I know I’ve told you the importance of making an impression upon people & how I accomplished that…for better or worse…with my teams’s skit at the closing of a “Leadership Skills for Middle Managers” training seminar with UniverCiti in St. Louis.
We used the bed sheets as giant diapers & put nipples on empty liquor bottles when we cast ourselves as babies in an award-winning performance for our instructor & other seminar attendees…and brought the house down!
I can still hear them hooting & hollering!
BTW, the giant diapers were the only things we wore! 😱 😱 😱
“My eyes!!! My eyes!!!”
It was a Chernobyl in Missouri.
At another UniverCiti seminar a few years later (“Leadership Skills for Senior Managers”), as soon as I walked into the Sunday evening reception , I was greeted by Forrest (I forgot his last name), one of the course instructors who also led the previous Leadership Skills one, with “You crazy SOB, Mike!” and a big hug as soon as he saw me.
Well, it so happened that at this particular training event, I established a world record that will & could NEVER, EVER be broken.
There’s always a possibility, however slight, that it could be tied or equaled…but never broken!
Here’s what happened…
One evening, everyone was participating in a few fun group activities.
We started playing Pictionary. The object of the game is to guess the secret word or phrase, based upon the drawings of one person (who, obviously, is the only person who knows the secret).
And while things get clearer & more obvious (hopefully) as the person draws more stuff & provides the contestants with non-verbal hints, e.g., tugs on his ear signifies “sounds like”, etc., people are always shouting out possible answers as you’re not penalized for an incorrect response.
It’s just a matter of who guesses the correct answer first.
Someone from the group gets up (it’s usually the person who won the prior round, assuming it’s not a team competition) & starts to draw, after being given sufficient time to read the word/phrase & think of a possible approach to drawing clues.
OK, he’s ready.
He quickly draws a circle…a simple circle… and I immediately blurt out, “Bikini!”.
Not more than a second could have ticked off the timer!
He drops his marker.
He’s shocked. The whole room is shocked. But without a doubt, I’m the most shocked person of all, as if I were just struck by the largest ⚡️In the history of mankind!
Though no one had a Bible handy, I start swearing on everything holy that I did not cheat, never owned the game myself & had absolutely no idea what the secret word was.
Hell, I would’ve been suspicious myself about how this guy suddenly guesses “bikini” based solely on a circle.
A circle? Bikini?
No more than a solitary second could have passed from “Go!” to “Bikini!”!
I almost wished that I waited a few seconds before shouting out an answer! Seriously.
I mean, I should’ve have been lifted up onto people’s shoulders & ceremoniously carried throughout the entire hotel, with onlookers cheering & swooning & jostling for position to get my autograph.
Instead, I (almost) felt ashamed for winning.
But I know that I was 1000% truthful & had absolutely no prior knowledge of the answer nor did I cheat in any way, shape or form…none.
Yes, I swear everything was on the up-and-up! But it’s the most helpless feeling on Earth when you’re telling the complete & unadulterated truth…yet no one seems to believe you!
Reminds me of the 2 times when I arrived back home from Citi Christmas parties in Long Island (Crest Hollow Country Club on Jericho Tpke) at 5:00 & 6:00 in the morning!
The first time, we still lived in Brooklyn. I’m driving home on the Belt Parkway & all of a sudden, the road starts moving back & forth! 🤚
I pull off onto the grass to rest & the next thing I know, it’s like 3 hours later! Yeah, before the age of cell phones, of course!
A few years later, we’re now living in Holbrook, LI (exit 61 on the LIE) & I’m actually following Fred Fucaloro home. In the distance, I see a bunch of flashing lights on the highway.
During this time of year, the Police were infamous for setting up DUI roadblocks!
I’m near a truck stop so I pull in & up to one of the many “telephone parking spots”, with the full intention of calling Laurie & explaining the situation.
I grab the receiver & pull it into the car. Shit, now I need to find some change for the call.
I fall asleep. Yes, with the window open & the receiver in my hands.
By the time Sleeping Beauty arises from her nappy-poo, it’s about 5:30!!!
Oh, shit, NOT AGAIN!!!
Really didn’t matter much that the roadblock was gone as I had the long arm of the law waiting for me at home upon arrival!
Someone needs to explain to me why the hell they don’t sell these little lie detector sets for home use. Really now…
But I digress.
(Somewhere, deep in the recesses of this very warped mind of mine, I may have been thinking of “Bikini Island”, but that was revealed only after I purchased a “Do-It-Yourself Hypnosis Kit”, advertised on the back cover of my comic book.
If came along with those crazy-ass X-ray glasses…both for only $29.99!
See? You can buy that, but not a damned lie detector!)
I now own the world record for the quickest correct answer in the history of Pictionary. If only the dude from the Guinness Book of World Records had been a senior manager in Citi’s Consumer Banking group & with me that “magical day” in St. Louis, oh how my life coulda changed!
“I could have been a contender! I could have been somebody!”
Speaking of magical, when we checked into the Doubletree Hotel on Sunday, October 26, 1986, it was less than 24 hours from that truly- magical Game 6 of the World Series.
Surely, you remember. (And if your best friend is Laverne DeFazio, then it’s “Shirley, you remember!”)
Laverne DeFazio & Shirley Feeney?
“Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!”
Game 6, 1986 World Series.
Boston Red Sox (BOOOO!!!) vs. New York Mets.
Ground ball through Bill Buckner’s legs at first. The Miracle Mets, one strike away from defeat & the end of the Series, engineer a miraculous (duh) come-from-behind 6-5 victory to tie the Series at 3-all.
(Managing blunder by the Red Sox clipper, John McNamara…despite his claims to the contrary…as Dave Stapleton should’ve been in there as a late-inning defensive replacement for Buckner, just as he had done for most of the playoffs.
Even if you consciously made that decision to leave him in & just didn’t forget to make that move, as most people surmised, you still blew it, Johnny!)
Maybe it was the Mets aura that helped create the Pictionary miracle!
If any of you happen to own the Pictionary game (or are now running to the store or looking for it on Amazon), I would be happy to autograph the box for you!
Lemme see if you can think of an existing world record that is IMPOSSIBLE to break…the very best that someone can do is tie.
Not improbable, now (like Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 pts in an NBA game or Joe DiMaggio’s hitting safely in 56 consecutive games)…but impossible.
The only other one that comes to mind (which I happened to witness on TV) is when the NY Jets Steve O’Neal once punted from his own 1-yard line straight across the entire field to the other 1-yard line!
It hit the other 30-yard line on a fly (70+ yards in the air!), then bounced forward ‘til it came to rest right before the other goal line.
The record can NEVER be broken as they don’t consider the goal line as the line of scrimmage, no matter if the ball’s only an inch away. The closest “official” spot is the 1-yard line.
In effect, a punt could only travel 98 yards, from one 1-yard line to the other 1-yard line.
Actually, come to think of it, there are other football records that could never be broken…a 99-yard run, pass or punt return or a 109-yard kick-off, field goal attempt return or interception return!
The 99-yard run has actually happened twice…the run by Dallas’s Tony Dorsett on Monday Night Football vs. Washington (Did you know Dallas had only 10 men on the field for that play?)…and the 99-yarder by the Titans’s Derrick Henry against Jacksonville in ’18.
And there have been 11 99-yard passes in NFL history.
Yes, Tom Brady…
…has one of them!
And that’s my story!
Thank you so very much for listening.
Oh, BTW, I actually accomplished something in bowling that I’m “sure” has never been done before nor will ever be duplicated.
However, it’s something that is not officially tracked nor recorded.
Now, you can gather 3 billion people & have them do nothing but bowl for 25 years and no one will even come close to reaching, much less surpassing, my incredible feat.
But that’ll be fodder for yet another story…