Senator Sarbanes with President George W. Bush
And there was the time when I was eating lunch in Portugal with a co-worker. We were dinning with a senior colleague of ours who lived and worked in Portugal and were enjoying some pretty good BBQ chicken. Well, it seemed our senior member was enjoying it a bit more than we were because he managed to smear BBQ sauce all over his cheeks in the process. Did that stop him or even slow him down? Nope.... He continued to inhale his food while we fought back the laughter until tears came from our eyes. We still joke about that luncheon today. But never did we let on to our colleague that he amused us so.
I'm sure that I've unknowingly been on the opposite end of such humorous blunders but that doesn't make them any less funny. I'm happy that I could provide the entertainment. But let me tell you about another such experience that I enjoyed nearly two weeks ago. At the last minute, I discovered that I needed to fly to Sacramento, California for the day. I was able to book a flight on short notice but the flight that worked best for me was on an express carrier that flies smaller regional jets. No problem, I was happy to get a seat with such short notice. I even managed to get an exit row seat which I find attractive because of the extra leg room.
Surprise! Surprise! I walk on the airplane and in the seat next to me is possibly the biggest, widest person I've sat next to in a while. I greeted him pleasantly.... "Hi, How ya doing?" he replied.... "Very Well Thank You!" Not just okay. Not fine. Not alright. But "VERY WELL." Interesting I thought - and I fought back the urge to engage him in conversation and discover what on earth is going so right for him that he can shout out "Very Well" to the "how ya doing" question. Instead, I pulled out my ear phones and plugged them into my ears launching the international signal which says: Please don't talk to me - I don't want to be bothered. I know, sometimes that's a bit rude but I wasn't really interested in playing the 20 questions game. I just wanted to grab a quick nap after a busy weekend and early morning.
Anyway, that's when it started. You know.... The elbow and shoulder footsies game! I'm not a huge guy but at 6' 1" with slightly broad shoulders I've learned that when traveling in anything other than First class or Business class I've got to be prepared to do the shoulder rub thing with whoever might be next to me. And let's not discuss the armrest protocol. That's an entirely different subject. So off I went. I started slowly, leaning mostly into the aisle initially, thank God I had an aisle seat! Before long we were airborne and I tried to relax a bit. I put my head back on my seat and closed my eyes. I pretended that the soft fleshy sensation next to me wasn't the body of some strange man but instead was the cushion of some nice Italian lounge chair carefully crafted to fit my body.
That's when it hit me... Ouch! I thought. Something is sticking me in my arm. Has the lining come free from my luxurious lounge chair to leave a nail or tack to stick me? I opened my eyes and looked down to see the funniest thing!
Oh No, tell me this isn't happening - I thought. Mr. "Very Well Thank You" has forgotten to take the sales tag off of his shirt and it's sticking me in the arm. Yes! Right there not even a foot from my face. So close that I could read it. KMART, Size 3X. I could even read the price. $16.99 each or 2 for $28.00. I'm sure he got the "volume" discount. That's too good of a deal to pass up.
So now I was faced with a dilemma. Do I tell this guy his tag is poking me in the arm and risk the chance of embarrassing him. Or do I suffer through this and pull out my Blackberry and discreetly snap a photo. I pondered..... This will make a great blog post somehow.... (snicker)
And the rest is blog history.
Mr 3X, I'm not sure where you are today but if you find yourself somehow reading this post, please be aware that you have a KMart sales tag hanging from at least one of your shirts! I'd suggest you run to your closet and check them all. Tomorrow you may laugh at me but today it's your turn to be laughed at!