I thought I had passed the point in my life where I would find myself in embarrassing situations. I THOUGHT I had passed that point until I recently found myself with my ass hanging through the bottom of a broken plastic beach lounger, trapped ten inches off the ground and unable to stand. I had instantly become a 215 pound Hermit Crab.
Sometimes, although I never intend it, my memories dredge up my most embarrassing moments. The mental images begin to replay in my head like a low-budget horror film and I have no way of finding the off switch. These days, when it happens, I try to fast forward and just get to the end. After all, I know what is going to happen!
There was the time as a gangly teenager on the local church league basketball team in Indiana. I was, at best, a mediocre player but in Indiana, we all played basketball. I would always try out for all the leagues and always made the teams but rarely started. Like I said, mediocre but I was tall.
I don’t remember who we were playing but it was a close game. The coach called a time out and put me in. Great! I took the pass, faked left and drove right and made a sweet layup shot…..into our opponents basket. Ouch!
Then there was the time when I innocently reached for a USO performer on the stage in Vietnam. She never missed a beat as she slashed downward with her tambourine, nearly severing the tip of one of my fingers. Stitches and lies! I also have a few other scars as a result of bad and embarrassing decisions made as a young guy.
A couple of weeks ago when we were in Cancun, Diane was working on a project late into the evening. I said I was going to walk down to the beach. It was about 11:30 at night, the lights were dim and the sound of the surf was beckoning as the Caribbean Sea rolled onto the powdery sand. I stood inhaling and absorbing the experience for a few minutes and then dragged a plastic beach lounger into position so that I could see both the surf and the stars. I envisioned a solitary, quiet and spiritual experience.
The base of the lounger was very low for a guy my size. I’m about 6’3’’ tall and I’m not as mobile and agile as I once was. Lowering myself to within a few inches of the ground is never a graceful process these days…nor is returning to a standing position.
I lowered myself to within about 6 inches of the plastic recliner which was very, VERY low, and admittedly, kinda’ dropped the last few inches. There was a loud cracking sound and my ass fell completely through the bottom of this cheap plastic lounger thing.
I was surprised and mortified! Almost immediately, I realized that I was stuck in this position. My butt had broken through and there were large, jagged pieces of sharp, pointy plastic now tightly gripping the cloth of my shorts, keeping me firmly attached to the lounger. I tried to stand but that wasn’t happening. I was literally folded in half at the middle. I had become a 215 pound Hermit Crab and this stupid beach recliner would be my demise! The security guard would be making his rounds any time. I was torn between wanting him to help me and not wanting him to see me in this completely helpless and ridiculous position.
After a few minutes of trying to stand and realizing that I was truly trapped, I rolled to the left, essentially throwing myself onto my side. There! I began some slow, snail-like maneuvers combined with some reflexive thrashing that eventually released my ass from the hard plastic teeth that had held me captive for way too long! Had anyone with a cell phone camera been there, I’d be going viral right about now!
After escaping, I slowly looked around for witnesses; none that I could see. I eventually wandered back to our place and didn’t say a word to Diane. Only this morning, in a moment of weakness, did I reveal my horror and embarrassment.
On the bright side, the only injuries were minor scratches and a bruised ego and I do have one more embarrassment to add to my long list!
Diane’s 50th birthday is next month and she has started a project she is calling “Fifty Feats of Daring in my 50th Year.” She’s working on a list of things she wants to accomplish, some of them really cool. She will be snorkeling with Whale Sharks, hopefully in June or July. Should make for a great video! She is soliciting ideas so if you have any, send them along as a comment.
Final thought! Don’t allow fear to be the thief that steals the life you could have.