Who is Ernie?

The new guy at work is wearing a red and blue striped shirt, shorts, and sneakers. With his messy black hair and that goofy smile on his facem he is a dead ringer for Ernie from Sesame Street. Seriously, if you saw a photo of Ernie and then saw this guy in real life you'd swear he is Ernie!

Ernie vs. Jason Bourne

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

About a year ago, this new guy starts working on my team. The first day I meet him, he points to the top of my cube-mate's head and says, "Nice hair. Are you trying to look like Jason Bourne?"

My cube-mate at the time had the front part of his hair sticking up. The truth is, he did look sort of funny. Still, it was strange and unusual for some new guy to make fun of his hair so quickly. Especially when the new guy's hair is all messed up too.

The new guy wears a red and blue striped shirt, shorts, and sneakers. With that messy black hair and a goofy smile on his face he is a dead ringer for Ernie from Sesame Street. Seriously, if you saw a photo of Ernie and then saw this dude in real life you would swear that he is Ernie.

My cube-mate is a big fan of the Jason Bourne movies. He enjoys the Harry Potter books too. In fact, my cube-mate said to me once, "I am Harry Potter." Sometimes he wears a shirt that has an iron-on print of himself when he was a small child being held in his Mother's lap. All the girls love it. What a douche.

Ernie sometimes torments my cube-mate with questions like, "Who do you think would win in a fight between Harry Potter and Jason Bourne?" After thinking about it for a few seconds, my cube-mate responds, "Jason Bourne is unbeatable."

"What about Harry's wand?" Ernie asks.

My cube-mate smiles and replies, "Bourne would find a way to get it away from Harry without him even knowing it. He's that good!" It's hard to take sides with a guy who wears a picture of his mother on his chest.

Conversations like these went on for months. Eventually, my cube-mate had enough and left for the East Coast to become an FBI agent. He's had a lot of training by watching UFC videos at work. By the time he leaves, I've learned all about Crow-Cop and his deadly ribcage kick! I've never known a guy so obsessed with UFC, Jason Bourne, and Harry Potter.

Sometimes Ernie asks me what I think my old cube-mate is up to. I'm not sure, but I have a feeling it involves watching UFC videos and crooning over Jason Bourne.

Listen to the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/jnr121.mp3

Square Dance Bowling Shoes

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Today Ernie is wearing the same worn out white sneakers that he always wears. Once, he and his wife took a square-dancing class at the community college. Imagine it- Ernie dressed to the hilt in a cowboy outfit swinging his partner to and fro.

I ask him if he wears those sneakers when he goes square dancing. “No,” he explains. “I bought a pair of used bowling shoes at the thrift store. They were red and purple.” He goes on to say that wearing them makes it easier to turn on a wooden dance floor. I ask if he wears a matching glove for those wicked dosie-doe’s. He doesn’t.

Ernie is failing a summer finance class because of his poor study habits. He said the only way he can get a passing grade is to bribe the teacher with a banana cream pie. I hope it works.

Ernie’s wife is a professional clog dancer. "Is there any money in it?" I ask. He explains that she brings in about $200 every two years but is thinking of retiring due to a foot injury. I ask Ernie if they have clog dancing in The Special Olympics. He says they do not. Too bad, I bet clog dancing is harder than it looks. Besides, everyone knows there is money in the The Special Olympics.

Ernie is full of optimism. In his own way, he is a role model. I think the world needs more dreamers. I’m just glad Ernie has a lady who loves him as well as a professor who loves banana cream pies.

Go, Ernie, go!

Listen to the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/02_Ernie_Squaredancing_Shoes.mp3

Batman Pennies

Saturday, August 9, 2008

People at work are always throwing things at Ernie. Paperclips, pennies, a rubber ball with spikes, a foam miniature airplane, a battery-operated dancing gerbil, etc. He just has that look. People see him and they want to chuck things at him.

I wonder if the Muppet Ernie has the same problem.

Once, as a practical joke, someone placed a stack of pennies on top of Ernie's car. They positioned a few nickels on top of his windshield wipers too. He told me about it the next day. He said he heard a rumbling noise when he backed out of the parking lot but didn’t think much of it. Then, when he drove onto the main road, a car behind him started honking.

"Hey! A penny flew off of your roof and hit my windshield." The man in the car yelled.

Imagine Ernie all scrunched down in his seat, smiling meekly as the motorist past by, his messy hair blowing in the wind.

Later that week, Ernie popped the hood of the car for some routine maintenance. Pennies fell through the engine and onto the ground. It's like finding sand in your shoes three months after you've been to the beach. It gets everywhere.

Ernie has rotten luck. I try to make Ernie happy by treating him to lunch sometimes. Nothing big, just a cheeseburger or a soda. Once I drove with him to Winger's and stopped off at a convenience store afterwards so he could get some bottled water. He had burned his tongue on some hot sauce. He’s like a child, really. Most of us have accidents sometimes but Ernie has them constantly. I bought him a Batman Kit-Kat bar along with a bottle of water. It made him smile.

Ernie is a big fan of Batman. For the premiere of “The Dark Knight” he stayed up late to catch a midnight screening. Only getting a few hours of sleep, Ernie bounced into work bright and early the next morning clad in a brand new Batman T-Shirt. Before Ernie made it to his desk I received the following text message from a co-worker in another department: "My whole team just watched Ernie run in from the parking lot wearing a Batman shirt. Check him out!"

He bounces through the door in a fit of excitement. "A man was dressed as Batman!" He exclaimed. "He was throwing shirts to the crowd. Do you know how much these cost at Hot Topic? $20! And I got one for free!" He is so happy. $20 is a lot to Ernie.

It's weird to think that even Batman chucked something at him. I'm just glad that it wasn't pennies or a battery-operated gerbil.

For the remainder of the day, people hum the old Batman television theme song to Ernie’s face. He hates it. One co-worker calls his extension and uses the phone keypad to play a musical version of the Batman theme. Na na na na na na na na Bat-Man!! I told Ernie his shirt is cool and asked if he wants a soda. He declines and instead buys one for me.

Thanks, Ernie.

Listen to the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/03_Ernie_Batman_Pennies.mp3

Im Going to Pee on You

Monday, August 11, 2008

When Ernie was in high school, he peed on another boy’s leg. He said the lights were out in the restroom and he thought he was peeing in a urinal. Turns out, he was peeing in a jock’s pocket.

It reminds me of a time when I peed on my little brother. We were very young and full of mischief. I stood atop the monkey bars of our elementary school on a warm summer's eve. My little brother looked up at me from the gravel floor. His cheeks were round and red.

“I’m going to pee.” I said.

He laughs nervously as I undo my trousers.

“I’m going to pee on you!”

“No, Jake. Don’t!”

“Yes, I’m going to. You better move.”

“No! I’m telling Mom.”

“Move, or I’ll pee on you. I mean it.”


He doesn’t move so I pee on him.

Of course, he cries all the way home. I walk along side of him and ask why he just stood there? After all, he had fair warning. Plus, I was on top of the monkey bars. It’s not like my aim could spray more than a few feet.

He doesn't answer. I suppose it's because he is a kid and he looks up to me. (I’ve told this story a hundred times and I’ve always found it hilarious, but now seeing it written down, it’s seems a little mean.) My mother gives me a good scolding and gives my younger brother a bath.

A few weeks later, my brother comes into the house from playing. He is crying and his pants and shirt are all wet.

“What happened?” my mom asks.

“Timmy peed on me.”

“What?!” I exclaim in utter amazement. I can’t believe it.

“I was standing in the ditch and Timmy said he was going to pee on me if I didn’t move. I told him not to, but he did it anyway.”

I'm not sure what to think. I can’t understand why my brother didn’t move the second time somebody threatens to pee on him. If anyone told me they were going to pee on me, I would move very quickly. Wouldn’t you? Especially if I’d been peed on before.

The jock whom Ernie accidentally sprayed didn't have that luxury. By the time the boys understood the situation, it was too late. Ernie ran from the restroom at top speed. He didn't look back and he didn't slow down. Better yet, he didn't get caught. I'm sure the jock was pretty well pissed.

Keep this in mind if anyone pees in your pocket in the boys restroom in the dark- It's probably Ernie from Sesame Street. But it is an honest mistake and he is really sorry.

Listen to the audio recording of this blog entry here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/jnr122.mp3

Ernie Found Out

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ernie found out about this blog. He asked me how long I plan to keep it up. I told him, “As long as we work together.” I think he was suspicious for awhile because he saw me taking notes during a conversation. He demanded to know why I was so concerned about his square dancing shoes!

“Why are you writing about me?” he asks.

“Because you’re easy entertainment.” I reply.

Ernie’s wife thinks the blog is funny. So do people at work. Ernie says he was going to start a blog about me. He wants to call it “Bert the Jerk.” Although I look nothing like Bert.

“You should do something more original.” I suggest. “Don’t just copy what somebody else is doing. Besides, my life is already an open book.”

He starts asking questions about my childhood- what were some of my favorite things to do? What were some embarrassing moments? Etc. He even sends an email to my brother and requests some “dirt” from when I was younger.

I already told Ernie about the time I peed on my brother. What could possibly be worse than that? Aside from when I poured boiling water on a neighbor kid during a water fight. But Ernie already knows about that too. I felt really bad because I didn’t know boiling water would cause 3rd degree burns on a person’s back. Ouch! Hey, I was just a kid.

Ernie said he will think of something else then, though he tells me in secrecy that he feels slightly honored that I write about him. Imagine the Muppet Ernie’s face staring straight ahead with his mouth agape.

Today, he bought me an apple pie from Arby’s. Although he pretends to spit in it before handing it to me, I think his heart is in the right place.

Hear the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/05_Ernie_Found_Out.mp3