“So have you heard of the Miami Dolphins new kicker Ray Finkle?”
” Oh yeah I heard them talking about him on Sports Center last night.”
Some years ago I worked with this guy known as Shag. No one compared to this guy. The events in his life never went his way but made for a good roasting every morning at 8:30 am till 8:45 am. Everyone would form a half circle around him and eat their breakfast tacos as he sat in his “Broke Chair” as he put it, which is a story all of its own. I never really took part in roasting him in the morning but I would get him throughout the day. My personal time with him was during lunch.
At lunch Shag would sit outside the parts room in his “Broke Chair” hoping to score a free meal from one of the guys in the shop. The majority of the time they did not disappoint as even though they cracked jokes on him, they were his friends. I even witnessed him eat steak and eggs as well as lasagna on one lunch break! I didn’t usually eat or eat much but rather spend my time chatting with him. He was unfortunately very gullible and I took full advantage of this one day when he was talking about his favorite football team the Miami Dolphins.
Most people have seen the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective with Jim Carey. In the movie Ray Finkle is a kicker who misses a game winning field goal which he chalked up to legendary quarterback Dan Marino having the laces in rather than out. The fifty year old was now complaining about his team losing so I asked him if he had heard about their new kicker, Ray Finkle. I assumed this would be a quick laugh and the conversation would turn elsewhere but to my surprise, he stated that he had indeed heard them talking about Ray Finkle On Sports Center the other night. “Wait, What!?” I knew now what I had to do, make this even bigger.
For the following two weeks I occasionally mentioned Ray Finkle here and there. On one particular break I told him that the Dolphins would have a better chance of winning if they put their kicker in there as quarterback to which he agreed. Rubin, a crew leader in “small assembly”, even told him one day he looked like Ace Ventura and it still never crossed his mind. I finally broke down and asked him if he had ever watched Ace Ventura. He said yeah and then I asked him if he knew Ray Finkle. He replied yeah. Then I physically saw in his face him making the connection and it was hilarious!
Shag used to make work fun. Even though he passed away several years later in his early fifties, his stories will live on forever in the hearts of everyone who knew him. Michael Weltzbarker, aka Shag, aka The Last Weltzbarker will be missed.