I just got an email from a friend of mine with whom I worked my first job after undergrad; his name is Jesse. We had a 1 to 2 inch conglomerate of foam, expanded metal, and beige cloth between our cubicles as “inside sales” reps at IBM in the late 1990s. Or was it “territory relationship” reps by that point? It doesn’t matter.
Every afternoon at 4pm, Jesse would stand up in his cubicle and declare it cookie break time. It chapped our asses that smokers got breaks to fill their bodies with poison, so we invented a break for filling our bodies with partially hydrogenated oils. A few of our friends from other teams would come to our cubes for a 5-minute refuge from a job none of us particularly liked.
One day, our manager decided to walk out of her fishbowl (her cube was encased in glass; our cubes’ openings faced hers, so that she could stare at us all day) and approach the group of 4 twenty-somethings to, presumably, try to get a cookie or tell us to get the hell back to work. I saw her approach, extended my right hand, and said, “Sorry, Jill–teams are locked.” I didn’t smile. I’m not sure why I brought sixth grade backyard football lingo into the workplace that day; I just did it.
She was stunned. So were the other guys. She forced a half smile, turned around, and walked away. A few weeks later, I was encouraged to leave IBM. I applied to law school.
Jesse had a good friend and roommate back then named Frankie. Frankie was from Bolivia and was in Atlanta to get his education. The three of us once drained a few bottles of Pepe Lopez tequila during a Cinco do Mayo party, climbed the fence surrounding the diving platforms used during the ’96 Olympics, and jumped off in our underbritches. We moved on to kicking field goals on the Georgia Tech football field when security kicked us out and called the cops. They were good people (Jesse and Frankie–not the fuzz). I miss them now that they’ve moved to Chicago and Bolivia, grown up, and become responsible parents and stuff.
Jesse wrote today to say that Frankie was in a horrible accident at work. He helped arrange for Frankie to be flown to Miami after receiving emergency care in Bolivia, and then he flew from Chicago to visit Frankie in the hospital. I want to be Jesse in the “how one treats his friends” category. Such accidents are reported on the FL Accident Reports and you can also get legal help.
Frankie has multiple fractures, crushes, and lacerations but should pull through okay…eventually. But his life is going to be filled with surgeries and suckdom for the foreseeable future. Jesse asked a few of us to send him encouraging cards or letters while he’s in the hospital and included the address. But you know what? I don’t want him to get a few letters and cards. If I’d nearly died in an accident and was going to be laid up in a foreign country for several months, I’d want piles of cards and letters, and I’d want them to be amusing. I’d want my hospital room to look like the courtroom near the end of “Miracle on 34th Street.”
So, since the blogosphere is full of witty folks with lots of free time (judging by all the Twitter streams with TV show hashtags), I’m asking y’all to spend a few minutes and the price of a stamp to cheer my friend up. Maybe print a blog post you find funny or have your kids make a funny card with their shitty art skills–it doesn’t matter that you don’t know him; you can say “I’m a friend of the Muskrat” or “I love Pepe Lopez, too!” or “Functional right arms are fucking overrated!” or something.
I’m not asking for money…just a couple minutes to improve a shitty situation. Here’s the contact information:
Franklin Perez Herrera
C/O BUPA International Patient Hospitality Center
DTC Building, Ground Floor
1080 N.W. 19th Street
Miami, FL 33136-9998
*update below* His new address during physical therapy is–
Franklin Perez Herrera
5445 Collins Ave
Miami Beach , FL 33140
This is a great thing you’re doing. I plan to have both my kids toil away at some priceless art once they’re done their shift in the sweatshop.
.-= SciFi Dad´s last blog ..Report =-.
@scifi dad, thanks so much! same to your awesome wife below.
Thanks for giving my children the opportunity to do a nice deed for someone they don’t know. This doesn’t happen enough in today’s world. Our thoughts are with your friend.
.-= Multi-Tasking Mommy´s last blog ..Fun Food Friday! =-.
@MTM, Thanks…glad to be a stepping stone.
Wow. Good for you. I’m getting Drama Queen on this and I will make sure that I get the word out. You da man…
@JR Reed, Thanks…again, just trying to do something I’d want done for me.
You make me proud to be your bride, as always. Will send some of our kids’ art on over, too–perhaps it will be appreciated by someone who is immobilized.
@pretty bride, There’s a pretty good cache in the recycling bin you can get.
.-= Dave2´s last blog ..Bullet Sunday 174 =-.
@dave2, Awesome! I’m sure he’ll appreciate your creativity.
Can we really say “Muskrat” and he’ll know who we mean?
@countessa, He will in a few days.
Jesse sounds like a great friend, and by asking this of us, it kinda sounds like you are too. It’s going to bring some light to his day, definitely. I wonder if my kids can draw muskrats…
(Still kinda hung up on the fact that you said underbritches. lol)
.-= Maria´s last blog ..Ebonics, and other things. =-.
@maria, I’ll bet they can draw them just fine; thanks!
You working on your “Get out of Hell Free” card? It’s working. How about my crappy childhood art? My Mom saved a lot of it-I think there’s a plaster of paris handprint around here somewhere.
Great job, Muskrat-My buddy is in the burn unit of Shriners hospital with his son right now and I know the outpouring from friends, family and strangers has gone a long way to help their situation. I’ll be licking stamps today.
.-= NukeDad´s last blog ..Oh No He Didn’t! =-.
@nuke dad, Glad to hear that about your friend’s son, and thanks for your support!
You seriously rock. Looking for awesome, funny stuff now.
.-= Nanna´s last blog ..I Miss You =-.
@nanna, Thanks so much!
first card done and in the mail.
more will follow.
.-= hello haha narf´s last blog ..Down From The Air (or “How I used to enjoy the Hurler”) =-.
@hello haha narf, you have a long name. thanks for the card(s) though!
You got it. You demagogue, you.
@faiqa, hell, can’t you just walk it over there? aren’t all cities in florida next to one another (and disney world)?
I’m going to pretend that didn’t sound so much like, “Don’t all you people know each other?” Or better still, “All you people look alike.” It’s a slippery slope, my friend. 😀
Favorite furry’s friends fight free-loaders, forego felony. Fearsomely fractured foreign fellow to find favor in flood of folded funnies.
@avatgardener, you’re good at “f” words. that scares me.
Now this, I can totally get behind. When people ask for help on their blogs…I love the outreach and sense of community.
I will definitely find some of my more outlandish writing to send to your friend.
Does he mind porn? 🙂
.-= CP ´s last blog ..This Old House. =-.
@CP, awesome! and, i’m thinking he doesn’t mind porn but can’t be certain.
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That’s cool! I’ve sent a card today and plan on getting some of my work buddies to send cards too! It will give us something to do besides work – who works at work anyway?
.-= Super Mommie´s last blog ..You Really Do Have The Right To Remain Silent…But Someone Should Probably Say Something! =-.
@super mommie, Thanks…I just hope my explanatory letter and card arrives before all y’all’s do.
I’ll see if I can find somebody who’s funny and make them send something.
.-= Avitable´s last blog ..100 Things for 2010: Part One =-.
@avitable, ask britt to help you. she always talks about that funny friend of hers.
That’s very nice of you. I wish someone had done something like that for me when I was in the hospital for a month in Mexico. The only company I had was my girlfriend (who’s now my wife) and a bunch of people I couldn’t understand because i didn’t speak spanish at the time. It’s very boring in the hospital and to get any outside interaction is quite special. So good for you to recognize that and do something to help 🙂
.-= Keith Wilcox´s last blog ..I Segregate my Dishes: I Must be a Racist Bastard! =-.
@keith, yeah, i’m pretty sure no one would do it for me, either. but hey, let’s help those we can, right?
I work for the company that encouraged you to quit. They’re encouraging me not to be out sick anymore. I think their next project should be to carpet bomb Ethiopia and announce they’ve solved the hunger problems there.
.-= Grant´s last blog ..Bankruptcy is OVER =-.
@grant, I can see them doing that. I’m actually still a shareholder…barely…I think I have like 5 shares.
I sent him a gift from Amazon which should arrive in 3 to 5 days. If it looks like he’s going to get out sooner than that, please re-cripple him.
.-= Grant´s last blog ..Bankruptcy is OVER =-.
@grant…that’s awesome…thanks for helping a stranger!
My crazy daughter would LOVE to send a picture. Because that’s what she does–and mailing things to grandparents is SO YESTERDAY.
This is much cooler.
P.S. This story makes me want to cry like a little girl from the sweetness. Which isn’t all that weird, since I’m a girl.
.-= Sara Plays House´s last blog ..Sunday Night Art Show =-.
@sara, Great! It’s okay to be a girl. I won’t judge.
Took the hint and sent a 2010 Baring it all for Breast Cancer Calendar.
-The Calendar Girls
@posing for pink, Great…thanks!
You are such a nice guy…. I’ll try and get one to him from Jolly old England. 🙂
.-= Amy @ Bitchin’ Wives Club´s last blog ..My Living Will =-.
@Amy, I thought it was “merry old England.” Yes? Either way, international cards are cool.
Ah. Now I see why everyone is talking about this post.
This is a fantastic idea. I’ll do what I can.
You are awesome. Also, you said underbritches.
.-= maggie, dammit´s last blog ..Who do I think I am? =-.
@maggie, I love underbritches. And, thanks for your support.
So glad I saw Maggie’s tweet about this! I’ll scour my own recycling bin for kid art. 😉
And maybe add a haiku or two for good measure.
Awesome idea. You’re an awesome friend!
.-= Malia´s last blog ..My love =-.
@mailia, As I had to do. Thanks…
This is an amazing idea. I’d like to be in that category of friends too. You’re a great friend for doing this for him and for giving everyone else the idea. [and thanks to Maggie’s tweet for getting me over here too…love to see the goodness multiply]
.-= angelynn´s last blog ..Funk =-.
@angelynn, Thanks, Maggie, and thanks to you as well!
Does he want funny or boobs or both because I’m all about the healing. You are a great friend. I bet he is glad you are a few hundred miles away though.
.-= habanerogal´s last blog ..A Quickie Quitting Update =-.
@habanerogal, I hate to choose poorly, so I’d say both.
Must do something to send. You’re so awesome. 🙂
@thordora, Thanks…something simple is fine!
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Funny thing is I JUST wrote a lil post about sending a card to someone. The whole ‘real mail’ with a stamp and everything is just the frikkin bees knees.
@mommaiss, I agree! I hate getting the mail these days–there’s never anything I want in there. This should be better than that.
I came here via @unfnshdprsn’s tweet – what a great story – I’m sorry for Frankie.
I’ll post him a card tomorrow morning. I bet hed be delighted to see something from across the border – no not Mexico ! That other country next to Alaska … no no not Russia either …
.-= Jaffer´s last blog ..ManiaRavings.com is re-launching ! =-.
@jaffer, Then good for @unfnshdprson! Thanks…and, I’m sure Canadian love is almost like real love. Right?
@deb, thanks! i can only imagine what your mind will produce for such a task.