Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

A one-day sale on a one-day shirt

April 25, 2014

It was a brand new, white, button-down shirt. Frankly, it didn’t stand a chance.

To be fair, it attacked me first. I was on my way to work when I felt a sharp, stabbing pain in my waist. I inadvertently left one of the needles in the shirt.

Sidebar: Why do they use so many needles? In the future, I’m only buying shirts on the rack and not the ones folded into a square, shrink-wrapped and pockmarked with more pins than a Haitian voodoo doll.

I grabbed a bagel from the Bruegger’s a block from work. I narrowly avoided a blob of cream cheese that almost spattered Whitey (yes, I decided to name the shirt).

Once I got to work, an administrative assistant asked me to move the coffeepot from the break room to the conference room for a 9 o’clock meeting. She admitted it was too heavy for her, and I got to play big, strong He-Man for a few moments. It’s bigger than your average home coffeepot.

I picked up the machine and walked to the unopened conference room door. I had to press the thing to my body with one hand and open the door with the other.

The pot had wet coffee grounds in it from the day before. Tiny, black granules spilled out and clung to Whitey. I managed to scrape most of them off. I smelled like stale coffee the rest of the day.

P.S. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t like the taste, and I definitely don’t like the smell. I do like being the big, strong He-Man who saves the day, though.

Before noon, a co-worker was swearing at the copier. I was glad to see the machine wasn’t swearing back. She claimed it ate her report. I got to step in and be the hero again. The toner didn’t come out as easily as the coffee grinds.

I went to the men’s room and tried to salvage Whitey from an extinction-level event. The shirt was literally black and blue. Technically, black and cyan (don’t get me started on cyan). I thought I could save Whitey with soap and water. Here’s the thing about the soap at work; it comes out as white foam, but it dries pink. I had pink blotches on the shirt.

I was dodging cream cheese, coffee grounds and cylinders of ink. I was like a Super Mario Brother of the desk set. I am surprised a monkey wasn’t on top of the building chucking barrels at me.

I am partially convinced Whitey had a mind of his own. It was white and colorless and wanted to live in a Technicolor world. It ended up with splotches of pink, black and cyan (I want to say blue, I really do).

I got the shirt at a one-day sale. I didn’t realize they meant it would only last one day!

Luckily, it was “Buy One, Get One Free.” So, I’m going to try again Monday. I’ll be wearing Whitey’s brother, Mr. Pale Blue.



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