A convenience store clerk’s perspective on the Michael Phelps drama


I don’t usually weigh in on this kind of stuff here at Da Blog, but this time I’m going to. I know I’m a week late, but better late than … well, you know.

To those out there who are horribly shocked/dismayed/indignant by the fact that Mr. Phelps was hittin’ a bong: WHY? The dude is twenty-three years old and has more money’n God. Think he’s spending his free time going to prayer meetings, or what? He’s been caught driving drunk in the past, so we know he’s no choir boy.

Besides, I deal with drunks and stoners every time I work. I’ll take 10 stoners over 1/2 a drunk (figuratively speaking, because literally speaking that would be gross) any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. They’re laid back, easily amused, and need little more than a handful or two of Little Debbies to keep ’em happy.

In this day and age, anyone who holds professional athletes up as role models … well, let’s just say that there are much smarter options out there.

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About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

10 responses to “A convenience store clerk’s perspective on the Michael Phelps drama

  • joeglasgow

    Better late than…pregnant?

    I found the who thing a bit amusing to be honest. It wasn’t such a big deal when it comes down to it…but he is in the spotlight and living in a time where we build up heroes only to find a small fault to tear them down with.

    I knew stoners who got straight A’s in High School (I think they were so relaxed, they were like a sponge whie the rest of us were stressed out).

    And I agree that there are better role models out there besides athletes. (And why is it that “sports heroes” make more money than the true heroes: soldiers?)

  • Lori Tiron-Pandit

    I am afraid to participate in this discussion because I’m not American and, you know, I feel I don’t have the right to say anything that might be construed as “bad” about American culture. But really, people should learn to relax a little.
    OK, I just wrote a longer comment and then deleted most of it.

    Anyway, Kel, your drunks vs. stoners perspective is very interesting.That convenience store of yours seems like the perfect spot for a writer. It gives you quite some insight into people, doesn’t it?

  • Ing

    Damn right, Kel. (I dunno about the drunks vs. stoners question as a whole, though…kinda depends on the people involved.) This whole business with athletes and celebrities as role models is ridiculous. I mean, unless it’s a Ted Haggard kind of situation where the guy has purposefully built himself up in the public eye as a role model for something and then gone and done the opposite, why should anybody give a rat’s ass about what the dude does? Are we really all so stupid, that whatever an Olympic swimmer does, no matter what it is, we’re all going to go out and do ourselves? (No, wait…don’t answer that.) 🙂

  • Robert

    This non-event sensationalist junk is just symptomatic of the wider celebrity culture illness prevalent in western society, and the press who love to knock celebrities off the pedestals they have created for them!

    Having been involved in the entertainment world for many decades, I can back up your assessment of drunks vs. stoners. I have never come accross a violent or agressive stoners, but have to avoid abusive drunks on a regular basis.

  • Crystal Lynn

    College is college and kids will do just about anything stupid. Most of what is done, makes us in our old and wiser years think back with “what was I thinking”….
    To me the bigger part of the story is the prevelence of cameras everywhere and the fact that anyone can now be caught doing just about anything. Anyone of us can have a photo taken of us, whether real or imagined, and be make to look back or beaking the law. In the Phelps case he has learned a very hard lesson in that his life is an open book and that he is walking a tightrope. If he wants to mantain “the image” he is going to have lead a pretty straightlaced life and watch his back at all times. Imagine the pressure…. One misstep and some “friend” just made a fast $100,000 off of you for a grainy cell phone photo. I have come to hate cellphone cameras, they are so sneaky and intrustive. (and should be illegal for kids under 18!!!) If you want to take a photo, have camera one can see!!!

  • rjkeller

    CL, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • thedomesticfringe

    The media loves to destroy people. I don’t want a moment in the spotlight because I know 10 moments will be coming where they chew me up and spit me out.

    -FringeGirl

  • MoJo

    need little more than a handful or two of Little Debbies to keep ‘em happy.

    BWA!

    Sidebar: In my brief sojourn as a weekend graveyard grocery store clerk, I noticed that people over the age of 65 or 70 have four major food groups: milk, Dr. Pepper, bananas, and Little Debbies.

    Okay, anyway. I don’t know if it was just me, but the last person I idolized was Karen Carpenter and I was 8. Or something. And then look what happened.

    I never picked up another “role model” until I got to college and then it was just a normal person, a teacher I had. That was 20 years ago and I still think about that person every day or wonder what he would do in X situation. The nice thing is that even he screwed up his life, I wouldn’t know about it. 😀

  • rjkeller

    My role model was Princess Leia. Until that fucking gold bikini.

    Damn you George Lucas!!!!!!

  • Ing

    “people over the age of 65 or 70 have four major food groups: milk, Dr. Pepper, bananas, and Little Debbies.”

    That looks a lot like my shopping cart at the grocery store down the street. I keep feeling like I can’t really be creeping up on middle age, but I must really be old at heart. (No, wait…I hate bananas.)

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