Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Game 5 of the World Series Was A Real Bust

This year’s World Series was historic. Yes, the visiting team won all seven games, but another first-time occurrence topped even that. At the start of the middle of the seventh inning in Game 5, Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole looked in to his catcher to flash him a sign. And he got flashed alright, by three young women behind home plate, who lifted their tops and exposed their
Cole reacting to a strike out - not the boobies

Cole was expecting to see up to five fingers. Instead, he was presented with six boobies. And these weren’t just any boobies. They were professional boobies, from three models who work for an online magazine that specializes in displaying attractive women with large, bare boobies.

Because modern baseball is all about statistics and metrics, it is important to know just what Cole was up against. The three women flashers consisted of Julia (38-24-36), Kayla (36-23-34), and Lauren (38-24-34).  In baseball, this is known as bringing some serious heat. Julia’s stats may have been padded by the use of a foreign substance. Regardless, you don’t get many of those to a pound. But regarding Lauren, based on my Internet research (which was extensive for this post), they’re real, and they’re spectacular.

If they were attempting to distract Cole, they brought out the big guns. They didn’t send a girl to do a woman’s job. They didn’t bring a knife to a gunfight; they brought bazookas. These were weapons of mass distraction. But they didn’t bare their breasts to fluster the pitcher. The intent was to promote their web-based magazine, which mainly consists of the three ladies and a couple more models displaying their boobies each month. All three women were on the cover of the July edition, which also features an article titled “A Guide to Doggy Style”. So, what the women were actually doing is handing out, more like boobing out, free samples at the baseball game, which marketers have been doing for years.

You would not expect Gerrit Cole, arguably the best pitcher in baseball this season, to be impacted by this most titillating stunt. He is a professional. However, he is still a guy, so getting so bodaciously violated did have an impact. He had pitched a shutout up to that point, but trouble soon began. The first batter in the seventh flew out to deep left, but the second batter crushed a fastball 383 feet into the left-field seats. Fortunately, he was able to regain his composure and get the next batters out, although he did issue one walk. 

And it’s a good thing he got out of the inning because the person most upset about the flashing incident was Gerrit’s wife, Amy. Wives tend to get upset when other women flash their boobies at their man. Now Amy is certified babelicious, as you expect of the wife of a professional athlete, but her artillery is of a slightly lower caliber. And I’m sure she wasn’t happy that her husband gave up that home run after being exposed to the sextuplets. Yeah, I think that night Gerrit had some splainin’ to do about that homer.

Now the ladies flash-mob ignited a huge debate on social media about whether the women were justified or not, and what penalty they should receive. Many argued they should not be penalized because they were just exercising their First Amendment right of freedom of expression. Just to be clear, they were only expressing their rights, and nothing else.

This reminded me of the incident in 2017 when radio talk show host Clay Travis declared on a CNN discussion dealing with free-speech: “I only believe in two things completely, the First Amendment and boobs”.  The female host was shocked and offended, wait I mean SHOCKED and OFFENDED, at this statement. This resulted in a Twitter-storm castigating Travis as a sexist, wait I mean SEXIST, SEXIST, moron.

Now my belief system is a bit more spiritual and broader than Travis’, and his statement is rather crude, but this is America, and if you want to believe in the First Amendment and boobs, and declare it proudly, I will support and defend your right to do so. 

And this politically-correct umbrage at Travis was hyper-hypocritical because lots of people believe in boobs. It is estimated over 3-million women have breast implants; 300,000 procedures being done in 2012. They certainly believe in boobs. Victoria Secrets and the hundreds of companies selling thousands of bra styles believe in boobs. Bikini-babes on the beach believe in boobs. Millions of women displaying cleavage, some even doing this in church, to some degree believe in boobs. Apparently 10,000 women on Instagram believe in boobs. And a bunch of people in the adult-entertainment business believe in boobs in a big way. America is the land of opportunity and the land of boobs.

Julia, Kayla, and Lauren all believe in boobs and have demonstrated this conviction in a most magnanimous act. The penalty handed down by Major League Baseball is that the ladies are banned from every major league baseball stadium for life. This minor punishment is justified if you view the women as young entrepreneurs who were just trying to promote their business that best way they could.

However, I do feel a stiffer penalty is needed. They purposely disrupted a World Series game, and they did it in a most aggressive way. It’s not like they robbed a store with a squirt gun; they brought their howitzers. And they were loaded, oh how they were loaded. And they need to be punished to deter behavior of this type at future games. If you permit these actions, the next “shot heard round the world” in baseball may be of the beaver variety. So, at the minimum, I think they all should have been charged with melonious assault.

But I am a compassionate man. If Julia, Kayla, and Lauren are indeed huge baseball fans and will suffer due to the stadium ban, I have a big-screen television in my man-cave, and they are welcome to come over and watch the game any time they want.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

When PowerPoints Lose Their Power

My company hosts a large conference every year where industry people come from far and wide to hear many expert speakers pontificate on relevant topics. I am one of these pontificators, and I am entrusted with presenting our 5-year forecast, the most vital information of the entire conference for many of the attendees.

This is so important that I work for weeks with our team to develop this forecast. Then I spend hours putting together a stellar PowerPoint file featuring the most dynamic charts and graphs found anywhere in corporate America. It is my most critical job responsibility of the entire year. This presentation is so impactful that it takes two people to successfully deliver it. My boss does first part, expertly presenting the underlying assumptions and data that support the forecast. And then I take over to reveal those important numbers that everyone is on the edge of their seats anticipating. So my boss is the ace starting pitcher and I am like the lights-out closer, the Mariano Rivera if you will, who comes in and finishes the game with a bang.

I feel that adrenaline rush the morning of this presentation, as I prepare myself mentally and physically for the task that afternoon. I am ready, and I am confident when the big moment arrives. And the presentation starts wonderfully. My boss is artfully going through those masterfully-crafted slides (did I mention I created those?) and mesmerizing the audience. He finishes his portion flawlessly and then hands the clicker off to me. I now know how Rivera felt when he held the baseball in the ninth inning. This game is all mine!

I begin my part of the presentation displaying a brilliance and clarity seldom seen in all the business world. Each slide, every chart is explained in a dynamic, eye-opening manner.

I am the Prince of the PowerPoint. I am the Commander of the Clicker. This boy is on fire -- or more like on fi-yaaaa! I feel like the mafioso of this meeting because I am killing it like a mafia don. I am a Don, literally the Don. I am Don Corleone, no Don Akelone, making them an argument they can’t refuse.

And I am looking so good doing it. For this one, I brought out the pins! I’m
sporting the pins, delivering this critical information in my best pinstripe suit. My freshly-shaved head shines brightly, leaving the audience to wonder if this is due to the lighting or the brilliant insights emanating from my dome. The men in the audience wished they looked this good, and the women … well, uh…ah… well… you know.

I hoped my boss noticed how great this presentation is. Thinking to himself how fortunate he is to have me as an employee and how enormous my next raise is going to be.   

This was the best presentation of my entire career. The room was spiked with anticipation as I neared the revelation of the forecast, the moment everyone was waiting for. I wanted to finish strong, like LeBron James coming in for a two-hand, 360-degree, reverse-tomahawk dunk.

I announce it is time to unveil the forecast and turn confidently towards the screen and hit the clicker and, and, and ….. the forecast slide isn’t there. It is missing. Click back, click forward, repeat, … no, no, no forecast slide. No forecast slide anywhere. Gonzo.

Now a more polished presenter would have chuckled, said something witty, and improvised. However, that’s not what I did.  I had a meltdown on stage, in front of everyone. I look for help from my boss, but he wasn’t pleased at the moment, and it was obvious I was going to have to handle this disaster on my own.

The audience, many of whom know me personally, was highly amused by this blunder. They laughed at the missing slide; then they laughed even more at my discombobulation. This situation was out of control, and order needed be quickly restored. Fortunately, my colleague Andy was managing this part of the schedule and handled the situation skillfully, although it was similar as if he was curator at the zoo: 

“Look, children! The monkey is angry! Let’s all laugh at the monkey! Funny, funny, monkey!”

“Don’t be afraid, children. The monkey will calm down soon (with this I got a look that said: Ake, get yourself together, now!), and we can soon resume the show!”

I regain my composure and realize I would now have to present the forecast by memory. Twenty years ago, I would have been able to zing off those five numbers instantly. Now, with my diminishing memory, I am able to put forth three numbers, and one of them is even correct! (The other two are very close). And with this, the presentation mercifully comes to a close.

The missing slide was not my fault. It was accidentally deleted by someone during the formatting process. Strangely enough, the presentation contained 62 slides, and this, the most important, was the only one missing. And of the approximately 2,500 slides presented at the entire conference, my slide, my dear, most critical slide, was the only one that vanished. If you wonder how this could happen to me, then you haven’t been reading this blog for very long.

This was the second-most embarrassing incident in my entire business career, not counting those involving me carrying my personal effects in a box to my car. The most embarrassing time was many years ago when I enthusiastically introduced a great new product to the market that my company had no way of producing.  That shrewd maneuver shortly preceded me carrying my personal effects in a box to my car.

But this time I didn’t have to carry my personal effects in a box to my car. Because, of course, I work from home. But my boss realizes that mistakes happen, so we could all laugh about it later. Okay, there was no laughing, none. But mistakes do happen; I just wish they didn’t happen so much to me.