Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

And Sometimes the Crap Hits More Than Just the Fan

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Nov• 17•19

I am all types of adorable! You know it. I know it. We all know it.

A wise person once said, “Never have drinks with coworkers.” Because I have problems with authority, I usually don’t listen to wise people. Instead, I drink with as many coworkers as possible. Sometimes we take our first round of shots as early as 8 AM to start our day on the right note. That noted, it wasn’t surprising that I found myself bar-hopping after work on a Friday evening as if I were still in my teens.

Well, one thing led to another, and I found myself waking up the next morning on a couch. It took me about five minutes to realize the couch was mine. I was thankful for this realization. Waking up in my apartment was so much better than that one time I woke up in the middle of a Bed Bath & Beyond. Ok, if I’m honest, it has happened three times.

Anyway, not long after I woke up, I received a text message that read, “I’ll see you at 10.” I clutched my invisible pearls. What had I agreed to the night before? This is why I believe cellphones should come with breathalyzers. If you’ve had one drink that is stronger than your grandma’s Kool-Aid, your phone should simply cut off before you can call your ex, text your pastor, or make any other questionable decisions while under the influence.

For some reason, after every happy hour, instead of climbing into bed and crying over the error of my ways like a normal person, I instead spend the evening adding coworkers as friends on LinkedIn. One morning I learned that I had even added my CEO and the entire executive team. Perhaps I’m the only person who has a drink and then skips over Instagram and Twitter just to jump on LinkedIn to search for career guidance and expand my network. Ugh!

Apparently, in my martini haze, I had agreed to go hiking with my neighbor and her dog. My neighbor shall remain nameless for fear that her association with me may incriminate her and cause her to lose her job as a janitor at the local Popeyes. She’s been a little stressed out since the return of the chicken sandwich. Apparently, there’s been a lot of foot traffic, so it’s hard to keep the floors clean.

When we got to the trail, I’m pretty sure she thought better of inviting me. First, she’s used to running through it, which we both knew I didn’t have the stamina or lung capacity to do. Second, although I was wearing my version of hiking boots, that didn’t mean I wanted to get them dirty. You should have seen the look on her face when I asked her to carry me up the trail.

Once we got going, we had a great time. Actually, I shouldn’t speak for her. I had a great time. We talked about our lives, our hopes, and our dreams. We laughed. We cried. We would have ordered take-out but none of the trees had an address posted to which we could have had food delivered. After observing how much the dog was enjoying himself, my neighbor and I came to the realization that people are really terrible and should probably be voted off the island at the next tribal council.

At some point, I believe my neighbor noticed my legs beginning to buckle, so she decided we should start heading back to the car. I mean, it’s not my fault. Everyone’s legs aren’t meant for walking. Mine are clearly ornamental. It was around about this time that it happened. An incident that would change our lives forever. (Insert dramatic music here.)

Just as we were getting close to the car, my neighbor’s dog found something of interest along the trail. Before my neighbor could make sense of what was happening, the dog decided to roll around on its findings. I thought that maybe the dog had an itch, or it just wanted to smell like grass for the day. I understood the sentiment and would have joined in with the dog if the next thing hadn’t happened.

“Oh my gosh!” my neighbor yelled. “It’s poop!”

I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation at the time. Perhaps this is because I am not a dog owner. I just laughed and watched from a safe distance. I had no idea that the poop was fresh. I had no clue what form of mammal, person, or pigeon left the poop. I hadn’t even considered the smell we’d have to endure during the drive home or any of the other possibilities. However, many of my friends said that they would have left the dog there. Perhaps we should have.

Just a small bit of proof from ANOTHER instance of me rolling around in my findings.

Just a small bit of proof from ANOTHER instance of me rolling around in my findings.

My neighbor and I continued to talk during the ride home. Every now and then she mentioned the smell, but I was too into embellishing my stories to notice the scent. Before long, my neighbor pulled up into our apartment complex, so we thought we’d navigated the worst of the situation and would soon be out of the car and breathing the smoggy air that we’ve gotten so used to that we call it “fresh.” Unfortunately, the dog had other plans.

As soon as my neighbor turned the car off, the dog did what dogs do. It now thought differently about the poop that was caked into its fur, so it decided to be like Taylor Swift and just “Shake It Off.” I felt like I was Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. Bullets were flying everywhere and whizzing past my head left and right. Except, it wasn’t bullets. It was poop.

For some reason, perhaps because I’m not that bright, my natural reaction was to turn toward the dog. In hindsight, this was clearly a mistake. As crap pelted my forehead, my cheek, and my lip, I knew that life would never be the same. In this movie, I was a casualty. I would not make it out unscathed. I would not make it to the sequel.

When the poop settled, it was all over the dashboard, all over the roof of the car, and all over the seats. The rearview mirror revealed the poop slowly sliding down my forehead. Whatever had relieved itself in the woods that day was clearly not concerned about its diet. As I swiped at what I consider to be “animal diarrhea” from my face, I noticed it sliding down my jacket and also dripping from my chin as I exited the car.

I dashed to my car and grabbed napkins and hand sanitizer in hopes that it would partially help until I was able to make it into my apartment where I would need several showers to absolve my lips and my cheeks of the excrement that had once been there. At this point, my neighbor looked at me with disgust as she turned green. “Ewww, it’s in your hair,” she said before dry heaving into a bush. There was nothing I could do except laugh.

My apologetic neighbor soon sent me on my way as she needed to figure out how to take care of her dog and car situation. I quickly made my way to my apartment, hiding behind shrubs, and darting behind trees so my poop-drizzled face couldn’t be seen. As my luck would have it, I opened my apartment door at the same time as my neighbor across the hall opened his. Apparently, his puppy had had enough of his owner’s shenanigans and considered this its lucky break as it dashed out of his apartment and right past me into mine.

With poop still glistening on my face, I chased the puppy around my living room. Of course, the puppy considered this to be a game as it darted underneath my coffee table and down the hall. Eventually, I apprehended the dog and was able to hand it back to its owner, who frowned and looked me over curiously. I didn’t even bother trying to explain. Instead, I closed my door and headed for the shower.

Two weeks later, as of this writing, I am still in my bathroom scrubbing my lips and forehead ferociously. Maybe one day I’ll find the courage to exit my shower, show up at some random happy hour, and add a few coworkers as friends on LinkedIn before doing this all again. Hopefully, next time the adventure will be crap free.

How can you be mad at me? Look how cute I am!

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

You Know You’re Old When…

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Nov• 03•19

Nothing to see here. Just me!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not one to harp on things. As a matter of fact, I barely bring things up. I don’t even mention them. I’m better than that. Besides, the assortment of medications my team of shrinks provides me definitely helps with quieting my authentic self and allowing the truly fake me to present himself…or herself…or itself. Hey, we like all the pronouns here. We also like all the medications.

Now that my birthday has passed and I’m significantly older, I can tell you that some things have absolutely changed. For example, the other day I tried to click on an article titled “25 Things You Should Do While You’re Still Young.” Immediately, the words “ACCESS DENIED” popped up in bold, bright red letters on the screen. If I remember correctly, all types of alarms, bells, and whistles went off to alert me of the security breach. I froze. In situations like these, it is my belief that, if you stay completely still, it never happened.

Thinking the incident was some form of a fluke, I tried to click on a similar article and got the same result. After trying several other article links, my laptop alerted me that it was calling the police and it shut down. Apparently, me considering myself young is grounds for fraud charges at the federal level. Between you and me, I’m not ready to go back to jail. My record just doesn’t have space for any more felonies.

Fortunately, when my personal laptop was hijacked based on my search history, I was quickly able to rebound and switch over to my work laptop. If there is one thing that I’ve learned after all my many, many, many years of experience, it’s how to be resourceful. When I began searching for things that were more age-appropriate, I had no more issues. Actually, if I’m honest, several members of the tech support team at my job contacted me at home about the suspicious activity on my computer. Because I’m a complete professional, I respectfully told them to mind their business.

One of the recommendations from the article was for people my age to step up our booze game. Finally, a goal I can wholeheartedly support! I mean, I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I have a drinking problem. Instead, I’d rather consider myself an alcohol connoisseur. I’d like to get so good at consuming alcohol that I can have one sip of vodka and immediately describe the brand, country of origin, and the person working the production line when it was bottled. “Yes, this tastes just like Ernestine Jenkins.”

While we’re on the subject of alcohol, another recommendation was to buy a bottle of wine for $100 just for the experience. Well, the way Sallie Mae has my bank account set up, any charges over $40 to an establishment that sells alcohol are automatically declined. That noted, on my birthday I decided to get a little fancy and spend $35 for a bottle. I said a silent prayer at the register as I waited for the charge to go through. When the transaction was approved, I quickly snatched the bottle and ran to my car before the status could change. When you know Sallie Mae the way I do, you know that sometimes Sallie Mae giveth, but mostly Sallie Mae taketh away.

Choosey Mikes choose cheaper wines!

Once I was home and safely nestled on the floor of my closet, I drank the entire bottle just for research purposes. When I woke up a week later, I realized that I’m a man of the people. Don’t get me wrong. The wine certainly made me forget that I had a job, homework, and other adult responsibilities, but I was raised to be more of a Two-Buck-Chuck sort of guy. If you can get a bottle of wine for less than $1.50 after taxes, it’s probably more up my alley.

Another article recommended that people my age try some new looks. Accordingly, one day I wear a shaved face, and then the next I slap on a pointy mustache and a bow tie. I also went from wearing dreads one day to wearing a pink wig the next. As a matter of fact, no one even batted an eyelash when I wore a Lil’ Kim outfit with nothing but a pastie covering my left man-boob. I mean, if you have floppy F-cups just swinging around, you might as well flaunt them.

The last recommendation that I’m taking to heart is, although I have been known to make most things about me, allegedly, I’m not the only person who is aging rapidly. Apparently, if I’m getting older with each passing day, my mother, grandmother, and everyone else who was over 80 when I was born 100 years ago are getting older too. Because of this, I’ve been calling my mother more often to see if she’s ok. Although she seems to get annoyed by me calling her five minutes after we’ve just gotten off the phone so that I can ask her if her status has changed and to make her check her pulse again, my pacemaker is absolutely in the right place. It’s only because I care.

On a positive note, since my birthday, I realize that I’m now more firm and confident in my opinion—even if it’s wrong. Based on my new status as an elder in the community, I’ve been giving out random advice whether I’m asked for it or not. Several times yesterday I found myself saying things like “Mam, I wouldn’t burp my baby that way if I were you,” or “Sir, those pants with that shirt? It’s a no for me, Dawg.” What I’ve learned from this is that people really aren’t fans of constructive criticism. Also, once they’re offended, they really don’t like it when you then tell them they aren’t good at taking feedback and should begin to work on that.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that some things have happened over the past week that I absolutely didn’t expect. While I hate to admit it, I think I’m going through “the change.” I thought this wasn’t possible for a few reasons. First, I figured I had at least a few more weeks before menopause hit full force. Second, there is that whole thing about me being a guy, allegedly. In any case, the hot flashes and night sweats seemed to be here to stay. Like Katy Perry once said, “I’m hot and I’m cold. I’m yes and I’m no.” It’s problematic.

Lastly, much to the alarm of people around me, random songs seem to get stuck in my head for days now. I’m not sure if people really care about “Baby Shark” being on repeat within the confines of my brain holder, but they do start to get a little antsy when I belt out the song in the middle of Target as if I’m Christina Aguilera while doing the hand gestures and the dance steps. Side note, parents really don’t like it when you snatch up their toddlers out of their carts on aisle 3 so that you can use them as backup dancers. Take it from your elder. Just don’t do it.

I’m in my happy place!

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

Birthday Tires & Prostates

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Oct• 20•19

I was just a little excited . . . just a little.

Despite all the begging, pleading, and letters I wrote to Santa, my birthday has somehow managed to come around again this year. As many of you and AARP know, this will be a major one for me. I won’t bore you with the exact number, but let’s just say you’d need several spreadsheets to do the math. Survey says my glass is half empty and leaking profusely.

At this age, people just randomly stop by to check on me. I’ve already had several twenty-somethings stop me on the street to ask if I’m OK. “Hey, are you still alive?” they ask. “Just checking.” On several occasions, I’ve thought someone was attempting to take my wallet on the Metro, but, instead, they were simply checking my pulse before taking my wallet.

No one seems happier about my birthday than my team of doctors. Whereas they used to only shame me about my weight and general appearance, they now also get to excitedly start every sentence with, “Well, once people reach your age…,” or, “If there are things on your bucket list that you would like to accomplish, you may want to start doing those things today, because, who knows?”

I knew that I was transitioning out of my youth by how many times the topic of life insurance and next-of-kin would randomly pop up in general conversation. For months, my mom has repeatedly asked about my will. She also randomly likes to confirm that she is still the beneficiary on all of my insurance policies. She got really concerned when I bought my fish, which I understand because I do like them better. When I explain to her that she is supposed to go long before I do, she pulls up my recent lab results, shakes her head, and says she’s not so sure about that.

Well, at this age, I can confirm that things really do start to go downhill regardless of what you try to do to avoid it. For six months I only had gluten-free water and reduced-fat lettuce, but still, my cholesterol and blood pressure were high. So, with things already being on a downward spiral, it was no surprise for me to wake up one morning to learn that there were two nails in one of my tires. For me, this was symbolic. It was life’s way of confirming how things would be from now on.

Actually, if I’m honest, I didn’t exactly learn about the nails in my tire on my own. My mechanic told me about them when I stopped by to complain that my tire pressure light was on again. He took one look at the tire and asked if I’d known about the nails. I was offended. Of course, I didn’t. Knowing about cars was not one of the skills my mother passed on to me. Also, tire knowledge did not come with the most recent update of iOS 13. Apparently, you can’t count on Siri or your iPhone for everything. Steve Jobs would be pissed.

The one thing I did know about tires was that they can sometimes be patched. When I was younger, I remember running over a rock in my dad’s car and leaving a huge gash in one of the tires. Because I’ve always been creative, I took an old black T-shirt that no one would care about and stuffed it into the hole. Proud of myself, I skipped off and said, “That should do it.” Side note, it didn’t.

My mechanic stated that the nails were in a place that couldn’t be repaired. He patted me on the back and said I would need new tires. And, because we’re encouraged to live a balanced life, apparently the law states that you must replace at least two tires at a time. Like puppies or twins, tires should come as a set.

I argued about the Two-Tire Law, but I lost the debate. Maxine Waters just wasn’t haven’t it. She told me that even if the other tire is fine, it still has to go. Ironically, this reminds me of my prostate. Although things feel ok, now that I’m an advanced elderly person, my team of doctors is excited to get their hands in there. Regardless, I’m going to make them wait. My momma has made it to almost 60, and she’s never had her prostate checked. That noted, it looks like genetics are in my favor. Everything should be just fine.

Completely appropriate birthday cards because my team knows me!

One of the problems with having a major birthday is that there is an expectation that you do something special for it. For months people have been encouraging me to go to Vegas, New York, or somewhere exotic like Montana. Fortunately, I procrastinated on making travel plans. First, there was no guarantee that I would make it to my birthday. According to my doctors, at this age, my knees or heart could give out at any minute now. Plans should be held off until the very last minute just in case. Second, the way my bank account is set up, travel expenses somehow always get declined—especially when I have a zero balance.

For this birthday, instead of booking flights or wondering which club would allow a person my age to celebrate from 6 to 8 p.m. so that I can be in bed no later than 8:45, I’ve been scrolling through tire costs and making life decisions about brands. Should I embark on this next stage of my life on a new set of Michelins, or would choosing another brand ensure I’ll have a Goodyear? I’ll pause to give you a moment to notice what I did there. Don’t worry. We’ll wait for you to catch it.

The good thing about the tire tragedy is that it has kept my mind off the gray hairs that seem to be popping up here and there with reckless abandon. Because I don’t want to get too graphic, and I need to keep the blog G rated in case my momma or the pope may have ventured this way, I won’t post the pics here. However, if you need photographic evidence of these grays, email me so I can send them your way. You and your pets will have a great laugh at my expense as you wonder how a person even grows hair in some of these places.

Because I’ll have new tires instead of a birthday cake this year, at least I’ll be able to avoid the fire hazard associated with all those candles. Last year was absolutely tragic. First, the candles decided to unify and revolt in a huge blaze of glory. My roof and eyebrows are still not back to normal. Second, at this age, I no longer have the breath support to blow out that many candles at one time. Last year, I had to do so much blowing that I passed out and woke up the following week. The neighbors thought I was dead, and my mother cashed in at least two of my life insurance policies. It was a big mess.

The one good thing about my upcoming birthday is that I expect it will add to my credibility. No longer will I be waived off as being just some young whippersnapper. Instead, I expect people to start lining up down the block in need of my wisdom. Of course, by no means can I pretend that I am as enlightened as the Dalai Lama, but I can at least share what it was like to have been there for World War I, the Salem Witch Hunt, and the Boston Tea Party. By the way, I’m still pissed that they didn’t serve Chai Tea at the party. Fortunately, there was a Starbucks down the block, so I guess I can’t complain but so much.

Nope. Not boobs . . . but maybe.

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

Oops! I Think I Broke My Yoga

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Oct• 06•19

If I stand here still, maybe no one will notice me.

As you all know, lately I’ve been searching for all types of ways to relieve stress. Throughout the process, I’ve gotten a ton of recommendations from family and friends. Some of them were totally doable. Some of them made me blush. And some of them were illegal in at least 42 states and Guam. I know because I did my research. I cannot go to jail again this year—even if my Grandma is already there.

One recommendation was for me to try yoga. Immediately, I got on board. I mean, it looks super relaxing and is said to have many health benefits. Also, I imagine that all that stretching and posing could certainly help you maneuver your way around a Walmart. I will never understand why they put the Tide on the top shelf. It’s like you have to be 6’5 or taller in order to have clean clothes.

If I’m being honest, even my manager has asked me to be more flexible. Of course, I said no. I mean, just because they give me a paycheck doesn’t mean that they can just boss me around and ask me to do things. No ma’am. I understand it’s a part of my job description and all, but still. No means no. But I digress.

Before jumping right into a yoga routine, I used WebMD to see if anyone had any objections to me exercising in this manner. I posted a message in the comments that demanded people to speak now or forever hold their peace. When one commenter asked if I was pregnant, I panicked. I hadn’t thought of that. Immediately, I went to the emergency room to have a pregnancy test done. After taking three tests, it turned out I wasn’t pregnant. Whew. That was a close call.

The following day, I went back to the emergency room for an additional pregnancy test. Maybe this was overkill, but I just wanted to be sure nothing had changed overnight. No, I haven’t had coitus since 1963, but with people expecting the return of Jesus at any moment now, I didn’t want to take any chances. If Mary is unavailable for whatever reason, who knows who Jesus will come through. I bought a crib just in case. You just never know with these type of things.

Since I’m a slightly responsible person, I knew I would have to do some prep work before getting started. First, I would need a yoga mat. Second, I thought I would need a towel or two. From my perspective, exercising is no excuse to sweat freely. I’ve never seen Oprah or Beyoncé sweat, so I don’t allow myself to do so either. As soon as I have enough saved up, I’m going to go ahead and have my sweat glands removed. I don’t think I really need them.

Lastly, I needed to find some cute outfits to do the various yoga poses in. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m single. We singles must remember our status and remain marketable at all times. Who knows who may be checking you out while you’re doing a downward-facing-dog pose? I’m sure someone has met their future husband or wife that way. I couldn’t take the risk of not promoting my assets in the finest exercise gear my local Target had to offer.

Finding my inner warrior…and my inner balance…and my inner Beyoncé.

Because I know my limitations, I didn’t bother signing up to take a yoga class. Instead, I did my Googles and my YouTubes to find instructions. Who needs some random muscled-bound instructor yelling at you and demanding that you touch your toes on demand! No. I know my body and its limitations. If I haven’t had coffee yet, there’s no way my body is doing anything on command. From my perspective, it’s not about getting the poses 100% right. Instead, it’s more about you being able to make other people feel bad at dinner parties when you tell them you’re more enlightened than they are because you’ve been doing yoga for two weeks.

Of course, people progress at their own rates, but after I did beginner’s yoga just once, I began walking up to random people on the train and telling them to sit up straight. I looked a few people directly in their eyes and told them I could see the toxins building up in their souls. Perhaps it wasn’t my place to jump on the megaphone and walk behind people on the street while telling them how unhealthy they were because they hadn’t done yoga. I may have overdone it just a little.

Because I am an enlightened human being from the 15 minutes of yoga I did, I never hesitate to show off my new stress management and relaxation skills. Sometimes I’ll be right in the middle of a conversation and I’ll drop down into a tree or warrior pose. Usually, the stress-inducing culprit goes on about his or her business, but I’ve found that doing this in the middle of the lunchroom or during a company meeting can be a little disturbing to others.

Nothing to see here. Just trying to be flexible.

And I can’t pretend that doing yoga hasn’t had its downsides. Because I’m solidly middle-aged, it doesn’t take much for me to throw my back out. One day I simply clicked on a YouTube video and found myself in the hospital for three weeks. Apparently, at this age, you have to be super careful about your day-to-day activities. I recommend that, before turning on your computer, you should probably get a doctor’s note.

Now, I’ve never been one to toot my own horn unnecessarily, but I feel like doing the yoga that one time has helped with my anxiety and serenity. Later that day, when my cable and electric bills arrived in the mail, I simply tossed them into the trash without a care in the world. If worse comes to worst, I can always run over to my neighbor’s house and ask to borrow some sugar while taking a sneak peek at their TV to stay current with the news.

Also, because yoga can help with my flexibility and balance, if I need to stand on my neighbor’s roof at a right angle so that I can access their Wi-Fi, I’m pretty sure I can manage it. No sweat. And if a storm comes along and lightning strikes nearby, yoga helps you to maintain your sense of calm. Even with my eyebrows singed off and my mustache scorched, I should be able to remain right there on the roof in the appropriate pose that will allow me to continue using my neighbor’s internet signal just long enough to post my next blog update. It’s what my readers would want.

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

Four of My Five Shrinks Agree

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Sep• 08•19

Just a routine medical oil change.

So, I was minding my own business the other day, wondering how I could solve world peace while also appearing on the next season of The Bachelor when it hit me: I had 99 problems and stress was one. Right then and there, I started rubbing my neck with Ben Gay and Robitussin. Why Robitussin, you ask? My momma said it works for everything. You all may not know this, but I lost an elbow back in the day. Thanks to Robitussin, it grew back.

It’s not exactly my fault that I’m stressed. There are tons of things in this world to be concerned about. I mean, how am I supposed to handle the final seasons of Jane the Virgin or Orange Is the New Black? More importantly, will I earn enough tips as a stripper to allow me to upgrade my iPhone in a few weeks? Based on the three nickels I earned last night, things aren’t looking too good.

Fortunately, my team of shrinks works diligently to help keep my stress in check. They advised that although I am already often confused for Denzel Washington and Ryan Gosling depending on the lighting, maybe I could switch up my daily routine. The team captain of my shrinks recommended that I do at least two pushups every week like The Rock does. Maybe having a bicep and a set of six-pack abs would solve my stress dilemma. The Rock, or Dwayne as I like to call him, never seems stressed. It’s probably the pushups.

Before I go down the rabbit hole, let me explain. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I was stressed. That would be crazy. Who does that on their own? Of course, I asked someone to check my pulse and my blood pressure first. Clearly, that was the right thing to do. Since I happened to be in the middle of downtown DC at the time, I utilized my resources and recruited the nearest person I saw to take my vitals.

That particular day, the first person I saw was a panhandler. He said his name was Carlos. Since I don’t discriminate, I asked him for his credentials. Usually, I’ll accept a driver’s license or some form of Lyft or Uber certification before I allow random individuals to perform medical procedures on me on the street, but once the guy showed me a Bed Bath & Beyond membership card that allowed him to practice in any local Ikea or the automotive section of Target, I knew I was in good hands.

Just to be sure, I asked one of Carlos’ panhandler friends for a second opinion and a letter of recommendation. The friend informed me that Carlos had just removed his appendix the day before, so I should be ok. At first, he was a little bothered that Carlos hadn’t asked his permission before removing his appendix, but since he was down 10 pounds after the procedure, which helped him make his goal weight, he was ultimately fine with it.

Because I’m a responsible person, I made sure Panhandler Carlos had all the proper utensils needed to render the medical services. I mean, I didn’t need any accidents happening that would cause me not to live through the rest of the week. As it turns out, the only items he was missing was a wrench and a Phillips screwdriver. Fortunately, I just so happened to have had those items in my back pocket, so I didn’t hold it again him. A wise person once said that it takes a village to raise a child. In my case, it took some spare mechanic tools to have my spleen checked for inflammation.

After he sterilized his hands with some leftover Sprite from a nearby trash can, he got down to business. I was ecstatic that there wasn’t at least a brief wait and that he didn’t usher me to a waiting room first. Instead, he had me sit there beside him on the curb for a few minutes while he completed the paperwork. Because I was relatively close to his “Seeking Human Kindness” sign, I made $3.05 while sitting there. I thanked my manager for her donation and told her I would see her at work after my examination was done. She gave me a look that let me know we’d have to talk about this later.

Within a matter of moments, Panhandler Carlos was ready to proceed. Since he was a professional, I didn’t want to impede on his time. He probably had a full day of examinations planned. It wasn’t my place to block his blessing and get him too off schedule. After all, I was a walk-in.

Without hesitation, he began the exam. I was a little thrown off by his use of a chicken nugget as a stethoscope, but I shook it off. Stethoscopes are expensive. It was very resourceful of him to find a workaround. Moments later, my concerns grew even more when he used an old Coke bottle to check my temperature. However, as an American citizen, I did my part for the sake of science and just let it happen. After all, I needed my results.

Thirty minutes later, after Carlos demanded that we exchange clothing—which was not listed in the paperwork I signed, he gave me his findings. It was completely normal for a female my age to experience the symptoms I had. When I explained that I was a male, Carlos was shocked and demanded proof. Because this is a G-rated blog, I won’t go into details of what this entailed, but I let him do what had to be done after he promised not to get my insurance involved or to charge me an additional copay. After his investigation, he still wasn’t 100% sure. However, I handed him a dollar and he quickly checked the box for “male” on my chart. I was pleased with how progressive he was. Then again, it is 2019.

With the whole male/female fiasco settled, he explained that, although my vitals were fine for a woman, they weren’t so great for a man. If I didn’t seek help for my stress immediately, he said I had about five minutes to live. Apparently, Panhandler Carlos was very disturbed by what he’d picked up from the chicken nugget. Although I’m not a medical professional, he showed me the poultry and it confirmed how dire my situation was. I needed a miracle.

So, my friends, I share all of this with you in hopes that you, too, pay attention to whatever is going on with your body and get it taken care of. If your knees make creaking noises at night, that may be completely normal. However, if you find that you one day can’t twerk on demand, then you may have a problem. Fortunately, I know a guy who can help you with that. When you see him, could you please let him know that he still has my screwdriver?

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

Twitter Superstar

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Aug• 04•19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Likes, Retweets, and Replies, Oh My!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help! Has Anyone Seen My Brows?

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jul• 21•19

Don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snatched!!!!

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

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

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

Yes, I’ll Have My Beer With Ice!!!

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jun• 30•19

I’m a Steel Reserve kind of Guy!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll take my beer with ice, please!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MBA Blues

Written By: Michael Rochelle - May• 19•19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carpets and Strippers and Grandmas, Oh My!

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Apr• 22•19

Look, Mama, I’m doing manual labor!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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