Thursday, September 22, 2011

This is really hard

I never thought I'd love that way again.

The year was 1993.  I wasn't long out of high school.  There were tears in my eyes when the burly bartender I'd been seeing for several years came to the door and said, "Cheers is closed." 

A part of me died that day.  A part of me that was young and innocent, idealistic and hopeful.  But somehow I managed to pick up the pieces and move on from my first real love.  I found a new guy.  Single, thin, neat, early thirties.  Well actually it was more of a group thing.  Him and his friends, and me.  A little different, but I wasn't complaining.

In fact, things were great for a few years.  Until he and his friends got into some legal trouble up in Massachusetts.  After they were all thrown in prison, I was back on my own.  Like a Whitesnake song.  But this time I was certain, that I'd never love again.

And then I met him.

When I first encountered him, he was a 40-year-old virgin.  I found him only tolerably amusing, and a bit over-the-top.  By the time we began our weekly Thursday night trysts, he was way over-the-top.  Never did I ever think I would soon come to love this man.

I'm speaking of course of Steve Carell, aka Michael Scott. 

The new season of The Office begins tonight.  And it will do so without its fearless leader, now former leader.  They say the show must go on.  But I, for one, don't see how it can.  Michael Scott was to The Office what Gene Frenkle was to Blue Oyster Cult, what Trapper John was to Trapper John M.D., and Bob Barker was to The Price Is Right.  That show hasn't been funny at all since Barker left.

If you watched The Office you already know what I'm talking about.  If you didn't watch The Office, if you've never seen Michael Scott in all his glory, I have to wonder, have you ever really loved at all? Did I say loved?  I meant laughed.

While I cannot enumerate all the ways Michael Scott was great -- for that would take far too much time and typing -- I would be remiss if I failed to mention his signature joke and crowning achievement: "That's what she said."

Michael Scott single-handedly brought "That's What She Said" and it's internet shorthand counterpart, TWSS, into the daily vernacular.  You'd be hard-pressed today to find a message board frequented by juvenile men (and women) that doesn't have a TWSS reference.  It's a timeless, if slightly immature, joke.  Brilliant both in its simplicity and versatility.  I try to fit it in wherever I can..........

So before we move on -- and some of us never will -- let us look back and remember, Michael Gary Scott.  A man I will miss.  A man who has ruined all other men for me.

Here are a few selected Michael Scott quotes for your enjoyment:

- "It’s how I like to do business, everybody joking around.  It’s like Friends.  I am Chandler, and Joey.  Pam is Rachel. And Dwight is Kramer."

- "I like Donna. Is it wrong to keep seeing her?  Depends on who you ask.  I mean, if you ask her husband, or you took a random poll, yeah, it's wrong."

- "You know what eats a large amount of the day are naps.  You go to sleep it's light out, you wake up it's dark.  That's the whole day.  Where did that day go?  I have no idea."

- "I am actually great with old women.  In fact, for the longest time my best friend was my grandmother.  And then she met Harriet.  And now she thinks she better than everybody."

- "A boss’s salary isn’t just about money.  It’s about perks.  For example, every year I get a $100 gas card.  Can’t put a price on that."

- "My philosophy is basically this.  And this is something that I live by, and I always have.  And I always will.  Don't ever, for any reason, do anything, to anyone, for any reason, ever, no matter what, no matter where, or who or who you are with, or or where you are going, or where you've been.  Ever.  For any reason.  Whatsoever."

- "Jim is like Big Bird.  He is tall and yellow and very nice.  But would I put him in charge?  No.  I don't think so.  Big Bird doesn't make the tough decisions.  If I was gonna put someone in charge, I would put Bert in charge.  Or I would put one of the real grown-ups in charge, like Maria or Gordon, maybe."

- "How do you tell somebody that you care about deeply, 'I told you so.'  Gently with a rose?  In a funny way, like it's a hilarious joke?  Or do you just let it go, because saying it would just make things worse? ... Probably the funny way."

- "I don't need to be friends with Pam.  I have plenty of female friends.  My mom.  Pam's mom.  My aunt... although she just blocked me on IM.  What's her face, from Quiznos?  I see her like four times a week."

- "A boss is like a teacher.  And I am like the cool teacher, like Mister Handell.  Mister Handell would hang out with us and he would tell us awesome jokes and he... actually hooked up with one of the students.  And then like twelve other kids came forward.  It was in all the papers.  Really ruined eighth grade for us."

Best of luck, Michael, in your new life with Holly in Colorado.  Oh who am I kidding?  This is going to suck!  It's going to be like when Bo and Luke left Dukes Of Hazzard and were replaced by Coy and Vance, times a hundred!

I'll miss your mispronunciations and your song parodies, your women's pants and your man-crush on Ryan (and possibly Jim), your Dundie Awards and Scott's Tots, Prison Mike and Date Mike, Lazy Scranton and the Golden Ticket idea, your fake suicide attempt and real George Foreman grill foot injury, the Michael Scott Paper Company and Threat Level Midnight, and perhaps most of all, your uncanny ability to always say the wrong thing and make even the most seemingly benign situation painfully uncomfortable.

I'll miss you, Michael.  In the immortal words of one James Halpert, "You always left me satisfied and smiling."

(sniff) That's what she said.

"I wish you the best.  And I wish you nothing less than everything you've ever dreamed of.  And I hope that you find love along the way.  But most of all, I wish you'd stay..."


  1. I never watched Office, but I think you're right: laughter and love, they do go together...

  2. I followed the same line of love up until The Office. For some reason I missed the first season and just never thought I could watch other other seasons. I do have access to them on Netflix... at least for now... so perhaps I need to finally ride the wave everyone has been talking about.

  3. Hilarious... great tribute. I will keep watching for Dwight, but it will never be the same. Long live the reruns!

  4. I'm new to The Office thanks to their foray into syndication. Now every night at 7 p.m. it's dinner with The Office gang. Thanks for reminding me that the new season start tonight.

    FYI - I'm a skimmer when it comes to reading for the most part and initially I thought you were "coming out of the closet"...not that there's anything wrong with that. ;-) You have taught me to never skim your stuff (that's what she said!).

  5. I must live under a rock because I have never heard "TWSS".

    I am sure there is a new love out there somewhere. You just have to keep looking.

  6. Sage - I suppose they do. Ideally, at least.

    Ed - You should give it a shot. Especially the first four seasons or so. A lot of good stuff in there... TWSS.

    Tom - Thanks! Agreed. Maybe they'll give Dwight a bigger part again. I felt like his role had been diminished a bit the past couple of seasons in favor of the whole Pam & Jim engagement/pregnancy/marriage/baby, etc.

    Murf - Welcome to Scranton! OK, you got me laughing at "skim your stuff." The great thing about TWSS is it can be funny even when it doesn't quite make sense, or when you're not sure if it makes sense. Also, bonus points for getting a Sein and Office reference in the same paragraph.

    PennyCandy - Well, you must not be on any college football message boards then :)

  7. I watched season one, episode one last night. Now I'm researching how to suspend my coworker's stapler in jello.

  8. I'm right there with you, Bone - it won't be the same without Michael Scott! He was hilarious and amazing. My all-time favorite quote of his was this one (it makes me giggle every single time):

    "Bros before hoes. Why? Because your bros are always there for you. They have got your back after your ho rips yours heart out for no good reason. And you are nothing but great to your ho, and you told her that she was the only ho for you, and that she was better than all the other hoes in the world... and then... and then suddenly she's not yo' ho' no mo'."


  9. It. Was. NOT. the same. I mourn the loss of Steve too. the episode last night had a tinge of meanness to it, and even though Michael Scott was void of tact, he was always thought he had everyones best interest at heart.

    I'll keep watching, hoping the laughter returns.

  10. Ed - Yessss! Just wait until you start sending your co-workers emails from their future selves.

    Sweetest In The Gale - "Bros before hoes" is definitely a classic! I almost included it on my list. It was difficult whittling it down from like 80 possible quotes to only 10. Took me weeks :)

    Daily Panic - It wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be, but yeah, I didn't care for the whole "loser" thing. Michael genuinely liked everyone, I think. Except for Toby, of course.

  11. This was one of your best. I still haven't watched--can't get into The Office but have to if JS will be in it
    Loved your salute to Cheers and the show I can't watch without thinking about you which is so wrong on so many levels because I'm the Upper West Sider
    I passed Cheers when I was in Boston this summer. Forgot my camera and couldn't get anything on my phone to work--the earthquake

  12. I meant to thank you for your fun submission to last week's Limerick-Off!

  13. I'm worried that you're not going to make it....Luckily you still have Jason Morgan.

  14. Now i see why. It made me laugh at first.

  15. I never caught the Office, but you can make tibute to a favorite of mine anytime, well done.

    I too might try to catch it if James Spader is in it.

  16. Pia - Thanks. I'm afraid you missed The Office glory years. You can catch up with reruns like I'm doing with NCIS :) Yes, I'm sure when most people think Seinfeld, they don't think a guy from Alabama.

    Madeleine - Why, thank you. I strive to amuse.

    Cami - Yeah, and he's off on his honeymoon somewhere in Hawaii. I'm basically just floating now, aimlessly.

    LVPC - That's not what she said.

    Cooper - Miss Cooper! I knew you'd come back for me.