Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

The Master Cleanse

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Feb• 02•20

Master Cleanse Ingredients

I recently got the bright idea to try the Master Cleanse. I’m not exactly sure why I made this decision, but maybe it was because my laptop camera got tired of trying to fit my whole face into the frame during facial recognition. It began to “suggest” all types of advertisements for various diets. At one point, no matter which sleeping cat video I tried to watch, YouTube showed me videos about how I could lose 15 pounds from my neck overnight. I took the hint.

If you don’t know anything about the Master Cleanse, it’s also called the Lemonade Diet, or the diet that Beyoncé used to lose 20 pounds in 10 days. It sounded perfect, especially since I’ve been trying to lose this baby weight from the twins for the last 32 years. Wait, I know what you’re thinking. “Michael, we didn’t know you were a mom!” Well, these puppies certainly didn’t birth themselves. That would be weird.

Instead of doing it for 10 days, I decided to start out with 5. If I somehow lived through that, I figured I could always extend it later. When I saw the ingredients, I screamed. Allegedly, I’d only be allowed to drink a mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper while on the diet. But because the creators of the diet are human, they thoughtfully allow you to drink as much water and herbal tea as you want. Wow! I’m not worthy.

I had a few concerns before getting started. I worried about not being able to indulge in life’s bare necessities. What about chicken? What about pizza? What about McDonald’s? Most importantly, how would I live without coffee or alcohol for 5 days? I mean, I’ve been drinking a quality cognac since I was 7. I don’t know who I am without it! Neither does my mom.

To be safe, I took a multi-purpose before picture. I figured it could serve as either the last picture I took before the cleanse, or the last picture I took before my death. Now that I think about it, I guess the picture could have served as both. I also got on the scale to take one last reading, but the display simply read, “Boy, you better get off me! I don’t have time for your foolishness.”

Before I even got started, I received warnings from friends and family about my diet choice. Of course, my mother thought I’d gone crazy, so she called the police. For a few moments there, I thought Officer Tate really was going to lock me up. I was just happy that he opted not to run my background check. I know that little incident in Oklahoma probably would have shown up. How would I have known that Oklahoma only allows you to take two sugar packets for each coffee? I was uninformed.

Because of the syrup and the acid from the lemons, I was advised to be careful with my teeth. Well, from my perspective, teeth are overrated anyway. They are just taking up space and are probably getting in the way of me having a strong jawline. Oh, and if you’ve seen my teeth, then you know that they probably make up at least a fourth of my total body weight. Losing one or two should at least take off about 10 pounds.

As you know, I’m not exactly great at following directions. Instead of easing into the Master Cleanse, I put the pedal to the metal and just got started. Tomorrow isn’t promised, so there was no time to waste. And speaking of waste, the diet recommends doing a salt-water flush to create on-demand bowel movements. Let’s get to the “on-demand” part later. First, we must start with the taste.

Do you know what salt water tastes like? Well, if you’ve never been attacked by a wave on a beach when your mouth was wide open, I’ll try to describe it for you. Let’s say you were stuck in traffic and suddenly you start to cough uncontrollably. You fumble around the dashboard, check underneath the seats, and rummage through your glove compartment only to find a bottle of hand sanitizer. As your cough gets worse, you do what needs to be done and you take the hand sanitizer to the head.

Moments later you realize that chugging the hand sanitizer didn’t help. As a matter of fact, things have gotten progressively worse, so you assess your remaining options. You realize you’ve got access to gasoline, windshield wiper fluid, and motor oil. However, you then remember that you missed your last 5,000-mile maintenance, so you know that your oil is all sludgy and gross. You’ve confirmed this because your mom tried to use some of it to slick her hair down just the day before. Nope, the oil is not drinkable, so you make a gasoline and windshield wiper fluid cocktail and hope for the best. Yes, that is exactly what salt water tastes like.

Once I got the salt water down, it did its job fairly quickly. I found myself repeatedly sprinting to the bathroom and needing to make sure I was close enough to reach it at a moment’s notice. The end result was that my toilet and I got really acquainted with each other for a few hours. Depending on your perspective, this could be considered a good thing. I mean, I now can absolutely pick my toilet out of a line-up while blindfolded. And if I’m allowed to actually sit on it, I’m pretty sure I could pick out my toilet within 5 seconds flat!

When the coast seemed clear, I slowly crawled from the bathroom to the kitchen to make my first drink. I didn’t have a problem with adding the 60 ounces of water or the 12 tablespoons of lemon juice, but adding the 12 tablespoons of maple syrup was a bit scary and seemed excessive. I practically used the whole bottle of syrup. I kept reading and re-reading the directions to make sure I wasn’t mistaken about the amount. Unfortunately, this is the one time in my whole life where I’ve been right about something. Ugh.

Master Cleanse lemonade by the glass!

Surprisingly, the taste wasn’t bad. I actually liked it. However, I’d forgotten to add the cayenne pepper. I expected that to be the thing that would make the drink grotesque, but it didn’t. Even with the extra spice, the mixture was still pretty good. My instincts told me to add a shot of vodka, but I fought the urge and cried a little bit as I turned away from the alcohol. It was then that I learned to never squeeze lemons and then touch your eyes. If I hadn’t been too blind to see my phone, I probably would have called for an ambulance.

After finishing the drink, I immediately considered myself a health guru. I began handing out weight loss advice to people on the Metro whether they’d asked for it or not. I admit that I may have gone a bit overboard when I snatched that old lady’s hot dog out of her hand and replaced it with a carrot. I’d gotten so bad that one of my friends slapped me and said, “Shut up! It’s day one. You just had a cheeseburger combo a donut a few minutes ago.” Maybe I deserved it.

By the end of day one, I was starting to feel the effects of not having solid food. For some reason, I was super cold. Even with my Snuggie and my blanket, I couldn’t get warm. I watched a little TV to pass the time and to distract myself from the hunger, and then I realized I didn’t know any of the answers to the Jeopardy questions. Although I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have known the answers before the diet, I just expected the cleanse to make me smarter. I was wrong.

Some YouTubers advised that their skin looked so much better on day two due to all the water. They claimed to have a glow and to feel moisturized. That wasn’t my experience. Instead, I looked ashen and dead. Making things worse, I believe the acidity of the lemons were causing me to have an acne breakout. The one good thing about my look was that I could have easily gotten a role on The Walking Dead.

By day three I was seeing stars, and I don’t mean The Rock. I had also become hyperaware of all things food-related. Every food commercial made me happy—even if it was a dog food commercial. Kibbles ‘n Bits never looked so good! I later found myself obsessing over bacon to the point that I was doing all types of research about it. I even ordered a bacon oven rack off Amazon and made up a few bacon-related jingles. “Bacon in the morning. Bacon in the evening. Bacon at suppertime. When you mix bacon with your lemonade, you can have bacon anytime.” Yes, it was just that bad.

I’d started the day at 181 pounds and ended it at 179. As I lost every ounce of water, muscle, and brain cell from my body, I got excited that I looked smaller. Yes, it appeared that I was going to die at any minute, but at least I weighed less. At that point, walking across the room took some effort, but I figured it just came with the territory. No pain, no gain! I used to judge people who took an elevator to go up just one floor instead of taking the stairs. However, now I know those people were just on the Master Cleanse.

On day four I completely gave up. I’d had enough of the cayenne pepper burning my lips off. The sacrifice didn’t seem worth the effort. Again, against the recommendations, I didn’t ease back into solid foods. I dove face-first into a bowl of chicken pho, a steak burrito, and an order of fries. I figured it wouldn’t do too much damage to my progress, but I was wrong. The next morning, my scale flashed me a quick 182.9 before it yelled for me to get off and took a swing at my double chins. Lesson learned, my friends. Lesson learned.

I know what this looks like, but it’s just the Lemonade Diet. This was my sustenance for the whole day!

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

Kiss the Girls . . . and Expectant Mothers

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jan• 12•20

Mythical Pom Animals?!?!?!? What type of sorcery is this?

You may know this about me already, but sometimes I find myself in awkward situations. I’m not sure why this happens. Perhaps it’s because of my upbringing. Maybe Mercury is in a retro arcade. Perhaps it’s because of my zodiac sign, but even that’s awkward because my mother could not decide which sign was best, so I was born on the Libra-Scorpio cusp. For the rest of my life I’ll be arguing with grandmas and policemen about whether I’m really a Libra or a Scorpio. I can neither confirm nor deny that this argument sometimes leads to fistfights.

Either way, I’m not so sure I buy into the whole zodiac sign thing. Even doing the research is awkward because I’m usually offended by what I find. One source claimed that the Libra-Scorpio “characteristics are known to lean on drama and criticism.” Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m not dramatic and I save most criticism for myself. Another source noted that we don’t usually like to take advice and we prefer people to mind their own business. Well, that part is 100% true. Maybe there is something to this zodiac thing after all.

Anyway, because I’ve learned from three and a half of my past mistakes, I didn’t set up any resolutions for the new year. It’s too early in 2020 to feel badly about not going to the gym or for having that chocolate cake for breakfast after you’ve already had pancakes and eggs. No one has time for that negativity. Instead, 2020 will be all about positivity, and I’m positive I’m not going to the gym or giving up after breakfast desserts any time soon.

Although I didn’t set New Year’s resolutions, per se, I did decide to try to read more. A friend recently shamed me by revealing that she’d read over 100 books in 2019. She then asked how many I’d tackled. You should have seen the look she gave me when I asked if restaurant menus and nutritional content labels counted. That noted, this new goal, which is not to be confused with a resolution, is how I found myself strolling through the aisles of the local Barnes & Noble.

After thumbing through some writing books, I got a bit disoriented, made a wrong turn, and found myself surrounded by things that made me very uncomfortable. Somehow, I’d ended up in the toy section. Dolls, stuffed bears, and building blocks were everywhere. I tried to make a mad dash for the nearest sign of an adult book, but there were strollers, and toddlers, and baby mamas all over the place hindering my exit strategy.

After bumbling around, I found a way out.

I expected these strolling mothers to look at me disapprovingly since I didn’t have the required child with me to gain access to the kid section. However, they didn’t. Instead, they simply smiled and gave me a knowing look. Once I received the fourth motherly nod, I knew something was wrong. I would soon learn why.

Just when I’d saw a sign for self-help books off in the distance (a place I desperately needed to be per my mom and my team of shrinks), a little girl pointed to my midsection. I followed her gaze and began to scream. Apparently, I’d gotten a little too comfortable after having four muffins for breakfast, and I’d somehow forgotten my girdle that day. Instead of sucking things in like I typically do, my stomach had lapped over my belt and was attempting to make a run for it right there in front of the My Little Pony rack. I appeared to be expecting twins at any minute.

Of course, this was a travesty. I’m a single man/he/him. I’m supposed to consistently be putting my best foot forward to remain marketable and to ensure I always look like my Match.com and KindaChristianMingles profile pictures. As William Shakespeare once said, who is going to want to buy the milk, if you look like a cow in the crafts aisle of a bookstore? Although I appreciated building solidarity with those mothers, I was offended that they assumed I was pregnant. Unfortunately, my horizontal striped shirt wasn’t doing me any favors that day either.

As one of the mothers gave me a high-five, I shook my head and informed her that I wasn’t pregnant. She tilted her head to the side and handed me a prenatal vitamin. At that moment, someone came up from behind me and handed me a business card for her OB-GYN. Weirdly, I’d just been reading reviews for gynecologists on Yelp. It’s the one doctor I don’t have on speed dial yet.

When I’d safely made it to the other side of the store, I went back to focusing on my reading goal. You’ll be happy to know that I decided to start strong. My first choice of book for the year was Kiss the Girls by James Patterson. Unfortunately, when looking at his book covers, I was disturbed to see that he is listed as “The World’s #1 Best-Selling Writer.” This upset me greatly because my partially accredited university had promised me that if I’d just paid them $200,000 per semester, I’d be the number one bestseller. In any case, I had to get to the bottom of things.

After making a few calls to my local grocery store, I finally reached my college advisor. He has taken up stocking shelves when he’s not giving school and career advice. He’d really like to be full time, but his manager said he’s not qualified because he majored in Biology. No worries though, once he finishes his fourth degree, they’ve promised to reconsider.

Perhaps I’m being a bit dramatic and critical, but I could sense disappointment and disdain in his voice when he paused and asked if I’d written a book. “Well, no,” I answered, “but that’s beside the point.” I assumed the best-selling writer status came along with my degree. No one told me I’d have to actually write books to earn the title. Perhaps this is why you should always ask questions before agreeing to things or deciding on a college major. If I’d had a gynecologist on staff at the time, I’m sure this would’ve never happened. Lesson learned.

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

Happy Holidays . . . Well, Sort Of

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Dec• 22•19

2019 Holiday Gifts

I mean, I’m not going to say I’m a gift wrapping pro, but these look good, even though it took me three days to do them.

Like most people, every holiday season I somehow find myself running up and down the aisles of various retail stores looking to buy a variety of gifts. Regardless of past experience, I consistently use bad judgment and sign up for whatever Secret Santa or White Elephant Gift Exchange that I stumble across.

Last year, because I’d somehow received a flyer, I participated in a company gift swap. Halfway through the function, they realized I didn’t work there, so I was escorted off the premises. Unfortunately, they kept the gift I’d bought AND the gift I’d received. I didn’t give up without a fight, though. You don’t just find a vanilla bean exfoliating body scrub every day. I was confused about whether to eat it or to bathe with it. Either way, it was absolutely worth the battle. I’m upset by how quickly they decided to use the taser, though.

While shopping for gifts, I sometimes get a little jealous because I’d rather be purchasing some of the items for myself. However, if I want to be considered a good person, I’m supposed to think of others instead. What would they want? Is there anything they need? Will a can of spray starch be considered offensive to someone who has chosen to embrace being wrinkly? Each decision is fraught with peril.

Fortunately, with a Secret Santa Gift Exchange, you’re able to drop off your present in secrecy. Last year, I had to employ spy-like maneuvers to perform the secret delivery. It was like an episode of Charlie’s Angels. I kept my ear to the ground and had scouts to alert me of the comings and goings of my target. Because I’m a professional, I was able to drop off the gift, do three backflips to get to the door, and then back out of the room slowly. Mission accomplished.

The White Elephant Gift Exchange, on the other hand, doesn’t exactly have the same level of anonymity. Although the person who opens the gift has no idea who purchased it, the person who bought it does. As you watch the recipient’s smile turn into a frown because they didn’t appreciate the mothballs and granola bars you so lovingly wrapped, it can be pretty horrifying. And, if the person happens to say, “I don’t want this,” or “What is this crap?” or “I know this didn’t cost $20,” it’s safe to say you failed as a gift buyer.

Back in 1872, before I’d gone to charm school to become the refined person you all know and love today, I received a Yankee Candle during a gift exchange. Immediately, I offended the person who bought it because I sat the candle aside to see what else was in the gift bag. Making matters worse, I turned the bag upside down and shook it ferociously a few times just to be sure the bag was empty. It was.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not the most cultured or refined person in the world. I wouldn’t know a cello or a harp from a bass drum at a symphony. At the time, the only candles I’d ever seen were the functional ones from the dollar store that my mom used whenever our electricity got cut off. And, of course, we used those candles to heat our grilled cheese sandwiches whenever the stove didn’t work. From my flawed perspective, there was no way the value of that scented candle was the equivalent of the portable cd player I’d purchased as a gift. It was probably inappropriate for me to have asked to see receipts.

Anyway, although I’m well into my elderly years, there is just something about the holiday season that makes me still feel like a child. Perhaps it’s because my family didn’t participate in any holidays when I was growing up. When I was born, my mom checked her budget and immediately looked for the first religion she could join that would allow her to not have to buy a birthday or Christmas gift for me ever. Honestly, I’m happy that she found one that worked for her because the alternative would have been for us to move to another country. Even though I’m super talented and amazing, I’m pretty sure the US is the only country that would actually allow me to live on its soil.

Because of my upbringing, I’d never learned to wrap a gift properly. I had no idea what a person was supposed to use as wrapping paper. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way that no one wants a present wrapped in the obituary section of the newspaper. Also worthy of note, not many people appreciate a gift wrapped in a bedsheet—especially if you didn’t wash or Febreze it before using it.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Gifts

I don’t buy shabby gifts . . . at least I don’t think so!

Thanks to technology, I was able to enlist the help of YouTube videos to learn everything I needed to know. After 5 hours of watching gift wrapping tips from Martha Stewart, I was finally able to reasonably wrap a present. While I would never want to receive a gift from someone with my limited wrapping skills, who am I to deprive someone else of my technique? As a wise person once said, another person’s trash or badly wrapped gift is another person’s treasure.

This year, I wasn’t immune to the messaging behind all the gifts I’ve received so far. One person bought me a bottle of Skinny Girl wine. I immediately took it to the head even though I’m not skinny or a girl. The second gift I received was a yoga mat. Because I don’t practice yoga that often, I decided to use the mat as my living room rug. However, when the third gift I received was a one-year gym membership, I began to worry. Maybe someone was trying to tell me something. I had a sneaking suspicion that it was my mom.

On the other hand, I have appreciated every person who’s given me cash so far. Of course, whenever I’m presented with dollar bills, I immediately have flashbacks to my stripper days, so I begin to wind my hips regardless of whether the location is appropriate or not. My grandma turned beet red when I begin to take off my mittens and galoshes in the middle of a mall parking lot because she’d handed me a $5 bill. She got even more embarrassed when I begin to dance in the middle of a church. Apparently, the money she handed me was supposed to be passed down as a tithe, but I completely misread the situation. Please don’t judge me. Whenever money exchanges hands, I do what comes naturally because I’m a professional. It’s not my fault. I was born this way.

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

Black Friday, Red Saturday, Death Monday

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Dec• 01•19

Doesn’t this Nintendo Switch sign just call out to you to buy it for me?

Like most people, every Black Friday I’m forced to make major life decisions. I scrounge through the sales ads and ponder whether I should pay my rent or throw caution to the wind and get a Nintendo Switch and the new Apple Watch I’ve always wanted. Some may argue that these items aren’t necessities, but to those people, I respectfully say, mind your business, grandmas!

Just when you think you have everything you could ever need in life, you see an ad for a pink fluffy robe with matching slippers on sale, and, by golly, you’ve got to have them! You may have never cooked a thing in your life, but then you see a .02% discount on an Instant Pot, and you realize your true calling was to be a chef all along. If I had one, maybe I wouldn’t be living solely off Oodles of Noodles and oatmeal. I’ve had visions of me one day correcting Rachel Ray on her cooking show while we laugh and sling chili or deviled eggs at each other.

Whenever I participate in the Black Friday madness, I’ve been known to go a little overboard. While some stragglers choose to line up right before the store opens, I’ve been known to arrive several days before the big event. I took the first spot in line last year on the Tuesday before because I’d gotten an early scoop that comforters would finally be on sale with $2 off. That deal alone was worth me sitting outside for three days. And before you start judging, I’ll have you know that I also bought a box of staples as well.

50% off EVERYTHING! Yes, sign me up!

Now, there are many reasons why I should never shop on Black Friday. As you may know, I’ve been banned from all US Walmart stores on that day because of a slight stampeding incident that I may or may not have been involved in a few years ago. If you ask me, it wasn’t my fault. The shelves looked really low on coffee, so I couldn’t risk missing out. When the doors opened, I made a run for it, which seemed smart and reasonable at the time.

Apparently, I was not the only one who wanted to stock up on a nice House Blend that morning. All 5,000 of us customers ran right past the flat-screen TVs and Tonka trucks, and a Kill Bill style struggle ensued right there on aisle 6. Perhaps I was wrong for snatching up a Nerf gun as a defense method, but it was overkill for Walmart security to tase me without warning. Although I’m banned, I have a great team of lawyers who negotiated a reasonable workaround. If I want to go to Walmart on Black Friday, I simply have to go to Botswana to do it.

It’s worth mentioning, that there were a few years where I forgot to observe Black Friday clothing restrictions. While we know there are some areas where you shouldn’t wear blue or red ever, we should probably add Target and Best Buy to that list too. Because you have free will, dear readers, I understand if you want to go rogue and test this theory, but you do so at your own peril.

One year I had the unfortunate fate of wearing a red polo and khakis to Target’s sale event. I was bombarded with several customer questions before I even entered the store. Where do we park? Are Glade air fresheners in stock? How does baby powder work? When I’d politely explain that I didn’t work there, most customers didn’t care. They needed AA batteries and were insistent that I’d help them find some.

Actually, helping the Target customers wasn’t that bad. At least I earned a few brownie points for doing some form of good in society. The problem arose when a manager asked me to stock shelves and refused to take no for an answer. I couldn’t risk being written up, so I did as I was asked. When an actual worker later showed up with a pallet full of items and told me I had 15 minutes to finish, I knew I was in trouble.

Despite my best efforts, I got fired at the end of my shift anyway. Apparently, I wasn’t wearing a nametag and it’s required. “How will customers know who you are?” the manager barked. I learned my lesson. Rules are rules for a reason. Just because I didn’t work there didn’t mean that I shouldn’t have read the employee handbook and governed myself accordingly. I’d never even gotten a chance to ask about benefits.

My last view at Target as I was being escorted out of the building.

If I’d been born with any level of common sense, I would have learned not to participate in the Black Friday shenanigans years ago. Back in 1771, I remember seeing an ad for a VCR that I just had to have. I don’t know about your VCR, but this one allowed you to rewind and fast forward. It even had a remote! With that VCR, I wouldn’t just be keeping up with the Joneses. I’d be running circles around them as if I were Usain Bolt of Flo-Jo.

Landing a VCR that would elevate my social status didn’t come easily. I had to fight and elbow several grandmas and toddlers to claim my glorious prize. Although I left several bodies in my wake, some of the grandmas had great form, so I considered them to be formidable opponents. It just wasn’t their time. As the saying goes, what’s meant for me is for me.

As I stepped over a few people and strutted to the register to hand over my Discover credit card, I smiled gleefully. I had no idea that Discover would charge me a 1,039% interest rate on that purchase. I wouldn’t have believed that 20 years later, I would still owe $643 on that $59.99 VCR. In the end, the Joneses never came over to see my VCR. However, if they had, they would have been shaking in their Black Friday boots.

Now that I’m getting older, I’m starting to feel the weight of society’s expectations for me to be more responsible. Allegedly, when you’re middle-aged, you’re supposed to think about your future. While I still see myself as a backup singer and dancer for Beyoncé or Britney Spears down the line, I guess I’m also supposed to focus on retirement and my credit score. Unfortunately, this year there were no Black Friday ads on 401(k) accounts. I know because I searched for them on GrubHub and Groupon.

If I’m honest, the decision to shop or not shop was not really in my control this year. After doing my budget, I found that I would only have $2.34 to my name after my past-due bills were paid. Somehow, I was supposed to make that last for two weeks. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. Not participating in all the sales this year isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world. I mean, at least I won’t have to wonder where to sneakily go potty while I wait in line for three days.

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

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

The glass absolutely is half empty, and I should know.

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.

Birthdays get me excited….but just a little bit.

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

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