By Jim Lee
Last week I wrote about some of the dumb things college graduates have done. When I did that, I committed the latest dumb thing in my cerebral repertoire: writing about something too big for the column.
So here’s another installment of mental pratfalls from people brave enough to laugh at themselves.
I’ll start off with kidding my friend and local pastor, Father Tobin Hitt. He confesses to an incident in New York City as a second-year seminary student. He saw a man rob a woman of her bicycle. Of course he decided to help. Father Tobin had a good laugh at himself as he pointed out how funny it must have looked, a seminarian running through the streets of New York chasing a thief on a bicycle.
Caroline Edwards had the courage to tell me about an occurrence back when she was dating her future husband. As she busied herself getting ready for a double date, in which half of the other couple was a medical doctor, she sat on her curling iron — after it had heated up. She said she danced a lot that evening because it felt more comfortable than sitting down, and also received some discreet advice from the good doctor.
Don Criss told me of a failed prank during his teen years in upstate New York. He decided to play a practical joke on his friends on an old plank bridge over the Ganargura River near Rochester. But he became his own “fall” guy when he slipped on the ice and dropped straight into the drink. After that, I doubt if Don has ever been anybody’s straight man.
Of course I can’t leave Dave Russell out of this saga of intellect. He said the dumbest thing he ever did was to tell me about his idea for the Tumbleweed Festival. Why would he think of a thing like that? Just look at the honest face in the picture that goes with this column. Now, honestly, is that the face of a man who would steal somebody’s idea? Maybe I should use a different example …
Wendel Sloan has a good one. He used to be sports information director at Eastern New Mexico University. While at a football game he confused the name of the opposing team with the names of its players, thinking an unusual number of players had the same surname. And to top that, the other college was his alma mater!
As a college freshman, Glenn McCoy was called on to use an example of the word “reared.” Glenn blurted out, “He reared the flagpole.” In spite of his embarrassment, he went on to major in English.
Don Elder reveals that, as a child, he conned his parents out of getting him braces and still has crooked “teach” to thith day.
Well, thanks to the good folks who contributed some of their weird moments. It’s sure great to know people who can laugh at themselves.
Jim Lee is news director for KENW-FM radio. He also is an English instructor. He can be contacted at 359-2204. His e-mail: