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Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

Let's take time to laugh at ourselves

Posted Thursday, September 6, 2007, at 10:51 PM

Sometimes we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously and have a good laugh at our own expense.

Do you recall something in your life that was extremely embarrassing at the time and now just seems funny?

What is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

I'll start it off with something that happened to me at a basketball game in Lewisburg one night.

Young photographers just don't realize how lucky they are to have light equipment to carry and cameras that do all of the focusing and require little more than looking through the viewfinder and clicking away.

The Times-Gazette used to have a flash system that was truly a monster. It consisted of a huge battery pack with a large strap attached to fit over your shoulder with an actual flash unit that was relatively small.

Oh, you could fire off a large number of pictures off that big battery between charges. That was the only good part. The bad part was the darned thing had a mind of its own and might fire off a flash at any moment regardless of whether you had clicked the camera.

Between the girls and boys games I made a trip to the men's restroom. It was crowded in there and just at the moment I walked through the door that big flash fired away on its own.

Those men who, shall we say were at the front of the line and busy at the moment were horrified. Everyone in the place thought I had taken a picture. They glared at me as I tried to explain that the flash had just gone off but no picture had been taken in the restroom.

I told them I was with the newspaper in Shelbyville and covering the game. One large fan, apparently from Lewisburg, remarked, "If that goes in the Shelbyville newspaper you're in big trouble."

Another embarrassing moment took place when I was home on leave from the Navy and had driven my mother to shop for groceries.

When you've been away from the South a couple of years it becomes easy to forget our unique dialect. I had apparently forgotten…and an elderly lady I had never seen before asked me what she thought was an ordinary question and I answered her with what I thought was an ordinary replay.

We were both standing by a display of cartons of nice big strawberries. The little old lady apparently thought I worked there and asked me, "What are these?"

She meant how much did each carton cost.

I looked over the carton and said, "They look like strawberries to me."

That nice little old lady puffed up and wasn't so nice at all when she shouted, "And you look like a stupid smart aleck to me."

She told me off in a loud voice for about three minutes.and said if they didn't fire me she would never shop there again. Every shopper in the store was staring at me, wondering what I had said to her. I attempted to explain to her in a quiet voice that I hadn't realized she was asking about the price of the strawberries and that I didn't work there.

I finally gave up and slinked out to the car to wait for my mother to finish her shopping. When my mother, who hadn't been in that area of the store when it all took place, finally came out she asked if I heard all the commotion in there. I told her I thought I had caused it and decided it was best to just wait outside.

I explained to her what had happened. She thought it was funny.

Tell us about your most embarrassing moment or moments. Let's all have a good laugh at ourselves.

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Here's one which comes to mind. I was probably twelve or thirteen, and ethnic jokes regarding the relative intelligence of people hailing from a certain Eastern European country were quite the rage. I had a friend in school whose last name was Pollack (pronounced PAW-luck). One day while walking past his house and seeing his mom working in the yard, I cordially yelled (and quite by accident, I might add) "Hello Mrs. Poe-lock!". I didn't wait to see her reaction.

-- Posted by nmonajjem on Fri, Sep 7, 2007, at 12:49 PM

Well yours are pretty good Bo.

Here's mine:

I was living in Tx and playing drums for a rock band. We were fairly popular in Austin and had made friends with several other bands that played in the area. Occasionally if we are other members of a band were present for the others gigs, we would ask those we knew to sit in with us for a couple of songs.

Well I was attending the show at another bands gig. I was good friends with the lead guitarist & drummer. During a break they asked me if I would like to sit in place of their drummer for a couple of songs. I agreed and when the time came, my lead guitarist friend (Cody) gave me a huge build up going on about what a treat the crowd was in for as I was going to sit in on drums. Well I started up onstage as the crowd applauded and tripped just before the drum podium, knocking over my drummer friend's (Morris) drum set and tearing a hole in his bass drum.

The applause had changed to laughter and Morris was livid over his bass drum. I know I turned at least 3 shades of red as I didn't know if I should run out, begin crying or take a bow for all the laughs. I chose to take a bow, which really didn't amuse Morris.

Anyways we were able to borrow a bass drum from another local drummer and I paid Morris to replace his, but declined to come back up and sit in once we had acquired another bass drum.

I can laugh about it now, but I sure was embarrassed at the time and thought I'd never live it down. After that incident the same band invited me to sit in on another occasion, but Morris gave me a personal escort to my seat behind the skins.

That's mine...anyone else?


-- Posted by HorseGentler on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 11:17 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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