Jack of All Trades, Master of None


By Bailey Andress

Caught in a tight spot.

Gasping for air, Sheldon Speedmeyer (‘18) struck the walls of his cardboard prison in despair. He had been trapped for 14 hours and was beginning to come to terms with his inevitable death. For an instant, he became weightless, only to find himself forcefully dropped onto the porch of an unsuspecting Southside resident. After regaining consciousness, Sheldon was temporarily blinded by a brilliant white light shining through the opening box flaps. August 4, 2017 was a memorable date: I met Sheldon for the first time after discovering him in an Amazon delivery box on my doorstep.

After inviting Sheldon into my kitchen, I provided him with water and snacks to help his feeble body recover. I couldn’t help but wonder how he managed to trap himself inside of an Amazon shipping box, but I kept my curiosity to myself as he called his supervisor from the Amazon Shipping Team to inform her of the incident. After an hour of incoherent screaming, the supervisor ended the phone call, along with Sheldon’s employment. While sipping on a Monster energy drink, Sheldon admitted that this was definitely not his first time being fired.

He was lovin’ it.

Sheldon has arguably the most impressive resumé of the Class of 2018, despite his incompetence as an employee. The secret to his extensive experience is his time spent in Collegiate’s Upper School, as he has been a member of the senior class for a record-setting 11 years. Sheldon is incredibly committed to all of his endeavors, as is evident in his extensive contributions to The Match. His professional career began in January of 2015, when he eagerly accepted a part-time job mopping the floor of a local McDonald’s. The career seemed heaven-sent. Beneath the golden arches, Sheldon scrubbed away for hours on end, refusing to stop mopping until his reflection was visible in the mustard-yellow linoleum tile, and his hands ached. In his soapy utopia, Sheldon felt a sense of fulfillment and presence comparable only to the “athletic zone” state. Unfortunately, this bliss was short-lived.

After his third day on the job, Sheldon felt particularly exhausted and decided to take a brief power nap in the mop closet. After closing the door behind him, he heard an ominous click and began to panic. This was no everyday, basic click; it was the click that accompanied a locking door. Terrified at the prospect of spending the night in a musty mop closet, he quickly assessed his surroundings and determined an escape route. The only way out, he discovered, was the same door which had imprisoned him only moments before. Using his trusty aluminum mop handle as an improvised battering ram, he charged towards the locked door at maximum speed. To his surprise, the door gave way easily, and he slid wildly along the freshly mopped floor. The manager looked up from his fudge sundae to discover a flailing blur barreling towards him. Sheldon struck the manager directly at the moment of impact, much like a professional bowler cleanly sweeping a single pin. As the two tumbled into the ice cream machine and locked eyes, Sheldon knew that his Mickey D’s career was over.

Before and after.

After a year of searching for a new job, Sheldon accepted the position of Magician’s Assistant at Mildred’s Magic Shop. The opportunity was incredible. He spent 11 glorious months dodging flying knives and juggling flaming torches before being cleared to perform at children’s parties.

Sheldon could hardly contain his excitement the night of his first show and carefully arranged a set of massive dominos in an intricate pattern as a crowd of thumb-sucking toddlers watched in amazement. As he arranged the domino pattern, he realized that he had forgotten to leave enough space between the dominos to escape. Once again, he was trapped. As painful flashbacks of crashing into managers and ice cream machines consumed his thoughts, he made a rash decision. Instead of simply moving one domino, he decided to jump over an entire row. To no one’s surprise (except the toddlers), the dominos smashed against one another and toppled in a matter of seconds. The audience, startled by the mistake, began to sob uncontrollably. After the last of the screaming toddlers was carried out by a clearly agitated parent, Sheldon was informed that his talents as a performer were no longer needed.

Born to perform.

Immediately after his failure as a magician, Sheldon ached for another chance to demonstrate his skill as an entertainer. With his trusty recorder in hand, Sheldon invited numerous classmates to start a band. Thus, Sheldon and the Speeds was born. The group immediately experienced success, as their cover of “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion became viral on Sheldon’s Twitter account. Currently, the band is working on a collaboration with the Upper School Jazz Band and plans to release their newest single, “Portabella Salad” within the 2017-18 school year.

Sheldon’s resumé. Image credit: Bailey Andress.

All photos by Bailey Andress.

About the author

Bailey Andress is a junior at Collegiate.