I get into embarrassing predicaments (I refuse to use the term "pickle" to describe such a situation) that I swear come out of only the best intentions. It's always when Im trying to help, or offer a suggestion or make a good impression that I end up looking the stupidest.
Like during the Oklahoma City bombing. I was reporting downtown and mostly working in the press area where every news agency imaginable had set up vans and tents. The print reporters mostly stuck it out in front, notepads and tape recorders in hand, standing near the fence that kept the press a safe distance from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
CNN had set up shop, and as a 20-year-old fresh-faced reporter, I was totally star struck.
I saw them setting up for a live feed and there was a man I'd seen on TV so many times, that I knew I had to meet him. He was chatting up some other reporters, so I didn't see why I couldnt go introduce myself.
I navigated the wall of media to get myself close to the guy, and I came up to him, in my little khaki pants and with my narrow reporter's notepad and said, breathlessly, "Gordon Graham! I love your work! I watch you all the time!"
The man, who wore glasses and had a stare that could penetrate lead walls, gave me "The Look."
"Hello, I'm Bernard Shaw," he said, without missing a beat, and shook my hand.
I don't remember the rest of the conversation because I think my soul shrank two sizes.
Then there was a time we were trying to brainstorm photos for a series about alcoholism on campus. We were trying to figure out how to illustrate the idea of alcoholism and have real alcoholics in the photos. But where would we find such people who would actually admit to it?
It seemed so obvious to me. "Why don't we go take pictures at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting?"
Everybody just stopped and stared at me.
"What?" I asked. It seemed like a simple, brilliant idea.
"Omar," I think it was Michelle that finally said it. "It's Alcoholics Anonymous."
"Oh," I said. "Huh."
My parents know a lot of these stories. Like when I left the cap off the gas tank and we drove off and had to come back and find it. Or when I was posing for my Dad, doing some skateboard tricks, and the board fell right on my hand as I was trying to do a handplant. I broke a finger and my dad kept snapping pictures as I held my bent, disfigured finger in pain.
I don't embarrass easily, but when it happens, it's usually pretty damned extreme.
Two people wrote in about the bathrooms / "10 Feces" entry.
Bunnygirl offered this about women's bathrooms:
Damn. You ladies are nasty!
Here's some from Greg:
Greg asked me to assure you that he does not in any way practice or endorse this. Greg is a wholesome fellow and he only passes this on in the interest of public discourse.
Personally, I'd be afraid that Mr. Clean would come out and whip some ass for desecrating his clean tile. I guess some people are just willing to take that chance.
When I become a pimp, this is where my rap videos will be shot.