I’ve been gone for awhile, but I’m guessing no one missed me too much.
This isn’t self-deprecation. It’s observation. Because I’ve been seeing me around quite a bit in the past few months, or at least people who look a lot like me.
It all started last August, at my bachelor party in Chicago. I have shared this picture before. I thought I had found my one doppelgänger.
What luck! It only took me 37 years to find my twin. Little did I know, this guy was just the start.
Have you ever wondered to yourself, “What would Justin look like if he aged 30 years and then developed some sort of chronic disease?” Well, wonder no more. A co-worker met this man at a party and insisted on taking his picture.
So, that’s present me and future me. But it doesn’t stop there.
How about alternative dimension me?
“Justin, what would happen if the Republican nominee for President was so odious that leading conservative pundit William Kristol decided to throw out your name as a potential alternative. But, you decided not to run?” Well, then, I would be David French.
What about European politics?
“Justin, what would have happened if you were born in Belgium and dedicated your life to public service?” Well, then I would be Prime Minister Charles Michel.
Fat nerd comedian with a bucket hat?
So, internet, I’m sorry that I haven’t been around for a couple months. I guess its fitting that I’m back for the “Where are they Now?” issue of Sports Illustrated. Because I’ve apparently been everywhere.
And now, a story of triumph over tragedy…
A couple of weeks ago, I got onto the bus to head into work. I was wearing my hat.
(You know, this one:)
I love my hat. It’s made me a complete person.
Unfortunately, It also makes me a warm person. On this particular morning, I decided to remove my hat for the duration of the bus ride. I placed it on the seat next to me.
The bus arrived at Port Authority and I got off. It wasn’t until I was on the escalator away from the gate that I realized I had forgotten my hat on board. I immediately called the bus company to report it missing. They took my name and number, but it was quite obvious the woman on the other end of the phone was not interested in launching a full scale investigation.
I was emotionally gutted. What a terrible way to start the day. I called the bus company a couple more times during the day. It had not been turned in. That night, I asked the agent at the bus gate if he had, by any chance, seen it. He had not, but told me anything the drivers find they turn into the lost and found at the bus company headquarters, somewhere in central jersey. So, I went home that night, wallowing in my hatless depression. I looked at the hat company’s website (Goorin Brothers-great hats,) and found out they don’t even make this style of hat anymore. So, it was officially irreplaceable.
The next morning, I got back on the bus and asked the driver if he had seen it at the end of his shift the day before. He said he had not, but suggested I call the bus company and report it missing. (Also, he had a much higher speaking voice than I expected.) So, in that moment, I realized I was screwed. The hat was gone forever. So, sadly, I walked to the first open seat I could find and plopped down, dejectedly looking for a podcast to download on my phone.
But, WHAT’S THAT? What’s that shape underneath the seat in front of me. It might just be a shadow. It’s the same color as the seats and the bus floor. I reached down anyway. IT WAS MY HAT! What are the chances that I would end up on the exact same bus in the exact same seat two days in a row? And what are the chances that no one would have spotted the hat on the floor? (the answer to the first two questions- it’s actually not so shocking. The Lakeland Bus company is a relatively small charter firm. It would make sense that the same driver would operate the same coach every day. And, with many of the same commuters riding each morning, the chances of them taking similar seats consistently makes plenty of sense. As far as the chances that no one would have spotted the hat, it’s literally the exact same color as the seat and the floor. The chances of it being missed are quite high.)
What a happy day it was! The hat was upside down on the floor, which was even better news, because that means the part I put on my head never actually touched the dirty bus floor. Still, my first stop after getting into the city was to a dry cleaners near my office. They said they couldn’t clean it because the bill is cardboard. So, FUCK IT, I’m taking my chances with dirty bus hat. And so far so good. No lice.
All is right with the world again.
Match Game by ABC
Alec Baldwin hosts this latest version of the classic game show. He’s joined by celebrity guests- Rosie O’Donnell, Titus from Kimmie Schmidt and a collection of random SNL stars or former stars. And the show is filthy. It’s all sex jokes and Alec Baldwin being a winking douche. Watch it. You will laugh.
The Intern by Nancy Meyers
This is a weird one. I hate Ann Hathaway. I kind of hate Robert DeNiro. And yet, when I saw ads for this movie, I thought, “for some reason, I really want to see that.” Now its on HBO, so we watched it. And it is a delight. If you have not watched it, you should. But, chances are you have already watched it. Because it seems like everyone felt the same way I did. My father brought it up out of nowhere one day. Marc Maron talked about how good it was on WTF. Quentin Tarantino called it his favorite movie that came out last year. Weird.
Seinfeldia by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
I guess this is the first book to really take a deep dive into the story of Seinfeld and what it meant to society in general. I’m about a third of the the way through it and, so far, its…. fine. I’m obviously a bit more pop culture obsessed than most, but I haven’t found any truly revealing or super new stories yet. I think everyone knows how the idea for the show came about and how difficult it was for Larry David to function as a person while working on the series. Still, it’s enjoyable. Read it if you want.