Monday, April 25, 2005

Why I No Longer Wear Pooka Shells

Last year I called up an old friend I haven't contacted in years and I asked him, "How ya livin' these days?"

This is something I don't usually ask people. I think I heard someone say it on TV earlier in the day. It sounded good when they said it. It didn't sound so good coming out of my mouth.

When I asked my old friend this question he paused and fumbled around a little like I'd thrown him a set of wet dentures. I may have imagined it, but it seemed like his tone shifted. Suddenly I couldn't help but feel as if he was waiting for me to try to sell him Amway products or offer to send him a copy of The Watchtower.

I felt embarrassed. He was polite and cheerful but it was obvious he was glad his parents had come to visit. They provided a legitimate excuse to get off the phone. He was eager to drop the dentures I had thrown him and go wash his hands.

I left him with a number and an email address. I'm not sure why.

I'm guessing this is just another evening when there's not a lot on TV so I find myself reliving humiliating events from my past. I was thinking about the call to my old friend while simultaneously remembering the look on the faces of three really good looking girls as I spit beer on them from my first (and failed) beer bong.

Then there's the time I was at the Elk's Club with my grandparents when I was six. A guy came up to me and asked me if I was a boy or a girl. I had long hair and pooka shells on so in retrospect I really can't blame him. However it was obvious he was not a Partridge Family fan.

Uh oh. Here comes the memory of being shoved off a dance floor by a really pretty girl. I had stomped on her feet one too many times. What's more I wasn't even drunk. She was pissed but still looked cute in her toga.

Oh wait, another one. In high school I was introduced to a snooty doctor's wife in their home. I didn't get off the couch when she came into the room. She asked me, "Do you stand?" I had always prided myself on my manners so when she caught me in this faux pas I felt really awful. I'm guessing my face must have been really red by the time she left the room. She probably felt as if she had taught me a valuable lesson in manners. The truth is all she did was make me want to go crap in the passenger's seat of the new Corvette her husband had just shown me.

There's more. There's oh so much more but I think I'll stop here and go to bed. I'm sure I'll dream about mistaking a guy's girlfriend for his mother (I actually did that one), or nude public speaking (I'm sure that one's coming sooner or later).

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