“Describe an incident in your life — funny or embarrassing, fact or fiction — and make us laugh!”
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This story begins as many embarrassing stories do; in high school. It was my freshmen year in my spring semester theatre arts class. I was cast as a character that had to wear a blindfold on stage. I know what you’re thinking, a 14-year-old flouncing around blind on stage is already a bad idea. Let the record show that I was thinking the exact same thing.The scene is set, it is the opening night I am blinded in the large ball gown I had to wear during the scene. For whatever strange reason I hadn’t done a lot of rehearsing this scene blindfolded. Bad idea. Everything is going well until I have to start pacing back and forth on the stage to show the character’s concern, while I deliver a 2-minute speech. Each time I reached the front of the stage I heard the audience gasp. This made me think my performance was stellar. Long story short this is not why the audience was gasping.When the scene was over I walked backstage. This is the part of the story where my director kindly let me know that each time I walked to the edge of the stage I was a toe from falling off of it. Apparently, the audience could not focus on my actual performance because the sight of the director and sound coordinator standing at the front of the stage arms outstretched ready to catch me when I fell was much more engaging.
Grand Junction, CO
A man and a woman had been married for more than 60 years. They’d shared everything. They’d talked about everything. They’d kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she’d cautioned her husband never to open or ask about. Until one day, for all of these years, he’d never thought about the box. One day the little old woman became very sick and the doctor said she wouldn’t recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box.When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000. He asked her about the contents. When we were getting married, she said, my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever became angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll. The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two dolls were in the box. She had only been aggravated with him twice in all those years of loving. He almost burst with happiness. “Honey,” he said, that explains the dolls, but what about the money? That’s the money I made from selling the dolls..
Red beans and rice are staples in the Dominican Republic. I was determined to learn how to prepare the local cuisine of my new home. I asked for recipes and stood beside friends as they made these delicious foods. I mastered the rice to water ratio using the method of placing a wooden spoon in the middle of the pot to see if it would stand up straight.
It was time to tackle the task of making red beans from scratch, a daunting undertaking. No canned beans for me. I knew preparation would be time-consuming, so I planned accordingly. I went to the store and put the clear, unlabeled bag of dried red beans into my cart, tossed in a few more ingredients, paid, and headed home to cook.
Water boiling, it was time to put the beans into the pot. In they went with their red skins. Several hours passed, and the beans had not softened at all, not to mention there was a strange aroma in the kitchen. Dinner time came, and the beans had still not reached the desired consistency. My family would have to eat their beans a little undercooked that evening. The first spoonful entered my mouth. There was a familiar taste, but it was not red beans. Peanuts! Right then, I realized I had purchased de-shelled peanuts, coated in red skins. Peanuts and rice did not become a Dominican delicacy, but it has provided laughter for my Dominican friends for the past fourteen years!
Six foot, three inches tall, weigh over 250 pounds, a former collegiate athlete that had put on belly fat since his playing days, my dad is a big, big man. He and mom awoke that morning in the tent, having just completed over 100 miles of biking the previous day in the MS150 benefit bike ride in the Texas Hill Country. Legs and rear end extremely swollen, dad begrudgingly slipped his spandex biking shorts on to prepare for the day’s final 50 miles. But those biking shorts just did not want to go on. Working and working to hoist the shorts on, he finally managed to get the spandex shorts to hesitantly cooperate. Would he have to endure a day wearing these shorts, so exposed? My mom, the extra small, extremely lean athletic type, watched and laughed as dad stepped out of the tent, proudly boasting of and displaying some newfound dimensions. Mom easily slipped her shorts on, a surprise as she as well was equally sore and swollen. What could’ve happened? It was with total relief (physical and comical) that they realized that they had put on each other’s seemingly identical shorts! What a relief as he realized he would not have to walk into the crowded morning pancake breakfast looking as such! A simple mistake by a weary, out of place, oversized ex-athlete! Hearing the story from my parents, there is never a time that I am not reduced to tears of laughter from this hilarious moment!
Alaska problems…. it’s a real thing. My Mum has a co-worker who was tasked with bringing something for the weekly meeting at her work. She decided to buy donuts at the local bakery and bring them in. It was in the fall, cool and crisp outside, and she decided it best to keep them in her car so that she would not forget them in the morning. Well…. her morning started off as it always did. She got up, got ready for work and headed to her car. This is when she realized that she had made a colossal mistake. She stood in her driveway, staring at her car, the back door open, with a very large black bear sleeping on the back seat. Upon further inspection she noticed pink frosting on the bears foot, which was propped up in the back window. The bear had somehow managed to defecate in the drivers seat and now he was thoroughly enjoying his sugar induced coma. She called the office and stated that she was having car trouble. When asked when she thought she might have it running soon she replied, “I am not sure. How do you safely wake up a bear and how hard is to to get bear crap out of your seat?” Needless to say…. they approved her day off.
I can give impromptu speeches, interviews, interact normally with friends—but I cannot manage to charm a boy. This is The Story of My First Crush™.
His name was Henry, and he had a Justin Bieber haircut that outdid the man himself. He was a skinny-jean-wearing 6th grader, who listened to classic rock. I was pigeon toed, shy, and wore exclusively purple tees from Aéropostale. We had found each other through my cousin, who had invited us on a skiing trip.
So, there I sat, sweating in the leather seats of the car while we trekked through Arizona to find snow. I decided that I wanted to marry Henry. The hours went by, and by 8:00 PM we had arrived at the cabin. I need to act now, I thought. What better way to show my interest than to flip his hat off of his head? This would be the peak of my flirting, the moment he would laugh and look into my eyes and feel the fire that I felt. Nervously, I went to tip his hat off of his head. But instead, disaster struck. My uncoordinated and nervous arm had missed the underside of his hat and instead hit his nose. Little did I know, he had recently broken it and gotten stitches. I practically punched his nose. He began to cry, and the stiches began to bleed. I sat next to him, mouth agape, searching for a way out of this horrible situation. We were never married.
“The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin.”
If you’re having trouble imagining what that looks like, think of an orangutan falling down the stairs. Trying to brush its teeth. With a violin.
This quote is one of my favorites, and although I’m not a husband, it is an unfortunately accurate depiction of my love life.
Thick, matted fur draped onto thick, matted arms sporting thick, matted fingers. Especially ill-suited to handle the delicate instrument of a woman’s heart.
Don’t start off a conversation with, “What’s your favorite kind of bread?”
Don’t use pet names like “honeysuckle snapdragon” or “my spicy chalupa.”
She’ll say, “Joe, I feel like you’re using cheap humor to avoid talking about important topics.”
“Your mom uses cheap humor to avoid talking about important topics,” is how you shouldn’t respond.
The most unfortunate thing about this display of bumbling ineptitude is it isn’t being used on women with equal bumbling ineptitude. They are fine women. They will go places in life.
“Joe, I got accepted into UPenn!”
“That’s where Donald Trump went. Please reconsider.” Incorrect.
“Joe, I got into Brown!”
“Hmm, I feel like if a college is named after a color it will be sub-par.” Wrong.
Don’t ask yourself: why would he say these things? Is he an idiot? Why does he know where Donald Trump went to college?
Tell yourself instead, his emotions are too strong to express themselves in conventional ways.
That’s what I do.
Warning this story is one hundred percent true no matter how crazy or wacky it may sound. My brother-in-law works for the state prison and he had one of the inmates approach him with a problem. He said he got bit by a bug on his…well wiener. The inmate showed him his ya ya, and it was bleeding quite profusely. The first thing my brother-in-law thought was that had to have been one big bug to cause that kind of damage, but he doubted the inmate would tell him the truth and sent him to medical. My brother-in-law came back to work a couple of days later and was informed the inmate had lied to him. Apparently the inmate was kind of a loner and liked to sit on a patch of grass in the prison yard. Lately the prison has been having a small problem with gophers digging up holes in the grass. The inmate thought if he were to mark his territory, like a dog, then the gopher would leave. So he stuck his ya ya in the gopher hole, and soon as he did that the gopher popped his head out and just stared at him before it latched on. The best part is that this whole experience was caught on the security cameras and you could see the gopher flying through the air as the inmate trying to shake it off. The report is now posted throughout the entire prison.
I walked out into my yard to find my dog tearing up the lawn with a bunny in its mouth. This was a very unusual sight because my dog always chased bunnies but never caught them. I took a closer look and realized in horror that the bunny belonged to my neighbors.
My family had had some “issues” with these people in the past, and I did not want to deal with another confrontation. I knew what I had to do, and it was not going to be pleasant.
I forced my dog to drop the bunny, which by now was covered in doggy slobber, mud, and dried blood. Using a pair of kitchen tongs, I threw it into the shower. I let water run over it until the water was a pure white, and I got my mom’s hair dryer and fluffed it up until this bunny looked good.
Once my neighbors left to get the mail, I saw my opportunity. I hopped their fence and set up the fluffy, dead bunny in its cage looking better than it ever had been. When I heard my neighbors coming, I scrambled back over the fence.
Not two seconds later, I heard a blood curdling scream from the neighbors’ house. Acting like a good neighbor, I rushed to the fence and said, “What happened, what happened?”
The neighbor looks at me, her face ghost-white, and says, “Two weeks ago, the bunny died, and he’s back!!!”
A faint cry was all I heard; a feeble noise that escalated until it couldn’t be ignored. The incessant gnawing at my heart awoke me; fear had me in its grasp as terror encompassed me. “God, help me!” The feeling was too strong to discount. I struggled against the sheets, desperate to escape and rescue my daughter. “God! Please, help me!” Scenarios rolled through my mind like an interminable horror movie. Breaking free, I ran down the hall frantically, stubbing my toes on every corner and hitting my elbow in the process. “God, HELP ME!” The sound that followed was an unnatural mix between a strangled scream and guttural shriek. I focused every ounce of energy I had on saving my daughter, but the hallway never ended. I was getting closer, but somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I wouldn’t reach her in time. Finally, the hallway ended; a light was illuminating the area in front of me. I walked nearer and nearer, following the light and then, what I saw shook me to the core. No, literally; I nearly fell on the floor shaking from laughter. There, slumped on the toilet, glistening with a light sheen of sweat on her brow was my pale, trembling daughter; clutching at her sides, trying to contain the cramps of constipation. “God…help me…”
As a first time mother to a curiously clever two year old girl, I took any opportunity offered to get out of the house by myself, even if it was only for a few minutes. So when Uncle Ron offered to babysit so I could go pick up a pizza I was more than happy to accept.
When I got back with the pizza I noticed my daughter’s play tea set on the coffee table. Uncle Ron was sitting on the sofa aside the coffee table watching the evening news. He told me how they were having such a wonderful tea party together and praised her for making such yummy tea.
My daughter then comes walking carefully into the room with both hands holding one of her tea saucers full of water. She makes it to Uncle Ron surprisingly well without spilling much. Before I could say anything, or I suppose I secretly didn’t want to say anything at the time, he took the saucer she was holding out in front of him and gulped down the water. I just stood there and watched him swallow it down and then said, “Did it ever occur to you that the only place that baby can reach water is from the toilet?”
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