Sunday, January 4, 2009

Love In An Elevator

For those of you who don't know, Club Trillion is a two man operation. I write the blogs, get the ladies' numbers, look fantastic on the bench, and take pictures holding babies. But behind the scenes, my BFF (at least that's what our charm bracelets say) Andy Keller takes care of all the dirty work. He is kind of my manager of sorts. Anyway, he did a great job stepping in a couple days ago in an emergency situation, where there were some redoinkulous claims made about me. I am going to explain the situation one more time, then forget it ever happened.

Here's the best way I can describe it. (This is a hypothetical, put in terms that are easier to understand. So if you are a writer of any sort, please do not publish this paragraph and leave out the fact that I just said it's a hypothetical. THE FOLLOWING DID NOT HAPPEN.) It's as if one of my friends had left his hunting shotgun in my car and I was approached by a lawyer, who told me that if something were to have happened involving that gun, it could lead to serious trouble for me. However, someone took this and twisted it into me being charged with murder. That's the best way I can describe what happened. I now look forward to seeing headlines that read "Ohio State Benchwarmer Commits Murder With Friend's Shotgun." This was not a big deal at all and I was just poking fun at the somewhat strict nature of the NCAA's rules. Somehow people decided to read one or two sentences and write a story on it. It's baffling to me that anybody would use my blog as a reliable source for anything but awesome YouTube videos. With that out of the way, let me get back to doing what I do.

We lost to Minnesota yesterday in a game that we seemingly decided to stop playing with six minutes left in the first half. This was my second trip to Minnesota and I must confess that I have been impressed both times. The campus looks pretty cool and the city is so big, it almost feels like there are two cities right next to each other. The most interesting part of the trip came after our shoot around when we returned to the hotel. Here's a recap of how things went down...

6:07 p.m. - We return to the hotel and are informed that we are watching film in 30 minutes. I make a mental note that this is more than enough time for me to pull a prank on Evan Turner. Ideas start flowing.

6:09 - I get off the bus while listening to Alan Jackson's "Livin' on Love." The face I make suggests that I am the toughest man on the planet and am therefore listening to heavy metal or hardcore rap. This probably confuses everyone who is around me and can tell what I am actually listening to.

6:12 - An elevator finally arrives and a group of about six players get on board, including Walter Offutt, Will Buford, and myself. Will is listening to some rapper I have never heard of and is bobbing his body up and down, presumably to the beat. As the doors start to close, Walter sticks his arm out preventing the doors from actually closing and has a Don Vito moment. Apparently Walter is not too thrilled with Will shaking the elevator from his bobbing up and down. Walter leaves the elevator and says he will wait for the next one. I notice he is visibly upset and realize this is a perfect opportunity to exploit his current mental state and I exit the elevator with him. This seems like a good time to mention that I have a video camera with me and plan on taking awesome footage of Walter losing his mind.

6:15 - The next elevator comes. Walter, Danny Peters, our trainer Vince O'Brien, and myself board. Danny pushes the 18th floor button, ignoring my request to push all the buttons or at least make a Christmas tree design. Walter is in the corner of the elevator, still upset by the scare that Will gave him. I go in for the kill.

6:16 - I turn the video camera on and point it in Walter's direction. I then ask, "Walter why were you so scared on that last elevator?" He responds with, "Cause I cain't staind it when people be jumping on elevators!" I know exactly what is going to happen next. As soon as the doors close, Danny starts jumping as high as he has ever jumped in his life, as his feet almost come completely off the ground, and is taunting Walter relentlessly. Walter is yelling at the top of his lungs. I am laughing hysterically and have the camera focused on Walter. I decide to add to the suspense and start bobbing my body a little bit. Keep in mind I am nowhere near the level of jumping Danny is doing. Vince joins in and bobs up and down even less than I am. It's at this moment that Danny lands from one of his foolishly intense jumps and the elevator starts shaking. The elevator then stops on what appears to be the 9th floor. The doors do not open. We are stuck.

6:17 - Walter goes crazy and yells at mostly Danny, but directs a little bit of his hatred toward me. It's at this time that I'm thankful Walter does not have a weapon. This is easily the most upset I have ever seen him get and I am documenting the entire thing with my video camera.

6:18 - I realize I forgot to hit the record button on the camera. I am now almost as upset as Walter. I hit record and hope to at least get some solid post-freak out footage.

6:20 - Walter is cooling down a little bit, but is still very upset. Danny is trying to justify his actions, suggesting it's the elevator's fault and claims that I was jumping just as high as he was. Vince is in one of the corners sitting down and is surprisingly taking the situation well. I turn the camera on myself and do a "Blair Witch Project" parody. You know, the one where my nostrils become the focal point of the camera. I say something like, "It's been four minutes and we still aren't out. I feel cold and empty. I need a hot cocoa before I lose my mind. I'm beginning to seriously question if we make it out alive."

6:22 - We decide it would be a good idea to utilize the emergency phone that is in the elevator. Danny calls the front desk to the hotel and explains the situation. Danny leaves out the part about him doing a cannonball onto the floor of the elevator. Probably a wise decision on his part.

6:25 - I bring up the idea of cannibalism and ask for a volunteer to be the first to be eaten. No takers. Vince then declares that he has nutrition bars in his trainer bag. I think about the consequences of turning to cannibalism within ten minutes of getting stuck in the elevator and decide it's probably best to just eat a nutrition bar.

6:29 - Walter calls his girlfriend and discusses the situation. I ask him who he is talking to and he says his girlfriend. I respond with, "Is this the same one from last night?" loud enough for her to hear me. Walter flips out again and explains to his woman that it was just a joke. Mark - 2, Walter - 0.

6:34 - I eyeball the top of the elevator and think about a possible escape. Walter is still talking to his girlfriend explaining that I was only kidding about him being with another girl. Danny is texting various coaches on both of his phones, presumably discussing how to guard a sideline ball screen. I approach Vince and ask him to tape my ankles for added support during the escape. He agrees that it would be a good idea, but he goes a little overboard with the tape and ends up taping both of my ankles, both of my wrists, and my left index finger to my left middle finger. Either way, I'm set for an epic escape.

6:37 - The film session is supposed to have started. I don't feel quite as badly as I should that I'm missing it.

6:40 - As I'm preparing to make my escape, I am reminded of how criminals like to stash dead bodies on the roofs of elevators, much like Hannibal Lecter did in "Silence of The Lambs." The possibility of opening the hatch and having a dead dude without a face falling on me is too much of a risk for me to try it. I opt to wait it out instead.

6:42 - I roll back the video I recorded and begin watching to pass the time. Walter is still a little distraught, so he calls the front desk lady back and makes small talk with her. He begins telling her stories about his basketball career. I find this conversation he is having worthy of recording on the video camera, so I stop the tape I was watching and begin recording Walter again.

6:45 - Walter asks the lady at the front desk, "You think we can get some pizzas or something since your elevators broke on us?" He then goes on to order pizzas for everyone in the elevator. Right before he hangs up, he says, "Thanks for those pizzas. We'll call back in ten minutes with more demands." Danny explains to Walter that we aren't holding anything hostage and "demand" was probably a poor choice of words.

6:51 - I realize that by rewinding the video tape earlier and not fast forwarding it back when I started recording again, I recorded over all the footage I had previously taken. My inability to operate a video camera is now becoming annoying to everyone in the elevator.

6:53 - I put the camera back on Walter and ask him if he has anything to say for the camera. He begins talking to the camera as if it represents people who aren't in the elevator, which makes me think of an awesome idea. I suggest to Walter that he should make a video to play at his funeral in case we don't make it out of the elevator. He immediately flips out and tells me to stop talking about the possibility of us dying. Mark - 3, Walter - 0.

6:54 - I decide that it would be awesome for me to make a video for my funeral, not only because it would be funny, but also because it would drive Walter insane, making it even funnier. I now realize that I am probably a little too mean to Walter, but this is a situation too good to pass up. I begin by saying that I love my family and miss them like crazy. I then request that they not release the footage to 20/20, should 20/20 choose to run a story on the four men who got stuck in an elevator in Minneapolis. Finally, I bequeath all my belongings to The Trillion Man March, should something go down. Unfortunately for you all, nothing did.

6:59 - Walter calls back the lady at the front desk. She claims they will be there soon to rescue us. She said the same thing 30 minutes ago. I ask Walter to put in a good word for me and to ask her what color of panties she is wearing. He does neither. I guess this was his payback to me. Mark - 3, Walter - 1. Walter asks her for a free iPhone since "I think my phone broke when the elevator messed up, so you guys should get me a new iPhone." Walter doesn't even have an iPhone to begin with, and the phone he does have is obviously not broken. It is unknown what her response was, but I heard Walter say "I was jusss messin' witchu...I'm sorry." I realize at this point that there is no way the people on the outside are doing all they can to rescue us after Walter's spectacular performance on the phone.

7:05 - A call comes in to Vince from our Director of Basketball Operations. He explains to Vince that the team meal is almost over and if we want any food we should hurry up and get out of the elevator. Vince explains that we aren't on the elevator by choice. Besides, Walter had brilliantly negotiated some free pizzas out of the deal.

7:07 - I call Keller and explain what is going on. He immediately suggests we sing Aerosmith's "Love In An Elevator" to pass the time. Vince and I begin singing it. Danny and Walter claim that the only Aerosmith song they know is "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing." They start singing that, completely oblivious to the fact that it simply doesn't apply to the situation like "Love In An Elevator" does. Plus, they are so off key that blood begins seeping from my eardrums. I ask them to please either stop singing or learn the words to "Love In An Elevator." They do neither. The tension begins to build.

7:09 - The four of us have now divided into two tribes. Vince and I were on the south side of the elevator and formed our own tribe named "Team Clyde Drexler." It is unknown what Walter and Danny on the north side named their tribe. The fact that they painted their faces and ripped off their shirts suggest their tribe is barbaric in nature and their minds are probably too underdeveloped to come up with a name for themselves. Vince and I realize the probability of us winning is minimal should a war break out, and quickly decide that we would be much better off if we engaged in a game of Scrabble against the people from the north side, instead of hand to hand combat.

7:11 - Everyone agrees that it's stupid to fight over which song to sing. We all agree that singing a different song would be much more fun anyway, even if it isn't applicable at all.

7:15 - The elevator begins moving. We drop down to the 8th floor. I push Walter out of the way so I can get a good shot of the welcoming party that is inevitably waiting on us. I'm picturing banners, balloons, confetti, news cameras, and an over-sized card signed by an entire elementary school waiting right outside the elevator.

7:17 - The door is still yet to open. I turn my camera off to conserve battery for the actual rescue. As soon as I power down the camera and begin putting it away, the door opens and the only person there is a middle aged lady with a name tag that read "Bernice." Walter asks if she was the lady we were talking to on the emergency phone in the elevator. Bernice confirms that she was. I immediately regret my request for her color of underpants.

7:18 - Danny texts one of the coaches and asks him what the team is doing. The coach says the team is about to start film. I am overwhelmed by the fact that they waited on me to get out of the elevator, but quickly realize they probably were waiting on Walter. Danny and Vince get on a different elevator. Walter takes the stairs. I follow Walter with my video camera on, just in case.

7:21 - We arrive to the film room. Walter was pretty reserved and didn't do anything crazy on the way down the stairs. Dang.

7:56 - We get out of film and two large pizza boxes are waiting. One has "Walter Offutt" written on it and the other "Mark 'The Shark' Titus." Danny is furious that his pizza is missing. Danny calls Vince and Vince explains that he got his pizza.

8:05 - Danny and I return to our room. I'm devouring my pizza in front of Danny. I explain how karma works and Danny is not impressed in the slightest. He calls the front desk asking for his pizza. The lady at the front desk claims she ordered one for him and placed it outside the film room. Danny swears his pizza was stolen. I think the lady knew it was his fault all along and "forgot" to get a fourth pizza for him. Either way, my pizza is delish and I'm not sharing.

After the entire fiasco went down, I went back and watched the tape I had recorded. To be honest, the footage was pretty awful, seeing as how I recorded extreme closeups of my buzzcut over the solid footage of Walter freaking out. It all worked out pretty well in the end, though, as we surmounted our obstacle of being stuck in an elevator. Great teams always find a way to battle through adversity and win, or in this case escape from a stuck elevator.

Before the Minnesota game I was approached by Minnesota's Director of Basketball Operations, Joe Esposito. He informed me that most of the Minnesota team reads the blog and Coach Tubby Smith has even taken a peek or two. Also, the Minnesota student section (not sure what they call themselves) heckled me the entire game and even started a "We Want Titus" chant towards the end of the game. A big thanks goes out to Minnesota's team for reading, but definitely not for beating us senseless in the game. And a thank you goes out to the student section for supplying the first "We Want Titus" chant ever on the road. Good work.

I dotted two new victims in our practice the day before the Minnesota game. Will Buford (who is kind of responsible for the elevator mishap, really) and Jeremie Simmons both fell victim to the smooth flowing jumpshot of The Shark. Two new victims made for a pretty fantastic day for me in the dotting business.

Bone- Crushing Screens: 1 to date (0 last game)

Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Greg D. There's your shout-out, Greg. And here's your video.

Here is the same video as a link, for all you iPhone users out there.

Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus
Club Trillion Founder