JuJu’s Big Adventure, Part 1

AD56354A-E3A9-44F7-ADA3-E9C17A3FEA5FPhoto via SI.com

This is the first of a series of stories we hope will culminate in JuJu being the Super Bowl 52 MVP. But for this adventure, young JuJu has to deal with the DMV. Thanks to Homer J., who inspired the series:

JuJu was having a bad day. It all started the night before when his mom locked him out of his apartment. She said it was an accident. He had to leave his precious bicycle outside. Of course he locked it up. JuJu is a responsible boy. But sometimes just a lock isn’t enough.

When he got up the next morning, it seemed at first like just another great day! But not everything was going smoothly. For one thing, he discovered the Lucky Charms were all gone, even the left-over circle ones after he had already picked out all of the marshmallow bits. In fact, there wasn’t much around to eat at all. You would think his mom could have bought some groceries instead of going to a pottery class! But JuJu loves his mom, and no hint of reproach crossed his lips.

Since there were no Lucky Charms, JuJu was forced to eat half a box of Wheaties, a cereal he never liked. He couldn’t remember why he bought in the first place. But JuJu is always one to make the best of a situation, so even though the milk smelled a little off, he shoveled down his breakfast and went outside to grab his bike and ride to work.

JuJu, it should be explained, is not just an ordinary wage-earner. He works for the Pittsburgh Steelers! And not merely as a parking lot attendant or popcorn vendor. (He is too young to sell beer.) He is a wide receiver! This is a very exciting job in which one gets to hit lots of people with little fear of repercussions, other than the occasional penalty flag. And sometimes Mr. Roethlisberger throws a football his way and JuJu tries very hard to catch it! (Most everyone calls Mr. Roethlisberger “Ben,” but JuJu was brought up to be respectful of older people. And since Mr. Roethlisberger is getting on for twice as old as JuJu, he definitely qualifies.)

Doesn’t this sound like the best job ever? It is, in many ways. The downside to it is that when you catch a ball other people can hit you. Fortunately it is a very well-paid job, and the Steelers have lots of people who try their best to put you back together at the end of the game.

JuJu loves his job, and looks forward each and every day to catching balls and hitting people, so you can imagine his dismay when he discovered his beloved bicycle, his sole means of transportation, had been stolen! Now how would he get to work?

Some of you young people may be asking yourself why JuJu is so reliant upon his bicycle. After all, he grew up in Los Angeles, a city in which people drive to their neighbor’s houses rather than risk walking. And while JuJu is not yet old enough to be a beer vendor, he has been old enough to have a driver’s license for nearly five years. This is fully a quarter of his life! Many of his beloved teammates tease him about this on a regular basis.

It makes JuJu sad to be teased, so he asked his buddy Big Al to teach him to drive. Big Al had been helping him to learn, but in the meantime JuJu kept riding his bike to work.

And now he had no bike.

Fortunately, many people were willing to help, especially his friend Antonio. (JuJu has many friends!) Antonio went on “Twitter” (or maybe it was “Instagram”—both are ways of letting a lot of people know really important stuff very quickly) and offered a pair of front row tickets to a Steelers game to the person who returned the bicycle. This was very generous of Antonio, because at the current rate for front row tickets it will set him back almost as much as one of his brightly-colored suits! But he really wanted to help his friend.

And Antonio’s plan worked! The bicycle was found! We won’t inquire too closely into how the person who turned it in happened to have it. JuJu didn’t. He was so excited to have his bike back, because it was special to him. His friend Vince callously suggested that as a second round pick he could afford to get his ass down and buy another one. Obviously Vince has never loved anything the way JuJu loves his bike!

But bicycling in Pittsburgh in the winter is not a particularly pleasant way to get around, and JuJu knew the time was coming when he needed to get his driver’s license. In fact he had scheduled his test for Hallowe’en!

But JuJu got scared, and decided to take the test in a few weeks. We all get scared sometimes, and it’s okay to be scared. What isn’t okay is to run into another vehicle or a pedestrian or something when you are trying to parallel park, which is probably why JuJu is scared. “Parallel parking” is a very tricky thing to do which scares many people. Many people don’t do it very well. JuJu wanted to make sure he was perfect before he took the test!

We don’t always have to be perfect, but it’s good to try. JuJu wasn’t perfect last Sunday night in Detroit, as he didn’t catch one of the balls Mr. Roethlisberger threw to him. He knows to be more careful next time.

So JuJu’s Big Adventure with the DMV is going to have to wait. In the meantime, JuJu got to practice hitting people and catching footballs with his friends on Tuesday and Wednesday, and today he gets to go home to Los Angeles to see the sun again and visit his eight brothers and sisters. And he has his bicycle back! JuJu is a very lucky boy.

The End

In the next episode of JuJu’s Big Adventure, we will talk about feelings. And press conferences.

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