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Mike Rowe: An Everyday Somebody


Mike Rowe has become a hero for the common man following his stint with “Dirty Jobs,” and this week he gave a classic answer to some questions from one of his Facebook fans, which has inspired me to recall a splendid moment discussing Mike.

A couple of months ago I entered a verbal sparring match with a member of the opposite sex. Silly me. We were debating the subject of “attractive” versus “good looking.”

I argued that a person may be good looking without necessarily being attractive. In other words there are handsome and pretty people who lack charisma. And there are magnetic people whose primary attraction is something other than good looks.

My opponent practically went ballistic, as a lot of men are prone to do when logic evades them. He adamantly claimed that “attractive” and “good looking” are synonymous, completely interchangeable in every single solitary instance within our sacred English. I was dumbfounded, as women are prone to be when logic evades the men with whom we are arguing. I was not, however, dumbstruck–as in silenced.

I continued my line of reasoning, despite evidence the logic was soaring well above my manly man’s thick skull.

“A sense of humor,” I said, “may catapult an average looking guy into the stratosphere of attractive. Or unyielding determination may. Or thoughtfulness may. You know, like remembering how she likes her coffee, or her preference for thin or thick crust pizza.”

I found myself on a roll, ready to wallop him with a staggering example from pop culture. So, I let him have it.

“Maybe he walks with a swagger, or can perfectly imitate Bruce Springsteen singing Born to Run: ‘Just wrap your legs ’round these velvet rims and strap your hands ‘cross my engines . . . baby, we were born to run.’ THAT would be more than attractive. THAT would be sexy,” I said. “And you don’t have to be a chiseled hunk to turn heads with Springsteen moves.”

Believe it or not, he was still listening. In fact, his neck hair was visibly curling and he almost drew blood biting his tongue to keep from interrupting me. Then, in pure masculine fashion, he asked, “Whose a hunk? In your opinion, who is ‘attractive’? Give me an example.”

“Phfft. That’s easy. Mike Rowe.”

I always thought Rowe was good looking. In a rugged, manly-man sort of way. And, oh, his voice. And his broad shoulders. And his jeans. (Forgive me for lingering. I know it’s not polite to linger there.)

The Ford commercials starring Mike were the only ads I would actually rewind and replay. My friends thought I was odd for when they’d ask if I wanted to watch Blah-Blah show on TV, I’d say it depends. It depends on if Ford is the sponsor, and if I could get a word from their sponsor/spokesperson, Mike Rowe.

Sometimes I’d pause when he struck an especially appealing pose. One time I paused the screen and gazed. I forgot it was TV and tried to enlarge the frozen picture by placing a pinched thumb and index finger on the glass and spreading them wide like I do on my smart phone. It didn’t work. Mike didn’t get any bigger.

But, let me tell you, Mike Rowe didn’t become downright attractive until I stopped gazing at his good looks, and zoomed in on his brains and values. I read something he wrote about work ethics, and vocational education. I read about the Mike Rowe WORKS Foundation scholarship program which gives tuition money to candidates of Universal Technical Institute and Motorcycle and Marine Institute. As Mike says, “Money for jobs that actually exist. What a concept!”

Here’s an excerpt from Rowe’s foundation’s website: “The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is committed to help close our country’s skills gap by helping hardworking people train for the technical skills and expertise needed to keep America running. UTI and Mike’s Foundation have partnered to offer $1 million in full-tuition scholarships for currently enrolled UTI & MMI students.”

rowe adviceHe’s got the brains, the brawn, the good looks. But it’s his work ethic that really sends me. And, when he’s not dirty, I bet he smells great!

As if that’s not enough. He lives modestly, too, in an apartment–not a mansion. One of his fans tested the waters on that, via Facebook.  Mike replied briefly, but with pictures that are worth a thousand words because Mike’s expressions are priceless.

h/t: Top Right News

That fan, named Kucera, posed a few questions to “Dirty Jobs” star, Mike Rowe, the other day on Facebook:

“Please tell us truthfully that you 1. Don’t live in a mansion, 2. that you’ve made and eaten Kraft Macaroni Cheese in the past year, 3. that you’ve driven around to find a parking spot so you don’t pay for parking at a sporting event and 4. You haven’t pulled a Dan Patrick and dropped celeb names you’ve met or hung with in an attempt to score with someone.”

Rowe responded with this Facebook post, along with awesome photos to back them up:


1) I don’t live in a mansion. I house sat in one once, and I kinda liked it. But I’ve never owned one, and have no plans to. My current apartment is very modest, relative to the zip code. It’s the same one I’ve come home to for the last 14 years. With the exception of a small smokestack that partially obscures Treasure Island and Alcatraz, the view is the best thing about it.Rowe-1

2) I do. But in the interest of full disclosure, I also have some Ancient Harvest, Mac and Cheese with quinoa. (It’s important to try new things.)*

3) I can’t recall the last time I went to a sporting event and didn’t take public transportation.

4) Who is Dan Patrick?


Awesome response by Mike. Although he is free to buy whatever he wants or live wherever he can afford, it’s cool to see a big star like Rowe living modestly despite BIG success.

Back to the debate about “attractive” versus “good looking.” Clearly, I won. No one (in his or her right mind) would disagree that the most attractive combination is good looks, a sense of humor, a way with the English language, and a strong work ethic. Not necessarily in that order.

My old boss finally agrees with me, too. And by old, I don’t mean former.

I rest my case.

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Baby, I was born to run.

Baby, I was born to run.


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About Author

Baron Von Kowenhoven

Baron was just a shy kid with a dream, growing up in the 40's with a knack for story-telling. After a brief career in film, Von Kowenhoven went to Europe in search of fringe-scientific discoveries and returned in the 90's to unleash them on the entertainment and political landscape of America.

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