Tag Archives: celebrity

My Night with Muhammad Ali

muhammad ali

This Friday, Muhammad Ali passed away at the age of 74. I can’t claim to know that much about him–I don’t really follow boxing–but I sure do admire him. He was an incredible athlete, a superb wit, and a civil rights icon. Since his death, I’ve come across numerous accounts of ordinary people meeting the legend and remarking upon the warmth and graciousness that he showed to strangers. It seems everyone has their Muhammad Ali story. Here’s mine.

It was an unseasonably warm evening back in March of 2012. After downing my fifth virgin daiquiri of the night, I found myself in the men’s room of Atlantic City’s Showboat casino. Nothing out of the ordinary there.


So imagine my surprise when, after finishing up my business, I spun around to face the world’s greatest boxer. Perched in the restroom attendant’s seat was ol’ Cassius Clay, there in the flesh!

Normally, I don’t like to bother celebrities. They’re people too, and deserve peace and quiet when they can get it. I tried my best to exit the lavatory without ruffling any feathers, but ‘The Greatest’ had different plans. He looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Would you care for a towel, sir?”

That just stopped me dead in my tracks. Now, I had heard Ali could be quite the cut-up, but this was hysterical! America’s most celebrated sportsman cornering me in the john and trying to dry my hands off–it was just too much.

I waved the towel away. “No thanks! What were planning on using that for, anyway? Mopping the floor with me in the ring?”

Mr. Ali held the towel back up to me and asked again, assuring me that it was complimentary. Thinking fast, I knocked the towel to the floor and assumed my best fisticuffs stance (I knew it was impossible to match his deadly wit, but I had to at least try to play along). Even that couldn’t get him to break. Those famous fists picked the towel up off the bathroom tiles and dropped it in a nearby wicker basket.

I chuckled and patted him on the back, “I’m surprised at you. You never were one to throw in the towel, Muhammad.”

“What?” he shrewdly retorted. Ali then pointed to the nametag pinned to his jacket. It read “Nelson.”

Oh wow, was he good. Not that his grace surprised me of course. Even as a septuagenarian, Ali possessed the manners of a much younger man. His smooth features betrayed no bruises or scars from past battles, and almost resembled the countenance of a thirty-year-old. Better luck next time, Father Time! No matter the challenge, Muhammad was simply unbeatable. It was just like his famous catchphrase, “Float like a butterfly, and sting like one too!”

By this point, it was clear that we had become close friends. I had to get a picture to show the folks back home, and I figured he wouldn’t mind. Excusing myself for a moment, I fished a disposable Kodak out of my fanny pack.

I grinned and snapped a selfie of the two of us, but then he blew me away with perhaps the wisest advice anyone’s ever shared with me: “No photographs are permitted in the restroom.” I knew exactly what he meant. Sometimes you have to break the rules to make the world a better place, just like Ali did when he refused to fight in Vietnam. I wiped away a tear and bade my hero good night.

As I made my way back to the casino lounge, my head was swimming. Would anybody ever believe my incredible story? I figured the bartender would be up for a good yarn, so I made my way over to him.

“What a night! How about we cap it off with another virgin daiquiri, my good man?”

“Oh, you wanted those virgin?” he repeated. “My mistake.”

RIP, Muhammad.


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The Top 10 Jennifer Lawrences of 2013

2013 was truly the year of Jennifer Lawrence, America’s sweetheart. But which Jennifer Lawrence was the best Jennifer Lawrence? Was it Jennifer Lawrence? Read on to find out.


10. Jennifer Lawrence, CA

Jennifer (pictured right) is among the top 8 dental hygienists in the Bay Area! But she also came in second-to-last place in a recent 5k run/walk. Try harder next time, Jennifer.


9. Jennifer Lawrence, WA

Born and raised in China, she now runs one of the best dry cleaning services in Tacoma, but does she really expect us to believe that “Jennifer Lawrence” is her real name? She can’t even pronounce it correctly. You get an A for effort, but nobody likes a poser, Jennifer.


8. Jennifer Hope Lawrence, MA

Back in 1654, Jennifer Lawrence was the hottest thing in Massachusetts Bay Colony, at least until she died from childbirth at age 18. She’s taken some time off to be dead for the past few hundred years, but rumors of a comeback have been circulating throughout the Puritan gossip tabloids.


7. Pope Francis, Vatican City

This Argentinean dreamboat revolutionized the papacy in 2013 with a progressive attitude and strong interfaith dialogue. Unfortunately, his blatant misspelling of “Jennifer Lawrence”–his own chosen name!–keeps him from rising higher on this list.


6. Jennifer Lawrence, IN

Unanimously voted the world’s coolest mom by the 4th grade class at Benjamin Harrison Grammar School, Jennifer Lawrence promotes loose bedtimes, keeps a cooler of Capri Sun in the back of her minivan, and has a pool and hottub in her already hella-cool backyard.

5. Jenn Lawrence, ON

One of the few real people on this list, Jenn Lawrence is a graphic designer from Toronto that I found on the Internet! She’s pretty good, despite not even using her full legal name, Jennifer Lawrence. She has her own website, but you didn’t hear it from me…


4. Jennifer Lawrence, KY

This up-and-coming actress starred in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and American Hustle this past year. She  topped AskMen’s Top 99 Most Desirable Women of the Year and recently won an Oscar for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, launching her into this elite circle of Jennifer Lawrences.


3. Frank DiPaolo in a wig, AKA Jennifer Lawrence, DE

When the sun sets and the streetlights come on, this 44-year-old roofing contractor takes Wilmington by storm. Although he models himself after the previous entrant in this list, he easily has twice her talent and charm.


2. Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Pam Buchholz, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jennifer Lawrence, MI

Imagine, an entire U14 soccer team where all the players are named Jennifer Lawrence! Those girls must have some spunk. Except for that lazy skank Pam Buccolhz, who can’t even make a decent pass downfield without tripping herself.


1. Jennifer Lawrence, CO

Meet the future Empress of the Universe, people of Earth. Take some time to admire her already developing leadership prowess and charisma while your neural sensors are still set to free will and humanity is free from grueling labor in the zorgonite mines. I’m actually looking forward to when this little darling publicly disembowels me for political insurgency. Cheers, Jennifer.

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