I have a knack for ‘stepping in it’. My life has been a series of funny tales. Here are a few of my favs (from my recent post on I Heart Lesfic):
The Prince: When I was in ninth grade, my friend Kathleen threw a massive party at her house. It was a blast, but my parents made me come home when they found out no adult was present. Total drag. After my father picked me up, I dutifully went to bed, or at least that’s what my parents thought. My friends had other ideas. They decided to come get me and bring me back to the party. Sure, they were all too young to drive, but that wasn’t going to stand in their way. Kathleen’s mom had this sweet wood paneled Buick station wagon. It was just sitting in the garage, begging to be driven.
We concluded that it was too risky to pick me up at home. Instead, I snuck out of the house and traipsed through the snow to a nearby church. I waited and waited, but the Buick never showed up. This was before cellphones, so there was no way to reach my friends.
Long after my toes had gone numb, a cop car rolled into the church parking lot. My instinct was to run. The police car followed me. I picked up my pace, cut through back yards, scaled fences until, finally, I was safe at home. Phew.
Moments after I’d climbed into bed, the doorbell rang. It was the cops. Uh-oh. Turns out my friends had run a red light on the way to the church. They were in the cop car that had followed me. From the backseat, they’d overheard the police say, “I see the prince. Follow the prince,” as they trailed me through the neighborhood.
For the rest of high school, my nickname was The Prince. It wasn’t until years later that it dawned on us. The cops were talking about my footprints.
Different Strokes: I was an energetic kid, so my parents got me into swimming. At one of my first competitions, I dove into the pool and swam my heart out. When I finished, I popped my swim-capped head out of the water, pleased to see I’d won by a mile. The referee approached me and delivered some bad news. I’d swum 50 meters of freestyle. The race was 50-meter breaststroke. I smiled and everyone in the stands applauded. My mom was proud of me for taking the situation in stride, but my swim coach wasn’t amused. I was disqualified from the race.
Dented: One Sunday, I was late to church. My parents had gone on without me because I’d been slow to get out of bed. I ran into the garage, jumped into the car and threw it into reverse. Thud! Uh-oh, I’d neglected to open the garage door before peeling out. I stabbed the garage door opener. Nothing. The door was badly dented, and it wouldn’t budge. I had to think fast. I eyed my grandfather’s Buick sedan parked in the driveway. I’d get in trouble if I drove it to church, but I got an idea. I climbed into my grandfather’s sedan and drove it hard into the outside of the garage door. Bingo. Dent gone. The garage door rolled opened and I made it to church on time.
Gotta Go: Early in our relationship, my wife, Lisa, rented a sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay. She hadn’t the foggiest idea how to sail, but she knew I loved it. “I rented the biggest boat they had,” she announced triumphantly when we reached the dock. It was a super windy day and I had some trepidation, but I smiled and climbed aboard. Halfway across the bay, I had to pee, bad. But it was far too windy to hand the helm over to someone who’d never sailed. Without missing a beat, Lisa pulled an empty Gatorade bottle from her bag and tugged down my shorts. Problem solved, although admittedly, my aim wasn’t great. But one thing was clear, Lisa was a keeper.