Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles

If you do the math: the “Heroes in a Half-Shell” that we all know and love would be in their late Thirties by now.

The phone rang.  “Hello, Bankwicz-Turtle residence?”

“Hey Debbie.  It’s Donatello.”

“Hi Do-onny!” she elongated his name.  He liked Debbie but he really couldn’t stand the nicknames.  It was all too cute-sie for him.  He noticed it ever since his brother Michelangelo started dating her.  She called all of his brothers by a weird truncated nickname.  Leonardo was Lenny.  Raphael was Fay.  He was always “Do-onny.”

“Is Michelangelo there?” he asked.  “I tried his work cell but it went straight to voicemail.”

“Yes he is,” Debbie replied.  She held the phone away from her mouth.  A muffled “MIKEY!” echoed through the line.  “It’s Do-onny.”  The phone clicked at another location.


“Hey yourself.” Donatello replied.  “What’s new?  I tried your work phone but you have it turned off or something.”

“Man, when I leave that office that thing gets powered down,” Michelangelo replied.  He was a Payroll Supervisor at a pretty decent sized company in Staten Island.  He often talked about the stresses of work but was never very specific.  “Putting out fires all day.  You know.  The usual.  What’re you up to?”

“I’m just sitting here trying to figure out if I’m going to go to this wedding.”

“Yeah.  I don’t really want to go, but I think we have to.  You know, social contract and all.”

“So you’re definitely going?” Donny asked.

“Believe me I don’t really want to.  Deb’s giving me all sorts of crap for it.  She never liked Casey.  She thought he wasn’t doing right by April to wait this long to marry her.  She’s not a huge fan of April either.  Deb always thought April was in love with me.”

“April used to be in love with you?” Donny laughed sarcastically.  “Yeah, you and everyone else.”

“She definitely liked me,” he affirmed.  “Don’t deny it.”

“It’s just that I haven’t seen them in years,” Donny spoke, his thought drifting off to the last time he may have interacted with the human couple.  “I seriously think the last time was when we sent the Technodrome back to Dimension X.”

“Jesus,” Michelangelo interjected.  “That was like eight years ago.”

“I know.  That what makes it kind of awkward.”

“They wouldn’t have invited us if they didn’t want us to go,” Mikey said.  “We introduced them for Christ’s-sake.”

“I know but it’s just that I don’t really think I’m going to know anyone there.  I don’t want to be seated at a table with a bunch of their work friends.  What the heck are we going to talk about?  ‘Hey, what do you do for a living Donatello?’  ‘Oh, actually, The Foot Clan left New York and I’m kind of in between jobs right now.’”

“Nothing to be ashamed of.  It’s a rough economy,” Mikey tried to comfort his brother.  “Besides, maybe you’ll meet a nice unemployed woman there.  You two will have lots to talk about.”

“Hilarious.  If you’re going then that’s fine.  I can sit with you and Deb.”  Donny thought for a moment.  “What about Raphael and Numbnuts?  Are they going?”

“I talked to Raph,” Mikey recalled.  “He’s definitely out.  Flights from Kansas City are too much right now.  Plus he has some big event going on at his gym.  Like a powerlifting conference or some stupid thing.”

“What about our moron older brother?”

“Don’t know,”  Mikey replied.  “I tried calling him two weeks ago but never heard back.”

“Are we even still sure he lives at the same place?”  Donny asked.

“Your guess is as good as mine.”

“What an A-hole,” Donny whispered.  He was still angry at Leonardo.  When their master Splinter was in hospice, his formerly courageous brother was nowhere to be found.  Not one call.  Not one e-mail.  Nothing.  He ditched them when they needed him the most.  He missed the funeral and that was unforgivable. 

“Hey, Leonardo is going through a rough patch.”

“Yeah, he’s always going through a rough patch,” Donny trailed off again.  That conversation had been had many times.  No need to go through it again.  “Anyway.  Ok.  Well if you are definitely going…”

“I’m definitely going.”

“Ok.  Then I’m RSVP’ing to this,” Donny stated with resolve.  “Here’s a question: If they wanted us to go so badly, wouldn’t they have had pizza on the menu?”

“We can get a slice afterwards,” Mikey replied.  “It’s an open-bar I think.  Maybe if I get Deb enough Long Island Iced Teas, she’ll let me eat a slice without bitching about my cholesterol.”

“Aright.  Well tell the kids I said hi.”

“Ok.  Later.”

“Cowabunga,”  Donny signed off.



P.S. – Search Google for Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Unbeknownst to me, this topic has already been approached.  But enjoy my take anyhow. 

How Every AP Baseball Recap Reads To Me

Editor’s Note – Specific Topic Alert.  Move along if you’re not interested…

 (AP) Cincinnati, OH – The Cincinnati Reds had much to cheer about in the 14-inning victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, who continued their slide and who also have lost 21 of their last thirty games and whose pitching staff has been woefully inept.  “Yeah, we just went out there and did our thing,” said Reds’ star Joey Votto.

Votto struck out right before Ryan Ludwick scored on a sharp grounder to the Pirates’ short-stop, then before that Wandy Rodriquez pitched 6 solid innings before being replaced by Jared Hughes, who is from Stamford, CT.  That hit drained through the glove of Chase D’Arnaud, who had 2 at-bats during the game, and Chase d’Arnaud was called up earlier this week from minor league Indianapolis to give the struggling Pirates a spark.

This didn’t even happen in this game.

“Yeah, it’s just tough,” said Bucs manager Clint Hurdle.  After the game, Hurdle seemed to deflect statements that the team is in a free-fall out of the playoffs because the Pirates offense has been so dismal including McCutchen and Garrett Jones and Pedro Alverez, who are batting .341, .284, and .244 respectively and have left several runners on base and whose on base percentages have been falling. 

In the fourth inning, Mat Latos looked shaky as he let McCutchen’s single run home run ball leave the park and into the stands for a home run.  But before that, he looked solid, retiring several batters.  Then something unrelated happened.  Then I’m going to jump back and recap something from before and leave you with some information.  Now how about a quote?

“Yeah it’s just nondescript, vaguely humble, platitude that could be said after any game ever played on earth,” said a guy who’s name catches your eye because you’ve heard of him before.

Short final sentence.

Notes:  Something obscure happened at the stadium last night, like someone was the first something to hit a ball off of a something.  Attendance was a number that seems smaller than it should be.  Minor league player who desperate fans want to come up to the major leagues had stats from a game that reinforce their opinion.  And a player who is always hurt, remains hurt.

The Date

As many of you know, I’m locking that down.  The date is coming quickly and we are both ready for it to get here.   The whole process is extremely stressful and I’m not even really doing that much.  I went to a few meetings, made a few phone calls, and feigned interest at certain moments of minutia.

“Which Napkin fold most accurately represents your love for this woman?  This decision will affect you the rest of your life.”

 She has taken on the bulk of the responsibility and she’s doing an excellent job so far.  At one point we thought about eloping.  There was too much stress, too many expectations to be met.  But we missed that window of opportunity.  The down-payments have been made, so here we go.

We’re in our late 20’s which means nearly every one of our weekends for the next 4 years will be occupied by someone else’s wedding.  We’ve gone to our fair share already.  Every wedding we’ve attended we put under intense scrutiny.  Like an offensive coordinator reviewing game tape.  Thanks to Krish Mohan for the metaphor.

Ok, so it looks like they brought the Nickle package on a rush after the cake was served. Came in quick and jammed up the backfield with some 70’s funk music. Flowers are arranged in a 2-3-2 scheme.

The recent definition of a successful , or “nice” weddings, in my opinion, is starting to approach the ludicrous.  The average wedding in America costs $25,631.  These funds, if used in a financially responsible manner, would put a down payment on a 6 bedroom house in Oakmont.  Instead the money that our families saved up for years and years will be going into a one-night ripper, complete with an open bar, a festive DJ, and a cake that costs as much as some people’s mortgage payments.  Then we fly off to a decadent Caribbean getaway and live like royalty for 7 days before returning to Pittsburgh and our jobs and our bills and the grocery store. 

Contrast that with how my Grandparents got married.  It was on Tuesday, they had friends over for sandwiches in their basement, and they went to Cleveland for their honeymoon.  I guess the Depression was still fresh enough in everyone’s minds not to be living like a free-loading descendant of a Rockefeller.

One of the many great things about getting married is that you are showered with gifts multiple times over.  We have so much nice stuff coming in, I don’t even know where to put it all.  Our kitchen is literally the size of an office cubicle.  I’m not sure where we’re going to put 135 unique pieces of Fiestaware.   I’m sorry, I’m sorry…Paprika colored Fiestaware.

Throughout the process, my lady has been on top of it all.  If it was left to me, our wedding would be a dimly lit, flowerless, warehouse party.  We’d have beer, maybe some Guitar Hero but that’d probably be it.  But with her at the helm, this thing’s going to actually be fun.

Somewhere in this very expensive distraction is the point of it all: happiness.  And even though I may start to doze off in hour three of the “which table-cloth will your grandma find least offensive” conversation or roll my eyes when the votive candle count is a point of contention, the whole thing is still about happiness.  That’s why so much effort goes into these things: everyone wants everyone else to be happy.  Sometimes it makes people miserable in the process.  But when the day comes, and you hear someone literally pledging to have your back no matter what, it washes all that tension away.

And the good thing is…I only plan on doing this once.