Friday, July 29, 2011

Pulling Puppies Out of the Fire with Mikey

"Just give me what I want......and no one gets hurt. Hello-Hello, I'm at a place called Vertigo."

Says the disc in the bread truck as I pull out of J&B"s coffee shop and point myself towards Bread Mecca and embark on yet another day of maintaining the bread empire.

Funny, I've listen to this disc about a billion times during the last couple of years, but yet somehow I've been able to block out one of my favorite attachments to that song.

A couple days ago I wrote about Danielle our receptionist, and how she passed away at the age of 24, well another kid I loved shed his mortal coil at the same cursed age....24.

His name was Mikey, and we lovingly referred to him as the Mexican Giraffe.

Mikey was 6' 3" -6" 4", lean but musculer and really handsome. All the girls in the neighborhood had their eyes set on him because not only was he such a chick magnet, but he had a sweet disposition, and a large family of some of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet.

His old man is Mexican, and although he is equally good looking, his appearance is more in line with my perception of what most Mexicans look like.

Mikey on the other hand, almost looked like a Norse god lol. His skin was light and his hair was fair.

Over the years that I worked with him, I viewed myself as 1/2 employer, but 1/2 father as well. If you've ever had teenage kids, you know exactly what I mean want to be part of that "village" that raises the collective youth?

But I'll tell ya, that Mikey must have had some Terrier blood in him as well, because he was quick thinking and mischievous, often times his quick wit ran a couple miles in front of consequence.

Many days I'd enter the plant, and Mikey would be quick to greet me with an episode from his life that would rival Beaver Cleavers.

So back to U2's Vertigo song.

Remember when I Pod first came out and Bono volunteered to do the commercial for free. He knew the device was cutting edge and viewed the cross promotion as a win-win for both his band, and the new form of technology.

If you recall, the commercial was a real quick blast where you see the Irish front man's sihouette leaning backwards, pulling the microphone stand back, while kicking in the air and screaming......

"Yeah-Yeah-Yeah-Yeah-Yeah-Yeah" follwed by a leg quick, mike stand dropped to the ground, and the commercial is over.

It was a pretty famous spot, Stewie Griffith did a parody of it on Family Guy.

Well.....often times, part of my job at the bakery is to take people on tours. They typically take 20-30 minutes. We start off in the buisness office where I describe who we are servicing, next we all put on hair nets and enter into the production area where I start in the mixing area, then take my group to the proofing rooms, ovens, and finally packaging.

But for me, the highlight of these tours was how Mikey would come flying around a corner holding a mop like a michrophone stand while screaming...


Then he'd slam that mop down so hard that it would echo for 10 seconds across the bakery, which was followed by him kicking that big lanky Abraham Lincoln leg of his in the air.

It didn't matter if it was a group of senoirs, kindergarten kids, or mentally challenged souls trapped in wheel chairs. Mikey didn't discriminate, he performed for anybody that he thought he might astonish.

Then came that day, the day where he pulled me aside to tell me he was moving on to bigger things.

He landed a job at Comcast Cable company where he would serve as a sales rep.

Part of his job was to take crews out to locations that had a dense populace where his crew would canvas the area, offering HBO incentives to anybody with a credit card.

Time passed by, we'd run into one another every once in awhile, but for all practical purposes, even though the kid remained in my heart....he was out of my loop.

But then On a cold-blistering morning, I came into work and as I checked my E-Mails, somebody, I don't remember who, sent me a video link that kept me smiling for a week.

It was a clip off of Fox News. they were reporting on a fire that took place in an apartment complex, and the bubble headed bleach blonde reporter is hashing out details guessed it, enter Mikey - stage left.

He was in the building, detected the fire, called the cops and evacuated the building. Now if that isn't Good Samaritian enough for you, after everybody was out, Mikey stormed back into the units where it was said that pets lived and their owner weren't home.

Then he pulled them out one at a time, and placed the fuzzy victims in his Comcast work truck.

The media chick was glowing. You could tell that she was actually was impressed by his valor (and boyish good looks.)

The whole time he engaged in the interview he had this doofy little grin on his face.

I really miss that kid.

I'd like to close this rant on an uplifting note, or send you away with a practical lesson, but to be honest......I got nothing for you today.

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