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    EMBARRASSMENT

    While she was enjoying a transatlantic ocean trip, Billie Burke, the famous actress, noticed that a gentleman at the next table was suffering from a bad cold. "Are you uncomfortable?" she asked sympathetically. The man nodded. "I'll tell you just what to do for it," she offered. "Go back to your stateroom and drink lots of orange juice. Take two aspirins. Cover yourself with all the blankets you can find. Sweat the cold out. I know just what I'm talking about. I'm Billie Burke from Hollywood." The man smiled warmly and introduced himself in return. "Thanks," he said, "I'm Dr. Mayo from the Mayo clinic."  

    Bits & Pieces, March 3, 1994, p. 24.


    My sister, Becky, prepared a pasta dish for a dinner party she was giving. In her haste, however, she forgot to refrigerate the spaghetti sauce, and it sat on the counter all day. She was worried about spoilage, but it was too late to cook up another batch. She called the local Poison Control Center and voiced her concern. They advised Becky to boil the sauce again. That night, the phone rang during dinner, and a guest volunteered to answer it. Her face dropped as she called out, "It's the Poison Control Center. They want to know how the spaghetti sauce turned out."  

    Contributed by Gene Solomon.


    When my wife, Diana, and I met a new couple at church one Sunday, we stopped to introduce ourselves and to exchange pleasantries. We described the friendly neighborhood we lived in, and listened sympathetically as they lamented that theirs was just the opposite. Saying our good-byes, we got in our cars and drove home. As we approached our house, we were horrified to see that our new-found friends were pulling into the driveway next to ours. 

    Contributed by Kent Eikenberry.


    As we were leaving the lobby of a hotel in which we were staying, our three-year-old son looked down at the doormat with the hotel logo on it. "Hey!" he exclaimed. "That's on our towels at home." 

    Contributed by Sandra Newman-Bentley, Reader's Digest, February, 1994, p. 50.


    Author Leo F. Buscaglia, on the moment he'd most like to forget: "When speaking in public I perspire profusely, and thus always carry a few neatly pressed white handkerchiefs. Once, before a large audience, I had already used two handkerchiefs. I reached for number three and proceeded to wipe my forehead--only to find to my horror that I was using a pair of pressed white briefs, underwear that had inadvertently been piled among the handkerchiefs. With as much poise as I could muster, I completed the dabbing and quickly returned the underwear to my pocket. I often wonder how many viewers in the national audience shared the 'brief' embarrassment. 

    Robert Morley, Pardon Me, But You're Eating My Doily!


    Avery's observation: It does not matter if you fall down, as long as you pick up something from the floor when you get up.


    28 members of a weight watching club on an outing in Australia suffered the exquisite embarrassment of having their bus sink up to its axles in a tarred parking lot.

    Source Unknown.


    Sir Thomas Beecham, the British conductor, once saw a distinguished-looking woman in a hotel foyer. Believing he knew her, but unable to remember her name, he paused to talk with her. As the two chatted, he vaguely recollected that she had a brother. Hoping for a clue, he asked how her brother was and whether he was still working at the same job. "Oh, he's very well," she said, "And still king."

    Source Unknown.


    At a ballet performance in Cape Town, South Africa, the music began and the curtain rose to reveal a workman on his knees, nailing down part of the set. He got up slowly, lifted his hands above his head in a graceful gesture, raised himself on his toes and pirouetted offstage.

    Source Unknown.


    The wife of a retiring bishop was impressed when she and her husband left the home of their host, the Episcopal bishop of Panama, and found a crowd waiting near the front of the house. Having seen these people during a morning church service, she greeted each one present and thanked them for such a warm good-bye. Her enthusiasm waned, however, when a city bus appeared and the puzzled crowd climbed aboard.

    Source Unknown.


    Steve Lyons will be remembered as the player who dropped his pants.

    He could be remembered as an outstanding infielder ... as the player who played every position for the Chicago White Sox ... as the guy who always dove into first base ... as a favorite of the fans who high fived the guy who caught the foul ball in the bleachers. He could be remembered as an above-average player who made it with an average ability. But he won't. He'll be remembered as the player who dropped his pants on July 16, 1990.

    The White Sox were playing the Tigers in Detroit. Lyons bunted and raced down the first-base line. He knew it was going to be tight, so he dove at the bag. Safe! The Tiger's pitcher disagreed. He and the umpire got into a shouting match, and Lyons stepped in to voice his opinion. Absorbed in the game and the debate, Lyons felt dirt trickling down the inside of his pants. Without missing a beat he dropped his britches, wiped away the dirt, and ... uh oh ...twenty thousand jaws hit the bleachers' floor.

    And, as you can imagine, the jokes began. Women behind the White Sox dugout waved dollar bills when he came onto the field. "No one," wrote one columnist, "had ever dropped his drawers on the field. Not Wally Moon. Not Blue Moon Odom. Not even Heinie Manush." Within twenty-four hours of the "exposure," he received more exposure than he'd gotten his entire career; seven live television and approximately twenty radio interviews.

    "We've got this pitcher, Melido Perex, who earlier this month pitched a no-hitter," Lyons stated, "and I'll guarantee you he didn't do two live television shots afterwards. I pull my pants down, and I do seven. Something's pretty skewed toward the zany in this game."

    Fortunately, for Steve, he was wearing sliding pants under his baseball pants. Otherwise the game would be rated "R" instead of "PG-13." Now, I don't know Steve Lyons. I'm not a White Sox fan. Nor am I normally appreciative of men who drop their pants in public. But I think Steve Lyons deserves a salute.

    I think anybody who dives into first base deserves a salute. How many guys do you see roaring down the baseline of life more concerned about getting a job done than they are about saving their necks? How often do you see people diving headfirst into anything?

    Too seldom, right? But when we do ... when we see a gutsy human throwing caution to the wind and taking a few risks ... ah, now that's a person worthy of a pat on the ... back. So here's to all the Steve Lyons in the world.

    Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, Word Publishing, 1991, pp. 247-248.


    In Ralph Emery's autobiography, Memories, the country- music D.J. and host of TV's "Nashville Now" relates one of his early experiences in radio: An exuberant man of the cloth came into the studio one day with his wife, another woman and a guitar with an electrical short in its amplifier. I could tell it was defective by the loud hum in his speaker.

    I walked from the control room into the studio to exchange pleasantries, and then assumed my position on my side of the glass separating the rooms. I raised the sound as they played their opening theme song and then said, "Here again is Brother So-and-So." These fundamentalist preachers, many self-proclaimed and well-meaning, were, however, loud and demonstrative. To escape the screaming, I would simply turn off the monitor in my control room. I couldn't hear any of his yelling, although I could see through the glass his jumping and straining. Every so often, I would raise my eyes from a newspaper and watch the Gospel pantomime.

    Suddenly I heard him yelling through his sheer lung power, "Oh-oh-oh-oh!" -- his face contorting. My God, he's having a seizure, I thought, and jumped to my feet. Then I noticed his thumb. The instant he had touched the steel string of his guitar and simultaneously reached for the steel microphone in front of him, he grounded himself because of the short in his amplifier. He was jumping and shaking at 110 volts shot through is torso. His moist palm was rigidly clamped to the microphone.

    The guy couldn't let go. He was a captive of voltage. Suddenly his wife raised her arm, and in karate fashion, hit his arm with all her force. The blow broke his grip from the charged microphone, but his painful yells had gone over the air. As calmly as I could, I said, "one moment please."

    With Tom Carter, Memories (Macmillan), Reader's Digest, June, 1992, p. 66.