Haftin’ to be Embarrassed

“I’ve had great success being a total idiot” Jerry Lewis

When I was in high school I recall we had some form or fashion of “beauty pageant” from time to time for the school girls. Never anything that pushed the envelope like a “swimsuit competition” – things were kept decent. Still, the pretty girls from school would walk about on stage in various outfits, display talents like singing or dancing, and then answer questions from the moderator.

As with any social event, everybody from school was there. And so it happened that I, a rather shy, introverted, awkward high school boy made my way down to the auditorium to view the spectacle.

I remember one night a freshman girl got caught like a deer in the headlights by the question session. Expecting something like “what’s your biggest dream” (world peace, no doubt) she was instead hit with “which of your five senses would you least want to be without, and why?” [blink, blink]. I could see the panic setting in. You can’t linger on these things. Her mind was running: “hurry, hurry, think of something – anything! Wait, what are the five senses again? Well, there’s touch” then the answer came “TOUCH” … and now “why?” “Well, because I really like to feel things.” Honestly, you can’t give a room half-full of teenage boys this type of fodder. It was all over.

Mortified the poor girl left the stage. She didn’t become a recluse or anything – she actually did just fine on the social scene. Still, for that moment, you would’ve thought the whole world had stopped spinning and the embarrassment would last forever. It never does though.

It’s important to remember that. Given enough chances, sooner or later you will find somebody who just stumbles and fumbles their way through a question. Do enough “man-on-the-street” interviews and you’ll find a comedic, rambling, incoherent message. Look long enough through any political movement, any crowd of activists, any emotional rally … and you will find disaster. Occupy Atlanta, today is your day.

I give you, “Haftin’ to be Uproared.” I’m sure this poor lady is perfectly lovely. But for now, she’s hustling off the stage hiding her face.

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