We all have those moments. The times we look back upon and cringe at our lack of foresight, etiquette, restraint…underpants.
Like most people, I have plenty of jackass moments to mull over – like that time I went to meet the new boss. Or the time I wore through the back tires of a car because I didn't realize the parking brake was up.
The car wasn't mine.
But most often than not, my jackass moments are only witnessed by a few close friends or family members. Rare are the occasions where we make a fool out of ourselves in front of a large audience of people we don’t know.
But they do happen.
At least, in my case.
It was sophomore year of college. I had a presentation to do for Connecticut History class – the kind of presentation where you prepare slides that are flashed up on the big screen in front of an amphitheater full of students.
We had to pick a moment in history and show how it affected the people of Connecticut. I did mine on prohibition. I had a blast looking through old journal articles and collecting scandalous stories about organized Connecticut crime families, shoot outs, and farmers and factory workers who were secretly making moonshine and running underground speakeasies.
I usually do okay in front of an audience- once I get going. I remembered to project my voice, stay focused and only look down at my documents to remind myself of the next major points.
I gotta admit, my audience seemed pretty attentive. Compared to the Great Depression or fish farming - prohibition was a fairly interesting topic to my peers. It dealt with alcohol, breaking the rules, and secret parties, after all – everything you need to inspire a roomful of college students.
I was closing up my presentation when the professor opened the floor up to questions. There weren’t many and I can’t even remember most of them.
But I sure as hell remember the last one.
A fellow student raised his hand and asked ‘So, are you of dry or wet sentiment?’
It was a stupid question.
I should have thought about it a little longer. I should have phrased things in my head. But, like the jackass that I am, I took the bait and replied without thinking:
‘Oh, I’m totally wet.’
The room went silent and I immediately closed my eyes and cringed. ‘Katie…did you really just say ‘you’re wet’ in front of a hundred or so college sophomores?’
Yes, I did.
And it didn’t go unnoticed. The snickers could still be heard as I packed up my presentation and took my seat.
Such is the life of a jackass.
Any jackass moments you’d like to share?