Back in December, I noticed a significant 1-time credit in my paycheck, with no warning or explanation. I asked my boss about it and found out that I got one of my company’s incentive awards they call “Champion’s Awards”, just for being a helluva guy, I guess. Usually they make a little certificate presentation when these awards are done for the $50 awards, but basically it was like, “Oh yeah… congratulations.” He eventually produced a printout of why I was so awarded.
But I was thinking… “Cool”… because it’s really all about the Benjamins anyway.
So a about a month later I ask my boss, “so do I ever get a certificate for that award? I thought there would have been a small ceremony or something.”
He said, “Oh, there’ll be one…”
Hmmmm… I figure something’s up. A day or two later, I realize that we have a Town Hall Meeting coming up and that’s where they present the larger awards. “Oh boy… they’re going to give me my certificate in front of half the building.” (We have 2 meetings, with about half the staff at each.)
Now, I’m already known around my office as an Uber-Steeler fan. Even our company’s President knows it, and the Town Hall was going to be just 1 week after my boys won the Super Bowl. So I was pretty sure that when she calls me up there, she’s going to mention something about the Steelers. And I thought, “wouldn’t it be funny if I then pulled out a Terrible Towel and twirled it overhead?” Sure I might get some boos from all the Ravens fans, but I’d just smile and hold up 6 fingers to represent the 6 Super Bowls the Steelers have won (which is more than any other team). Ravens fans are nothing if not bitter.
I considered using the famous Blazing Saddles line, “Excuse me while I whip this out”, before showing The Towel, but thought better of it. Didn’t want to push it…
So I totally planned it out… I wore my best button-down Oxford shirt with a Steelers logo, to help provoke her into saying something. I brought in my Towel and before I went down for the meeting, I folded it lengthwise and pushed it down my left pant leg, with the edge just barely visible behind my waistband, but within easy reach.
So it comes time for the awards and I’m just on pins & needles… Should I do it? Dare I do it? Could this be a grave career miscalculation?
Her’s first line was something like, “Well, we have about 50 or 60 Award winners so I’m just going to call up a sample of the winners…”
She and some other executives called up about 6 or 7, none of which were me. All that planning and scheming for nothing.
So that’s how it came to be that I sat for an hour and a half with a gold towel down my pants.
I should be used to this kind of disappointment.
When I was young, my friends and I were all about pulling stunts and practical jokes like that.
In college, I learned that this professor in one of the entry-level, giant-lecture-hall classes gave the same lectures every year. During a particular one, he’d fire a gun that shot blanks into the crowd, as a demonstration of one way of commanding attention.
I thought it would be funny if someone actually fired back. So I went and bought a cap gun and waited. On the day that particular lecture was to be given, my buddy who’d told me about it in the first place went with me, just to see the hilarity ensue. I sat on the aisle and when the time came, I planned to stand up, roll into the aisle and come up shooting.
Any way, when the time came, the professor just screamed instead of firing his gun. I was so disappointed. Not as much as my buddy, though, who’d just sat through an hour’s lecture he’d already been through, for absolutely no reason, as it turned out.
I went up to the professor after class and told him what I was planning to do, showing him my now obsolete cap gun. He just laughed, but said someone had already done that.
Can you imagine a professor pulling out a gun, in this day and age? There would probably still be someone returning fire, only with a real gun.
We used to come up with a lot of schemes like that, back in the day. I’ve been planning to write up some of our exploits for many years now. I’m hopeful I can include them here one day soon. Until then, I have a Towel to wash.