of your misery. Somehow, they can tell that you’re still sick just by looking at your eyes or your navel—don’t ask! In my opinion, this is one of the few times where honesty may not be the best policy unless you think that it will somehow boost a person’s confidence by telling them that they look like something out of a zombie movie. I don’t know about you, but that revelation has certainly not helped my self-esteem—ever. Thanks for trying, though.

Then, just as you’re starting to get into the grove of things, you hear a cough somewhere in the office and at least five people make claims that you’re the reason their throats hurt or that they sneezed two weeks ago. When this happens, apparently, it’s because the CIA has confirmed that you were the only person in the world to have had a cold on October 11th, so that is the only way your coworkers could have possibly been exposed to swine flu with a hint of chicken pox. Of course, this betrayal will make you want to pack your things and go right back home. However, once you’re at work, you’re kind of stuck—unless you force yourself to sneeze so hard that you pass out and roll around on the floor until you’re escorted out of the building and left on the curb to wait for the ambulance to arrive. If I were you, I wouldn’t do this more than twice within a one-year period because it becomes less effective with each use.

On the other hand, being sick allowed me to do some things during the weekday that I hadn’t done in years, like sleeping and washing the dishes. Oh, and did you know that there are television shows that come on during the day while everyone is at work? I didn’t even know that my TV worked between the hours of 8:30 and 5:30, much less that I’d find something on that was actually worth watching. Imagine my surprise when I was flipping through the channels and landed on these totally new shows called “The Price Is Right” and “The News.” I was totally astonished. I caught up on so many missed TV shows that I totally thought about calling out sick for just one more day so that I could rest from all the TV watching. If I had’ve been smart, I would have managed to squeeze in some homework in there, but I’m not, so I didn’t.

While we’re on the subject of things that make you sick, if you’re like me, realizing that you have a birthday in a few days is certainly enough to bring on a few coughs and a choke or two. I’m not sure how or why it happened, but at some point this year I fell asleep and woke up to find that we were in the middle of October, which is the same month that my birth mother claims I was born—as if she would know! It’s not like she was there or anything! And although some of my friends have been saying that I turned thirty-three a few years ago, the encyclopedia my source says that I’ll be turning thirty-three this year. I’m hoping this birthday will be a lucky since it falls in the 10th month on the 23rd day, and I’ll be turning 33 (get it 10 + 23 = 33). Look at me using math!!! I’m getting so smart in my old age. Well anyway, this year, as opposed to wishing for the winning lottery numbers again, which I’ve been doing since I was a toddler, I’m just going to hope and pray that I won’t be sick. And if I do get sick, I hope this isn’t the time that my veterinarian decides to put me down—again. It was such a pain making it into work after the last time.

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

The One Where Michael Gets A Promotion

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Aug• 22•12

More Money, More Starbucks

Ladies and gentlemen, I have big news. Super big. Bigger than Michael Phelps winning his 99th gold medal in synchronized pole vaulting in London. Bigger than Mariah Carey beating me out by two and a half votes to become the next judge on “American Idol.” And even bigger than that “Fifty Shades of Grey” book. What? You haven’t heard of it? Oh, me neither. Anyway, I am happy to report that a few weeks ago, I, Michael Rochelle, was promoted to the role of staff accountant!!! (Insert applause here) … (Insert more applause here with a dash of someone fainting from all the excitement) … (Add a tad bit more applause here) … (I sure hope you are still applauding.)

Of course, there are a ton of people that I’d like to thank for helping to make this moment possible, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t start with one of the most important individuals in the entire process: me. That’s right. I went there. I mean, without me, none of this would’ve been possible, right? Just kidding. If there is anything that you should’ve learned about me over the past few years, it’s that I’m full of humility. However, if for some reason you want to pass on my story of success as a testament to all those people out there who have ever had a dream, by all means, be my guest. In fact, here’s a quote directly from me: If you believe it, you can achieve it. Dare to dream. Dream big. And Rome wasn’t built in a day. (I made those up just for you. Use accordingly.)

While I would like to think that the promotion was due to my hard work, dedication, and my ability to use a stapler correctly, I have to admit that I actually won the new role after drawing the longest straw during the 2012 Office Olympics. It was a good thing that they added that event this year because my manager totally kicked my butt on the balance beam, and his floor routine was simply flawless. Tens across the board. You should have seen him. But none of that matters, because in the end, it was the sport that I’d prepared for all my life that put me in 1st place. If there is anything that I’m proud to say I’ve mastered in my thirty-two years of life, it’s the art of drawing straws. I’m just glad they didn’t raffle off the new title like they typically do.

Now, while you may think that my super big promotion came with my very own assistant and a corner office with a view overlooking the local landfill, but that’s not exactly true—at least not yet. With the exception of the new duties, everything is pretty much the same. I sit in the same cube, with the same chair, and use the same hole puncher. In fact, I’m still the same exact height, although I could have sworn I requested a raise with my promotion. Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe my manager thought I meant a monetary raise instead of an increase in height. I guess that would explain why I had the extra funds to pay my rent AND keep the lights on without having to pull a bank heist last week.

Speaking of extra funds, I guess I should be honest and note that the ink was barely dry on the paperwork before I decided that it was time for me to accidentally renew my most-valuable-customer status at Kohl’s. I mean, if I’m going to be a staff accountant, I have to at least dress the part. That’s just Logic 101. And even though the staff welcomed me back with open arms, I set limits before stepping one foot into the store. No more than 15 new shirts. Anything more than that would have just been unreasonable. I’m no fool. After all, we’re still trying to recover from the recession. It would have been silly for me to have purchased a single shirt more than fifteen. Really, who needs sixteen new shirts all at once? The thought alone is just purely ridiculous.

Anyway, along with the new shirts, I’ve decided that it’s probably time to clear my head and adopt a whole new outlook on life as well. I mean, I’m a professional now, and I must act accordingly. If there was any form of pressure to sound smart before, that pressure has now been multiplied by 136. That noted, my new answer for everything is “yes” even when I have absolutely no idea what the other person is talking about. I’ve also found that starting any response with, “Well, according to the Emancipation Proclamation . . .” lends credibility to whatever topic you’re discussing—even if someone is simply asking you if they can borrow a pen. And if you can somehow manage to do it while using a British accent, that’s even better. You’ve basically passed go and collected $200.

Receiving the promotion has also caused me to take a closer look at my health and eating habits. I mean, have you ever heard of a staff accountant with high cholesterol? Because of this, I went to the gym the other day and used the elliptical machine for three whole minutes. I could have shot for four, but there was no need to overdo it, especially since no one else was there to witness my efforts. Besides, the three minutes did wonders. It was as if I could feel the cholesterol decreasing within my veins. What a great feeling!!! I may not go for the full four minutes next time, but I think I will step it up to at least three and a half.

In closing, because I believe in giving back to the community who helped make me the staff accountant that I am today, I will soon be embarking on a 58-city promotional tour to share my story of success with the world. I’ll probably do it one day knock out the whole tour while I’m on my lunch break one day next week. If things go well, I’ll probably be invited to be an opening act for the European leg of Rihanna’s “Talk That Talk” tour. I haven’t really worked out what I’ll say when I walk on stage to share my big news with a group of people who are solely there to hear music, but I’m thinking about starting with a knock-knock joke. Have you heard the one about the staff accountant who had a humor blog? No? Me neither.

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

I’ve Never Been So Slightly Offended!!!

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jul• 16•12

So, the other day I’m sitting there, minding my own business, looking for something to watch on Netflix when I stumbled across a list of recommended movies and TV shows that were “popular with members like me.” Intrigued, I found myself scrolling through the suggestions to see what Netflix thought it had learned about me based on my past viewings. I laughed at the thought of there actually being other members like me. Who are these people that I’ve been grouped in with? Do these people have a fish bowl that they gently move to the coffee table so that the fish can watch movies, too? More importantly, do they have a humor blog that gets tens of readers from all across the world? I wondered.

I wasn’t exactly offended when the first recommendation was “Charmed.” I didn’t even let it bother me when I saw that the second and third recommendations were “Lipstick Jungle” and “Cashmere Mafia.” I excused the recommendation for “Hot in Cleveland” because everyone loves Betty White. However, when I saw that the next recommendation for members like me was “Say Yes to the Dress,” that’s when I began to feel insulted. I mean, what was Netflix trying to imply? Do I really look like the type of guy that would say yes to a polka dot wedding dress with puffy embroidered sleeves? Of course not.

I guess I can’t exactly blame Netflix for this. It is possible that I’m partially responsible because I watched one too many episodes of “Desperate Housewives” or “Drop Dead Diva.” Maybe I should have thrown in a few sports programs or psychological thrillers for good measure. I mean, I wouldn’t have to actually watch the whole show. All I’d really have to do is start the episode, or maybe just rate a few of them before my recommendations would hit puberty and become more masculine. That was the goal.

I must admit that I’ve learned a lot due to my experiment with some of the more manly Netflix shows. Did you know that there is this totally new sport where two men get into a ring and they punch each other until one gets knocked unconscious? They call it boxing. Legend has it that some manager invented it as a way to keep his staff motivated and to boost productivity by legally issuing a right hook when an employee got out of line. That makes sense. I certainly can’t wait to have a staff of my own one day. I’ve always said that a black eye gives you character. It would be an awesome lesson for me to demonstrate on my staff.

If you’re not into boxing, you can watch a show called the “Deadliest Catch,” which I haven’t really gotten into just yet, but I think it gives out cautionary tales about deadly sexual transmitted diseases that can get caught in your lobster traps. In any case, after allegedly watching a few more manly shows, I’m proud to announce that, in addition to the recommendation of “My Little Pony,” the list for members like me also includes “Prison Break” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” Although I have no plans to watch either, I’m ecstatic just to see them there. My father would be so proud.

While we’re on the subject of being offended, I have a few small teeny weeny confessions to make. After a four or five month hiatus from Kohl’s, I recently made an appearance to celebrate some new developments in my life. Of course, because I’d given myself the OK to shop, I didn’t find as much stuff as I thought I would. However, I did find enough items to need to show the cashier my ID so that I could use my well-worn Kohl’s MVP card. As she punched in my information, she said, “You look like a William.” Everything faded to black.

I don’t know if you know this or not, but I’ve had many sit downs with Barack and the members of Congress in effort to ban the use of “William” as it relates to me. I’ve never been a fan of the name for myself. Though it’s my first name, my parents don’t even call me that. By the way, if YOUR name is William, I think it’s absolutely lovely—thanks for reading. Anyway, apparently this cashier hadn’t gotten the executive memo. Luckily for her, I fought the urge to reach out and deliver a few quick jabs to her left chin like I’d seen some of the toddlers do on one of the boxing shows. Instead, I groaned and asked to speak to her manager to report the incident. She should be happy that my power to have people beheaded was revoked by the queen the last time I requested someone be taught a lesson because they’d given me cold fries.

Lastly, I have one more slight confession to make before I bring this entry to a close. Now, before I share this one, I need you to promise that you won’t judge me or report me to the feds. I mean, what I have to share isn’t something that Netflix members like me should probably say out loud or post on their blogs. It’s the sort of thing that should be written down on paper that self destructs after it is read by a recipient who is crouching down behind a dumpster in a dark alley after midnight. That noted, are you ducking behind your couch? Cover your children’s ears. I’m trusting you. Ok, here we go.

I like a few Justin Bieber songs. There, I admitted it.

Ok, I know some of you are ashamed of me. However, I know many of you are giving me “Jersey Shore” fist pumps because you were just waiting for someone else to admit it first. Granted, I know that I’m too old for this, and I’m probably way outside of his target fan base, but the other day his TV special came on and I heard one or two seconds too many of his music before I could find the remote to change the channel. Due to the power of pop music, the rest is history. Now, I don’t think that I’ll ever get his face tattooed on my left bicep or anything, and I probably won’t be seated in the front row of any of his concerts. However, I may accidentally listen to a few of his songs while safely hidden within the confines of my closet where it’s safe for Netflix members like me and all the dresses that they’ve said yes to.

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

Apparently, I Get Around

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jun• 19•12

You’ll never guess what I did the other day. No, I didn’t win the National Senior Citizen Wet T-shirt contest again, but I did come in second place. Personally, I think I was robbed. I was the only one who didn’t require being hosed down with a mixture of water and Ben Gay to get things started. It was so hot outside that I had already sweated through my t-shirt before I even hit the stage. To me, that should have counted for something, but the judges were haters, which was truly surprising since the event was organized by my mother. But that’s another story for another day.

Though that was a great guess, I was referring to my taking the DC metro for like the third time ever so that I could participate in the annual walk supporting Crohn’s disease and colitis. Because I’m severely allergic to exercise in all forms, I’m just as shocked as you are that I walked for anything other than to get the remote, but it was for a good cause and there were Subway sandwiches at the finish line, which made it all worth it in my opinion. And despite my prediction that I would die shortly after taking my first few steps, my legs and heart had only given out just a little bit before I flagged down a yellow cab and caught a ride to the end point. As they say, it’s not the journey, it’s the destination. Don’t judge me.

Because my legs haven’t tanned just yet, I wore jeans because I figured that would be less distracting than having everyone stop the walk to debate how I managed to be African American up top and Caucasian at the bottom. I should probably be studied, and when whatever I have is determined, we should all walk for that cause too. Maybe they’ll call it Michael’s disease, or just Michael’s. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Imagine 500 years from now when people will be holding their heads high and saying “It’s tough, but I’m taking one day at a time. I’ve come down with a case of the Michael’s.”

Anyway, I don’t know if there is a metro system where you live, but the one here in DC is pretty intimidating. I think there should be some form of mandatory training course or something before anyone is allowed to use it. First, there are several different routes and each one has a color and there’s a map with a legend and a key and you really have to make some serious life choices before picking which train to get on. I mean, one wrong decision and you could end up in Utah like I did a few weeks ago. I was sooooooooo late for work that morning.

Another issue is that you have to be really aggressive if you want to get wherever you’re going. At first I was trying to be nice and let the women, children, and old people over twenty-five go first, but then everyone would just bump me out of the way and I’d end up missing the train. No lie, one time I let someone’s grandma get on in front of me, and she knocked me down, gave me the finger, and then yelled out “SUCKER!!!!” as the train doors closed. Ashamed, I slowly picked myself up off the ground and wondered if the gum in my mouth was there before I fell, or if I had somehow acquired it when I landed tongue-first on the concrete. In any case, I truly learned my lesson that day. Now, even if a granny is using a walker, she’s just going to have to wait because I’m going first—and I’m not afraid to use an elbow or issue a few karate chops to someone’s neck if I have to.

In other travel news, I recently took an extended weekend trip to North Carolina for the first of like 600 weddings that I’ve been invited to attend over the next few months. Personally, I think there must be something in the water causing everyone to decide to take the plunge all of a sudden. Maybe it’s because of the potential tax discounts. Maybe it’s the mouth-watering opportunity to wear matching “I’m With Him” or “I’m With Her” t-shirts. Or, maybe it’s just easier to know who’ll be making the bed or paying for dinner at the end of the evening—I always wonder that, even when I’m by myself.

In any case, a marriage epidemic is definitely taking over the country, and my wallet isn’t too happy about it. When you take a step back and really think about it, people are getting married that have never gotten married before. It’s really alarming. Believe it or not, I’ve already had to refinance my apartment twice to cover all the gift cards I’ve had to purchase to celebrate the various nuptial milestones such as we-found-each-other parties, we-lost-each-other-and-then-found-each-other-again parties, and the classic you-ticked-me-off-so-I-sold-all-of-your-crap-on-eBay-but-I’ll-still-marry-you-anyway-because-we’ll-get-a-lot-of-good-gifts parties. At this rate, I’m going to have to start looking around the house for future gift ideas. Since they say it’s the thought that counts, one lucky couple is going to be getting a half roll of toilet paper very soon.

Because the DC metro doesn’t have any stops in North Carolina, I drove. You should have seen me flying down the highway with the music blaring, trying to avoid “the man.” Though some people don’t understand how I could spend six or seven hours in the car by myself when there are opportunities to ride with other people, I absolutely love the “me” time. I like being able to choose the song on the radio and the temperature in the car. And if I want to play the same Usher or Lady Gaga song fifty-eleven times until I know all the words and can recite them backwards on command, no one can stop me. I’ve got the power. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Unfortunately, as luck would have it, although I made the journey specifically for the wedding, I kind of missed the exchanging of the vows, but I was able to attend the reception. It wasn’t my fault, though. First of all, I accidentally hit the road four hours later than I planned. I mean, if you’re going to go to a wedding, you have to invest a proper amount of time into making sure you’re wearing the right socks. You aren’t supposed to just show up wearing any old thing. It’s someone’s big day, for crying out loud. There are no do-overs. If the bride or groom is walking down the aisle and your fraudulent socks catch their eye, it could be catastrophic. Really, who wants that?

Because the wedding took place outside, when I drove by 15 minutes after it was scheduled to start, I could see that things had already begun, which I thought was pretty rude considering I obviously hadn’t arrived yet. I mean, I know I wasn’t actually in the wedding, but how could they start without me? Just because I was late and wrong, didn’t mean that they had to be equally inappropriate by starting on time. Don’t they know I have a blog???

Well, as opposed to causing a huge commotion by walking down the aisle and pretending to be one of the flower girls until I could make it to an empty seat, I ended up going to a nearby Barnes & Noble and wasting an hour or so until I could go back and sneak in later during the reception after everyone was too liquored up to notice that I had missed the best part. When I did finally arrive, everyone was too busy trying to remember the moves to the Electric Slide to notice that I was late—or that I was still wearing a flower girl dress.

All in all, the part of the ceremony (the remains?) that I did witness was beautiful. It’s so awesome to think that one day you could be minding your own business when some homeless person walks up to you asking for change and your phone number (that’s how this particular couple met). And when that happens, you have absolutely no idea that he, she, or it will one day be your next husband after you’re done with your current one. Hmmm.

Since I don’t know what’s in the cards for me with all that mushy stuff, I’ve decided to treat everyone a little bit better—even grandmas—because you really just never know. Grandmas need love too. The next dollar you give to the person holding the sign could be that exact same dollar used to by his-and-her happy meals later on that day when you’re on your first date. I’ll give you a few moments to ponder that. I know it was kind of deep and philosophical. You’re probably not used to finding that level of insight here. Don’t worry, the pain will subside. Just put some Ben Gay on it.

P.S. Before you start handing out ones to every Tom, Dick and Mary on the street or at the office based on my suggestion, because of my current financial situation, I must politely ask that you hold off on any marital bliss and consummation until further notice. I will not be able to afford or celebrate any further engagements, housewarmings, birthdays, baby makings, or other activities prior to August of 2039. At that point, you can return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Wait a minute!!! You, sir, in the pink pajamas! Didn’t you just read that I requested you and your wife not do that until further notice??? Fine! Go ahead! Don’t listen to me! Nine months from now, you’re on your own!!!

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

My Blog Be an Old Lady

Written By: Michael Rochelle - May• 23•12

Before I get into all the usual shenanigans that you’ve come to love and expect from me, I have an announcement: Four score and seven years ago (which after doing a ton of statistical research, I found out was really just the equivalent of three years—apparently Lincoln had a flare for the dramatic), on May 16th, 2012, my blog turned three years old. That’s right. My blog is a toddler! I couldn’t be any more proud. I’m guessing that the only other person in the world who would really understand how I feel right now would be that Mark Zuckerberg guy who created Facebook. Of course, Facebook is nowhere near as popular as my blog is, but give it a couple more years. You’ll see.

Yes, folks, it’s been three years. Time is really flying. When I first began this blog, I was just a bumbling young man with eyes so full of hope and innocent wonder. I was still in my twenties and working on an undergraduate degree. Well, fast-forward a few years and I’m now middle aged and working on an MBA from a partially accredited university that holds night classes out of the break room of a local KFC. Just look how far I’ve come.

It still surprises me when some random person that I’ve casually mentioned my blog to three hundred times says that they’ve actually read an article of two. Of course, I always respond with, “Really? You read my blog? That thing sure does get around.” I’m just glad that what happens on the internet, stays on the internet.
Seriously, though, I still get excited when I learn of a new reader, and I love the follow up questions that inevitably come when someone stumbles across the blog:

New Reader: Are the stories you write true?

Me: Yes, all of them are 100% true unless I’ve completely made them up.

New Reader: What makes you write that stuff?

Me: Well, New Reader, I’m glad you asked that question. It’s just my calling. Like, when you know, you just know, and I know. You know?

New Reader: No.

Me: Well, I understood it. And my momma says that’s all that matters. Would you like to take a picture?

New Reader: Oh my gosh! I’d be so honored to take a picture with you, Michael.

Me: Yes, it is a pleasure to meet me, isn’t it? Oh yeah, that will be $29.95 for the picture. Add an additional $20 if you want me to sign it. I take Visa. No checks.

Anyway, even though I may only get one or two comments here and there, trust me, more people are reading and taking notice than I ever would have expected. Although I love feedback, I completely understand why you, the reader, would want to disassociate yourself from the blog. I mean, if I have to sneak into the closet and double bolt the door just to write it, who knows what lengths you’re going through to maintain anonymity. It’s ok. Just know that when you read, you are not alone. I put my blog in the same category as Kim Kardashian, weed, and that “Glee” show: Everybody’s doing it, but nobody’s telling.

Matter of fact, one day I was standing at the urinal in the restroom, minding my own business, when this lady taps me on my shoulder and says, “We know what you did.” After I finished (yeah, I know it’s TMI, but I didn’t want you to think that I was the type of person who would just start a conversation mid-stream), I said, “I know why you’re here, lady. You must want my autograph.” I was then served with some legal papers alleging that I’d pilfered a picture of a chicken wing from her company’s website and used it for one of my blog posts.

Instead of my being concerned about potentially being hauled off to jail—AGAIN, I did a somersault right there in the men’s room. I couldn’t believe that a company actually cared that I’d allegedly stolen a picture of a chicken wing from their site. Granted, the picture was probably encrypted with something that allowed it to “phone home,” but I’d like to think that one of the executives was getting his or her daily Michael fix when he or she just happened to stumble upon it. And though I cannot confirm nor deny the theft allegation, I will acknowledge that the picture now links to the company’s site. I always knew my downfall would be chicken-wing related.

Now, as we embark on season three of Hypothetically Speaking, I just want to thank you again for taking the time from your busy day to check in every once in a while. You could be doing anything in the world, like watching TV or beating your children, but you’ve decided to spend quality time with me and I truly appreciate that. I feel like breaking out into my own rendition of “I Will Always Love You,” but Jordin Sparks and Jennifer Hudson just recently did that, and I don’t want to outshine either of them. Just hug yourself and pretend it’s from me. See, now isn’t that nice? Oh, you want another? OK, but I do charge $39.95 for each subsequent hug.

Before I bring this entry to a close, I have one more surprise. Although I would like to say that it’s due to the three-year anniversary of my blog, it’s completely coincidental that I’ve been asked to do my very first guest blog post ever for the All Fooked Up blog which can be found at http://allfookedup.com/go-ahead-amuse-me-michael/ . Oh, and by my use of “asked to do my very first guest blog post,” I mean that I campaigned, begged, and offered my left arm for the opportunity. If all goes as planned, extra content from me that you won’t find here will be posted at some point on Thursday, May 24th, as part of the site’s “Go Ahead, Amuse Me” series. After you’re all done here, head over there and check out Lynn’s blog. She just posted an entry where she ponders other places fish could use the restroom instead of crapping where they live. How could you not be intrigued? Personally, I’d like my fish to crap somewhere else too. If only I could put them on a leash. Hmmm.

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

It’s Raining Pink Slips

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Apr• 26•12

Life is funny. If someone had tapped me on the shoulder a week ago and told me that I’d soon be back out on the job market again, I probably would have called the cops and then pressed charges. I would have more quickly believed that I’d won the Mega Millions jackpot even though I didn’t play. Or, I would have more easily been convinced that I’d landed the role of Katniss Everdeen in one of the “Hunger Games” sequels than believe that I’d soon be without a job. Nope, not possible. Not me. I’m allergic to unemployment.

But then it happened—kind of.

The day started out just like any other. The sun was shining. Birds were chirping. And only three pedestrians had ventured out into oncoming traffic, forcing me to slam on the brakes and spill my coffee during my five minute commute to work that morning. One of them gave me the finger. He was probably five.

Because I’d just renewed my lease that morning, I’d come up with a plan. May 2nd would be a year since I’d been with the company, and I was ready to grow. The week before, a higher-level position had opened up, and I had my sights clearly set on it. For once, the management team and I were on the same page. It was time to take on additional responsibility. I had earned it. My mind raced as I envisioned my new name tag: Michael Rochelle, Assistant Janitor. My mother would have been so proud.

When I got to my desk that morning, I’d barely taken a sip of my coffee—not Starbucks—before I saw the word that would completely throw off any thoughts or ideas I’d had about growth and stability: merger. But this wasn’t just any ole type of merger. No. This was more like a marriage where my company would clearly be the wife, losing our name and taking on new ownership. Yeah, I went there. Shout out to my friends getting married over the next few months. Hope you enjoy your new leashes…uh…I mean leases on life.

Although the outlook isn’t exactly good, I’m keeping a positive attitude. I mean, realistically, McDonald’s is always hiring—although they did reject my application for a cashier position a few years ago because I was highly underqualified. The problem is, as mentioned, I just started this job a year ago, so I clearly remember the months of sending out resumes and filling out applications before this opportunity came through. Oh, and I won’t even mention all the interviews where I was forced to sit there and talk about myself for an hour or two. And if you know anything about me, you know that talking about myself is the one thing I rarely ever do. Nope. I’m humble.

My favorite fish, Kim Kardashian, took the news the worst. I’ll just go ahead and put it out there: he’s a little high maintenance. I’m not exactly sure where he gets it from, but I hear he’s been associating with one of my other fish, Kanye West, a lot recently. In any case, Kim pulled me to the side the other day and told me that if I thought he was going to settle for some generic brand of fish flakes, I had another thing coming. So, I wasn’t surprised when I found him dead later that evening. Apparently, fish get depressed and suicidal too.

It was then that I began thinking about my options. Of course, I could always break my newly signed lease and move back in with my mother. I don’t how long that would work out, though. She’s very strict. And not just motherly strict, she’s military-boot-camp-sergeant strict. One time I visited her one afternoon and accidentally stayed past 9 PM and she sent me to my old room because it was past my bedtime. I was 32. When I complained and said I wanted to go home, she responded, “My house my rules. I brought you in this world, and I can take you out!!!” I don’t really see that arrangement working out too well.

Honestly, I won’t really know the status of my employment until sometime this summer, but if worst comes to worst and I find myself without a job, I could always devote some of the downtime to my alleged novel or to posting on my blog more frequently while I can still afford the electricity and internet access to do so. Based on how much I’ve saved over the past few years, I’d say I can keep up this lifestyle comfortably for about two whole days before I have to start posting items like my remaining fish or my used boxer shorts on eBay. Because I really want to connect and feel close to the new owners, I won’t even bother washing them before shipping them out. I’ll Febreze them upon request, though. I’ll even let the buyer choose the scent.

Speaking of cutting back, being unemployed will definitely cut into my Kohl’s and Starbucks budget. I may even have to drop down to only three or four visits a week. Oh the humanity!!! On the flip side, because food may soon become scarce, I probably won’t have to worry about my weight or cholesterol level in a few months. That’s a good thing. Hey, I’m just trying to stay positive. Remember, you have to look at the glass as being half full even when it is really half empty.

Maybe some downtime would give me the opportunity to throw myself more into my schoolwork. I could finally turn in that research paper that was due two semesters ago. Or, maybe this is the push that I need to finally figure out what it is that I want to do with my life. We all know that I write, but what’s next for me in terms of a career? Everything up until now has definitely been a job—unless you count that rough patch a few years back when I had to resort to stripping to make ends meet. Maybe I could bring my old stripper alter ego, Caramel Macchiato Thunder, back to the stage for a few more performances. I made some good money back then. Five whole dollars a night! Hmmm. Maybe it’s time to dust off those stripper boots.

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

You Know You’ve Had A Good Night When…

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Mar• 23•12

So, have you ever woke up in the bathroom of a strange home, in nothing but your boxer briefs, so that you could throw up in front of an unidentified and slightly judgmental dog? No? Me either. But let’s just pretend I did for a quick moment, shall we? But remember, this is all hypothetical and only partially 100% true. To protect the identity of the individual that this actually happened to, I’ll just say it happened to me. As opposed to writing, “David woke up to find someone else’s gym sock in his mouth,” I’ll instead use, “I woke up to find someone else’s gym sock in my mouth.” Don’t forget that this is only partially, kind of, 100% true, in an alleged sort of way. Understand?

Last Friday, my job had a team-building function where they rented out a private portion of the local bowling alley just for the finance team. It was awesome. First of all, there was free food and drinks, and you know my motto: If it’s free, it’s for me. Now, some people may raise an eyebrow at the idea of having drinks at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, but not me, of course. Unlike the dog that would witness me puking up a week’s worth of meals later on that night, I’m not judgmental. It has always been my belief that a man should have a gin and tonic first thing in the morning if he chooses. Preferably before work like other people. Trust me, more people are doing it than you know. Most people who say they are drinking coffee first thing in the morning should be using air quotes as they say “coffee.”

That noted, I thought nothing of starting off the bowling outing with a Blue Motorcycle, which is a mixture of gin, tequila, vodka, rum, and some other cool stuff that make the drink blue. Hey, don’t judge me. At least it was 2 in the afternoon. It wasn’t like it was 1 o’clock. And this is all hypothetical, remember? After scoring 101 points during my first game, I decided to treat myself to a second drink and several shots before starting the next game. For some reason, I didn’t do as well that time. I only scored 80 points, which was due to the massive number of gutter balls I rolled and certainly NOT because I’d had about five drinks by then. Scientists will one day read this and blame it on the alcohol because the number of gutter balls increased with each drink I had, but I refuse to believe it. If there are two things that we Michaels do well, they are blogging at infrequent rates, and holding our liquor.

After we were done bowling, I was all prepared to go home like a good person should have such an event. It was already 4 PM on a Friday, way past my bed time. But before I could make it to my car, a few of my coworkers came up with the idea that we should go to a local bar for a few hours to wind down. Because I had nothing else planned but to watch Netflix with my fish for the rest of the evening, I reluctantly agreed. That was the beginning of the end. If only my mother had’ve let me watch some of those after school specials on TV, I wouldn’t have succumb to peer pressure and spent the night clutching someone’s toilet bowl.

From what I remember about the bar, I believe I enjoyed myself in the beginning. There were about five us in attendance when someone—I swear it wasn’t me—brought up the idea of having a few more shots. After confirming that I could still count to 10 and someone else was paying for the shots, I agreed. Three or four hours and just as many shots later, an assortment of drinks were brought to our table and a warm Jose Cuervo shot landed in front of me. I should have known by the way my coworkers quickly grabbed all the other more user-friendly drinks, that I’d suffer for having slower hands later. As soon as Jose and Cuervo began doing the Mexican Hat Dance in my tummy, darkness began to take over me.

I woke up in the restroom. Not the bathroom that I’d end up in later on that night, but the one at the bar. I’d locked myself in the one stall they had available. Someone was calling my name and asking if I was ok. I had no idea how I got there. After assuring the person that I was ok and that I would be out in “2 minutes,” I went back to sleep. I’d later learn that I’d been in there for over an hour, which left people pretty pissed. And since I was holding up the only stall in the men’s room, I mean that literally.

When I woke up again, I was in an unfamiliar bed. I had no idea how I had made it out of the stall and into someone’s car, bus, or plane, and then ended up in that person’s bed. I could tell the person was lying beside me and I wondered who it was. Had Oprah heard one of her lost children calling out for help and she came and saved me from the bathroom of a bar in Gaithersburg, MD? Had I somehow managed to send Barack a drunken text in the middle of the night and he sent the Secret Service to ensure I’d made it to the White House safely? I hadn’t had time to figure out who my guardian angel was before I realized why I had woken up: I was puking—in Oprah’s or Barack’s bed.

Somehow I found my way to the restroom where the puke-ation continued. After what seemed like an eternity, I removed my head from the toilet bowl to notice that I hadn’t shut the door completely. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I then realized that I was being watched. It was Loki, my cowoker’s dog, and he wasn’t too happy about the mess I was making. I could tell by the way he tilted his head in a manner that let me know he was wondering if I were crazy. After petting him for a bit and making him promise not to tell, I started to feel better about the evening’s events. I was safe. I was with friends. But then I realized I wasn’t wearing socks. You may not know this about me, but I don’t like feet—not even my own. If I could trade them in for two more hands and attach them to my ankles, I would. I never take off my socks. Not even in the shower. And definitely not at the pool. Never!

After pondering what happened to my socks, I learned that they weren’t the only articles of clothing that I was missing. I had on no shirt. I had on no pants. I had on no undershirt. Too scared to look, I slowly reached down to see if there was at least a piece of fabric or a loin cloth covering my who-who. I’d never been so happy in my life to feel the cotton of my boxer briefs that kept me from being completely naked while hugging the porcelain throne of my coworker’s bathroom. That’s when I learned that cotton really is the fabric of our lives. However, my happiness was only temporary as I wondered whether I’d taken off my clothes at my coworker’s house, or whether I’d relieved myself of them at the bar. Immediately, I threw up again.

When I woke up the following morning still hugging the toilet, I surveyed the damage and tried to clean up as quickly as I could. Unfortunately, the shower curtain could not be saved. It would have to be burned. I would later learn that my coworker replaced many of the items that didn’t survive my wrath that night. The plunger. The trash can. The scale. The tub. And the washbowl. All of it had to go. She calls her new bathroom the Michael Renovation. I’m embarrassed and flattered.

Before I realized what was happening, I found myself having a conversation with my coworkers in the middle of the living room while I was still in my boxer briefs as if it were normal. What had happened was, I hadn’t yet mustered the courage to ask where my clothes were, so I just tried to pretend that I was not naked—even though everyone else was fully clothed. I thought that maybe if I kept the conversation interesting enough, they wouldn’t notice that I hadn’t put on lotion the previous day or done any form of man-scaping, which I believe should be a prerequisite to that level of exposure. I also hoped they wouldn’t notice that I hadn’t been to the gym in a few weeks. Unfortunately, my boxer briefs left nothing to the imagination. If they’d ever wondered, they were now certain that I didn’t have abs or buns of steel.

After one of my male coworkers had suffered enough of seeing me in my underwear, I was shown to the bedroom where my clothes were lying on the floor. As I quickly dressed, I can’t tell you how relieved I was that I hadn’t done an awkward strip tease at the bar—AGAIN. It was nice to know that I hadn’t tried to sexily pour liquid down my bare chest and then scream because that liquid was someone’s hot coffee. I was also happy to know that I didn’t pull my pants down while asking for tips before realizing that I needed to do laundry and hadn’t worn any underwear that day. Hey, it has happened to the best of us, right? No?

One of my coworkers was nice enough to drive me to my car, and I made it home safely. After I parked, I remembered that I lived on the fourth floor, so I opted to sleep in the car for a few hours before trying to tackle the steps. I mean, it was a beautiful day. Why not lie out and enjoy it? I just wish I had rolled the windows down beforehand. Maybe that would have saved me from waking up around noon not being able to breathe and sweating profusely from being so hot.

When I finally made it into my apartment, I collapsed on my couch and stayed there for the rest of the day. Later that night, I tried to drink a little Coke to put something on my stomach and I found myself right back in the bathroom spewing like a faucet—24 hours after taking the Jose Cuervo shot! That noted, the moral of this story is that if you’re going to have 10 shots in a single setting, make sure you’re wearing underwear in case you decide to give folks a strip tease. And if you’re going to do a strip tease, make sure you aren’t at a work function—or a family function. And if you do manage to drink and do a strip tease at a family or work function, you don’t have to worry about checking IDs. You already know those people, so chances are, their money is good. However, to make things less awkward, I would start thinking now about how you’re going to explain to your grandma where she should swipe her credit card.

Michael Rochelle
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