NFL Storyboarding: Bill and the Bathtub

Weekly NFL picks in storyboard form.

Week 2: Bill and the Bathtub

One day, an average man, let’s call him Bill, woke up same time as usual and went to take his normal morning shower only this time when he stepped into the bath he slipped on a bar of soap and spun helplessly in the air. As time slowed down random moments from his life flashed before his eyes.

He thought about how later that day at work he was going to have to choose between two acquaintances, one who recently committed a heinous act of violence that was caught on video and the other who years ago was suspected of something equally horrific yet it could never be proven because there were no cameras in the bathroom. These two instances, and many more like them, were cause for major concern for Bill who didn’t want to lump all employees of the corporation into the same category, because like any business there are always a couple of bad apples (1) but it was becoming increasingly difficult to watch the brutality unfold on a weekly basis and he was not alone in feeling that it was the bosses who deserved the blame for perpetuating such bad behavior because the only thing they were ever interested in doing was protecting their ridiculously lucrative brand, especially when it came to the precedent they had been setting regarding punishments and suspensions for various infractions which made very little sense to Bill or anyone else in normal, regular society. If something didn’t change and soon Bill believed the entire business model would cease to be sustainable.

He thought about this and many other less consequential moments from his life as he fell head over heals down towards the bottom of the bathtub. He thought about how last week at his coffee shop, a new barista stepped in minutes before the morning rush and even though the customers didn’t think the new barista would make coffee like the regular barista the new barista proved fully capable. A few days later, the regular barista returned and all the customers got really excited because this barista was like a wizard with caffeine and really knew how to make coffee. Unfortunately, the beans that the barista was working with were overrated and the coffee ended up bitter and full of sediment (2) which Bill realized as he was walking to catch a train and when he went to pitch the coffee into the garbage can a businessman in an expensive new suit stepped in his way causing Bill to spill hot coffee on his hand. He thought about yelling at the businessman in the expensive suit but when he looked more carefully at him he realized that in addition to the nice clothing he had bright red hair which was unfortunate because businessmen with red hair never get the initial respect they deserve even when they are employed by companies with high expectations. (3) Bill decided to forgive and forget and after drying his hand with the corner of a newspaper took a seat on a nearby bench. 

Sitting next to him was a homeless man. Bill recognized this homeless man instantly because he always wore the same ratty looking hooded sweatshirt. Bill’s friends had told him that this particular homeless man use to be a financial genius but had fallen onto hard times after one too many lopsided mergers and acquisitions, which his friends said was the byproduct of conceit and hubris. Unlike many of his friends, he believed the homeless man in the ratty hooded sweatshirt had earned at least one more chance to prove himself so he gave him his necktie and told him to try smiling every once in a while. (4)

Once on the train, the only seat available was in a car with a small hole in the roof. It was a big car, with lots of space and tradition, but the other passengers kept bumping into each other almost as if the architect of this particular train car wasn’t really an architect at all and didn’t understand that in order for a train car to function properly there needed to be balance on both sides of the track. Bill turned around and decided to stand in the next car up where at least the other passengers looked a little younger and livelier. (5)

There he ran into the conductor who was going on and on about how he once had this girlfriend who wanted to be addressed by her nickname which he refused to do because it was so offensive and degrading even though some people didn’t see it that way. Eventually they broke up and only after they were no longer together did the conductor realize that beyond the nickname controversy she wasn’t that great to begin with (6) which at the time reminded Bill about one of his ex-girlfriends who use to fly in late at night from the West Coast and have a really hard time waking up the next morning. Even when he wanted to get up and do stuff it would normally take her a few days to acclimate to an earlier time zone which normally worked for him because the other woman he was dating at the same time hadn’t been nice to him in years (7) which, he rationalized, had more to do with the weather which could really pose a problem later in the year but was rarely a factor in September. (8, 9)

As Bill’s fall in the shower continued, bottles of shampoo passing before his eyes, he had time to think about that day in the elevator when every one else around him came down with a mysterious illness and missed their floor. (10) He wasn’t sure why he was the only one on the elevator who didn’t get sick and only later did he realize that they weren’t sick but apparently hungover from staying out too late the previous evening celebrating their winning a kickball league (11) which was strange because the team that they beat in the finals, who Bill figured would have had even more reason to overindulge after the embarrassing drubbing (12) had no problems riding the elevator with poise and precision even after one of them got caught taking an hallucinogenic drug which was denied but the evidence suggested a far different story. And then Bill thought about what a silly sport kickball really is and how sometimes teams and players end up taking themselves much too seriously even though very few people outside of their close circle of friends really care about the results. (13, 14)

Bill, inches from his head hitting the tile, had a split second to think about what he wanted for dinner Sunday evening and even though deep dish pizza sounded good, he had just had a big bowl of pasta the night before and thought it would be better to go carb free with some sushi. (15) Thinking about food made him sad because he realized that if he did in fact end up in the hospital with a massive head trauma that he’d in all likelihood miss his best friend’s steak and cheese fondue party Monday night and he always look forward to melted cheese and meat. (16)

As Bill took one final glimpse of the world and prepared for the inevitable, his hand miraculously grabbed onto the shower curtain and he was able to slow down his body just long enough so that impact against the bath tub was minimal. Maybe he could go to the fondue party after all.

(1. Bal -2.5, 2. Det +3.5, 3. Atl +4.5, 4. NE -3.5, 5. Tenn -3,5, 6. Jax +6.5, 7. AZ +1.5,

8. Mia -1.5, 9. NO -6.5, 10. TB -4.5, 11. SD +5.5, 12. Den -13.5, 13. GB -8.5, 14. Hou -2.5,

15. SF -6.5, 16. Indy -2.5)