Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

What Happens in Vegas, Is Right Here on My Blog

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Nov• 23•18

It’s just a Mirage.

In case you missed my recent press releases or my surprise appearance on Dr. Phil last week, you are probably unaware that I just returned home from Las Vegas a few days ago. The trip was a real learning experience for me. Apparently, my mom had heard about all the drinking and sinning that allegedly goes on there from her church friends, Bertha and Myrtle, so she was up in arms about my visit the whole time I was there.

Now, I’ve never been one to gossip unless it’s for a good cause, but although they love to shake their heads and wag their fingers at other people, both Bertha and Myrtle somehow manage to fly to Vegas three or four times a year themselves. As a matter of fact, I ran into a shirtless Chippendales dancer on the Strip and he immediately asked if I knew Bertha and if she still had that lower back tattoo. Well, I ain’t one to tell people’s business, so you certainly ain’t heard it from me, but the answer is yes.

Anyway, because of Bertha and Myrtle’s feedback, my plane had barely landed before my mom started calling every two seconds to make sure I was making “good decisions.” She informed me that if any YouTube footage of me passed out in a ditch leaked—again, she would be forced to disown me—again.

Sadly, despite my best efforts, there actually is new footage of me passed out circulating the internet, but not for the reasons you would think. The moment I hit the Las Vegas Strip, my status as a full-fledge grandma kicked in and I went to sleep anywhere I could: on park benches, in line for dinner, and in the fountain at the Bellagio. While other people’s nights were just getting started at 11 PM, I, myself, had already been asleep for at least six hours by then.

When I wasn’t laid out in a bush due to exhaustion, I certainly passed out a few times based on food prices. Whether I needed only a pack of gum or a buffet dinner, the cost seemed to be no less than $200. I tried to negotiate, but if I wanted fresh breath, the lowest I could get the salesperson down to was $183. If you plan to go to Vegas, govern yourselves accordingly. Take out cash, a credit card, and a bank loan when you arrive.

Now, before you start judging me for sleeping through my Vegas trip, it’s not exactly my fault. First of all, my body never quite adjusted to the time change from Eastern to Pacific, so I woke up at 3 AM every single morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I tossed and turned and did math equations for hours until it was time to head out for the day.

Second, I was in a low-key mood for most of the trip. The wildest thing I did the whole time was to have two Starbucks drinks in a single day. Oh, and there was that time I went wild and drank a Pepsi within an hour of drinking a Coke. If that doesn’t meet your definition of a party animal, I don’t know what does.

For most of the visit, I was content just looking at all the lights and activities from the comfort of my hotel room. However, when the gambling mood hit, I did put $20 into a slot machine that I thought was lucky based on the vibes it was sending me from across the room. When I walked by, it literally said, “Michael, come play me. I can change your life.” 15 seconds later when I’d lost my $20, my life had definitely been changed; I went from being kind of OK to being downright depressed just that quick.

Making bad decisions here. Don’t tell my mama.

And if I’m being completely honest, I did have a drink or two during my stay in Vegas. However, because I was going to bed so early each night, that meant I had to start drinking a little sooner than what some would consider normal. Now, I don’t want people to think that I have some sort of problem or to call my parole officer or anything, but I found 9 AM to be around about the right time to crack open the vodka with a gin chaser. Completely acceptable. I mean, it’s Vegas.

Actually, the drinking is really not my fault. After the plane landed and I was finding my way to the luggage area, I went down an escalator to find a sign that showed baggage claim in one direction and the liquor store in the other. I mean, if those are your only two choices and in you’re in Vegas, any normal person would hit the liquor store first and worry about the luggage later. And if by chance your luggage went missing, the liquor would help with that. See, I’ve thought it through.

Making things even more interesting, the store was called the Liquor Library. I immediately made the connection of me being a writer to their being a library and knew it was a sign that I just had to investigate the premises. After all, I have always loved a library. Surprisingly, there were no books inside, but there was a lot of liquor, which was fine with me. Don’t judge me and please don’t tell my mom.

I only bought it because it was pretty, not to drink it!

Instead of looking for shows or a club to attend, like a true grandma, I spent most of my time looking up food options. In case you don’t know, one of the things Vegas is known for is its buffets. I spent hours on Yelp comparing the options. It wasn’t long before all that planning went right out the window when I found a buffet that had all-you-can-drink wine and beer. Just like that, no longer did I care whether the buffet offered a one-star or a five-star menu. Instead, the all-you-can-drink offering had me at hello.

I arrived at the buffet excited because I knew what was about to go down. I was going to eat as if my life depended on it. Though I am usually a hamburger and hot dog sort of guy, I decided to broaden my horizons just this once. After all, I was in Vegas. The least I could do was add a little lettuce and a carrot or two to my diet for crying out loud. Allegedly, you only live once.

As the hostess walked me over to my table, she looked at me with an expression of great concern. Her head tilted to the side as she asked, “Are you alone? You don’t have any friends?” People can be so mean. I took a moment to think before I answered. I wasn’t exactly sure if being alone at a buffet was grounds for being kicked out, but I wasn’t taking any chances, at least not before I ate. Proudly, I hung my head high and said, “Friends? Oh, they’re on their way. They will be here any minute. You know Bertha and Myrtle, right?” She did.

After dodging that moment of judgement and being seated, I grabbed four plates and made my way to the buffet. Let me be the first to tell you that the food was well worth it. They had a little of everything: Asian food, Mexican dishes, pasta, pizza, barbecued pork chops, salad, seafood, desserts, and more. If I didn’t have a tank full of fish waiting for me back at home, I would have just stayed in Vegas and lived at the buffet for the rest of my life.

For some reason, although I usually avoid crab legs because of the many battles I’ve lost trying to crack them open, I found myself putting several on a plate. As I dipped a claw in butter, I began to have sad thoughts. I wondered just how many crabs had to die for me to have that one claw. My guess was 40. It was pretty disturbing.

All is not lost, though. Because my shrink says I need to start thinking positive, I decided in my mind that maybe 40 crabs hadn’t died at all for me to have that one claw. Maybe the claw had been lost due to natural causes. Or, maybe it was grown on a claw farm where no crabs are harmed in the making of dinner. The thought certainly made me feel better as I ate 10 more legs respectfully.

No crabs were hurt in the making of this photo, I promise.

After stuffing myself as if I was storing up for the winter, I made my way over to the Venetian Hotel. For years I’d heard about the gondola rides offered at the hotel and I had to see them with my own eyes. As I walked in and saw gondoliers navigating the canals and singing love songs to their passengers, I got excited. It looked as though it was meant for Michael. What a romantic experience for me and myself!

As I stood there in line thinking of the songs I’d want my gondolier to serenade me with, reality kicked in. I saw no one else riding alone. How would I look hugging myself longingly as my gondolier sang “Drop It Like It’s Hot” as we navigated the Grand Canal? In the end, it wasn’t the riding alone thing that made me opt not to do it. It was the $116 charge for a single rider that made me change my mind. By that point, all I had left was about $5 in food stamps on me. The gondola ride just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe next time. But at least I’ll have more time to think about song choices. Perhaps, “Thank U, Next” or “Single Ladies.” Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.

Gondola ride for one, please!

All that aside, for what it’s worth, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed myself in Vegas. I made the experience my own and I’m pretty satisfied with it. I didn’t lose my car or my dad in a game of poker or roulette like I did last year. And as tempting as it was, I didn’t audition to be in the Australia’s Thunder from Down Under strip show or to be a Hooter’s girl. I’m absolutely OK with it. After all, there is always next year! Gives me more time to work on my abs.

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

Filters and Fashion Nova Grandpas

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Nov• 04•18

Fashion Nova Grandpas Model

OK, so the word is out. I’m officially 39. If you do the math, that means this time next year I’ll be 40. Wait…let me double check those numbers. Carry the 3. Add a 9. Subtract 5. Yup, 40. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 40 may be coming for me faster than Michael Meyers in a horror movie, but it’s not exactly here just yet. I’m going to enjoy these last days of my 30s the same way people enjoy fresh chicken at a buffet.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been challenged about my age. Some of my alleged friends claim that I turned 39 several years ago. However, Dear Readers, I’m here to tell you not to listen to them. Most of my two friends are felons, so they shouldn’t be trusted. Govern yourselves accordingly.

People have been asking what I did for my birthday. My therapist said that it was ok for me to share that I spent most of the day crying in my closet. This wasn’t because I was depressed. No, I take handfuls of pills for that. Instead, I’d decided to take my car to the mechanic because I had a coupon for a $25 maintenance checkup and a free T-shirt, but they found $900 worth of crap wrong with my Pinto.

According to the mechanic, after he shared the news, I passed out and landed in a pool of oil. That would certainly explain the knot I found on the side of my forehead when I came to. I was actually happy to learn that the puddle was used motor oil instead of being the result of my having had an accident on myself at the shop—again. The last time my urine was that dark, I ended up in the hospital for two weeks due to severe dehydration. With a $900 mechanic bill to take care of, I certainly had no funds left over to pay for a hospital visit.

I tried to bargain with the mechanic, but my skills of persuasion may have been a tad bit rusty. He shook his head ferociously and informed me that if I didn’t have the work done, I would lose my transmission before I made it out of the parking lot. It was then that I pulled out a single dollar bill and asked if that would change his mind on the diagnosis. He shook his head in disgust.

Since he was playing hardball, I knew I would have to break out the big guns. I slowly started to sway side to side and wiggled my way out of my jacket. If Michael couldn’t talk the price down, maybe a dance routine from my stripper alter ego, Caramel Macchiato Thunder, would change his mind. I think he was into it until I snatched his wrench from his toolkit and waived it in the air. If it wasn’t the wrench thing, it could have been the lap dance that sent things over the edge. I’m not sure. Either way, he threw up on his shirt a few times and raised the price by $200.

Because of the unexpected repair cost, I was forced to think small for my birthday. Instead of taking a road trip, I spent the day doing laundry and repotting my houseplants. I would later learn that my plants had actually been happy with their original soil. After the change, all of them died except Gertrude and Ricky, who are both now hanging on by a leaf. Sometimes it’s just best to leave things alone. My heart was in the right place though.

In addition to murdering my plants and laundering my clothes, I decided to go wild and crazy and mop my floors. I even dug in the back of the cabinet and pulled out the good Pine-Sol. I mean, you only turn 39 once. If anybody was worthy of having clean floors, it was me the birthday boy. Sure, I may have been broke, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t have a little fun with my mop. I did a dance number with it as if I were Fred Astaire or Michael Jackson. You should have seen me.

The thing I have learned about being 39 is that I should probably take things a little slower than I used to. In my 20s, I used to be able to drop it like it was hot on demand, but now I need to lower it with some prayer, planning and Aspirin on deck. I can never be sure whether my knees or my back are going to go with the flow or not. It’s like they have a mind of their own, and they do what they want to do when they want to do it. I have absolutely no say in the matter.

Although my car repair did wipe out my entire 401K fund, I did manage to treat myself to an iPad. From my perspective, I consider it a business need. After all, I’m allegedly a writer and I need gadgets to keep me connected to my two readers. Unfortunately, the iPad came with a camera that made my pics a lot less flattering than I thought they should be. It wasn’t long before I realized that it wasn’t the camera; instead, the photos were showing what I look like at 39!

Filters Applied

The iPad photos made me scream and run around my apartment as if my hair was on fire. So many thoughts ran through my head. I mean, what if I went to jail for a really good cause and had my mugshot taken with an iPad camera? There was no way I’d look like the hot felon without a couple filters. Or, what if I finally decided to take the leap and market myself on Match.com or KindaChristianMingles? I would definitely have to invest in Photoshop—and then have my Photoshopped pictures Photoshopped.

Fortunately, it wasn’t long before I learned that my fears were all in my head, which was exactly what my team of shrinks had said. Within minutes of me posting my picture on Instagram, Fashion Nova contacted me and asked if I’d be available to model for their new Grandpa line. I was ecstatic about the offer. It made me realize that, although I’m officially a senior citizen, life isn’t exactly over for me just yet. I mean, I have at least two more good years ahead of me. That’s more than enough to accomplish a thing or two before Michael Meyers catches up with me.

That noted, with my remaining two years, I set a few goals for myself. First, I’m going to be the biggest Fashion Nova model ever. Years from now, people will talk about how Naomi Campbell, Tyson Beckford, Cindy Crawford and I changed the game. I can promise you that I won’t let my Fashion Nova Grandpa model status go to my head. After all, I will always be the handsome, smart, talented, incredible, fabulous, amazing, and humble person you’ve come to know and love. That will never change.

Second, I’ve always wanted to learn a second language, so I’ve officially decided that I will learn English over the next year. I mean, who knows what the future is going to hold! From my perspective, maybe being fluent in English may be helpful somewhere down the line. Hell, at some point it may even be required. In any case, it’s on my to-do list.

Third, a few magazines I’ve read recommended that I try something that seems impossible. That noted, I’ve set a goal for myself to make it to work on time at least once over the next year. Granted, I know that there are other more realistic goals that I could set for myself. Perhaps running a 5K or climbing Mount Everest would be more reasonable, but I believe that if I set my mind to it, I can absolutely make it to work within an hour of my official start time, which I consider to be on time. At least I’ll try.

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

Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Magic Mike Birthday Wishes

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Oct• 14•18

Kohl’s Model In The Making

As many of my two readers know, in a few weeks I will be having yet another birthday. This is disturbing for several reasons. First, I could’ve sworn I just had a birthday yesterday. Second, I’m inching closer and closer to learning what happens to people when they hit 40. Third, my metabolism is acting more refurbished with each passing day. I’m expecting it to quit or go on strike at any moment.

Anyway, as the big day draws near, I’m happy to report that I’m becoming more responsible as a person. Although I still wake up eating bacon every morning, I’ve avoided going to Kohl’s for the last month or so. Just to ensure that I’d kicked my Kohl’s habit, I recently stopped by to see if I could resist the urge to buy something. It was a true test of my will power.

If you must know, my visit to Kohl’s was very successful. I only spent $250 on things that I really needed, like this one flannel shirt that perfectly matched this pair of khakis I just had lying around. For your information, that shirt has added versatility to my wardrobe that I didn’t have before. An absolutely necessary purchase. You’ll see.

If I’m completely honest, the $250 doesn’t exactly include the $100 blazer I accidentally purchased for the blog photo. I know what you’re thinking. “Michael,” you say, “you actually spent $350.” Well, technically, yes. However, I consider the blazer a necessary business cost. Clearly, my readers aren’t just here for the spectacular writing. You’re also here for the photos. You look forward to it just as much as you do the cover photos of Oprah’s magazine and People or Good Housekeeping. I completely understand.

I haven’t exactly figured out what I will do for my birthday. However, because of the way my bank account is set up, any birthday activities will need to be less than $10 in total. Since I’ve made my big day a four-day weekend, I’ll have a spending allowance of about $2.50 per day. Don’t worry, though. If I see another awesome suit jacket in my travels, I’ll find a way to acquire it. No, I won’t steal it. I’m not that type of person anymore. But I may stand outside the store and ask for voluntary contributions.

At this age, Women’s Day magazine recommended that I see a gynecologist. Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without seeing one. Knowing your reproductive health status is very important. Although I don’t have any immediate plans for having puppies of my own, who knows what the future holds? Unfortunately, each time I call to set up an appointment, the receptionist just laughs at me and hangs up. Some people can be so immature. It’s OK. I’ll just go as a walk-in.

In addition to seeing a gynecologist for my birthday, I’ve been thinking about taking some sort of road trip. Of course, I have to keep in mind my $10 budget, but maybe I could make it work. I mean, if Jesus fed a whole crowd with two fish and five loaves, the least I can do is have a little faith.

Tyra Banks has noting on me!

Speaking of fish, my fish and I have been talking about going back to Atlantic City. I’m not so sure about this. My fish are very well trained and all, but after releasing them into the ocean for a few hours last time, it was a nightmare trying to get them back into their tank. I had to remind them that they were freshwater fish, and that they wouldn’t last very long in the salt water. That did it. You should have seen them flopping around and begging to get back into the aquarium. Fortunately for them, I have a heart.

If not Atlantic City, I could finally make my way up to Niagara Falls. But now that summer has passed, I have to consider how much fun the trip will be if it’s 50 degrees outside. The idea of being cold and damp puts a bit of a downer on the trip. I’m not sure how enjoyable it will be to look at the waterfalls while my teeth are chattering and my bronchitis is rearing its ugly head. Maybe I should reconsider.

The good news is that, even if the road trip thing doesn’t work out, I do have a trip to Las Vegas coming up within the next few weeks. I’m going for work, but perhaps I can repurpose the trip to tackle some items on my bucket list. Maybe I’ll be able to squeeze in opening for Celine Dion during that trip. However, she and I will have to talk about that. She has some concerns that I may show her up if I go on first, so perhaps I’ll make some minor adjustments to my show. We’ll see.

If that doesn’t work out, because I did those two push-ups back in 1996, maybe I can finally agree to be the lead in the Magic Mike Live show. I keep explaining to them that I don’t do magic, but they say that’s not a problem. For some reason, they’re only concerned about whether I have leather chaps, cowboy boots, assorted tear-away pants, and glitter. Fortunately, I never leave home without any of those things.

While I’m in Vegas, perhaps serving as a backup dancer for Jennifer Lopez or Ricky Martin may be an option. I should call and let them both know I’m coming so that they can go ahead and start fighting over me now. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t. No one should be subject to receiving a right hook from Jennifer Lopez. Absolutely no one. But, honestly, how they sort this out is really none of my business. They are two partially responsible adults. If they opt to fight over me instead of having a dance off, that is really on them.

At the end of the day, my point is that my birthday is coming up. That noted, you should govern yourselves accordingly. Since my birthday funds are running a tad-bit low, I’ll be accepting donations in the form of cash, credit, snack cakes, and juice boxes. On the other hand, if you opt to see me open for Celine Dion, please stay for her show after my performance. Having half the audience and the entire front row leave when I exit the stage can be a little disturbing. She is super sensitive about those sorts of things.

If you opt to see me in the Magic Mike Live show, please respect my privacy and do not take pictures or videos. I know that my performance will be the highlight of some people’s whole lives, but the last time my routine ended up on YouTube, Barack and Michelle were not happy about it at all. Lastly, if you see Jennifer or Ricky with bruises over the next few weeks, please just nod understandingly and don’t make a scene. Whereas Ricky may be willing to talk about the fight over me, Jennifer will not be so gracious. You’ve been warned.

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

Of iPhones And Men

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Sep• 24•18

All My Children

If you know anything about me, you know that I make a major life decision every September. Because I’m allegedly a responsible adult, I never take this decision lightly out of respect for the millions who have had to make this choice before me. You probably guessed it. It’s the decision of whether to get out of bed or not. But after making that judgment call, I then have to make a choice that I’ll have to live with for the next year or two. To upgrade, or not to upgrade my iPhone: that is the question.

When faced with such a potentially life altering decision, I usually consult my team of shrinks and my grandma for guidance. Grandma once said that I could always count on her to be of assistance with life’s little dilemmas. Apparently, when she made that statement, she’d forgotten about her sleep schedule, which leaves me about 45 minutes each day when she is awake to offer support. Geez.

When neither my grandma nor my team of shrinks are available, I take more drastic measures. That’s right, I pray to the ghosts of iPhones past for their perspective. I mean, it’s what any normal person would do. And although I use this option only as a last resort, I must say it’s refreshing to not have to worry about having to pay a copay like I do when I consult my shrinks or my grandma. At this point, my grandma only takes American Express. According to her, cash is so last season.

So, before you start judging and thinking I’m one of those Apple fanatics who takes off work and stands in line for several weeks just to buy a new phone, I am not—well, not anymore. My boss has firmly said she could no longer tolerate me calling out sick for three weeks every year. I countered her statement by telling her that the stores have Wi-Fi, so I could work remotely while waiting in line, but she rejected that too. Some people have no sense of what’s truly important.

Honestly, I can’t really blame my boss for her lack of support. Last year, she took a slight issue to my being on sick leave when I could clearly be seen sitting outside the Apple store by anyone who passed by. It probably didn’t help my cause that I had done several interviews for the local news, and my picture was on the front page of the Washington Post showing my excitement as I waited. At the time, I was supposed to have been at the hospital with a ruptured spleen and a tattered heart. Perhaps I hadn’t really thought it through. No one goes to the hospital for a tattered heart anymore.

Well, if you must know, I handled things much more reasonably this year. And by reasonably, I mean that I only waited in line for 3 days for my iPhone. Totally acceptable! Although I won’t go into details, surprisingly I only had to use the potty once the whole time. Since there were no restrooms, this gave me an opportunity to get creative. You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish by simply ducking behind an oak tree. More importantly, relieving yourself outside in the middle of a city block with nothing but a few leaves and two cigarette butts gives you a real appreciation for Charmin Ultra Soft.

I assure you that the waiting wasn’t as bad as you’re probably thinking. Believe it or not, I’ve met some pretty interesting people while waiting in line. I won’t say any names in effort to protect the innocent, but this one guy named Harold Jenkins waited in line even longer than I did. According to him, he’d been standing there since 1942. If you had asked me to guess when he’d arrived, I would have thought 1960 at the earliest. Either way I admired his commitment.

Because I consider the term “nerd” to be rather offensive, I won’t describe Harold in that way. Instead, I’ll just say that he was wearing a bow tie even though he had on a T-shirt. Oh, and maybe his glasses were a little on the thick side, but apparently that’s ok. Style gurus Anna Wintour and Miranda Priestly both told me thick glasses were coming back in style—especially when paired with the right pocket square and orthopedic shoes.

The most interesting thing about Harold was the aluminum foil helmet he wore as we stood there. At first I thought it was a bit odd, but once he explained that he was protecting us from the aliens that walk among us, it made complete sense. Hey, safety first! He even makes his dogs, Socrates and Aristotle, wear the foil helmets for their protection too. Like Harold said, “When the aliens come, everyone is a target unless they are wearing proper headgear.” I immediately ordered one from Amazon.

After what seemed like an eternity, the moment of truth came and the store finally opened. Even though the clerks said they were ready for us, we all stood back and let Harold go first to make sure the coast was clear. Although we had just spent several days with Harold, none of us felt like we could correctly identify whether the salespeople were aliens or not. In fact, I’m taking Harold with me the next time I go to visit my mother. She’s been acting weird lately, so I need Harold for a second opinion.

Before long, it happened. I was presented with an iPhone Xs of my very own. Tears streamed down my face as I looked down at it in awe. It was so beautiful. At that moment, my maternal instincts kicked in. I immediately took my shirt off so we could have skin-to-skin contact. I’ve never been more proud in my whole life. It was then I knew that real dreams do come true. “I’m going to call you Charlie,” I said as I cuddled the most precious little thing I had ever seen.

It’s been a few days since Charlie has been with me, and unlike what many blogs say, my iPhone sleeps right through the night. It probably helps that I use the do-not-disturb setting to make this happen, but that‘s neither here nor there. It’s amazing how I somehow just know when it’s time to plug little Charlie in and when to put on his leather case to protect him from the cold. I haven’t exactly mastered the whole nursing thing just yet, but as they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Eventually I’ll get the hang of it. I expect little Charlie and I to be really happy together . . . right up until this time next year . . . when I’m forced to wait in line with my foil helmet to trade him in. Hmmm.

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

Goodbye Summer, Hello Dates!

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Sep• 09•18

There’s something in my eye.

It’s weird how we are in the first weeks of September, yet it feels like the end of something. Well, I guess it is the end of summer. Soon it will be the end of my day trips to the beach and the weather has already started to change. Kids are back in school, which is a great thing and makes the streets safe during the day again. I no longer have to worry about having my wallet stolen at the park during lunch. Kindergarteners are the worse.

There are a couple of things I intended to do during the summer that I didn’t quite accomplish. Somehow, I still haven’t learned how to get a full body tan while maintaining my modesty. Well, there was that one time I accidentally ended up on a nude beach and decided to take my shirt off and all the grandmas and grandpas yelled “No!” in unison. I get it. There are certain things people just shouldn’t be forced to see. My B cups are two of them.

I didn’t travel the way I wanted to during the summer. I may not have shared this with you, but I’m the reason they invented the phrase “Caviar tastes on a Kool-Aid budget.” You see, I had to learn the hard way that $5 only goes but so far. My bags were packed and loaded in the trunk for my cross-country drive to Los Angeles. However, I hadn’t make it across the Maryland state line before I ran out of gas and had to call my shrink to come pick me up. She charged extra for that visit.

I haven’t gone to an amusement park yet, but that may be a good thing. I don’t know about you, but the heat and I don’t get along. If I could, I would file for permanent separation. Divorce even. Heat makes me become a sweaty mess. Even after just a few seconds of exposure, you would think I was one of the “Golden Girls” going through the change of life. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why people sometimes call me Betty White. Hmmm.

Although I haven’t made it to an amusement park, I did go to the Maryland State Fair. Wait, before you start spreading rumors about me, no, I wasn’t on a date. As a matter of fact, none of the people I invited using Match, Tinder, or BlogFarmers.com accepted my offer. However, this may be my fault because I only invited 50 potential soulmates. Maybe I should have cast a wider net. I mean, love really is a numbers game. Next time I’ll send 5,000 invites. Wish me luck.

Anyway, if you must know, I went to the fair with my parents. That’s right. My mommy and daddy wanted to go to the fair with their little muffin and I’m not ashamed! My shrink says it’s absolutely OK. I’m not sure she meant that it was OK for the three of us to hold hands and skip throughout the fairgrounds while singing Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande songs, but that is neither here nor there.

Although I am not ashamed of going to the fair with my parents, I am ashamed that my mom wanted us to get there at 9 a.m., well before the rides started and well before most of the workers had arrived. As a matter of fact, the animals weren’t even decent and ready to accept visitors. I don’t know about you, but seeing a pig wearing a nightie is not exactly my cup of tea—no judgment if it’s yours though.

I may be crazy, but I swear I heard several goats snicker as we walked by. They were probably thinking about the wild night they’d had versus my parents and I going to bed super early so we could be there at the crack of dawn. A few of the goats still looked drunk or hungover from the previous night’s festivities. Again, no judgment. We were all that age once upon a time, and we’ve all certainly had fun in a barn after hours. Well, I haven’t. I’m not that type of guy. But I’m sure YOU have.

At some point, a photographer tried to take our picture. My dad and I quickly got into our best thug poses, but you should have seen my mom practically do a 50-yard dash to escape the camera’s lens. One minute she was there, the next minute she was hiding behind a bush, peeking out to see if the coast was clear. The photographer made the slightest movement in her direction, and before you knew it, my mother had darted behind a food cart. The only thing visible was her hand reaching around for a corncob.

Ok, so I know I have a flair for the dramatic, but this was even a bit much from my viewpoint, which is saying a lot. I mean, what was she trying to hide? Who was this woman who had allegedly raised me and forced me to call her “Mom” my whole life? Was she some secret government spy trying to save the world? I wasn’t sure, but I decided that I would make it my life’s mission to find out.

As soon as I got a moment to myself, I used my cellphone to do a quick Google search. You’d be surprised what I found. Apparently, my mom has quite the infamous past. Who knew that she had starred on Baywatch? And allegedly my mom has some “interesting” photos and videos circling the web. You’d be amazed at all the information available about her on the Googler. Matter of fact, you can see for yourself. Just search the name “Pamela Anderson.”

Once my mom came out of hiding, we did get to do some really cool things. When the animals were ready to take visitors, we saw the cutest baby ducks and piglets. We even bonded with several friendly horses and a few cows. Sadly, we transitioned right into lunch afterwards and had beef hotdogs, which made me think about that one pen where the cow was missing. I’m not implying anything here. Maybe the cow was on break. Either way, PETA members should have probably skipped this paragraph.

My parents and I also did something we hadn’t done in years: we got on a ride together. And by together, I mean we all tried to fit into the same car on this one ride that we used to love when I was a toddler back in the 1940s. Unfortunately, we’ve all grown a bit, so no matter how much we huffed, puffed, sucked in, or prayed, I was forced to ride alone while my parents stayed together. Somehow, I always get the short end of the stick.

In any case, I’d like to report that all is not lost. Next week my parents and I plan on going on another date. This time, we’re going to New York. My mom wants to go to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. My dad wants to go to Central Park. Meanwhile, I just want to try to keep them both alive. Wish me luck. Oh, and since we all know I only have $5 to last me until February, I’ve set up a GoFundMe for this venture. Thanks for your support in advance.

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

Life Decisions and Lunch Meat

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Aug• 19•18

Practicing my model-with-the-lips-parted look!

So, the other day I found myself standing in front of my refrigerator making life decisions. I’d spent the day before at a winery, and although I had managed to drink all the wine—like, I had some leftover snacks that looked a little sickly. Because I had been out in the sun for a few hours, the cheese looked a little runny. Oh, and the prosciutto and pepperoni didn’t look any better. Let’s just say, if it wasn’t dead before, it was certainly dead now.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen questionable lunch meat, so I’ll try to describe it for you. Imagine a piece of prosciutto that had seen better days. Now imagine that prosciutto had been hitchhiking on a busy interstate and was hit by a car where all four tires rolled over it. Let’s say the car backed up and rolled over the prosciutto again. Clearly dead, the lunch meat was subsequently buried without a coffin because it was poor, but then it was exhumed after 20 years for DNA testing because someone had filed a child support claim. Ok, maybe that’s a bit extreme. To make things a little more realistic, let’s just say the lunch meat was dug up after 5 years instead. There, is that better?

I stood there in front of the grayish meat and the runny cheese and tried to decide whether it was still safe to eat. I mean, who has money to waste? If I tossed it, that would be a good $2.99 down the drain. However, if I ate it and it didn’t agree with me, I could end up on the toilet for several days—again. Worse yet, I could end up in the hospital where I’d be forced to have my stomach pumped and to eat low-quality slop that looks just as bad as the dead prosciutto. The last time this happened, I lost 41 pounds in 3 days. Hmmm.

Wait a minute. Maybe I didn’t exactly think this through. If I lost 41 pounds again, I bet all the major modeling agencies would come calling and trying to put me on billboards and the sides of milk cartons. I could just see me taking calls from Wilhelmina Models, Ford, and Victoria Secret all offering me millions to be the face of their next campaign. I mean, I’m already confused with Prison Bae and Tyson Beckford at least 3 times a week, so a dead lunch meat diet could be my big break.

Well, after a thorough analysis that included several Excel spreadsheets and a few consultation calls, I opted against eating the grayish meat and the runny cheese. I wish I could say that I made the choice because it was simply the right thing to do, but instead, I thought about 50 years from now being interviewed by Barbara Walters and Oprah and having to tell them how I broke into the industry. I thought about all the doctors and nurses that would threaten to leak photos and footage of my hospital stay if I didn’t give them hush money. Absolutely not worth it to me. Nope.

Not long after I tossed the lunch meat, I began to feel depressed over the missed opportunity. Fortunately, I have a team of shrinks who make themselves available 24/7 to help me through these low moments. Well, that’s not exactly true. My main shrink was attending a funeral at the time and refused to step out into the hallway to take my call, even though I had asked nicely. I told her that I understood, but I would need her to call me immediately after the service to help with my depression and my new feelings of rejection.

Next, I called my backup shrink. Fortunately, he was more than willing to step out of his daughter’s college graduation ceremony to offer guidance. He quickly reminded me of our last session where he had taught me to be confident in my decisions even when they’re clearly the wrong ones. Whether I ate the prosciutto or not, the choice was mine and mine alone. He reminded me that no matter how bad my choices are, things will be alright just as long as I stick my chest out, profess my flawed decisions loudly, and stand behind my erroneous judgement no matter what. He then told me to turn on CNN for some excellent examples of this technique.

Of course, I then called my backup backup shrink for a second opinion. She agreed. Well, at least I think she’s a she. Although I’m sharing this with you, my dear blog readers, I will not make things uncomfortable by trying to address this with her—or him directly. In any case, it’s 2018. Be who you want to be. Live your life. And even though my backup backup shrink is my grandma, I don’t want to offend her by just assuming she’s a woman. You know what they say about people who assume: they have bad credit.

The downside of reaching out to my backup backup shrink, is that he or she always makes the session about her or him. Before I realized what was happening, my grandma (or grandpa…if you will) was reminding me that if I ate the dead lunch meat, he/she and I could both be on the cover of Vogue together. I reminded him or her that this call was supposed to be about me, but then my grandma/grandpa said he/she was waiting for his/her big break too. Clearly, he or she was applying the hit 2 birds with 12 stones logic.

The whole conversation made me wonder if I had made the right decision by adding grandma/grandpa to my team of shrinks. I mean, was he/she even a professional? Before our first session, grandma/grandpa did show me his/her mental health certification that he/she got one day while waiting for an oil change at Jiffy Lube. I was slightly alarmed by the name being scratched out and my grandma/grandpa’s name being written in with red crayon, but if you can’t trust your grandma/grandpa, who can you trust?

To make a long story less long, it looks like I’ll be losing the 41 pounds the hard way. I’m not exactly looking forward to not being able to eat or drink anything for the next four months or so, but that has to be a better choice than indulging in gray lunch meat and runny cheese. Besides, the extra time will give my grandma/grandpa extra time to come up with other ways to get his or her own Vogue cover. You don’t see Rihanna or Beyoncé sharing magazine covers with their grannies, and since I’m equally beautiful and successful, why should I?

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

Beach Bodies and Pant Suits

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jul• 22•18

Just Another Day

So, just like last year, I’ve been patiently waiting by the front door for the UPS guy to arrive with the 2018 beach body I ordered off Amazon. Of course, it’s late. Even with Prime’s 2-day shipping, it still has not been delivered. Whenever I try to track the package, the results read, “Don’t hold your breath.” I’m not sure what that means, but I’m definitely not holding my breath—all that excess air in my lungs would just make me weigh more. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

Since this is the fifth year in a row that my body upgrade has not arrived, I canceled my Amazon Prime membership immediately. Well, that’s not exactly true. First, I had to finish streaming the last season of Monk. But I promise you that as soon as the final credits rolled, I didn’t hesitate to cancel it. I mean, some things I just won’t stand for. I’m a paying customer after all. And I deserve better.

Because I had no other choice, I was forced to go to the beach in the body that I had. Instead of wearing my Snuggie like I did last year, I decided to be a little more reasonable this season. I wore a yellow pant suit to be less obvious. At first, I was going to wear a full-body romper, but my dad said male rompers were so last season, so I opted not to. Hey, sometimes I use good judgement. It’s rare, but sometimes I do.

Slightly ashamed of not meeting my beach body goals, the first thing I did when I arrived at the beach was order an Italian sausage, boardwalk fries, a large Coke, and a side of Skittles. I noticed some strange looks as I walked along the beach. Initially, I thought the looks were because people were jealous of my pant suit and wished they had thought to wear one too. It’s not their fault they aren’t as creative as I am.

After about two minutes on the beach, I began to rethink my whole outfit choice. Although my skin was completely covered and I didn’t have to use sunblock, I began to overheat. I started sweating in places that I’m sure it’s illegal to sweat from. Also, surprisingly, seagulls like the color yellow, so I was repeatedly being pecked in places where I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to be pecked.

Under the circumstances, I did what any normal person would do. I took it as an opportunity to revisit my former dream job as a lunch-hour stripper where I went by the name of Caramel Macchiato Thunder. I was never good enough to work the night shift at an actual strip club, so my coworkers got the privilege of viewing me rhythmically thrusting right over their cobb salads. I never made less than $5 in tips each lunch hour. Those were the days.

Anyway, although I was a little rusty, I slowly rose and planted my feet in the middle of my beach towel. I decided to make it my stage. To get folks ready for the show, I clapped twice to grab their attention. Once I had them eating out of the palm of my hand, I decided to start off by slowly swaying from side to side. I mean, you don’t want to give people too much too soon. After all, there were children present.

Once I started really feeling the music playing in my head, I started to slowly unbutton the blazer of my pant suit, then I quickly buttoned it back up to make the wait more dramatic. Besides, I have class. Remember, I used to strip for the likes of the CFO, IT Director, and consultants in the lunch room. If there is anything that stripping in front of your boss, it’s to be classy while you provocatively dance over a plate of steamed carrots.

Eventually, I remembered that the whole purpose of the dance was to get out of the pant suit. I was getting hotter by the second—and not in a good way. Once I finally worked my way out of the blazer, I whirled it over my head a few times for good measure. Remember, I didn’t have a routine planned, so all of this was improvised. However, as you well know, I am a professional, so I made it work.

Around about the fifth rotation of the blazer over my head, I released it midair. It landed on someone’s dad. He didn’t look pleased, which is understandable because he had been sleeping. He hadn’t seen me getting all warmed up, so he had no idea what was coming. For all he knew, my blazer landing on his head could have just as easily been a shark that washed up on the shore for a snack. In hindsight, that was probably pretty frightening for him.

To alleviate his concerns, I yelled, “Enjoy the show, sir. I’ll get it back when I’m done. Get your dollars ready.” At this point I decided to really get their heart rates moving by quickly working my way out of my button-down shirt. This was a bit difficult because the shirt had at least ten buttons or so. It was then that I remembered that most dancers just rip their shirts open and let the buttons fly where they may. I opted not to do this because I had just spent $4.99 on that shirt. I had at least a few more wears out of it before I’d want to ruin it. Nope. Not on my watch.

Ten minutes later, once I had carefully taken the shirt off, I began to wiggle my way out of my pants. To keep everyone engaged, I slung my head from side to side. Of course, I don’t have hair, but I considered this to be the audience participation portion where they could imagine me with whatever hair they wanted. If they chose to envision me with long Fabio hair flapping in the breeze, or even wild Beyoncé hair, who am I to judge? After all, I’m an entertainer.

Once my suit pants were around my ankles, I decided to simply end it there. I didn’t want to give the audience too much. As an entertainer, you always have to leave them wanting more. Besides, I wanted to be respectful of the fact that it was 8:44 in the morning and me dancing vigorously in my non-beach body may have been a lot to take in before breakfast.

Once I stepped out of my pants, I tried to lead the crowd into a slow clap like they do in the movies. Unfortunately, the audience didn’t exactly catch on. I think they were still mesmerized by what they had just witnessed. I mean, if I had been treated to the rhythmic stylings of Caramel Macchiato Thunder on the beach, I would have been in shock and awe too. It’s understandable.

At that point, I put out my tip hat and threw on my life jacket and matching floaties because you can never be too careful. I then ran in slow motion toward the water. Just like they do on Baywatch. You should have seen it. It was a beautiful sight to behold. But then I tripped and rolled the rest of the way down the shoreline. Guess you can’t win them all. As I caught my breath, I was thankful for having the foresight to wear my floaties. Thankful for being smart enough to use protection.

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

I’m a Professional . . . and I Mean It!!!

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jun• 17•18

I’m number 1 . . . or number 141 . . . but you get the point.

I’m not sure if you know this or not, but, allegedly, I’m a professional. Clearly, not as much of a professional as Martha Stewart, Steve Jobs, or Snooki even, but one can certainly dream. And you may not be able to tell my level of professionalism by the sporadic frequency of my blog posts, but that’s beside the point. My posts are like child support; you never know if and when it’s coming. From my perspective, it keeps things interesting. Consistency is so overrated.

Well, here is another secret that I may not have shared: I’m working on my MBA. Perhaps a more accurate statement would be that I’m paying for my MBA. If the student-loan payment schedules are correct, this is an expense I’ll be repaying until at least 2092. Because of that, I may have to order some children and grandchildren off eBay to keep the payments going after I . . . ummm . . . go to that mythical place in the sky where Sallie Mae can’t find me and where you never exceed your mobile data allowance.

Several judgmental people have questioned my choice in getting an MBA and the amount of time it has taken me to complete the program. First of all, I thought MBA was short for Michael Blog Awesome. I was two years into the program before I realized that it stood for something-something-business-something. Imagine my shock and disappointment to learn the truth that the program wasn’t about Michael or my blog at all. But because I’m not a quitter, I decided to stick with it. I mean, having a something-something-business-something degree certainly won’t hurt.

Secondly, going to school isn’t cheap. Depending on what’s on sale at Kohl’s that week, I may not have $5,000 lying around to put toward my next course. Every semester I’m forced to make a life decision between a new pair of khakis or a class on leadership development. In these instances, I ask myself what would Oprah do, and then I get the khakis. I mean, I could develop my leadership skills anytime, but I may never have the opportunity to save fifty cents on a pair of slacks again. Hey, it’s all about priorities.

While I slowly progress toward my degree, I figured I could start to find ways to demonstrate my status as a professional. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way that showing random people my college transcripts may not be the best method. As it was explained to me, it holds up the McDonald’s drive-thru lane when I try to explain to the cashier why I got a C in Professor Smith’s class three years ago. Clearly, I was robbed. My blood pressure is rising now just thinking about it.

That noted, I’ve switched up my technique and began searching for other ways to look and act the part of a professional. First, I got a full-body mirror so that I could assess the situation. Actually, if I am completely honest, I had to buy three full-body mirrors. Because of my girth, all of me wouldn’t fit on one mirror no matter how far I backed away from it. At one point, I backed right out my front door and across the hall where I had to knock on my neighbor’s door so he could let me continue to back up through his living room. By the time I found myself backing up through his bedroom, where his wife was sleeping, I realized that maybe I was going a tad bit overboard and just ordered the additional mirrors, but not before I woke his wife up and asked her to make me a sandwich. After all, I was a guest.

Anyway, after the full body assessment and a quick call to my team of plastic surgeons, I realized what I needed to do. I would get glasses. Glasses make everyone look smart. Actually, I already have a pair of glasses, but I paid so much for them that I keep them as a souvenir. If MTV Cribs ever wants to film here at my apartment again, I’ll show everyone that I keep them on the bookshelf where my future Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy awards for Best Humor Blog will eventually go.

To choose the right pair, I’ve been randomly borrowing people’s glasses and trying them on. This works well with my co-workers and my shrink, but not so much with the strangers I meet on the Metro. I’m not sure why people are so distrustful of folks they don’t know. I mean, I’m only asking to borrow their glasses; I’m not asking for a kidney! Every time I tap someone on the shoulder, they immediately tell me they don’t have any spare change, which is offensive. However, if they did happen to have spare change, I wouldn’t turn it down. Hey, my cable bill is due.

Once they finally hand over their glasses, I then give them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take my picture while I’m wearing them. For the first picture, they usually seem confused about what’s happening, but they typically go along with it. However, by the time I’ve had them re-take the picture 20 times due to bad lighting, my eyes being closed, or my nose being too shiny, they start to get a bit annoyed. People can be so impatient. It’s ok, though. They can’t possibly know now that 40 years down the road they’ll be able to tell their grandchildren about that one time they did that photoshoot with me on the train. They’ll see.

Just call me Mike Tyson Beckford!

My search for the perfect glasses has not been without its challenges. So far, I’ve gotten pink eye four times in the past two weeks. Although I do have the chiseled cheek bones that rival male models like Tom Brady or Cristiano Ronaldo, having pink eye completely ruined my new dating profile picture for BlackFarmersWhoAreKindOfChristianMingle.com. Instead of being asked about my background, hobbies, and my bank account balance, potential suitors keep asking what’s wrong with my eye. Folks can be so superficial. Isn’t it what’s on the inside that counts? Well, I guess conjunctivitis is technically inside my eye, but that’s neither here nor there.

Besides glasses, I also figured it was time to upgrade my wardrobe so I could look the part of a professional as well. Perhaps I may have overdone it by strutting through the office in a sparkly silver tuxedo with a matching top hat. The cane and the wingtip shoes probably didn’t help my case either. However, I’m sure you’ll agree that this ensemble was a vast improvement over the Mickey Mouse T-shirt I wore to present the departmental statistics to the executive team last week. I was just happy I scaled it back and didn’t wear the outfit I’d planned to wear from The Great Gatsby movie. I’m not sure a feathered headband and a shawl have a proper place in a corporate setting. At least not on a Tuesday.

Clearly, I’m a work in progress. I don’t have it all figured out just yet, but who does? Ok, maybe Meghan Markle and Mama June have things under control, but perhaps we shouldn’t set our bars that high. I mean, one married a prince and the other mothered Honey Boo Boo. We can only dream of such greatness. But, in the meantime, we’ll just have to keep trying on other people’s glasses, one pair at a time.

It’s just me!!!!

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

Adulting Sucks!!!

Written By: Michael Rochelle - May• 28•18

I don’t want to grow up!

A wise person on Pinterest once wrote, “Adulthood is like looking both ways before you cross the street and then getting hit by an airplane.” Because that’s just my luck, I can barely go three minutes without looking up into the sky to see what obstacles South West or United may be hurling my way. I’ve already been informed that my job will not tolerate any more lateness from me, so being hit by a plane will not be considered an acceptable excuse for my being tardy—even if I do have a doctor’s note and a leg dragging behind me. It’s good to know these sort of things in advance.

I’ve been an adult since at least 1922. That noted, I have the authority to say that adulting needs to be voted off the island. It’s severely overrated. I miss the days when I didn’t have to worry about paying bills or watching what I eat. Now that I’m aging faster than wine and cheese, if I have just two Doritos, my blood pressure spikes and my girdle buttons pop faster than a bottle of champagne on New Year’s Eve. I apologize to the people who have lost an eye or an elbow in any of those girdle incidents.

Back in the day, before I was using phrases like “back in the day,” I could randomly spend the night over a friend’s house. The bed, the couch, or the floor would all have been suitable places for me to rest my head. Now, I have to plan overnight stays well in advance and ask important questions like, “Do you have a Sealy Postuerpedic or a Sleep Number bed available? I require a firmness setting of at least 48 or else my back locks up and stiffens worse than a politician being asked to answer a question honestly.”

In addition to the physical difficulties that come along with adulthood, you’re also expected to make “responsible” decisions and to be “mature.” It’s gotten so bad that, before I buy a Snickers bar, I have to decide whether the purchase is a better choice than investing the dollar into my 401k. After holding up the grocery line while I debate this in my head, the Snickers usually wins. I justify this by believing that if I don’t eat now, I won’t live long enough to utilize my 401k. Of course, none of this matters if I get hit by a plane.

Another reason I choose the Snickers is because I have yet to see any financial gains from the $3.50 I invested in my 401k 10 years ago. Once I put the money in, you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t a superstar. The world was mine! However, I just checked my balance and it’s still $3.50. So much for investing in my future!!! At this rate, when I’m old enough to retire, I’ll be able to buy a Sausage McMuffin and a senior citizen coffee . . . maybe . . . depending on inflation.

Seriously, when I do my budget once a year, I’m forced to make life decisions around whether I should pay the rent or the cable bill. Granted, if you don’t have a roof over your head, you probably don’t need cable as much, but that’s beside the point. I’ve had many conversations with my landlord about the cultural importance of Game of Thrones and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but despite my many protests, he usually demands that I pay the rent on time. It figures. My landlord is always trying to make a buck regardless of how much it inconveniences me. Some people are so self-centered.

I know what you’re thinking, it just doesn’t make sense to have cable or WiFi if you’re homeless. Well, as long as I pay for the WiFi, maybe I’ll find that it’s enjoyable to sit outside and watch HBO or Showtime on my tablet underneath a starlit sky. I guess I’d have to find a place to plug in the router, but that’s neither here nor there. Like the good book says, “Where there’s a will, there’s an electrical outlet.” I’ll figure it out.

As a child, I never had to worry about how food was being put on the table. I assumed my mother would go out under the cover of night like other moms and use her senses to hunt down the evening’s meal. On at least two occasions, I remember looking out the window and seeing her hiding behind a dumpster waiting to pounce on unsuspecting prey. From what I remember, she was really good at catching chicken and hot dogs. Sometimes she would even catch rice or a neighbor. Sometimes she would just catch peas. I have no idea how she caught the Corn Flakes.

Anyway, back then I never had to be concerned about the light bill. As a matter of fact, several of my worst childhood floggings took place because I’d left a light on. My mother would act like my leaving a light on was me intentionally breaking one of the Ten Commandments. Little does she know that I was leaving the light on because I was scared of the dark, and so were all the ghost that lived in our apartment with us. I was just trying to be helpful. Casper wasn’t always so friendly.

Ironically, whenever my mom comes to visit, I have to run after her like she’s a toddler and cut the lights off behind her. Apparently, she only cares about the cost of electricity when she is the one paying for it. If she only knew that I have to dust off my stripper boots every month to pay for the cable and utilities, she’d probably think again about leaving the lights on. Besides, I’m pretty sure I’ve broken several of the actual Commandments during my night shift as Caramel Macchiato Thunder. Let’s keep that between us, though.

When you’re a kid, all you have to worry about is making it to school in a matching outfit and turning in your homework on time. On special days, you may even have taken a shower, brushed your hair, and slapped on some deodorant. As an adult, if I’m late on a work assignment, words like “write up” and “termination” get thrown around with reckless abandon. Last week I was fired at least three times by noon on Monday. I was never fired when I was a kid.

Growing up, I remember periodically asking my mom for 30-minute extensions to my bedtime. For a while, I think I was the only teenager that had to be in bed by 7:30. Now, as an adult, going to bed at 7:30 sounds like a blessing. At around 6 PM, my body starts to shut down, and if I don’t make it to my bed, I will end up falling asleep wherever I am. One evening this happened while I was riding the Metro. When I woke up the next morning, they charged me a $300 fare for riding from station to station all night.

Lastly, adulting sucks because the expectations are just too high. People expect me to know adult things like how to recycle. I’ve Googled it and phoned a friend, but I still don’t get it. Apparently, I’m supposed to be setting an example for today’s youth. First of all, no one should be looking up to me for anything. I can barely choose clean underwear in the morning. No one should be following my lead, which is why I don’t have children. I assessed that situation years ago and decided it was best to be both spayed and neutered just to be safe. I consider it me doing my part for humanity. If you think things are bad in the world now, imagine if there were little Michaels and Michaelinas running around. Worse yet, imagine me lurking behind a dumpster waiting for some unsuspecting stranger to come by so I could put food on the table. Yuck.

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

In Need of CPR and Bail Money

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Apr• 22•18

Hiking!?!?!?! What was I thinking?

So, we are finally starting to experience some of the warmer weather that comes along with spring. Although I didn’t do as many push-ups as I had intended during the winter months, as soon as the temperature reached 70 degrees, I was the first person to rip off my shirt and my Spanx. Perhaps I shouldn’t have done it in the middle of aisle 15 at Walmart, but having the security team chase me through the toy section and then taze me repeatedly in the electronics section allowed me to finally check that off my bucket list.

Since the first really nice day of 2018 took place on a Friday, like most people, I had to make a life decision and choose whether I would be a grown-up and go in to work (yuck), or pretend to be sick. You should have seen me practicing my cough routine. I even practiced wheezing on cue while placing my thermometer under hot water. I then had to Google whether a reading of 369.1 was reasonable for humans or not. In the end I decided to just go with it. If someone questioned it, they could Google it themselves. That’s part of the problem with today’s society. Everyone wants a quick answer. Do the research!

For the sake of being thorough, I even went so far as taking a stool sample because I’ve never been denied a sick day when I’ve plopped a Ziploc bag of . . . umm . . . a Ziploc bag of “Michael” on my manager’s desk, right there beside her morning bagel. For the sake of argument, I then ask my manager for her thoughts on the sample. How does she feel about the color? What does she think about the consistency? How would she rank the specimen in relation to all the other samples she’d analyzed that day?

Since we work in accounting, my manager typically doesn’t have to analyze a ton of stool samples. However, it really just depends on the day. I mean, my manager has a boss too. If her boss walks into the office and demands a prostate exam right there on the spot, my manager has to do what she has to do. It doesn’t even matter that her boss is a female. Sometimes she still wants her prostate and testosterone levels checked. But I digress.

My stool sample usually gets me the day off with no problems and no further questions asked. Feel free to use this technique whenever you feel necessary. You can make it even more effective if you leave the sample on your boss’ desk while you slowly back out of the office. If they tell you that you’ve left something behind, just let him or her know that you want to leave them with a little something to think about.

Not exactly the stool sample I was referring to, but close enough.

Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that I chose to go in to work that Friday. After all, I’m a professional. However, I only worked the full day because I somehow lost my stool sample on the Metro on the way to the office. I’m not sure what happened. The only thing I remember is that I had it in my hand, fell asleep, and when I woke up it was gone. Perhaps someone else had the same idea as I had and they slapped my stool sample on their manager’s desk and demanded to be sent home. Glad I could help.

Because the following Saturday was warm as well, I woke up after months of inactivity and somehow decided to go straight into a 5-mile hike on one of the Sugarloaf Mountain trails not too far from my house. Of course, there were 99 problems with that decision, and my lack of ability to read a map should have been the first sign that this wasn’t the smartest choice I’d made in life. Fortunately, my GPS is portable, so I just let Garmin lead the way.

Another fault in my plan was that I embarked on the journey without doing a single stretch or any other form of warm-up exercise. There was literally no prep work involved. I also hit the trail without having any drinking water on me, which was a terrible idea in case I happened upon a thirsty deer or polar bear along the way. Most importantly, I forgot to pack a back-up battery in case my iPhone or GPS died. Let’s just chalk that up to bad planning on my part.

So, there I was on the mountain, in tennis shoes, flopping over fallen trees and stumbling over rocks—and that was all before I actually started the hike. After spending an hour trying to find the entrance to the trail, I decided to follow some random guys with biker jackets and tattoos into the woods. If I ran into trouble, I figured these guys would be more than happy to help. However, because I’m respectful, I decided to throw on my headphones and turn the volume up so that I wouldn’t overhear any of their plans to rob unsuspecting hikers along the trail. I mean, if Katie Couric or Robin Roberts ever called to ask what happened on the trail that fateful day, I wanted to be able to honestly answer that I knew nothing.

Besides not hearing the bikers’ robbery plans, the loud music seemed to be a good idea in case there were any angry foxes or rabbits out there on the trail. I believe it was Joel Osteen who once said, “If you can’t hear it, it clearly isn’t happening.” I think it’s completely appropriate to ignore a hungry wolf because you’re listening to Drake or Adele. In my opinion, the wolf can wait until I’ve finished singing along to “Someone Like You.” Sometimes you just have to know what’s most important in the moment.

Because I hadn’t exercised or stretched much before hitting the trail, I wasn’t able to keep up with the bikers. Maybe this was a good thing. After all, I hadn’t even introduced myself or asked them if they were killers or not. You’d be amazed at how many bad guys I’ve avoided simply by introducing myself, shaking their hands, and asking if they had bad intentions. Feel free to try this at home.

Someone please send help ASAP!!!!

After hiking for what I’d thought had been hours, I looked down at my phone to see that I’d only been on the trail for three minutes. Exhausted, I stopped to take a break. It was then that I heard the scream. As I turned toward the direction of the commotion, I was surprised to see that the bikers weren’t involved at all. Instead, a woman appeared to have been attacked by a rogue tree trunk that had reached out and grabbed ahold of her ankle. My inner superhero had been waiting my whole life for a moment like this. Finally, here was my opportunity to save the day.

Immediately, I dove into action and ran in slow motion over to the woman who was struggling to get her footing. Because she was laughing when I reached her, I thought she was clearly disoriented, so I pushed her down and asked if she needed help. Because I knew the potential severity of the situation, I didn’t bother waiting for her response. I knew what needed to be done, and nothing was going to stop me from helping a poor damsel in distress.

To my surprise, the damsel slapped me a few times as I mounted her and prepared to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Instinctively, I knew she was having trouble determining whether I was a friend or foe. After all, I didn’t have on my superhero costume, which I had left in the car for safekeeping. It was no wonder that she was confused. She continued to scream while I tried to inform her not to worry because I was certified in CPR. Clearly, she was in distress, so who knows what was going through her head at the time. I can only imagine.

As I held her down to administer CPR, I realized someone was behind me karate chopping me in the back of my head. Assuming the karate chops were coming from the rogue tree trunk that had grabbed the woman’s ankle, I leaned in and told the woman to stay calm as I tried not to black out. In that moment I wondered what would Oprah or Ellen do. I looked into the woman’s frightened eyes, stroked her face, and hoped that she knew I wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her. That was the last thing I remember.

When I came to, I was surprised to find that I was in handcuffs in the back of a police car. An officer explained to me that while I thought I was being attacked by a tree trunk, I was actually being karate chopped by the woman’s husband. Apparently, he reported that his wife had simply tripped before I pushed her down and attacked her. I calmly explained that I was trained in CPR and my instincts to protect and serve had kicked in. I had seen a person in need, so I innocently tried to help.

As it turns out, the “poor damsel in distress” was really a paramedic and her husband was a neurosurgeon. From their perspective, they didn’t need my help in that moment, which I think is a bit shortsighted on their part. Maybe my one day of CPR training isn’t exactly equivalent to the neurosurgeon’s 12 years of college or the paramedic’s 20 years of work experience, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have saved the woman’s life if there had been a real emergency. I had simply misjudged the situation. Whoops.

In any case, I share this story, not to brag because I spent 20 minutes on a Saturday doing unspeakable things to a CPR manikin that really could have used a mint . . . or a Life Saver, but to emphasize the one step I forgot from my training, which was to make sure that the person you are trying to administer mouth-to-mouth to actually needs your help. When you skip that crucial step, terms like “assault” and “lawsuit” get thrown around. Learn from my mistakes. I share these life lessons with you so that you won’t have to learn the hard way. By the way, please send bail money ASAP.

View from the top!

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