March 3, 2005

Umbrella Guy.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:23 pm

Jackson unbrella.jpgAs hard as I try to avoid seeing any coverage of the Michael Jackson trial, it is impossible to completely avoid snippets of it, including the obligatory footage of Mr. Jackson’s entering and exiting the courthouse. I could not help but notice Mr. Jackson’s “Umbrella Guy,” the person on his payroll whose job it is to see that the minute Mr. Jackson leaves a place with a roof, he is protected by an umbrella held by the Umbrella Guy.

I got to wondering what it must be like to know that your job is to open an umbrella and hold it over someone’s head for the short walk between a building and a limousine. We, therefore, had one of our many PRS operatives track down the Umbrella Guy as he waited for Mr. Jackson to emerge from the courthouse the other day.

PRS: “Excuse me, sir, but are you Mr. Jackson’s Umbrella Guy?”

Umbrella Guy: “Yeah, what tipped you off?”

PRS: “Well, to tell you the truth, we have seen you on television, but we also could not help but notice that you’re standing here on a sunny day with an umbrella in your hand.”

Umbrella Guy: “So, what do you want?”

PRS: “We’d like to ask you a few questions, if you don’t mind.”

Umbrella Guy: “Can’t you see I’m working?”

PRS: “Well, at the moment, you’re just standing here with an umbrella in your hand.”

Umbrella Guy: “Shows what you know. I’m on call. In fact, I’m on call 24/7. I even have a beeper ‘n shit. But, OK, as long as it’s only a few questions, and I can’t talk about the case.”

PRS: “I understand. Thanks. I’m curious. Do you perform any other functions for Mr. Jackson?”

Umbrella Guy: “No, I’m a specialist. I only handle the umbrella work.”

PRS: “Do you at least open doors for Mr. Jackson?”

Umbrella Guy: “No, Mr. Jackson has a Door Guy.”

PRS: “The Door Guy’s a specialist too?”

Umbrella Guy: “Of course.”

PRS: “Does the ‘umbrella work’ you speak of require any training?”

Umbrella Guy: “Absolutely, I had to spend two months as an apprentice to the former Umbrella Guy.”

PRS: “What happened to the former Umbrella Guy?”

Umbrella Guy: “He was promoted.”

PRS: “Promoted? What does he do now?”

Umbrella Guy: “He’s the Door Guy.”

PRS: “I see. Had you been promoted into the position of Umbrella Guy, or were you hired into that position?”

Umbrella Guy: “Are you kidding? I don’t think anyone has ever been hired as an Umbrella Guy. It took me several years to be promoted to this job.”

PRS: “What was your job before you became the Umbrella Guy?”

Umbrella Guy: “I spent about seven years as the Napkin Guy.”

PRS: “Did you say, ‘Napkin Guy’?”

Umbrella Guy: “Yeah. Something wrong with your hearing?”

PRS: “No, no. I just wanted to make sure I heard you right. What were your duties as Mr. Jackson’s Napkin Guy?”

Umbrella Guy: “Pretty much what you’d expect. My job was to stand next to Mr. Jackson while he ate or drank anything and wipe his mouth as needed.”

PRS: “Wow, did you also have to feed him?”

Umbrella Guy: “No, he has …”

PRS: “Lemme guess … a Feeding Guy?”

Umbrella Guy: “Now you’re catching on.”

PRS: “Fascinating. Were you ever the Feeding Guy?”

Umbrella Guy: “No, I was promoted directly from Napkin Guy to Umbrella Guy.”

PRS: “You’ve been employed by Mr. Jackson for how long?”

Umbrella Guy: “Lemme think … Three years as the Umbrella Guy, seven years as the Napkin Guy, and five years at my first job with Mr. Jackson. That makes fifteen years. Yep, fifteen years.”

PRS: “What was your job for the first five years that you were employed by Mr. Jackson?”

Umbrella Guy: “I was the Toilet Paper Guy.”

PRS: “You were what?”

Umbrella Guy: “I was the Toilet Paper Guy. It was my job to …..”

PRS: “OK, thanks for your time.”

Umbrella Guy: “That’s it?”

PRS: “Have a nice day.”

Powered by WordPress