Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Seven Minute Stretch - by Michael Buzzelli

I tried to steal a friend’s car the other day.

Don’t judge. There are extenuating circumstances that I am going to delineate below.

On Sunday, I rushed to get to a board meeting. I showed up at 11:07 a.m. I pulled into the parking garage in downtown Pittsburgh.

I couldn’t believe how fast I had gotten to town considering there was a baseball game that day.

I ran in to the meeting and apologized for being late. The board secretary, Cathy, asked me if I had an excuse, and I thought she was joking. I shushed her because the board was in the midst of a discussion.

After they wrapped up the agenda item, the board president, Claire, said to me, “We voted on a few things before you got here.”

I was aghast. I said, “Wait. How much business did you get done in seven minutes?!”

Everyone turned to me and stared. They were all making the “What you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” face. I looked down at my phone, and I was about to defend my seven-minute lapse.

Claire very quietly said, “Mike, the meeting started at 10.”

I must have been making my “Yikes!” face, because the room erupted in laughter. I am glad that I no longer get embarrassed, or I would have turned red.

The meeting has always started at 10.

I don’t know where my mind was, but I’m at a point in my life where my own stupidity no longer shocks me.

On the plus side, no moronic thing anyone does shocks me, either.

I’ve become immune to idiots. It’s probably why this whole election cycle isn’t bothering me anymore.

But I digress, like I do. We got through a list of items on our agenda, and the meeting was adjourned promptly at noon. I issued another apology as we waited for the elevator.

I walked back to the parking garage thinking, “This was the fastest meeting I’ve ever attended. Oh. That’s right. I skipped the whole first hour.” I nearly slapped myself on the forehead, like you do when you forgot you could have been drinking a V8. Only no one willingly drinks V8.

I had my keys out and walked to the car. Linda, who also attended the meeting, walked toward me. She started laughing again from my earlier faux pas.

I was trying to change the subject by saying, “Oh! We must have parked near each other.”

For the rest of the story, click here.

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor columns culled from the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I love salad - by Mike Buzzelli

The other day I took one of those Facebook questionnaires. The computer asked me to name my four favorite foods.

I think I’d rather take the SATs. I’m not a very decisive person. At a restaurant I have to be told the specials … twice. Servers hate me, but I tip well.

It’s hard to pick four of anything. I run out of steam after two. Pizza was easy. I think most Americans love pizza.

Pizza can be plain or fancy. It’s so versatile. I love the regular sauce and cheese variety, but I’ve also liked ones with fingerling potatoes and pesto on them.

I’ve had roasted pears and arugula on pizza.

You can put anything on a slab of dough and call it a pizza.

I finally decided on my four things. I picked roasted root vegetables as number two, French fries as number three, and a big salad as number four.

No one picks salad. I secretly hoped this survey wasn’t for “Family Feud,” because I may have skewed the curve. “Oh, Johnson family you lose.

The top survey answers were pizza, lasagna, steak, French fries and one moron in Pennsylvania said salad. But we do have a year’s supply of Turtle Wax for you.”

Side note: I don’t really watch “Family Feud.” I’m not sure how it works.

I love a big salad. It didn’t used to be my favorite. When I was growing up, we only had one lettuce.

The other kinds hadn’t been invented yet. We only had iceberg. I’m sure you’re curious why they would name a lettuce after something that sunk the Titanic. Its flavor was wet crunch, like an actual iceberg.

In the mid-to-late '80s, lettuce got exciting. Now we have romaine, arugula, endive, radicchio, frisee, loose leaf, butterhead and more.

Plus, I expanded the things I put on a salad. I discovered feta cheese, Kalamata olives and pepperoncini.

No, I wasn’t the Christopher Columbus of salad, but I did go on a college trip to Greece.

Then, I learned that in Italy a salad could be just mozzarella cheese, basil and some tomatoes. The Caprese is the pizza of salad.

I found I liked apples, beets, grapes, nuts, strawberries or pomegranate seeds in a salad. I realized you can put anything in one as long as you start with a lettuce base. For the rest of the story, click here

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor columns culled from the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Remote - No control by Mike Buzzelli

When I was younger, I would get so angry at my dad when he would grab the remote and switch stations in the middle of a show because of the commercials. Now, I’m doing it. I’ve met the enemy, and he is me. I’ve gone clicker crazy! It turns out that the shoe didn’t fall far from the tree.

P.S. Don’t write in letters and call it a mistake. I actually happen to have a shoe tree.

But I digress, like I do. I blame the Cookie Monster for my remote control madness. At first, I thought it was cute that the Sesame Street creature was hocking hands-free phones.

Then, I wondered, “Cookie, why don’t you use your waiting time more productively and clean up that ginormous mess you made? Or, at the very least, make another batch of cookies?”

Now, I’ve been switching shows in midstream to avoid commercials, such as the aforementioned Muppet-centric one. Then, I forget what I was watching in the first place and fall down an endless rabbit hole of cable channels. I have TV ADD.

I get very confused. The next day, someone will say, “What did you watch on TV last night?”

I’ll respond, “I’m not sure. ‘The Bachelor’ had to cook something with five unusual ingredients in a basket while he sipped coffee at Central Perk with Chandler and Monica, then drag queens had to save Steve Harvey from Chin Ho, and Alicia Florrick and Buffy Summers fought the Flash and Supergirl. Something like that.”

It’s been a while since I could concentrate long enough to stay in one place for 30 minutes, let alone a whole hour.

Police procedurals are completely out. I find myself at the high end of the cable channels. And, as we all know, cable is the worst. There are twice as many commercials, and they are twice as terrible. The higher the channel number, the greater the stupidity of the commercials. You’ve fallen, and you can’t get up! You want your money, and you need it now!

Did you ever notice that in every state in America, some car salesman gets the genius idea of using his trophy wife (I want my Ugg boots in the shot for no real reason) or grandchild (lispy kid) to sell his cars? The only thing worse is when they try to do it themselves.

Dear car dealerships, lawyers and plastic surgeons, if you have money to make a commercial, please hire a professional.

I don’t mean a football player, either. Sometimes I can see their eyes move across the cue cards.

Commercials are for actors. You wouldn’t want your wife or child to remove a tumor from your brain. I’m not saying acting is brain surgery, but the wannabes sure make it look like it is. Hashtag me at #Bitter-actor-party-of-one.

For the rest of the story, click here

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor columns culled from the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Eyes Have it - By Michael Buzzelli

I’d rather not admit this. Let’s just say that stuff that happens to old people is now happening to me. I’m convinced it’s highly coincidental. The other day, I lost my glasses. Not just temporarily, but lost lost.

No. They weren’t on my head. Everyone asked me that. I have lost my glasses and found them on my head, but not this time.

Yes. I’ve looked behind the dresser, under the bed, between the seat cushions on the sofa.

They no longer exist. Poof! Disappeared in midair!

It’s like Captain Kirk had Scotty beam them out of the house to save future generations of four-eyes.

I may have fallen asleep wearing them Friday night. I might have taken them off. It’s unclear.

I had them when Batman and Superman were knocking the snot out of one another.

Side note: Aren’t they friends? Aren’t they, in fact, SUPERFRIENDS?

I remember pushing the aforementioned glasses up on my nose while discussing with my brother and nephew why I hate dream sequences in movies and television shows, and why I don’t need to see Bruce Wayne’s parents die again.

I’ve seen Batman’s parents shot in an alleyway in comics, television and in multiple movies. I get it. The orphan billionaire grows up to avenge his parents and has a thing for creepy web-winged flying mammals. Yes, he could have been Flying Squirrel Man or Gliding Possum Man, but he went with bats.

But I digress, like I do. After the movie, I went out to a bar where I had ONE BEER. I still had my glasses. I was now railing against the movie to friends and strangers, saying, “It was too long,” and “I wanted more Wonder Woman.” But I had my specs on the whole time.

I had them on at home, when I stayed up late to watch “Rules of Engagement” – proving that “Batman vs. Superman” wasn’t the worst entertainment choice I could make in 24 hours. I needed my glasses to see David Spade, but I’m not sure why I wanted to look on his thin, pale image.

Here’s where it gets fuzzy. I woke up Saturday morning and the glasses weren’t in the usual places. I keep them on the dresser or nightstand. Sometimes I leave them in the kitchen. Not there, there or there.

I took the sheets off my bed in case I fell asleep with them on. I moved the bed and looked under it.

I moved the dresser and looked behind it.

I only found tennis ball-sized lint under the bed. I even found a tennis ball-sized tennis ball, but it was covered in lint. I never found the glasses. I took apart the sofa.

For the rest of the article, click here

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor columns culled from the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here!