I'm about to be 36 years old, and my high school friends still tease me about "the ramp incident" that happened in ninth grade. I used to want to crawl in a hole and die when they brought it up, but looking back on it now, I can admit it was probably hilarious. Long story short, I managed to fall down a large ramp because I thought strappy 90's heels were a great thing to wear to school when I had literally never worn heels before.
But whatever, I was already the youngest person in the school since I had skipped a grade and I wanted to be 90's cute so that I could be "cool." Strappy heels, a long skirt, and butterfly clips were the order of the day. Things did not go well. Not only did *I* fall, but since it was a large ramp and happened during class change at a crowded school, my short, stout,12-year-old self managed to take down several (like at least 2 dozen) students with me in a horrific human bowling/domino disaster. This ramp happened to dump into the very crowded cafeteria. The laughter of terribly hormonally awful high-school students still haunts my soul today.
One Reddit user, who apparently feels my pain, wanted to know about the memories we have of things that were terrible in the moment, but in retrospect are kind of hilarious. Here are some of the responses that left me cringing, cackling, and overall just feeling a little bit better about myself. Obviously, they've been edited for language or clarity where needed.
Not The Right Answer
One time when I was in 7th grade math class, the teacher asked a question that I actually knew the answer to, so when he asked the class which of us knew the answer, I enthusiastically shot my hand up. He didn't call on me. However, the girl he did call on got it wrong, so when he asked the rest of the class who could give the correct answer, I not only threw my hand up this time with even more fervor than the first attempt, but I accompanied it with a deal-sealing "I know!" as well.
This time he did call on me, and just as I went to triumphantly announce the proof of my mathematical prowess...I sneezed, the force of which caused me to blast the loudest fart I had ever produced in my theretofore young life.
As I turned 12 shades of crimson in the mortified embarrassment that only a 13 year-old kid who just farted in front of roomful of other merciless 13 year-old kids could feel, and said roomful of vengeful little bastards already roaring in laughter at me, my shame was only further deepened when the teacher, stifling himself from bursting out fits of laughter as well, confirmed to me and the rest of the class, "That's not the right answer either!"
This didn't happen in my childhood, but I'm pretty sure I ruined a few childhoods. I very briefly worked as a princess at childrens' birthday parties. Snow White, Cinderella, standard stuff. One day dispatch called me and told me I'd be playing Hello Kitty at a party. I didn't even know that was an option! But okay, fine. I go to pick up the costume and it's this giant fuzzy suit with a steel hula-hoop in the middle keeping it round and a giant head with some mesh in the mouth that I can barely see out of. This was going to be a long hour...
So I get to the party and it's outside in this family's backyard. I do all my schtick - face painting, balloon animals, magic tricks, but there's still about 15 mins left to kill so I ask the kids if they want to play a game. The kids have some random made-up game where you throw a ball and tag the tree and run back to a certain point or whatever, so I say fine, let's play.
Now, what I couldn't tell from the poor vision out of the mesh costume head was that the yard we were in was situated at the top of a very steep hill. I went to catch a ball and suddenly everything was spinning. I was rolling (the hula hoop kept it's shape, so my feet never touched the ground, I rolled like a giant fuzzy ball) down the hill. The giant head flew off and I landed at the bottom in a giant bush. I could see tiny heads peering over the side of the hill. Finally I heard a mom yell:
"Are you okay?"
"Do you need some help?"
It took three dads to roll me back up the hill because my center of gravity in this giant ball wouldn't allow me to climb back up this massive vertical hill. The head was dented, there were twigs sticking out of it. Half the kids were laughing, the other half were sobbing. I walked straight through the kitchen and out the front door without bothering to say I was leaving and see if I'd get a tip. I wanted to leave so badly I attempted to get into my Saturn with the suit still on, but that wasn't going to happen. I had to change awkwardly behind my car and left as quickly as possible.
Horrifying at the time. Thankfully this was pre-smart phones so it wasn't all over YouTube the next day. Although now I think I'd like to see it, it's pretty hilarious in retrospect.
A Little Tree
5th grade graduation:
I was selected to present some award to one of my teachers. No one told me anything about it, explained what would happen, etc. Apparently there was a meeting with all of the kids who were giving awards, but I was never invited to it. The kids were told there was some sentence to go up and say, and hand the teacher a certificate. I didn't know that, so day-of I get called first, and I really confusedly stood up.
They had said something about how these potted little trees at the front of the room were part of the award in the preface, so in the absolute silence of that room I meekly walked to one of the trees, picked it up - pot and all, and carried it onstage to the teacher at the podium. The stage was set up so that I had to go all the way to one side, up a short set of stairs, and back to the center. It was a long walk.
When I finally arrived at the podium, I put the tree down and a little dirt spilled out. The teacher standing at the podium finally mercifully broke the silence after another few seconds, hugged me and said something about her award being hand delivered, and I went back and sat down. Assumedly beet red.
"Shh Watch This"
Was walking down the hallway talking to my crush when suddenly I had to fart.
For some stupid reason, my 10 year old self thought it would be a good idea to interrupt her, stand in front of her, say "Shhhh, watch this" and fart.
Except it wasn't a fart. That's right. I interrupted my crush, got her attention, and then pooped my pants right in front of her, and then ran off in embarrassment and shame.
When i was in 6th grade, I won the class spelling bee. I knew it wasn't a big deal because I knew no one cares how good of a speller anyone is. But I was a poor student overall and I had a subdued pride that I had won. I was excited that I would get to go on to the school-wide spelling bee with an opportunity to showcase before the whole school that I was good at something
My second word was 'plaid'. When it was given to me, it just sounded like a nonsense syllable. I just shrugged and figured it was probably the past-tense of 'plod' and rattled off my assumed spelling without thinking
It took a split-second. I was standing there before a catholic school assembly, half of whose students were wearing plaid jumpers. The meaning of the word clicked the very moment I had repeated the word, and the scope and ridiculousness of my error crashed into me instantaneously. My eyes went wide as dinner-plates, and I positively screamed in incredulous, self-loathing outrage. It was like this:
"Your word is 'plaid"
"Plad, P-L-A-D, pladNOOOOOO"
Then I kind of dramatically half-crumbled, writhing around while still standing, kind of a knees-bent, hunched-over posture, and tearing at my hair with both fists. I slunk off to the sides, the first person eliminated, and struggled to hold back tears, still showcased before the entire school as I was
My sister still gives me shit about it when we're having a jokey disagreement about anything as a go-to argument-finisher, "F*ck you, spell 'plaid' whydon'tcha"
One time in 8th grade PreAlgebra, my favorite teacher was talking about triangles. She said,
"You have to square the legs. Michael! What did I just say??"
Michael who is a perpetually sleepy soul, always half-listening replies:
"Uhmh. I dunno. Something about spreading the legs?"
There were no survivors.
Oh Sweet Jesus!
I got bitten on my arm by a brown recluse while I was sleeping. Woke up with what looked like an infected ingrown hair that quickly became a gaping hole of rotting black flesh. At the worst of it, you could see a small, half-centimeter spot of my bone.
Whatever, that's just background details for context.
So here I am with my parents standing in line at Wal-mart with a big white bandage around my arm hiding the gore underneath. I'm out of the woods and on the mend, but it's still hideous to see. A lady is standing behind us in line and spots my bandage. For some reason, she wants to know what happened. I give her a smile and say I got bit by a spider. She made a "yeesh" face and said she hoped it got better soon.
Me, with a shit eating grin: "wanna see it??"
Her: "Oh, uh, no that's fine. You should keep it-OH SWEET JESUS!!"
I didn't wait for her answer and just whipped it out. The lady was so grossed out by my disgusting rotting spider bite that she ended up vomiting in the aisle. She got it on my shoes, some of the random knickknacks they keep on shelving at check out, and all over the floor. Then, I, being weak in the stomach in those days, threw up, too. It was the smell that got me.
It was awful.
Today, I know that all happened because 12yo me was a trouble maker and brought it upon herself. It's hilarious now remembering this 40 or 50ish year old lady yelling "OH SWEET JESUS!"
Self Cleaning Toilet
I was 7 years old, on a stay cation with my family in Cornwall, England. It was a beautiful summers day. My brother and I were desperate for the bathroom, after walking around for what seemed like like forever we found a toilet block which you had to pay 20 pence to enter.
There was a line of people as this was the only bathroom around the nearby area. My brother goes in and does his business and then holds the door for me on the way out. I went in and sat down on the toilet, but this was far from a moment of relief...
The lights flickered frantically, the toilet (which I was sat on) started to move into the wall, cleaning products sprayed vigorously throughout the whole room, jetting out from the walls. In my panicked state, bare arse in the floor, I began screaming. I finally got out of the bathroom drenched from head to toe, looked distraught at all of the other people that had been lining up outside.
Everyone found this hilarious except for me. This was my 'Nam, you weren't there man... You weren't there.
I really wish my brother didn't hold the door as these toilets were self cleaning, which we clearly found out.
Enough To Mummify A Komodo Dragon
In 5th grade, I walked into Mrs. Buffalo's social studies class from the bathroom with toilet paper pinched inthe back of abercromie jeans, unbeknownst to me. Before I had a chance to sit down, my friend pulled out enough toilet paper to mummify a komodo dragon while the class roared.
As I type this now, I'm surprised I wasn't mocked for that beyond that moment. Probably because some other kid farted soon after. Still my go-to "most embarrassing" moment during drinking games.
Freshman year of college I was sitting in the stands to watch a soccer game at my university. A cute girl from my dorm walks up the stairs with her parents and looks over at me and smiles and says "hey!" and starts walking over with her arms out like she wants to hug. I was kind of surprised because I didn't know her that well, but I stood up and said hi and hugged her.
When we make physical contact she kind of stutters and says "oh, uh, hey," and then lets go of me and hugs the girl who was sitting next to me. Turns out she was going to hug her roommate, who I was sitting next to, and I intercepted it. It was about 100x more embarrassing than waving back at someone not waving to you, but I crack up every time I think about it now!