Sunday, September 25, 2016

What happened to the Y? - by Michael Buzzelli

You may recall I injured my shin Labor Day weekend in the swimming pool. It’s recovering nicely. Thank you (I’m sure you would have asked if we were chatting).

It should have been a warning sign to keep out of the water. Last week, I was at the beach in Corolla, N.C. That’s when I sustained a new injury.

I was riding the waves and crashed. I went from bodysurfing to body slamming. A huge wave came and tried to murder me. It smashed me into the ground, sea floor or sandy bottom. Major ouch! I hit the shoulder first, tumbled upside down and hit my head, ass over tea kettle. Luckily, I did not hurt my thick skull.

They took X-rays of my head and found nothing. Ba-dum Tshh!

However, I wrecked my shoulder.

I didn’t break anything, but I’m walking around with my arm folded onto my chest like a chicken wing. When I reach for a cold beverage with my right hand, I don’t extend my arm past my elbow. If you see me from the right side, I look like a Tyrannosaurus Rex reaching for a glass of iced tea. I’m fairly certain dinosaurs did not drink tea. They are coffee drinkers.

With these mounting monthly injuries, I should, at least, have a contract with the Steelers. Since the newspaper does not have an injured reserve list, I’m unable to collect from the bench. I’m typing this column with one hand. I can type with two hands if I pull the keyboard in tight; T-Rex on a laptop. Once again, I feel the need to point out you’d be hard-pressed to find even a velociraptor that can type more than 40 words per minute.

If anyone asks a group of people a question, I have to rudely blurt out the answer, as I currently can’t raise my hand above my head. I can only make the MCA of dancing to the Village People. Think about that for a second. It’s what professional comedians call a slow-burner.

I have another problem. I am unable to say no to people.

A few days after my shoulder was personally introduced to sand and sea shells, a friend asked me to help him carry stuff from his car. Everything in the trunk of his car was heavy.

I hoisted a bunch of items with my good arm and, since neither of us wanted to make a second trip, I carried a case of beer with my bad one. I remember telling everyone to drink up. I was terrified I’d have to carry the case of beer again. If you were with me Saturday night and got wasted, it’s on me. Sorry about that.


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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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Call me...maybe - By Michael Buzzelli

E.T. phoned home, but some extraterrestrials may be phoning us.

According to Reuters late last month, scientists are investigating a mysterious signal from space. Russian astronomers detected a non-naturally occurring radio signal some 94 light years from Earth. Cue the “Twilight Zone” music.

Technically, the signal was heard a year ago, but scientists are still investigating.

Personally, I’m thinking they were keeping it from us, but I also believe there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll.

I believe. The truth is out there. Yada. Yada. Yada. I’ve always been a believer. I blame Klaatu and Helen Benson. I blame Kirk and Spock. I blame Dr. Smith and that robot. I grew up on space ships and flying saucers. I mean, I’m fond of them, I didn’t literally grow up on a space ship. I have a birth certificate from here.

If you look up at the vast array of stars and imagine there are planets around some of those stars, it’s easy to believe they are out there. Even if this one is a false alarm, one day we could get a real message.

I, personally, am ready to meet them. Maybe I’m ready/not ready.

The prospect is both exhilarating and frightening, but I’m intrigued about the concept.

If they made first contact, I’m curious about what they would say.

I hope their first call to Earth isn’t Dominos. We’ll never be able to get a pizza there in 30 minutes or less. Let’s face it, they’re 94 light years away. We couldn’t guarantee that pizza would be there this century.

If they do say hello, I’m hoping they’re nice (less “Star Trek,” and more “My Favorite Martian”). I do not need a “Hide your wife, hide your kids. We’re coming for you” kinda message. Let’s shoot for friendly.

But we have to play it cool. We can’t be too nice back. We can’t just invite them over right away.

The next thing you know we’re out cutting the grass, and they swing by just to chat for a bit. I have to make sure I have extra beer in the fridge, just in case.

We can’t just fly to the moon dressed in any old thing anymore. We’re going to have to look presentable. Those silver spacesuits have to go.

We get too friendly, and Earth becomes a tourist destination.

No one wants that.

Think of all the extra traffic, especially if they tell other aliens about us. Imagine the sign on store windows: “We accept Visa, Mastercard and Dilithium Crystals, Galactic Credit Standard, Chronodollars, Zulacks and Space Bucks.” I don’t know what we’d sell them except for “My parental units went to Earth, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” T-shirt.


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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, September 11, 2016

Terror on the tibia


I don’t normally carry over plot threads from previous columns. This is not “Mary Worth” or “Rex Morgan, M.D.” However, last week, I told faithful readers about slipping, falling and smacking my shin at the pool. It’s getting better, but it still hurts.

I don’t wince when I walk, and I can get down on my hands and knees and clean the bathtub without crying. We’re putting those small victories in the win column. I still have some difficulty driving, because when I press my foot on the accelerator, it moves a bunch of leg muscles at once. Those leg muscles hate me. Also, I’m afraid of things that are only shin high, like coffee tables and toddlers.

I picked a weird week to join a gym.

There are a few things you should know before I go any further. I won’t say I’m cheap, but I don’t like to spend money. When I heard a national gym chain was running a Labor Day special, I limped at the chance to join. Normally, I’d jump at such a chance, but see above. There’s something else you should know: I think of the day after Labor Day as the saddest day of the year. It’s the day they drain the community swimming pools. In a counter move to my post-Labor Day blues, I joined the gym because they have a swimming pool! Frankly, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. Clearly, I’m frugal and stupid.

My shin doesn’t hurt when I’m sleeping or swimming. I wanted more time in the water and less time saying, “Ouch.” Therefore, I joined the local fitness center.

When the saleswoman signed me up, I told her, “I hurt my shin. For now, I just want to use the pool.” She replied, “Well, you get a free training session. Ryan will show you how to use all the machines.”

A bell went off when I heard the word “free.” I guess I am cheap.

I met Ryan the Trainer. It’s a title like Conan the Barbarian, and they had very similar builds. I told Ryan the Trainer I couldn’t do leg stuff. He probably hears that a lot, because I saw a lot of top-heavy guys with chicken legs as we toured the facility.

Here’s the thing. At the gym, there were a lot of metal bars protruding from every which way. A lot of them are shin high. My frugality and desire to keep swimming after Labor Day plopped me down in the middle of my very own nightmare scenario. It was like I designed a torture chamber for my shin: The auto-de-fibula. Terror on the tibia!

I stared down at a lot of frightening contraptions. Ryan would say, “OK, this is the butterfly curl. To work this quadrant on your arms … you sit down here and you wrap your legs around this.”

“Um. No. I can’t put my legs on that. That puts pressure right on my hurty spot.”

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.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Adult Swim is over - by Mike Buzzelli


File it under First World Problems: On Sunday, while climbing out of the swimming pool, I hit my shin. Hard. I fell back off the ladder and into the pool. I was in terrible pain. I was hopping around in the water with my arms flailing about, gracelessly; a one-man water ballet choreographed by a lunatic. I was the anti-Esther Williams. I was sucking back on my teeth, making that “Eeeee” sound, with an occasional “Ohhh” thrown in for good measure.

Side note: No one pays much attention to you in the water, even when you’re doing weird things. Unless you’re gasping for air, everyone pretty much gives you space. It was during Adult Swim, the few minutes the grown-ups have the pool to themselves. As long as you don’t splash the old ladies in the four-feet, you can do whatever the heck you want.

But I digress, like I do. Water break was over, and the kids were jumping in. I had to get out and get out fast. I was terrified one of those little buggers would collide into my shin bone in the middle of a rousing game of Marco Polo. I wouldn’t be able to blame them; their eyes would be closed.

P.S. I got really tired of hearing the words Marco and Polo as they were repeated ad infinitum, sometimes directly into my eardrum. But they were kids enjoying their final minutes of freedom before the school year started. You couldn’t blame them.

I was afraid to get out of the pool. I was in pain in a near-weightless environment, but once I got out, I’d be forced to deal with gravity. I knew it would hurt, and I was right! It was excruciating. I could see an indentation in my shin. I dented my shin. There was no black and blue mark, just pain and regret.

I had to use the stairs instead of the ladder as I limped past the lifeguards. I didn’t want to file an accident report. I literally and figuratively did not want to make waves.

I’ve been favoring my left leg all week. At work, I stood at the copier with one knee up, like a flamingo in business casual. I extended my left leg at the urinal as if I was potty-trained by a dog, instead of the other way around. 


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.