Yet more ways to fail

As shown by my link to Failblog in the previous post, I’m only too happy to laugh at others’ failures. To play fair, however, I’m going to admit to some failings of my own, and invite you to do the same.

What stupid things are you brave enough to ‘fess up to?

(Stupid fun things. If you confess to murder, or to running a Ponzi scheme, I’ll be forced to call in the cops.)

Dumb things I’ve done:

  1. Got a perm. Twice.
  2. Soaked passengers in another car by deliberately driving through a flash-flood puddle and splashing them through their open windows, without first considering that they might then chase me across half of New Mexico.
  3. Agreed when the Husband said, “Yes, let’s take the kids to look at the dead elephant. How bad could it smell?”

19 responses to “Yet more ways to fail

  1. Oh yeah, I’ve done some stupid things..

    I got lost in the Shawnee National Forest for 3 days. No serious danger; the weather was good. I was just tired, hungry, embarassed and pissed off….not to mention being one large mosquito bite.

    I helped my brother stretch chain-link fencing on his property. Our tool of choice? His Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.

    Agreed to sneak backstage with a friend at a Ted Nugent concert. We discovered that Ted’s security people don’t like surprise guests.

  2. Oh yeah… one more:

    After being stopped by a Chicago Police officer for going the wrong way down a one-way street, I responded with: “But officer, I was only going one way.”

    Some people have no sense of humor.

  3. I argued with an elf in North Pole, Alaska, and was asked to leave the store. (The elf was trying to charge me double the cost of the penguin on a stick. I ask you!)

    I let my son car-surf out the car door while we drove through Arches National Park this summer. That meant opening the door, holding on to the handle and door, and dragging his feet on the pavement. (Lost the Mom of the Year Award for that one, I’m sure.)

  4. In my wild and misspent youth, my best friend and I decided we were bored (at 3 in the morning) and took a little hike to a 24 hour convenience store. Picture this: two teenagers, walking, alone, at night, down a main highway. Enter the local yokels, who, by the way, would not just let us go back to my house (about a mile away). Instead, they insisted they “escort” us back and inform the parental units. Well, girls just can’t have any fun! 🙂

  5. 1. Often played on the roof of the house as a kid. This was in Kentucky at a time when parents didn’t shirk the responsibility of strengthening the gene pool.

    2. On my first flying lesson, I didn’t completely close the Cessna door before takeoff. Didn’t need Lou Gossett there to demand my D.O.R.

    3. Complained to the university dean that my RA and all my dorm neighbors were raving lunatics to get out of my housing contract. Who could have guessed he’d try to rehabilitate them instead on my behalf?

    4. Try to brush my teeth with a Gillette razor (at least twice a week).

    That was chronological. Seems I’m not getting any smarter.

  6. Stacy McKitrick

    Locked the keys in my new car while at the Grand Canyon (by myself-on my way to Ft. Huachuca back in 1978) AFTER I told my Mom that I would NEVER lock my keys in the car, thus I didn’t carry the spare key around my neck.

  7. What a great place, Ft. Huachuca! Did you ever make it to the Sorry Gulch Saloon in Sierra Vista, Stacy? I was told by the locals it was still legal to shoot a man for cheating at cards there. While I was visiting, a man had his ear cut off in nearby Douglas. Not sure if that was legal or not.

    (Sorry for the digression.)

  8. Funny…. I know I’ve said many times, “What the F was I thinking!?” However, my mind doesn’t seem to want to recall any of them. Does it self-censor, I wonder, for greater sanity?

    I’ll give this some thought during yoga class and get back to you. Or ask my partner. Or my daughter.

  9. These are not arranged chronologically.

    1. Took my 8 year old son to see his first Shakespeare play: King Lear. We had to go and find the actor who played Gloucester at the interval in order to reinforce my claim that his eyes were fine and they didn’t go through an actor a night.

    2. Decided some years ago that my cat should have a birthday party. The can of tuna was fine. The lit sparkler was not. Picture a black cat launching himself backward over his owner’s shoulder. The angle of the photo made it look like his tail was on fire. It wasn’t. He is soon to turn 15 and there are no party plans.

    3. Set my cousin’s backyard alight by showing him how to use a magnifying glass to focus the sun…on a little pile of dry grass…in July…during a drought. There was charring, but not on the 9 year old offenders.

    4. In grad school took out a reserve book on a special extended loan and forgot about it. When the loan period ended (waaaay before the other books in my possession), the fines mounted up by the minute. It was $350 worth of minutes before I noticed. I wasn’t sure whether to feel grateful or offended when my claims of utter stupidity were accepted as grounds for reducing the fine to something that wouldn’t involve mortgaging the cat (not the same cat as in #3).

  10. During my attempt to obtain a higher education the University authorities banned fireworks because a few boisterous freshmen were letting them off at inappropriate times. My friend, who was studying theology, and I, emptied the powder out of several firecrackers and made one huge bomb which we placed at the entrance of the freshmen residence. We devised a timed fuse by inserting the fuse into the end of an un-filtered cigarette, which gave us enough time to be in bed by the time the firecracker exploded. It blew the front door of the residence off its hinges and broke several window panes. We arrived at the scene, along with the rest of the student body, sleepily rubbing our eyes and asking what the h… was going on.

  11. You can mortgage a cat?

  12. Let’s see, I was pretty small at the time, maybe 9, so I can claim innocence. I thought it would be lovely to hold in my hand one of the beautiful icicles hanging down from my neighbours’ eaves (on the low side of the house) so I grabbed hold of the biggest, intending to snap it off. Well, ice that solid doesn’t snap; it detaches itself from the eaves, along with the entire bank of icicles on either side. As the huge pointy weight of it all came crashing down on my tender little head, I know I was thinking a) that was really stupid and b) I’m going to be knocked out.

    I wasn’t, but I think that was the first in a long series of demands on my hardworking guardian angel.

  13. I not sure which one of us “failed” in this scenario, but my Dad was a farmer when I was growing up, and I worked closely with him on the farm when I wasn’t in school. We were working on his harvester between the end of the corn harvest and the start of the soybean harvest, switching out the thresher bars.

    Picture a reel mower and you have a notion what the thresher bars look like. It’s the part of the harvester that separates the grain from the chaff, and there are different bars for different grains. Obviously, or we wouldn’t have been changing them…

    The space where we were working was very close. And the bars, as they were unbolted and swapped, had to be refastened extremely tightly (think of how fast a fan spins and imagine that each blade was several pounds of high tensile steel – you don’t want that coming loose). There simply wasn’t enough room for one person to use two wrenches properly braced in there and still be able to apply enough torque.

    Why two wrenches? One on the bolt head on the topside of the thresher bar — this was a flat surface, no countersink to keep the bolt head from turning — and another on the nut on the inside of the cradle holding the bars. Between the two wrenches, Dad could tighten the bolt sufficiently.

    In this very tight space (the grain chute was behind the gathering head, on top of the engine, and in front of the grain bin) and working on the last bar, which was at the back of the compartment, neither one of us could brace the inside wrench. The solution? I held the inside wrench in place, while Dad used a ratchet wrench on the bolt head and a huge screwdriver to brace the wrench I was holding.

    While he was tightening that last bolt, the screwdriver slipped and caught me right in the forehead. I can’t authoritatively state that I was knocked unconscious, but in the darkness that followed the screwdriver’s collision with my head, my Dad’s voice yelling “Eddie! Eddie!!” sounded quite far away, and I was very comfortable with my eyes closed.

    The headache did eventually go away, and so did the screwdriver-shaped furrow.

  14. Stacy McKitrick

    Hey Jeff, Sorry – I don’t recall the Sorry Gulch Saloon in Sierra Vista. I checked with my husband and he said he didn’t remember it, either. I really enjoyed living in the area, though, since it’s the place I was married at!

  15. Meg, reading theses, does it give you an odd sense of who your audience is? Does it thrill or unnerve you? In one sense, you’re lucky many of us are alive!

  16. “Lucky” is one way of looking at it, Snart. But Meg will probably be too kind to point at that perhaps we’re just the most resilient stupidity has to offer 🙂

  17. age 11 (or 12?) … mom didn’t want me shaving my legs yet, but as i was a pasty white gal with DARK hair, it was getting unbearable to wear shorts in public. so i tried to shave them myself. forget about shaving cream – i didn’t even know to use water! it took over 2 days for the bleeding to completely stop, and two months for the scabs to heal … THEN mom taught me how!

    oh, and a close 2nd? breaking my leg falling out of bed last summer. no fun activities to blame it one, i was alone and asleep at the time.

  18. Snart, reading these answers gives me a huge pile of research material.

    I mean, a great sense of my readership.

  19. Susan, I didn’t own anything else that could possibly serve as collateral.

    Meg and Snart, perhaps this is why we are your readership. Nothing you can write really seems all that improbable anymore.

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