There are moments in our lives that trigger emotions you simply can not convey with words; the instances where your spirit lifts, your soul rejuvenates, and your life takes meaning. These times are what living is all about: feeling the magic and wonder that the people and places of this world offer. The ability to return and reflect on these moments is important, as they will serve testimony of the true joy of living whenever counseling, support, or peace is needed. One of the greatest things about writing is reliving some of life’s more memorable experiences – typing up my past has kept me an incredibly happy individual.
But as you all know, not everything that is memorable is necessarily favorable.
Too often for everybody’s liking, there are times in life that we’d rather die out of embarrassment: periods of utter humiliation where we prove what a dolt we can be. When you take the spotlight not out of glory or honor, but rather out of your own stupidity, it’s a moment you’d rather forget. It may just be an example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or even a set of circumstances beyond your control – but either way, your face reddens at the mere mention of that particular situation. Today, the newbie writer (me), Jen, and site owner/infrequent writer Dave are here to share some of our most embarrassing moments. I have more than I care to share, but embarrassment seems to be a general theme running through my life. I was the guy that quit the basketball tryouts because I farted every time I ran down the court. And I’m not talking silent, polite gas movements, nor the loud and funny farts that are the center of every great male gathering: mine are more of the paint peeling rotten eggs variety, creating a fifty foot disaster zone from where the stench was released.
I’m charming like that. From here forward, we’re about to share two of our most “charming” embarrassing moments.
When I started dating Allison, she had a slight freeway phobia – while comfortable as a passenger, she absolutely refused to drive on the concrete slabs that connected our homes to our school. This little fear worked out well while we first started dating - every Wednesday, her and I carpooled to and from school. So one magical Wednesday, instead of just dropping her off at her Chevette, we went to a small little pub to grab a bite and shoot the shit. However, when the meal was finished, so was the magic: and on came my barrage of stupidity.
I really think Chevette’s hate me, despite my undying love for them. The first wrench in our mini-date came when her car wouldn’t start for her. Being that I’m the guy, I did my best to play the masculine role and attempt to turn the car over myself. Not surprisingly, her Chevette just sat there like the piece of shit it was. But hey, I’m a guy – so I took a look under the hood (not that I had a clue what the problem would be). I popped the hood, fiddled with the battery, and thought to myself, “fuck if I know.” Me = Dumb.
I go to climb back into her car to give it one last try, but a slight problem arises. All the doors are locked, and the keys are inside. I have no idea how I managed to lock the keys in the car while I was fucking around pointlessly under the hood, but I did it none the less. Me = Dumb Fuck.
The main concern became finding a way into the vehicle. I’ve heard that you can jimmy locks with a coathanger (not that I’ve ever done anything as evil as that before *wink*), so I headed to the hotel across the street. However, despite my pleading and eventual swearing, the hotel staff refused to supply me with the tool I needed. The gas stations around the area also wouldn’t help me out – I guess there’s an auto-theft problem in the area. For those of you keeping score at home, my inability to acquire a coathanger makes me = Pathetic Dumb Fuck.
I had to bite the bullet and tell Allison I was stumped. There was only one thing left to do – take her home and get the spare set of keys. Her house was 20 minutes away, and that’s not a huge deal or distance, but what awaited me there is what I feared: Allison’s father.
Driving to Allison’s house, a few obscure thoughts swirled in my head: at that point in time, I had not yet met Allison’s dad. I knew little about him, except that he hadn’t been overly fond of Allison’s previous boyfriends. The collective intelligence of her previous victims scores slightly higher than the intellect of a tree stump, but below the mental capacities of a freshly squeezed turd pile. Al’s father is a smart man, and didn’t like dumb ones too much – and here I come to meet him for the first time because I locked the keys in her car.
Nothing beats a good first impression. When we arrived at her house, and told him the story, he just laughed and shook his head – ‘yep, Al’s found herself another real winner.’ I knew he thought it, and he had every right to: for at that point, me = Embarrassed Pathetic Dumb Fuck.
It’s a good thing I have a nice ass – it’s amazing how far sex appeal will go in a parent’s book. Well, I think that’s the case: because I know I certainly didn’t gain any points when I made a joke about his bald patch a couple of months later. The more I think about it, the more positive I am that I’m getting by on butt cheeks alone. And speaking of ass (what an awesome segue, I know)….
A lot of us have baby photos taken, and as “cute” as they may be, they can be a tad embarrassing. I, however, have been blessed not only with humiliating baby photos, but also with a “cute” baby story that has haunted me for all of my days.
This is a story of circumstance: but then again, aren’t they all? My mom was in the hospital giving birth to my sister, and my 18 month old self was left home with my dad. My dad is a huge sports fan, so I’m guessing that’s what he was watching while I broke into the fridge… and ate an entire bucket of blueberries. By bucket, I don’t mean a yogurt container’s worth of berries – I’m referring to an entire ice cream bucket full of nature’s sweet blue candy. And as my dad soon found out, it’s also nature’s laxative.
I was put down for a nap, and when my dad came to wake me up, he did not like what he saw. Not only had I shat my diaper full, but being that I was such a smart child, I also managed to remove the crap catcher. It simply wouldn’t be enough for me to merely remove my diaper however – oh no, I had to play with my own shit. By the time my dad broke in on my poop party, I managed to smear shit on my crib, on the walls, through the sheets and into the mattress, into my hair, on my face… nothing within the reach of my grubby little paws was left uncrapped.
My dad, being the man he is, opened the door, and gagged his guts out. He couldn’t even stand the sight of it – and it probably didn’t smell that great either. So using the last of his courage, he scooped me up and dumped me in the bathtub. Then, doing what any grown married man would, he picked up the phone and called his mother-in-law (my grandma) to come over and clean the mess. And she did.
Ever since that youthful blueberry feast, my dad’s called me a shithead.
-Chad "fouff is the name, diarrhea disasters is the game"
Embarrassing moments are pretty much a constant in my life, like sleeping, eating, and watching the Craig Kilborn show. Sharing an apartment with a girl who sadistically jumps on crowded elevators with me to say, “Damn Jen, I couldn’t get a WINK of sleep what with you banging all those guys last night,” has made shame as common an emotion as boredom. (By the way, before you send me the e-mail, keep in mind she’s just saying this as a JOKE. I can feel the inbox flooding already). But every once in a while, the embarrassing moment is so intense, it requires a few days of coddling, some time for me to envelop my shame-faced self in a big turtleneck and reflect on how many people exactly bore witness to the event.
Take for instance, the pocketbook incident. I was visiting my friends out in San Francisco a couple months ago and we all went out for lunch after a night of carousing. We were going over some of the highlights of the night, and I decided to stand up and demonstrate how my friend Bill was swinging my pocketbook. (Yes, the way Bill swings a pocketbook counts for a highlight of the evening). So I stand up and start winding my arm around in these large, swooping circles, and end up banging my pocketbook into the face of a very large, very upset woman in O-town. I literally thought the woman was going to pick me up and start gnawing off my head. I apologized about ten times and she said something to the tune of, “Girl, you best be looking before you start swinging your shit all over the place.” And THAT’S not even one of the two embarrassing moments featured in this article…it’s just a teasah.
You see, I think the fourth grade All-Star Flutophone contest would qualify as the second most embarrassing moment in my lifetime. Our elementary school was one of about three in the world that actually sponsored a “flutophone” program. To this day, I don’t know if a flutophone is actually a cross between a flute and a xylophone or just a harmonica with holes in different spots. As it is, I’m getting a red zigzag line under the word “flutophone” every time I type it, suggesting it’s not even a word in the English language. No matter, every fourth grader in The Bogert School in New Jersey was to have a flutophone, a long white plastic whatever-it-is with a little red mouthpiece. As luck would have it, young Jen discovered she wasn’t so bad with the flutophone. (Insert overused band camp joke here) I could play every song Mr. Giacone assigned us, from Mary Had a Little Lamb to Fire in the Mountain. Unfortunately, only a select group of about 50 were chosen as “Flutophone All-Stars.” This group was invited on stage in front of the whole school, our parents, and whomever thought that attending a flutophone concert would be a good time. The rest of the flutophone players were allowed to play just a few numbers at their seats, and then sit respectfully. At any rate, Mr. Giacone, that bug-eyed, chubby f*, did not choose me to be an All-Star.
Now, there are many, many things I have tried out for and been rejected from, so I was no stranger to disappointment. But for some reason, this one really bothered me.
Because I knew that I was good.
Sure the volleyball team didn’t need another dork warming the bench. The school musical didn’t need another girl with a voice no better than Jessica Simpson’s. But the All-Star flutophone team needed me more than it knew. And so, I did what no well-adjusted child would do. When Giacone called the special children up to play, I marched up there with them and played that flutophone like it was a fiddle of gold
Now, the graceful thing for Giacone to do would have been just to ignore the fact that I had just crashed the All-Star party and let the audience clap for all of us (they were clapping for ME, dammit!) Instead, Giacone announced each All-Star’s name one by one, then took a look at me and said…
“Jennifer, what are you doing up here? You know you weren’t chosen to be an All-Star.”
At this point, the audience just fell silent and the All-Stars looked at me with horror and disdain in their eyes. Of course, the old lip started quivering and I could feel the tears coming on; I don’t know how I held back until I got off stage. Everyone in the school had good reason to believe that I was a complete loser.
Looking back on the incident, what the hell All-Star flutophone player actually gets angry at another child for jumping on the stage. The fact that they were looking at me like I committed some kind of sin against the musical inclinations of humanity, just floors me to this day. I’m not sure who the real asshole was, Giacone, myself, or the snooty kids.
Even more horrifying than this was, by far, the gym incident. Fast forward about a decade. Like every girl terrified of putting on the sophomore sixteen in college, I was at the gym, forcing myself through the daily workout. For those of you who have visited Georgetown University’s distinguished Yates gym facilities, you know just how expansive it is. Basically, the gym probably fits 2,000 students, and is just open enough so everyone can see each other. I had snagged myself a stationary bike on the upper tier of the balcony, facing the entire basketball court, and surrounded by other students on treadmills, bikes, and Stair Masters. I had only been biking for about ten minutes when I had gotten myself into quite a sweat. Or as contestants on Elimidate would say, “I was getting my sweat on.” I decided to be a brave soldier and remove the shirt, aware that I would be exposing my blue sports bra and *incredibly ripped* stomach. (wink, wink)
I whipped off my shirt and continued pedaling away, watching the basketball game in front of me, and checking out the people working out nearby. As the minutes wore on, I happened to notice that I was getting a lot of extra attention that day from guys and girls alike. Guys on the basketball court were looking up in between shots, girls on the bikes next to me were looking at me sort of sideways…I thought to myself, “I must look like such a great cyclist, people are trying to get workout tips from me.” After a good five minutes of all of this, I noticed a very drafty feeling to my body, like someone had attached a fan directly to my abdomen. And then I looked down.
Well, as it turned out, I had not been wearing the blue sports bra I left out for myself the night before. Instead, I was wearing a pink, Victoria’s Secret satiny number that looked about as athletic as Minnesota Fats. I was so mortified that I literally jumped off the bike mid-cycle and yanked my shirt over my head. The clincher was turning to the girl on the bike next to me and saying, “Hey, why didn’t you tell me I was wearing a satin bra?” And her saying, “Oh, I kind of thought it was intentional.”
Reading through these embarrassing events again is kind of funny and kind of sad for me all at the same time. Like, would I have been a cooler kid in grade school if I never pulled that stunt with the flutophones? Would I have been less self-conscious in college if I didn’t fear being “that pink bra girl” for so long? This I may never know. But I do hope I get to see Bill perform the pocketbook swinging thing when I’m back in San Fran.
When Chad and Jen approached me about doing an “Embarrassing Moments” article, my initial reaction was, “Who are these people and what the hell is this Whatever-Dude.com that they speak of??”. See, that’s funny because I haven’t written for the site in a while.. so the humor derives from my coyfully trying to feign amnesia in order to explain my absence from the Wonderful World of the Internet.
Ummm… Dave. If you have to explain the joke, it automatically means it wasn’t that funny in the first place. It’s like a rule or something.
Well.. don’t I just feel all embarrassed now. Yes folks… welcome to Segue City… population of ONE. Geez…. I might as well put on my beret right now.. You know, the one that says “Rusty”.
He’s not gonna pork her, Russ.
Yes… embarrassing moments. We all have them. For example, my father has something that he doesn’t like to talk about at cocktail parties. It’s called his son’s “college career”. No wait.. I guess that would be more disappointing than embarrassing. Nevermind. Everything’s cool.
Serves me right for dumping my purse out in the library.
Sure, I could sit here and rattle off many drunken tales of woe that cause me to look back and cringe in embarassment.. but since I don’t have a week to write them all and you don’t have a day to read them all.. let’s just hop in the ol’ time machine and head back to 1992. Ahh.. 1992. Such a great year. Z. Cavaricci’s had just officially gone out of style. The spiked haircut had gone the way of the dodo. Bob Hope had just passed away…. And a young Dave Macchia was well in the midst of his senior year of high school.
Now you see, I’ve always been a bevy of useless information. I’m the guy that gets the phone calls in the middle of the night, asking, “Who was that actor…?”; “What was that movie…?; “Is it socially acceptable to rave about your ENORMOUS body parts and point to your crotch when talking to a girl?;… etc..
So I decided to test my knowledge by trying out for the high school Quiz Bowl Team. The fame. The glory. The ability to be seen on local cable access, sitting in a studio on the beautiful campus of William Paterson College in Wayne, NJ. The Quiz Bowl offered it all. So with a heavy heart and a head full of hopes and dreams, I made my way to the room where the try-out for the team was being held after school. Upon entering I saw about 20-25 of the greatest minds the school had to offer. With only four spots on the line, I knew competition would be fierce. Well.. as fierce as battling against dorks in a test of knowledge can possibly be. I sat down in my chair, a little unsure of myself, as the moderator began to ask questions to the group. Very scientifically, the moderator’s assistant sat there and called upon the first person whose hand shot up to answer each question. About 100 questions later, the final scores were tallied and lo and behold, there I was in second place. Now I’d like to be able to sit here and say that my score reflected me answering a boatload of questions about chemistry, biology, physics, geography, etc... but that just wouldn’t be true. You see, I sat there and let all of the “smart” kids fight amongst the scraps of those questions. No, what I did was just sit there and answer every single entertainment and sports related questions that was asked. God Bless America.
Now the quiz bowl format was set up as a “One and Done” type of tournament. If you lost, you went home and never were to return. Our team was composed of two Seniors, a Junior and one Freshman girl who was an absolute freak (She actually came in first at the try-out). We gathered with the moderator in the gymnasium and got ready to embark on the ten minute drive to William Paterson College to meet our destiny. Well, maybe that’s a little melodramatic. We actually hopped in a few cars and headed over to do battle with our opponent of the day, Clifton High School.
We arrived on campus and headed to the building where the campus television station was housed. Now I had seen this competition on television before and as low budget as the Quiz Bowl set looked on television, it looked even cheesier in person. We sat at our respective station and listened to the host (who in comparison, was less appealing physically than Louie Anderson hosting “the Feud”) go over the instructions.
Now for the opening introductions, all we had to do was go down the row, each of us hitting our buzzers, stating our name, year, and high school name. So there I was, hitting the buzzer and saying, “Hi.. my name is Dave Macchia. Senior. DePaul High School.” Easy enough, right? Well, during the first run through, I was the only member of the team to do this correctly. Some people forgot to hit their buzzers, while others stuttered, etc.. So I’m figuring that was the “practice” run and the next time we did it, it was the real deal. So we go through and do it again… and once again, I was the only person not to mess up. I looked over at my friend Dan, who was the other Senior on the team and whispered, “Hehe.. I was the only person not to screw up.”. The second I said it, somehow I knew that statement was going to come back to bite me in the ass. The game started and we were absolutely dominating right from the start. We must’ve been up like a hundred points on the other team, when the host announced, “Alright.. the practice round is over. Time to do this for real.”.
The second I saw the scores revert back to zero, I put on my “This is bullshit.” perturbed face. I guess my concentration was thrown off because as we went through our introductions for the third and final time, I hit the buzzer, looked directly at the camera and said, ”Hi.. my dave is Name Macchia”. The second it left my lips, I realized what I had done and my facial expression instantaneously went from perturbed, to looking like I had just sat on a thumbtack. Of course, I made the mistake of making eye contact with my friend Tom who was the “team alternate” who was sitting directly in font of me about ten yards away. This was a bad move because the second it happened, Tom literally almost fell out of his chair laughing. When I saw his reaction, this instinctively caused me to let out a sound like I was trying to hold in a huge bong hit and I proceeded to get a huge fit of the giggles. I had to put my head down in my arms in an attempt to compose myself as I heaved with laughter. The freaky Freshman girl sitting next to me must’ve thought I was crying because she put her hand on the back of my neck, in an attempt to lift my head up/console me. This led to me lifting my head, staring directly at her… and her bird-like appearance made me put my head right back down in my arms as I laughed even harder than before. After about ten more seconds, I lifted my head up and tried to compose myself… I looked at the host and she made a “keep going” type rolling motion with her hands… which caused me to exclaim, “Aww.. c’mon lady. You gotta let me do that over.”. No such luck, as she opened her eyes real wide and mouthed, “Just keep going”. So I looked at the camera again with full on smirk, hit the buzzer and said, “Hi.. my name is Dave Macchia. Senior. DePaul.”.
We ended up getting our ass kicked that day. The final score was 365-55. My only saving grace during the whole game was when the host asked, “Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas currently stars…”. Bam… I hit the buzzer and blurted out “Knots Landing”. The host looked down at her card and in semi-shock stated, “He’s right.”. which caused every other competitor from both teams just to look over at me like I was weird. What can I say.. my dave is Name Macchia and I know my nighttime soaps. :)
Now sure, I proved I could embarrass myself in an academic competition… but could I also embarrass myself during an athletic competition all within the same calender year? You bet I could. Yes, I was a proud member of the high school track and field team… and my two events were high jump and javelin. I threw javelin pretty much so I could run down the field imitating Lamar at least once a practice.