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EXCUSE ME, SIR, BUT WHERE’S MY MINI-BAR?

by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

NEWS ITEM — For the first time in history, NBA players will compete for the U.S. Olympic basketball team. This week, Sports Illustrated printed a
“projected” Olympic starting five on its cover — Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley and Karl Malone. While all of them are multi- millionaires, none will be paid for the Olympic experience. They say they can adjust. . . .

Barcelona 1992

GUIDE: “Buenos dias, gentlemen, and welcome to the Olympic Village. My name is Emilio. I am your guide. And these are your rooms.”

EWING: “Whoa. You mean our closets.”

GUIDE: “I beg your pardon?”

EWING: “These are the closets, right?”

GUIDE: “Uh . . . no sir. These are the rooms. Each Olympic athlete gets the same accommodations. See the desk and the lamp and the the two beds?”

MAGIC: “I only need one bed.”

GUIDE: “Two athletes per room.”

BARKLEY: “WHAT?”

JORDAN: “Relax, Charles. Look, man. We’re tired from the trip, OK? We had to fly commercial. Let’s just turn on ESPN and chill out.”

MAGIC: “I wanna watch Sportscenter.”

MALONE: “Hey, where’s the TV?”

GUIDE: “No TV in village rooms, sir. But we have a splendid TV in the lounge at the end of the hall.”

BARKLEY: “THE WHAT?”

JORDAN: “Relax, Charles. Look, we–“

THUMP! BRR-THUMP! CRASH!

MALONE: “What’s that noise?”

GUIDE: “Those are your neighbors, the Yugoslavian wrestlers. I suppose they are — THUMP! — practicing.”

EWING: “How am I gonna sleep with that?”

GUIDE: “Do not worry, sir, there–“

Bump-dump . . . bump-dump-bump . . .

MAGIC: “What’s that?”

GUIDE: “Those are your other neighbors, the Romanian gymnasts. Tumblers, I think. Do not worry. They will stop by 10 p.m. That’s when we have the silence curfew in the village.”

BARKLEY: “THE WHAT?”

JORDAN: “Relax, Charles. Look, there’s obviously been some mix-up. Let’s just call down to the front desk and get the rooms switched, OK?”

EWING: “Yeah, and then I’m calling my agent. No way this stuff is in my contract.”

MALONE: “Mine, either.”

MAGIC: “Let’s send out for pizza.”

JORDAN: “Emilio . . . where’s the phone?”

GUIDE: “At the end of the hall, sir.”

BARKLEY: “THE END OF THE WHAT?”

JORDAN: “Uh, listen, Emilio. I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but . .
. I’ll give you a dozen pairs of my shoes if you get us a nicer place, OK?”

MAGIC: “And front-row seats to the Janet Jackson concert I’m promoting.”

EWING: “I’ll give you a car! Two cars!”

MALONE: “My condo in Utah!”

GUIDE: “Please, sirs. I cannot accept anything. Like I said, all Olympians are treated equally, in the spirit of amateur competition. Why don’t you relax, have some food?”

JORDAN: “OK. Where’s the mini-bar?”

GUIDE: “I beg your pardon?”

MALONE: “No mini-bar?”

EWING: “How about the room-service menu?”

GUIDE: “All athletes eat in the cafeteria.”

BARKLEY: “THE WHAT?”

MAGIC: “You mean like trays, and silverware, and big scoops of mashed potatoes?”

GUIDE: “Precisely.”

EWING: “That’s it. I quit. Where’s Chuck Daly?”

MALONE: “He’s downstairs, filming his TV show.”

MAGIC: “But the Opening Ceremony is in three hours.”

JORDAN: “Hey, Emilio, how much appearance money do we get for that?”

GUIDE: “The Opening Ceremony? No money, sir. You march the around stadium with your flag.”

MALONE: “You mean, like . . . for free?”

BARKLEY: “FOR WHAT?”

JORDAN: “And how do we get there?”

GUIDE: “By bus, with the other athletes.”

MAGIC: “I think I got a hamstring pull.”

EWING: “Bone spur in my foot.”

MALONE: “Head cold.”

JORDAN: “Look, Emilio. We got no TV, no phone, no room service, we gotta ride buses, march for free, hang out with people from Afghanistan, and Greece and Brazil. I mean, what do you call that?”

GUIDE: “The Olympic experience, sir.”

BARKLEY: “WE CALL IT THE CBA!”

EWING: “How long till we go home?”

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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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