Surprises and Embarrassments
LC Van Savage
Unexpected surprises and embarrassments often affect the rest of our lives, wouldn’t you agree? Surprises like that completely unexpected 5 carat diamond engagement ring that strangled you horribly because some romantic idiot wanting to marry you buried it in your tiramisu while you were in the loo. Some surprise.
What made me think about surprises and embarrassments was because an old friend recently emailed me, chatting about her grandmother’s raising her because her parents had to work. She told me of the punch-in-the-guts surprise she got one day when she came home early from school and found her grandmother completely bald and toothless, which up to that point she hadn’t been. She said her grandmother ran hysterically for her hair and teeth and was soon back to normal, but too late. That surprise stuck hard enough in my friend’s mind to have her sending emails about it fifty-three years later.
While we’re wandering down the Memory Lane of Surprises from Hell, I’ll tell you about being on one of my very first dates. It was summer, and the young man of my dreams and I had gone to a county fair and I was about as dimpling, chirpy, sweet, adorable and cute as any young damsel could be without toppling over in a sugar coma. Everything he said made me laugh merrily and I tossed my head and batted my eyeballs until they hurt. He was entranced. I’m sure about that.
Then the embarrassing surprise; in mid oh-so-charming gush I was suddenly on the ground, my leg deep in a hole in the grass and dirt, and I mean deep! Every inch of my left leg was in this fairgrounds hole, and my right leg was bent up and out at a grotesque angle above ground. My date, unable to move because he was on his knees in convulsions of shrieked laughter finally tried weakly to free me, but alas, I was stuck right up to my unmentionables in an under and above ground split, and it took the kindness of a couple of strangers to haul me out. My left shoe was not recoverable, and Dreamboat never called again.
Oh, and then there was the motor scooter embarrassing surprise. I wanted a new one. Our old one had worn out, so when I read an ad for a used one I went out to a boonies gas station to look at it. Unbeknownst to me, this motor scooter’s controls were the exact opposite of my old one’s, so when I climbed on to try it out, every single thing I did was the opposite of what I’d known from my old motor scooter. Thus I went roaring in nightmarish circles around the gas pumps, screaming, twisting and pushing everything on the scooter, all of which resulted in the machine’s gathering speed. The grease monkeys from Deliverance refused to help me, finding it far more enjoyable to watch me rocketing around in that circle of death, screaming curses and begging shrilly for help. I finally leapt off, the machine thundered away and crashed into one of their big garage doors, breaking 3 windows. Then they finally stopped laughing.
Another of my favorites is the surprise story about the long-married couple who phoned their parents and in-laws to say they’d be coming home from Europe after three years with a wonderful surprise, something they’d all been yearning for. When they arrived they found the driveway, trees and house façade decorated with balloons, ribbons and Welcome Home Grandbaby!!! signs. They’d brought home a Weimaraner.
All unexpected surprises and embarrassments affect our lives. Today, I always look down when I walk anywhere, even in my own home, I only drive vehicles I’ve made someone else drive first, and I still laugh aloud at big grey hounds. And lastly, I vow to always have my wig on and my teeth in.
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