Rocky Balboa; You’re My Favorite

-When I was in college I worked for MBNA in Pittsburgh. My roommate and I went to banks and stood there like dorks asking people to sign up for credit cards. In exchange they got a notepad that also had a pen, measuring tape, highlighter and probably higher interest rates. The job was stupid and we didn’t like it but there was a really great perk; Philadelphia.

Our boss was a great guy that we’ll call Mike. He liked our youth and I’d have to say we were both equally entertained by each other. This was about 2002 and the company was looking to have these credit card transactions move more smoothly. Mike brought us to Philly on more than one occasion to show off the technology that would streamline it. So here we were, dirty and poor art students being flown from Pittsburgh to Philly and put in 5 star hotels to be with big wigs of MBNA. Every meal I had was with them and was paid for so needless to say each and every meal I had with the company was steak and milkshakes. They took us to Flyers games to work for a quarter showing off how quickly it all worked with an ID scanner instead of a pen and paper. We then got to have drinks and hang out with the ladies who ran the operation. We learned about their rich people lives and longing to show off their creative sides with writing children’s books about an emu. Everyone was nice and I have no complaints about any of it, plus we got per diem. So again, needless to say, MBNA handed me cash that was put directly into my wallet and removed only when I handed it to my college weed dealer.

One trip out for some reason Mike was pretending Roommate and I were in a band. When we were walking off the plane he would say something about sound check and just kept laughing to himself about it. That evening after work Roommate and I thought we would go out and have a few drinks on them. We were being idiots and said we should pretend we were actually in a band playing Philly and that’s why we have such a nice hotel. We were just being dumb amongst ourselves looking for a cab. At that point we see three pretty girls heading to a cab, so as dudes looking to enjoy the evening with some new lady friends we wandered over and said hi. Told them we weren’t from here and asked where we should go for drinks. Their cab pulled up and they told us to get in because they were going someplace cool. So there we were, in the back of a cab with random girls on our laps headed to some random part of town. The girls asked us why we were in town and at that moment we looked at each other in a “are we going to continue our childish nonsense with other people”. I can’t tell you which one of us said, we’re in a band, because I don’t recall. All I remember is looking directly at each other wondering if we will cross this humanity line of honor.

We did.

The cab took us to some club that had a $20 cover charge that the girls paid for. They bought us a few rounds of shots which was fun to watch because Roommate doesn’t drink and he had to dump them each time to keep up his rock and roll lifestyle. As we realized these girls were actually into us we knew we couldn’t sleep with them under the lie. I remember us secret dipping as to not be actual scumbags.

Another time when we were sent to Philly the Sofitel messed up the rooms and instead of giving us a normal fancy room to share they gave us each our own suite and put the top dog together with her personal assistant. When they called to complain no one realized they just flipped keys. They kept the women together and we walked around in robes and ordered $20 milkshakes while talking on the phone to each other about it.

Anyway.

This post isn’t about any of this.

This post is about Rocky.

When we were in Philly we had nothing but time to kill. Flyers games in the evening and three meals a day only take up so much time. We would wander around the city, we ate cheesesteaks, I think we saw the Love sign and we went to the Rocky stairs. We did what any fan of cinema would do.

We ran them.

Rocky is not only a champion of the city but a champion for all people, he showed his determination and his drive to be the best. So I took my potato chip eating body and ran those stairs. As we started we could hear a homeless man at the bottom signing the theme. He gave us “do do do da do dos” loud enough for us to hear the entire way up. After jumping like morons at that top we came down to congratulate that man on the greatest homeless hustle possible. We gave him as much money as we could and thanked him for his service.

That’s it. That’s all I wanted to say. I wanted you to know that around 2002 or so there was a brilliant man sitting at the bottom of the Rocky Stairs.

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