One of them involved a black baseball cap with the word PRESS on it in silver letters. I was a member of the working press (newspaper division), and someone had found that cap somewhere and brought it to me.
We were in a newspaper office, and that cap made sense. But Mike, who was much shorter and smaller than me, ran around giggling, then diving forward and "pressing" that cap with his fingers. He was pretending that the word PRESS was giving him carte blanche to press that spot.
I was furious (it DID hurt a bit). He took great delight in pressing the cap, and I never saw any humor in it. But we got over it and remained friends.
And I got rid of the hat.
Another time, someone was doing a monologue in the newsroom when I walked by. I made the mistake of saying something, and that person lit into me. There were two problems here; one, I was busy, and, two, I really didn't care one way or the other about this deep subject.
Mike, standing nearby, immediately saw my problem. He stepped forward, grabbed this person by the elbow and asked a journalism question. I was quickly forgotten as these two journalists got into a deep (but, thankfully, short) discussion over some obscure point of newspaper style.
I got away clean.
I've always thought of that second story fondly and the first with aggravation. Now, I wish I still had the PRESS cap (it was one of the softest hats I've ever had) ... and Mike could press it.
More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
• Advice for be and would-be novelists
Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie
Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)