“If you can’t laugh at yourself, then how can you laugh at anybody else? I think people see the human side of you when you do that.” – Payne Stewart
Apparently, I’m a pretty funny guy. Don’t know why or how, but people who know me outside of my immediate family consider me one of those funny guys. And to be hilarious – to me – you have to be able to laugh at yourself. I find no better personal example of this than during my second year at Luther Memorial school.
It happened on a Wednesday. I remember that because on Wednesdays we’d have Invocation where everyone would dress in their Sunday’s best to perform a Catholic ritual. Being a Baptist churchgoer, it was actually quite interesting to try something different alongside my friend Jason as we had the duty that day of lighting and extinguishing the candles used during the ceremony. But I had a fear. For some reason, the table used to hold the candles was placed almost on the gym/auditorium’s stage’s edge. Being a big guy meant I had to shuffle in front of the table like a crab to avoid knocking anything over and setting the building ablaze. Come to find out that putting out some candles would be the least of my worries that day.
I don’t remember what I ate the night before, but it was fighting me by the time eleven o’clock rolled around. As I sat in Biology class, I had an internal debate about going to the bathroom now or hold on for another hour until lunch. My inner thoughts were knocked out of the window by my stomach, forcing me to rise and make a break for the front of the room to ask for the hall pass. Sadly, my mad dash turned into another crab walk; but for a completely different reason. Reaching my teacher’s – Mr. Gregory – laboratory desk, I leaned over to request of him the hall pass. As I grabbed for the pass seemingly moving at a snail’s pace toward me, something echoed like a foghorn in the sea.
My mind was racing when I realized the impressive sound came from me. Slowly turning, I saw my butt was pointed right at my classmate Kyle’s face (who he and I had a heated debate over the word “wigger” months later). Poor Kyle was in my butt’s crosshairs and got blasted. As I left the room to free the beast inside of me, I couldn’t help but laugh. This should’ve been an incredibly embarrassing moment – maybe the most embarrassing moment in my life up to that point – but I couldn’t stop laughing. How could I not hold that exhaust? Who cares? It was funny!
When I returned from the bathroom, Kyle jokingly asked me if I was okay. While most would probably sheepishly walk back to his or her seat, I smiled while giving Kyle a big “A-okay” hand gesture. Sometimes things just happen to you that would be embarrassing no matter the circumstance. And when those things occur, walk it off with a laugh and the knowledge that something more embarrassing will happen eventually.