136. embarrassing stories
I was a sophomore in college and it was finals week. One of my classes was a Survey of Philosophy (Phil 100) and because the final was scheduled for the last day of school, the prof offered the option to take the final earlier in the week in the Philosophy department library. So I get to there and all the seats around the table have been taken. So I take one of the seats around the edge of the room but there’s no table to write on so I sit cross-legged and put the blue book in my lap.
Anyway, this is a philosophy class so of course the final is short essay style. I’m writing away and making good progress when I get that feeling. You know that feeling where you need to fart and you know it and it’s one of those where you know it’s not going back up from whence it came no matter how long you hold it in? Yeah, that’s the feeling I had. So I’m in the philosophy department library with maybe twenty five to thirty other students working on their essays and as you can imagine, it’s dead, still, granite silence.
Okay, so you know that feeling when you know you have to fart but you think it’s going to be a silent one? Well that’s what I thought but in a room where a pin drop would have sounded like an avalanche, my otherwise tiny, high-pitched “pweeeeesssst” rang out across the room like a bottle rocket. Again, this is a philosophy final and so the room didn’t explode with laughter. That would have been a relief, instead the room stayed silent but the tension in the air was volatile. One little chuckle or snort and everyone would have been rolling. Everyone wanted to laugh, you could taste it in the air, but everyone held it in.
Anticlimactic, I know and so I share another…
I can’t remember what I was doing that night, maybe I was driving home from a gig with my band. Anyway, it’s late and I’m driving home and it’s one of those drives where you’re right on the edge of falling asleep and the only thing keeping you awake are those plastic bumps dividing the lanes that you keep drifting into. But I’m almost home so I keep going. I don’t know how, but I finally make it home. I pull into the garage, turn off the engine, turn off the lights, put my head back into the headrest and succumb.
I don’t know how long I was out but I wake up with a jolt! I still have my hands on the steering wheel and I’m thinking that I’m still on the road driving (because I’d caught myself dozing a dozen times that night). So my first instinct is to slam on the brakes. I’m mashing the brake pedal to the floor but I’m confused because it doesn’t feel like I’m slowing down. And then I notice that it’s pitch black out my window and I start thinking that I’ve driven over a cliff and I’m free-falling into space. I’m out of my mind, thinking I’m going to die when I realize that my car lights are off. I flip them on and I swear I see the back of my garage rushing up to meet the front of my car – see, in my head, I’m still thinking that I’m speeding down the road out of control or flying through the air off a cliff and so when I see the back of my garage, I’m thinking that I’m traveling at some ungodly speed and I’m about to crash through the back wall. And so I start slamming on the brakes again and I’m putting my arms up in front of my face to shield myself from the inevitable chaos of glass and sheet metal. . .
And then I figure it out. I remember making it home and falling asleep in the car seat. I turn the lights back off, get out and go to bed but now I’m so wired, I can’t sleep and I’m too tired to laugh at myself, until the next day when I tell my friends what happened. From then on, it’s been one of the funniest things that ever happened to me.