Once More Unto the Breach Dear Friends, Once More!

One of the really cruel things about television is the way it bends time, at least for the people who make it. A few weeks ago, for instance, the final episode of DJ aired for the current season. (Rather good, if I don’t say so myself.) In it, I found some part-time work for my erstwhile crew on scenic Mackinac Island and gleefully prepared for my first official hiatus in five years.

As I watched the episode at home, I became completely engrossed with the narrative arc and very excited at the prospect of having four months off forgetting, of course, that we filmed that particular episode last year and the four months in question had already passed. Which meant, of course, that production would be resuming forthwith and we’d be back in the dirt for the next seven months or so. Am I complaining? No, not really. Fact is Dirty Jobs should feel like a vacation compared to what’s been going on.

Mary Sullivan, a once sane and rational high-powered lawyer who made the mistake of taking my phone call five years ago, has accepted a dramatic demotion to President of mrW and resolved in her first official act to work me into the ground. Speeches, writing assignments, interviews…they’ve all smashed together in a frantic smear of activity, forcing me to live up to the name of this site. Happily, we’re having fun and have been “finding traction,” as the ad folk like to say, and doing what we can to push the whole thing forward mostly with the help of some absurdly dedicated individuals and the help of a few Ma and Pa companies.

Ford, for instance, has turned out to be a great partner in this endeavor promoting this site in a variety of venues and threatening to include mikeroweWORKS in the dashboard of next year’s trucks. Very cool. (They are also up 43% on the year, a statistic that I’m happy to take more than my fair share of credit for.) And all modesty aside, it’s kinda cool to see the mrW logo right next to the company that created the car and introduced mass assembly.

It seems the Ford/mrW hook-up caught the attention of another modest start-up – Motorola. You can read the article HERE Motorola is releasing some new phones in their iDen line that have been built to military specifications. In other words, they’re tough. After visiting mrW, they approached me a few months ago and asked if I might be interested in speaking on their behalf. I said that would depend on whether they would incorporate mrW into their campaign. They said yes. Then I asked if they’d be willing to use some of the real people who have appeared with me on Dirty Jobs in the commercials we create. They agreed to that as well and I’m happy to report that you’ll be seeing some familiar faces from my dirty resume resurface in a new campaign for some sturdy phones that aren’t afraid of a little dirt. And yes, all modesty aside, it’s kinda cool to see the mrW logo next to the company that invented the modern cell phone.

Of course, I don’t need to become a spokesman for every company that wishes to support the site (I hope.) Cub Cadet, for instance, introduced me to a great non-profit they support called Green Care for Troops and that partnership has brought lots of traffic and awareness to mrW. I’m happy to say that we’re making progress on all fronts and, with luck, mrW will begin to appear alongside some more familiar logos in the very near future. Caterpillar has expressed a real interest in working together and Grainger is still in the picture, as well. Partnering with like-minded companies is the best way to fund this site and bring attention to the issues with which mrW is most concerned – the skills gap, the country’s infrastructure and the American Farmer.

Of course, with Dirty Jobs back in full swing, the schedule is busier than the numerous entries on my over-sized calendar can possibly hope to convey. We began with an Onion Farm last week, followed by a dirty tale about the important but largely misunderstood job of Date Palm Fertilizer.

Both good stories and a nice way to ease back into the season with a minor amount of discomfort. Last week though, brought me to Texas, where all that ended. This is Fiona:

Fiona is a lemur, and as you can see from her visage, she is annoyed.

The source of her annoyance, sadly, turned out to be me and I had the pleasure of shaking hands with Fiona by way of her mouth. Amazing what one small puncture wound from a primate can do, but here’s a look at the results several hours later.

Can you guess which hand was bitten?

Anyway, the whole episode was reminiscent of our little adventure in South Africa a few years ago, so I’ve no one to blame but myself. The ghost of Paddy the Monkey lives on, alive and well a few miles outside of Denton Texas. Go figure. When my hand returns to a normal size we’ll move onto whatever’s next, and I’ll continue to do what I can to keep you up to speed with all the news that’s fit to print here at mrW. Till then, thanks for stopping by, and never – never turn your back on a cranky primate…

– Mike

32 thoughts on “Once More Unto the Breach Dear Friends, Once More!

  1. I’m happy to see the successes you have had with your corporate partners. Coming from a Ford family, I’m glad that you are partnered with them (and that we really lucked out these few years). I hope you had a wonderful four months off, that taping new shows goes smoothly, and that your hand goes back to normal quickly.

    Can’t wait to see new episodes and I hope you’ve been well.

  2. I’m really glad to hear things are going so well for you Mr. Rowe as well as your’s. It doesn’t seem that long ago me and my family watched the first episode of DJ on Discovery. We’ve been hooked since… and as far as getting bit by a lemur in Denton, TX, I’ve been in and around Denton and I feel it safe to say… you could have been bitten by a lot worse! Be good.

  3. I am glad to hear there was no shortage of DIRTY JOBS for you this season!! Your show is the most unique and eye opening show out there!! Great work Mike and crew!

  4. Glad to hear about all the support that mrW is getting, thanks to you. Keep up the good work and keep your hands, or any other appendage, away from all primates in the future. You’d think you would have learned your lesson with Paddy…

    Looking forward to the new season.

  5. Mike, Fiona’s reaction doesn’t really surprise me. When I’m watching DJ my lemurs, Phil and Barney, do not laugh at any of your jokes and will usually sit in front of the television hissing until I change the channel to “Two and a Half Men”. Don’t take it personally though, my wife and my kid and I think you are fantastic.

  6. Glad to hear of your connection with Motorola. EVERY cell phone I’ve owned (and it’s been many many long years since the first one) has been a Motorola, and my current one is one of the rugged ones. I LOVE it!

    So, two of my favorites together – what more could I ask? 🙂

  7. Was excited to hear that you were in the neighborhood, give or take a few miles, but didn’t know it would involve lemur attacks??? I’m sorry for your welcome to N. Texas and hope you won’t have bad memories to take away with you. Good luck with the shooting of DJ, and may there be no more up close and personals with the animal world.

  8. Thanks for the update. And the heads up!

    Hope your hand heals up quickly so you and your crew can get back on the dirt road. It seems to be where you get the most rest…. Well, aside from that lemur-business of course. I saw lemurs at a zoo once, they seemed docile enough. Though. I didn’t really get to close to them. There was a protective fence between me and them. Phew! Right?

  9. Mike, take care of that bite. It can turn nasty very quickly. My husband can bear witness to the fact as he was bitten by one of our cats last fall and ended up on intravenous antibiotics for 3 days followed by two weeks of oral antibiotics. We both enjoy DJ and look forward to the new season. Be careful & stay dirty. Aunt Lala from Kansas

  10. “never – never turn your back on a cranky primate…”

    Can we get this on a T-shirt?

    Mike, good luck filming the new season and all endeavors with MRW…looking forward to seeing what comes down the pike.

  11. A sane and rational high-powered lawyer, huh? All this time, I thought those types of individuals were just mere figments of the imagination. Glad to know that they DO exist.

    Take care of your lemur injury, Mike and Happy Easter.

    P.S. I like the credits on the photos of Fiona: “Mike’s Cell Phone”. Nice.

  12. Gee Mike! As your whirlwind life approaches the speed of light, does everything else slow down? Maybe that’s the time bend you are experiencing. Thanks so much for the update on mrW and how things are going. This is so great to hear. As for a lemur bite? What an achievement…looks very nasty in only a few hours. It causes me pause while I reminisce about other bites. Please take care. KZ

  13. Holy cow, that hand is a little puffy there Mike. I hope that animal has received his rabies vaccine, I assume so if you were allowed to “play” with it. I’d hate to see you start foaming at the mouth during the show.

    Hope you’re having some fun out there filming the new season.

  14. Mike , you have cellulitis of your left hand and I hope you know it and are seeing a Dr for it. You have an infected bite. If Barsky had bit you , it would be worse, However you need Dr. Funny Guy from the Zombie episode. He knew what he was doing . Those proficient hands as well as the rest of you needs some TLC and rest until that is all better . Stay out of dirty places . Nothing in the world means as much as your health so take care of it. You and yours have a Happy Easter.Take care of you .

  15. THIS is the kind of update we’ve been missing! Thanks so much Mike! It’s always great to get your perspective on where things are going and what has bitten you lately!


  16. Well Mike, Im missing your narration on the new discovery series LIFE!! You would of done a better job then Oprah!! She bores me during the show. ( & one amasing show tho) Your fans are missing you!! You have to be one of the hardest working actors out there. Hope you enjoyed your time off!! Welcome back!!

  17. I hope by now your hand is recovered. That looked pretty nasty! I just have to say that I appreciate what you and mrW is trying to do for the future of our country. My middle son was in attendance in Indianapolis when you spoke to the FFA convention. I was watching it live on TV and was pleased to see you ‘preaching’ hard, honest work to those kids. There is not a thing wrong with getting your hands a little dirty – and in your case, perhaps your whole body! I appreciate the time you took to speak to the FFA conventioners – Thank you.

    And, as a fan of your show, I am SO glad to hear that new episodes are underway. Sometimes when you hear that a show is on ‘hiatus’…its never to be heard from again, so when I saw that DJ was on hiatus I was a bit nervous, glad to see you are back “On the Road Again”.

    Welcome back, be careful and keep doing the awesome work you are doing Mr. Rowe. It is appreciated.

  18. Please share the details of having that special lemur love-you kiss. How did you convince the lemur to bite the infamous dirtiest job’s leading man with such gusto? Did you return the favor (whats a little fur in fun of the gesture)? Keep up the great work Mike..

  19. I am spending my Easter watching your Dirt Jobs marathon on Discovery. I think Jesus would approve. Thanks for keeping me entertained and laughing out loud all day! Can’t wait for the new season.

  20. Mike, I have finally figured out where you really came from, oh I know it says Baltimore but your secret is safe with me…. I am sure that you are from some undiscovered, glorious planet out there in the universe that we will never find. You are one of a kind, I love watching you and last year thought about calling the show. I use to haul coal, that I loving referred to as nuclear waste. In the winter it would freeze in our trailers on the 2 hour journey, so after we attempted to dump it, we would have to crawl in under the truck and remove it. The stuff stuck like black glue, it was horrible, I hated it. Anyway I dont work there anymore. But that is not why I may or may not have referred to you as a possible alien……. I’m sure you hear this all the time, but you really are the complete package. I’m not delusional, I know no one is perfect, but I also know a phoney. Your geniune, funny, honest ok your a boy scout that millions of people love to watch, plus your adorable. This is my very first time blogging anyone, but I wanted you to know what a rare, exceptional human being you are……………jpotts

  21. I love Mike Rowe. I love what he stands for and I love his easy-going sense of humor about life. He is a representative for the common man, and a great one at that.

  22. I can hear you talking as I read this, and I love how you tell a story or narrate a job. I’m really sorry you got bit, but I’d love to watch it! I love the show and how you not only entertain, but highlight unknown positions around America.

  23. The hand looks like it could belong to that marshmellow man. I hope it has heeled good Mike. I am a big fan of your show and can’t wait till it comes back but do enjoy the reruns. I think I’ll go and take a ride in my FORD truck (F-150) and purchase some adult beverage. Take care Mike and DJ crew.

  24. Just thought I would take a minute to tell you how impressed I am with you. Love DJ. Didn’t know you are so multi talented but not surprised. One of the main reasons I think DJ is so popular is your commentary which you can tell is not scripted.

    You come up with some pretty funny stuff. Another reason is that we don’t expect to see a guy as handsome as you doing those type of jobs. You look out of place. Appears that you are single like me, guess you don’t have much time for anything but work with the schedule you have. You make me want to go out and buy a Ford truck.

    We have a local job you have probably already done. It is a big chicken processing plant. Haven’t been there but hear about the unreal jobs that have to be done there. Some of which you probably wouldn’t want to show. It is a north Georgia town called Ellijay. If you are interested let me know and I will see what I can do. Would really love to meet you but probably won’t happen I know. If you did come here I would expect to.

    All in all I just wanted to let you know how talented I think you are and can sing so well too. Take care and try not to get hurt. Mike

  25. Mike, thank you so much for recognizing the American Farmer! All we want to do is provide safe food and fiber not only for the USA but for the world. Your support is so very appreciated! Glad to see more folks are getting on board with mrW. Thanks for all the hard work you put in for yourself and for us farmers!

  26. What hurt more, getting bit by the lemur or shot in the hand by a green dragon? The green dragon injury was in my books less gross and left your hands still functioning. Should have had those gloves on though, someone will be complaining to us about your lack of proper PPE. Oh well, I will read about it in a memo.

  27. We don’t miss DJ, and we feel bad when you get into some of those gigantic messes. Loved the monkey one, can’t wait for the Lemur (take care of the hand!!).

    I have a funny story for you. You have become an verb in our household. Yes, a “doing” word. In this case, we go out camping twice a year with a lot of our friends, mostly from Texas, on private land. I have a huge tent that allows for a Queen size bed (pegs together, up just like a real bed) and room for closets (portable) and coolers. Chairs can be there too. I’m handicapped and there is no way I can walk from where we camp to the PortaCan. So we bought a portable poo chair. It is set up by my side of the bed so I don’t have to go far. When it needs emptied, I use my walkie talkie to call my husband and tell him “Mike Rowe is needed”. We have gotten a few laughs out of that from our other campers.

    Just thought you might get a laugh out of it. Keep getting dirty, we love you

    Charlayne and Bruce

  28. Hi MIKE,

    Trying desperately to reach you…I work for Career Services at Penn State Abington and on a committee for our system-wide conference at University Park in State College PA on May 16 and 17. Our topic is how TV/Film is effecting the career choices of students and WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO BE THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER! Hoping someone sees this and tells me where to go from here. I have exhausted most of my contacts but still trying! Thanks, Ethel O’Dea

    Career Development

    Penn State Abington

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