TRUE CONFESSION: "I" am 'that' guy . . .
Let me start off by saying
Probably the most feared, shunned, and respected, if you will, feeling that is common all human beings, to the bone, is looking stupid. In public. Or private. Am I right? Or are you of that special, unknown breed of man or woman who literally thrives on looking stupid, doing stupid things and worst of all, being gullible to the point of being talked into doing stupid things by friends.
Okay. I'm not a prima donna. I do not live in an ivory tower. I am not perfect. Never will be. I wanted to, as 2011 draws to a close, get some things off my chest that I have been, well, keeping out of the public eye for a long time. And especially since becoming a member of HubPages six months back. Hey, if I had started off with 'this' story, you would have already drawn the conclusion that I had a death wish, or plainly didn't know right from wrong. Come on. Tell the truth. You would have called your best friend who lives in North Dakota to tell him or her that you have found 'the' most-stupid man in the United States. Okay. The world if you want to go that far. I know it. You know it. And I am not offended. We are all human. Flesh and blood. Prone to mistakes, but sadly, the things I want to confess are not merely human errors, but things that I was either talked into or just wanted to try, but not taking time to think them through.
NON-THINKING STUPID ACT #1
My "good buddy," Dwight
told me in the hallway of Hamilton High School, Hamilton, Alabama, in 1971, that a girl, who we will call, "Julie," was a dead-on Maria Tomei look-alike. And Dwight was right. Kinda. And "Julie" did halfway smile at me as she retrieved her math, science and health books from her cluttered locker that was near where Dwight and I were standing.
Dwight was, at that time, a trusted ally. Buddy. Friend through thick, but not thin, as I had little enough sense to act on his statement, "Ken, go over there and tell Julie just how much like Maria Tomei she looks. Don't worry. Julie is a cool chick. She will appreciate your compliment." So after I moistened my lips, gathered my courage, I stumbled, in an awkwardly-nervous fashion, to where Julie was standing, looking so hot on this Friday morning as I recall.
"Hi, Julie," I said. "May I tell you something?" I asked to a stunned Julie with huge, brown eyes.
"Yes, Ken, but hurry. I need to head to my next class," Julie cooed. I felt faint.
"I think, now don't get uptight, that you look a lot like Maria Tomei, the movie star!" I blurted out with the confidence of a King Cobra pouncing on its prey.
Okay. Julie wasn't known for using "gutter language," but in the next five minutes, she did. Use words that would shame the roughest Green Beret member. Her eyes flashed fire from God. Her mouth spewed out harsh words to fast that I thought I was being shot at by a machine gun. I didn't know that Julie hated Maria Tomei. A female competition thing. I guess. But the kicker was, Dwight DID know that Julie hated Marisa. It took weeks to live that stupid act down.
I know that you time is valuable.
So I won't waste your time with a lot of writing, so I will just head this up, with photos and a brief explanation I call . . .
"I" Am "That" Guy Who . . .
TO PROVE MY MANHOOD
I drank a lot of Southern Comfort Whiskey on a certain Saturday night. My brother-in-law, Tim, his real name, and a rough. Tough. Hard-drinker at this time, told me that Southern Comfort was, "the Kool-Aid is whiskeys," and I bit like a Large Mouth Bass. Tim wasn't around when I drank almost a fifth of this "smooth" liquor. He also wasn't present when I visited the bathroom, on my knees, and woke up in my bedroom floor feeling like I had swallowed a pair of men's work boots. Yes, I was stupid. Very stupid to have done this. I feel better already at unburdening myself of this secret stupidity.
IN MY FIRST BASEBALL GAME
in 1961, my first day of first grade at New Home School. Someone asked me,"have you ever played catcher?" Of course I was too carried away with just being asked to play with the guys at New Home School, I never thought of what a cather's job involved. So I hunkered down behind Charles Deline, a new friend, and great batter. Bobby Stovall, a sixth-grader, hurled a fast ball and Charles 'got all of it," as legendary sportscaster, Harry "Holy Cow" Caray was prone to say, but in an instant I felt my head snap backwards. Deline had threw the bat as he went for first and my forehead was introduced to the big end of a Louisville Slugger. I wasn't the star of the game, but friends, let me tell you, I saw plenty of stars--blue, red, yellow. Stupid thing. Not knowing the positions and duties of positions of a baseball team.
ON A DARE FROM ANOTHER 'BUDDY,"
Ricky Stidham, his real name, "here, hold this firecracker in your hand. It won't hurt!" Stidham said with a sly look on his face. This was years after the baseball bat incident. I thought that Ricky was my true pal. Boy was I stupid for believing that. I did let the Black Cat firecracker explode in my hand--blowing my hand wide-open sending fire-like pain up my arm while Stidham rolled on the ground laughing at me. I haven't forgiven him of this dangerous act. I don't really think that I am able to forgive such a heinous act.
BACK AT HAMILTON HIGH SCHOOL
A couple of buddies and I were just 'hanging.' Not doing anything productive. Okay. We were loafing. Then 'she' swayed by us making us almost drool with appreciation. "Margena," I will call her. She was blond, friendly, witty, and so pretty that she could make boys' hearts stop. One of my buddies, not Dwight this time, but "Donnie," not his real name, whispered, "I bet you $2.00 and a hamburger that you will not talk to her," and it was on. I jogged up behind this blond beauty and then my brain betrayed me. All I could manage to say was,"Hey, where ya' going in such a hurry, Margena?" She stopped in her tracks. Put her hands on her hips. Glared at me and in a voice that could pass as a PeaVey public address system said, "to the girls' rest room! Do you want to go?" Silence. The only sound I could hear through the waves of humiliation was the sound of "Donnie," and the other two guys heaving with laughter. At me. On second thought. I am not feeling that healed at this time. But I'm not finished.
"I" WAS 'THAT' GUY WHO
bought into the television ads for Hai Karate that "pulled the wool over my young eyes," telling me, and millions of other young guys, "Hai Karate is so powerful, you will have to beat the girls off of you," yeah. Some fighting off of girls. What girls? And I was at the age of a beginner shaver and I loved the smell of Hai Karate. I could just see myself being attacked by cheerleaders. Majorettes. Fast girls. Slow girls. Any girls. I used about two handfuls of Hai Karate after each morning shave. The only thing I had to fight off was the urge to run off somewhere and hide for being so gullible. Stupid, to be exact, for believing the ad for Hai Karate in the first place.
"I" WAS 'THAT' GUY ON A DARE
from a still-good friend, Chad Clark, his real name, who laid down a friendly gauntlet for me to eat as many hotwings as I could, but I had to use something called Dave's Insanity, "a special sauce," Clark said, to make the hotwings taste better. In front of my wife, Pam, Chad, my daughter, Angela, her husband, Michael, their little girl, Alexis, and Lenn and Paula Holloway from the church we attended in 2001, I devoured, or tried to devour an entire platter of hotwings because I had heard Chad tell our mutual friend, Shane Nowlin, how great hotwings were with Dave's Insanity hot sauce. I give Chad credit. The hotwings WERE hot. So hot that they paralyzed my lips, mouth, and I couldn't talk for fifteen minutes. Everyone laughed heartily at my lack of sense. And judgement. Is this confessing of stupid things supposed to get easier?
"I" WAS 'THAT' GUY
who, when Chic Jeans were the rage for young women, had the gall to walk up to a girl in the office where I was working and make a friendly and harmless (I thought) remark, ,"Say, Sally, those Chic jeans sure make you look slim," and tried to walk away. Was it me? Or do most girls hate compliments? I thought girls loved to be told how slim they looked. Not Sally. She snapped like an angry Florida gator in the Everglades, "So last week, you thought I looked FAT???" Now this was in front of staff members. Just like high school all over again. Me. Not thinking. I have always thought that it wasn't as much 'what' was said to Sally, but 'whom,' and that could be why she grew upset at light-speed. As far as I can recall, Sally and I never talked again.
"I" WAS 'THAT' GUY
who didn't take time to study the behavioral patterns of cats. I had a beautiful calico named, "Coco," and I loved her. She loved me. Kinda. One summer day, while I was out of school, I was watching my black and white television my dad had bought us from Fred King and Sons store in Hamilton, and with it just me, Coco, and The Beverly Hillbillies on television, it was the perfect summer morning. Until. Coco began to figit. Squirm. I never knew that (some) cats hate to be held like babies. Coco was that kind of cat. I tried to soothe her. Calm her down. And before I could say, "wellll, doggies," I was bitten on the arm. Scratched in the chest. And growled at like a hungry puma in the Nevada mountain lands. Even cats took advantage of me.
"I" WAS 'THAT' GUY
who wanted to fit-in with my co-workers at an office that shall remain nameless, took to the idea of drinking beer just like 'the big boys,' I worked with. So, my wise and caring wife, Pam let me buy two six packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I couldn't wait. I had seen television ads for Pabst where blue collar guys. Steelworkers. Miners. Have a cold Pabst at the end of a hard day. On a certain Monday night when I got home from the job I had at that time, I told Pam, "let the beer drinking begin," and she did. One frosty mug after another. Hey, this was fun. I felt great. No pain anywhere. No stress. An hour or so later, Pabst and I went our seperate ways. Talk about sick. I didn't drink Pabst anymore. I think that Pam enjoyed seeing me heave like a man possessed.
"I" WAS 'THAT' MAN
Who again, on a dare from another buddy in my past, Gary Taylor, his real name, said to me while we were enjoying some cold beer at my home. This was years after my 'bad experience,' with Pabst Blue Ribbon, "See those pickled eggs, Kenny?" I nodded yes. "Bet you a beer that you can't eat nine of them!" Taylor said in a clever voice. Long, embarrassing story short, I had six. Just six. And with the beer already taking up residence in my stomach, it didn't take long before my insides were in sheer turmoil. Pain. Discomfort. Yes, more than one trip to the bathroom. And yes, Taylor laughed as I tried to walk from the mens' room back to the bar stool where I had been sitting. Do you see a reoccurring pattern here?
One final thing.
May I ask you, the friendly, talented, writers on HubPages a sensitive question?
Well, make that two questions.
1. was it just me that was so stupid that I was destined by the universe from birth to do stupid things and to be talked and dared into stupid things?
2. is there an invisible, flashing sign on my forehead that says, "Hello, I am a sucker,"?
Be honest with me. I need to know. And do not try to talk to me over Pabst Blue Ribbon, pickled eggs, hotwings with Dave's Insanity, or with Margena, Julie or Sally. No baseball. No Southern Comfort. Hai Karate. or Black Cat firecrackers.
Just face-to-face. And please, try not to squint.
So what . . .if
- I got sick on Pabst Blue Ribbon
- Burned my insides on hotwings
- Got bitten by an angry cat
- Got cursed by a pretty girl in tight jeans
- Got told off by a Marisa Tomei look-alike
- Got my head bashed-in with a Louisville Slugger baseball bat in the first grade
I would wager, if YOU, the READER, were honest, much of the same things happened to you when you were younger.