JERK OF THE WEEK: The Warning, the Weasel and the Weirdo on a Whacky Wednesday
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 might forever be known to some for the horrible riots that occurred on UC-Berkeley's campus, but I'm not going to touch on that topic. That's because Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 proved to be a very difficult and frustrating day for other reasons.
The trouble began almost instantly when I checked my phone upon waking up. I missed a call from my doctor's office; I was in there the previous day for a checkup, and they took my blood. I assumed that they were calling with the results, and I learned I was right upon hearing the voicemail...
"Hi, Walter, we have the results of your bloodwork," a female nurse said. "Everything looks OK, except your cholesterol is a bit high, so we're going to ask you to cut back on fatty foods, such as red meat, and sugary desserts, such as cookies and cakes. Thanks, bye."
"Thanks, bye?" More like, "Enjoy your miserable life going forward, muhahaha!"
Quite honestly, I don't understand why my cholesterol was so high. I ate KFC only twice last week, and I had my weekly cheesesteak on one of the other days. I also split a brownie cake with my fiancee, but that's OK because I only ate about two-thirds of it. Where do these doctors come off telling me that I have high cholesterol!?
For those of you who are concerned that I won't be able to eat lots of great food anymore, and that I may have to relinquish my title as food connoisseur, fear not - I will still eat plenty of cheesesteaks, pizza, cheeseburgers, fried chicken and brownie cakes. I'll just watch my cholesterol while doing so. Being vigilant is half the battle, so if I ever get to the point where my cholesterol intake is about 500 percent of the daily value, I'll tell myself, Walt, maybe that's enough cholesterol for one day, and then I'll reply to myself, Shut the f*** up, a**hole, I can still take another 300-percent cholesterol for today. Maybe even another 400 percent.
Now, some of you might be concerned that I'll suffer a heart attack soon. To that, I say heart attack shmeart attack. Medical technology is advancing so rapidly that I estimate that heart attacks will not exist in five years. They'll have synthetic replacement hearts for sale that you can pick up at CVS for like 20 bucks, and then they'll use teleportation technology to insert this new heart into your body.
Hell, they might even have do-it-yourself kits so you can avoid going to the doctor's office and surrendering more blood to them.
After thinking this through, I realized that I wasn't upset anymore about the warning from my doctor's office. I suddenly was in a cheerful mood, but that changed once I saw an e-mail notifying me that a prominent NFL Draft writer had once again stolen our content.
OK, let me explain. Our senior NFL Draft analyst Charlie Campbell had submitted a great story about Ohio State safety Malik Hooker being out 4-6 months for two surgeries, which is a big deal because he's a top prospect for the 2017 NFL Draft, and he won't be able to work out for teams prior to the actual draft. Charlie submitted this story around midnight, and I posted and tweeted it out 15 minutes later. We were the first to have this story.
Naturally, it was stolen from Charlie. This draft writer, who shall remain nameless for now, tweeted out at 11 a.m. that Hooker underwent two surgeries, and that he would be out for an extended period of time. He didn't credit Charlie, or anything, and he later bragged about being the first to report it. Major publications credited this guy for this story instead of Charlie.
Now, if you don't think that's a big deal, let me ask you this: If you worked very hard on something, and you were the first person to accomplish this goal, and yet you received absolutely no credit for it because someone else got all the acclaim, how would that make you feel?
If this were a one-time incident, I could excuse it. Maybe it was an honest mistake. But this has occurred on countless occasions over the years. This particular draft writer has taken credit for so many stories that weren't his. He's stolen acclaim from Charlie quite often, and he has also done the same from others, including Tony Pauline, who writes for us occasionally.
Oh, and if all of this weren't bad enough, this guy called me out a few years ago for a tweet I made about Adrian Peterson's fantasy football implications when Peterson's son was in critical condition. I could have been more careful with my wording for sure, but I was just doing my job, advising those who may not know what to do with Peterson in the wake of this horrible tragedy. It shouldn't have been a big deal - I was half-asleep and hung over when making the tweet - but this draft writer made it one by publishing an article, advising people not to visit this Web site any longer. He also unfriended me on Facebook. What a grown-man thing to do!
I decided to be the bigger man and extend an olive branch to this writer. I admitted that I should've been more cautious, and I suggested to him that we should both donate to Futures Without Violence, an organization that helps abused children. I also said that it would be great if he got his co-workers involved so that we could actually make a difference, since donating money is way more effective than whining and complaining on Twitter.
He never replied. He saw the message, since Facebook allows you to be aware of that, but he never donated. I gave $500 to the cause, but despite all of his groveling on social media, he didn't contribute a single dime. And it's not because he doesn't have the money. His parents own a big-time photography company of sorts, and they happen to be very wealthy. He could've asked them to donate if he couldn't, but despite leading a life of privilege, he didn't do a damn thing for this cause, opting instead to steal other people's content.
I actually reached out to a contact I have at one of the aforementioned big publications that cited this draft writer for the story. Here's how it went...
Me: Hey, you linked to ****** for the Malik Hooker story, but if you look at our Twitter feeds, Charlie reported it 10 hours earlier. I'm pretty pissed about this.
Contact: Sorry about that. We'll make the change. Just know that your frustration isn't warranted because I didn't see your tweet.
Me: Oh, I wasn't frustrated at you. Sorry if I made it sound that way. I'm frustrated that this guy has once again stolen content from us. He's done that to Charlie and others so many times.
Contact: Yeah, we know. That's why we're so reluctant to link to him.
It was a relief to know that others are aware that he's a fraud. That seriously made my day. It almost made me forget about my high cholesterol!
Of course, my day wasn't over, as you may have guessed if you read my title. I've discussed the warning (cholesterol nurse) and the weasel (draft writer), but what about the weirdo?
I encountered this weirdo at the gym, but before I get to him, some background: The pool at LA Fitness is almost always open, but the exceptions are the two hours on Tuesday and Wednesday evening from 6 to 7 p.m. when they have water aerobics.
By the time I was finished updating my live 2017 NFL Mock Draft and was done pooping, it was about 5:10. I had 50 minutes to make it to the gym and get my mile in, which seemed feasible. Unfortunately, I was delayed because my dog threw up near my front door and I had to take him out as a result. What a selfish a**hole!
All kidding aside, I made it to the gym by 5:35, and I was on the pool deck five minutes later. It took me a bit to figure out where to swim because there were two people in each lane, as it was more crowded than usual. One fat bald guy in his 50s, whom I'll call Old Yeller because he shouted everything he said to me this particular evening, got my attention.
Old Yeller: GO INTO THAT LANE, THE ONE AGAINST THE WALL!
Me: There are two people in there though.
Old Yeller: THOSE TWO GUYS AIN'T EVEN SWIMMING THOUGH! THEY'VE JUST BEEN CHIT-CHATTING THE WHOLE TIME!
He was right. The two men in this lane were a pair of Russian guys in their 60s, both of whom sported porno-style mustaches and wiener bikiners. I would have taken Old Yeller's advice instantly, but they looked like they were in the Russian mob, plus they appeared to be engaged in a serious conversation. They were either discussing whom they were going to kill next, or what their favorite side dish happened to be with borscht. Either way, I was not interrupting.
Some other guy said I could hop into a lane with him and his wife, so I accepted his invitation. I didn't get an entire mile in, but I managed to swim 1,000 yards before the fat ladies plopped into the pool. The final 50 yards felt like an obstacle course, as swimming around these monstrosities proved to be quite the challenge.
I hopped out of the pool and into the hot tub. The only other person there was Old Yeller. He didn't say anything to me until the water aerobics instructor started playing loud music.
"I FEEL LIKE I'M IN A CLUB," Old Yeller shouted.
I nodded. Then, I saw him get out of the hot tub, rummage through his bag and pull out his cell phone. He then videotaped the water aerobics monstrosities for some reason, and a couple of them took notice. I didn't expect them to care very much, but they all had disgusted expressions on their faces, as if he were violating their privacy. The water aerobics instructor apparently felt the same way...
Instructor: Were you videotaping us?
Old Yeller: YEAH, I WAS JUST...
Instructor: That's not allowed here!
Old Yeller: I WAS TAPING YOU TO SEND IT TO MY GIRLFRIEND BECAUSE SHE MIGHT BE INTERESTED!
Instructor: You could get kicked out for doing that!
Old Yeller: I'M SORRY, I'M SORRY, I'LL DELETE IT, I SWEAR!
The instructor walked away, and as she did so, Old Yeller looked at me and rolled his eyes. He wasn't deleting the video. I didn't care either way, though I was wondering what he planned to do with this video. Call me crazy, but pleasuring one's self to a bunch of fat ladies bobbing up and down doesn't sound like the greatest time.
Several minutes later, Old Yeller tried to catch my attention once again. He marveled at the instructor, who was jumping up and down at a rapid pace despite her "pupils" decaying in the water.
Old Yeller: SHE SURE HAS A LOT OF ENERGY!
Because Old Yeller was, well, yelling, the instructor heard this and turned around.
Instructor: I'd like to see you try this.
Old Yeller: I DIDN'T MEAN ANYTHING BUT THAT, I SWEAR!
Instructor: Right. You better have deleted that video.
Old Yeller: I DID DELETE IT, I SWEAR!
Instructor: We'll see. I have my eye on you.
Then, she glanced in my direction.
Instructor: You're on thin ice, too, mister.
What!? What the hell did I do!?
Seriously, why am I on thin ice? Because I was in the hot tub with some a**hole? Because I agreed with him that you're energetic? Because I didn't stop some creepy weirdo from videotaping the abominations you're instructing?
Looking back, I wish I would've replied, "Well, it's a good thing I'm not one of your fat ladies, or I would've fallen through the thin ice."
That statement would've gotten me kicked out for sure, and I would've had to find a new pool to swim in as a result. This would've increased my cholesterol even more, and I'd suffer a heart attack before those synthetic hearts were available on the market place.
I guess this Wednesday wasn't so bad after all, considering it could've been so much worse!