And Another Thing: The Lochte Mess Monster

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NEWS ANCHOR: We go now live to a press conference, where Ryan Lochte is addressing the media ...

RYAN LOCHTE: Good morning.

I apologize for being late. I would have gotten here sooner, however, I was just carjacked by six members of ISIS. Fortunately I was able to fight them off using only a Starbucks Frappuccino and some toenail clippers.

I called this press conference to apologize for something very ugly and disturbing. And no, I’m not talking about my bleached hair.

I’m talking about what happened a few nights ago in Rio.

I would have addressed this situation earlier; however, I didn’t want to be a distraction during the Olympics. Fortunately, the closing ceremonies just ended.

The opening ceremonies, however, are still going on. In fact, the last time I checked the TV, a very sleepy delegation of athletes from Yemen was preparing to enter the stadium, while the contingent from Zimbabwe gathered to consider officially changing their name to AAAAZimbabwe before the 2020 games.

But let’s get back to the purpose of this press conference.

Sometimes, when a man makes a mistake, he just has to suck it up, face the music, look everyone in the eye, and have his PR firm write an apology on Twitter.

However, that didn’t seem to work, so they suggested I talk with you.

Let me be clear, I was not robbed at gunpoint in Rio.

I was murdered.

Not only that, I was touched in an inappropriate manner by a macaw.

Nevertheless, in my initial accounts of the incident, I may have exaggerated a bit. Particularly the part about how Jason Bourne and I killed 20 ninjas while intercepting an illegal shipment of nuclear weapons.

The story in which I claimed my taxi was stopped and I was robbed at gunpoint late at night by a Brazilian gang is not entirely accurate. But you have to admit it was a good story. Much better than telling people I got a ticket for peeing behind a gas station.

That’s why I am here today: to rehab my public image in hopes of retaining my corporate sponsors.

Unfortunately some of them are dropping me. Like Ralph Lauren. When executives from Ralph Lauren heard I was in some trouble, they immediately asked their marketing people, “Who the hell is this Ryan Lochte? And why are we paying him money?”

So they may not have even heard about the lies in Brazil.

But others have. Speedo just dropped me. Speedo! You know it’s bad when people who wear Speedos think YOU’RE embarrassing. At this rate I’ll be lucky to get sponsorship from “Billy-Joe’s House of Ribs.”

So I take this matter seriously. I understand there are serious consequences for lying. I could be sanctioned, or arrested, or chosen as the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.

I don’t take this situation lightly. Unlike my hair, which, as you can see, is back to a natural hair color. Personally I liked the all-white hair, but my PR team thought the American public would respond better to someone who didn’t look like a coconut-flavored snow cone.

I understand I have some work to do. People hate me and think I’m an attention whore. In hindsight I shouldn’t walk around the mall wearing my 12 Olympic medals.

Others claim I’m sending out the worst possible image of Americans to the world. But they don’t realize that “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” is broadcast to 160 countries.

I will learn from this and not let it define me. After all, other celebrities have proved that PR hiccups won’t alter a career trajectory. Just look how well Anthony Weiner and Tiger Woods are doing after their big scandals.

Perhaps those are bad examples.

Nevertheless, I will move on from this. Despite lapses in judgment, I retain my dignity. I’ve made mistakes, but no one can take away my pride.

Except for maybe some burglars in Brazil. Those people are savages.

Reach Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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