Academically, I’m considered a pretty smart girl. I’m a Phi Beta Kappa, was active in many academic honor societies, and generally got high grades in all my coursework (both in public school and in college). But, despite all this education and all these book smarts, I’m also quite capable of saying (and doing) dumb things, as are we all. Sometimes, there ain’t a drop of sense in my head, as the following anecdotes will show, rather plainly:
Hanging Up a Towel to Dry
One day during the summer I was 10, I had gone up to my uncle and aunt’s house about a half-mile away to swim in their backyard pool with my cousins. We had a great day swimming, and by the time I walked back to my house, my beach towel was completely sodden. I hung the beach towel on the bathroom doorknob when I got in, and promptly forgot about it as I took care of rinsing out my bathing suit and getting a shower to get all the chlorinated water out of my hair.
A few hours later, Mom came downstairs and was incensed to find that I’d left the beach towel hanging up to drip slightly-sandy water all over the bathroom floor. “What were you thinking?” she asked, showing me the dirty towel and the yucky bathroom floor. “You should have put the towel straight into the washer if it was dirty!”
“But Mom,” I argued back, “I had to hang it up to let it dry before I could wash it!”
…It made sense in my head… V_V
A few years ago, I was attending college on a campus full of one-way streets. I had heard a lot of my friends complaining about them, saying that the path to one of the more centrally-located dorms was a particularly large pain in the posterior.
“Well, I never have any problems getting to that dorm,” I replied one time. “I found a shortcut.”
There was indeed a street that wrapped back around the dorm in question, and was easy to get to from the side of campus that we always approached from. All you had to do was turn left when you got past the cafeteria building and looped up toward the infirmary, and you could get to the back of the dorm really easily.
I had been going that way for as long as I could remember. Thus, I was shocked when a campus police cart pulled up behind me one day, its lights and horn going, as I was leaving campus for the weekend (since it was not only a shortcut to the dorm, but to the main road out of campus). I pulled to one side of the road and rolled down my window, expecting him to say I had a burned-out taillight or something.
“What are you doing?” he asked as he approached the window.
“I’m heading out of campus,” I said, gesturing forward as I spoke.
“Didn’t you see the signs?” he asked, and he pointed across the street, to a “Wrong Way” sign facing in my direction. Apparently, I had disregarded that one…just like I’d disregarded the four other “Wrong Way” signs I had already passed. My shortcut, it appeared, was indeed handy–but it was illegal.
(And don’t worry about my “record”–the campus police officer let me go, after I explained myself, with a laugh and a warning not to do it again!) XD
And now for the piece de resistance…
Hey Guys, Come Check This Weird Name Out!
When I was in 9th grade, I was taking Physical Science, and the teacher had a map and chart up of history-making hurricanes displayed on the wall near his desk. Having always been fascinated by the study of weather, I came in early one day and busied myself studying all the hurricanes listed on the map–where they hit, what time of year, how strong they were, etc.
One hurricane in particular caught my eye–it had struck southern Texas in 1899, and was named “Unna-med” (I mentally pronounced it “Oo-nah-mehd”). “WOW!” I thought. “That must have been a really active hurricane season–they got all the way to the U’s in the alphabet!”
Then I wondered what the name “Oo-nah-mehd” meant. “Wonder if it’s based on an ancient Aztec or Mayan word?” I mused. “It’s a really unusual name for a hurricane, but being that it hit so close to northern Mexico, they might have gone with an international name rather than an Americanized name.”
My head buzzed with this all day. I came home and told Mom and Dad about my discovery, and they were curious as well. I told them that I was going to school tomorrow to show the other kids what I’d learned and maybe ask my teacher about it. (Remember, kids, this was in 1999 before the Internets was the phenomenon that it is today. My family didn’t even HAVE internet at home yet, so I couldn’t go home and look it up–if I could have, I could have saved myself a fail. XD)
Anyhow, I got to school the next day and excitedly told all my friends about the crazily-named hurricane I’d found. They wanted to see the map, and I told them to come with me to my science classroom so I could show them. We were all pumped.
I tore up the stairs to the second-floor science classroom, put my stuff down at the desk, and went over to the map, easily finding the aforementioned storm name. I looked…and there it was. “Unnamed.”
“Where’s the cool storm name?” one of my friends asked, as she ran into the room after me.
All I could do was stand there and laugh, nervously. “Um…yeah, you’re not going to believe this, but…I totally misread the name,” I said, sheepishly.
“Wait, huh?” my other friend asked. Then she looked at the map, and where my finger was pointing.
“Unnamed?” she asked, furrowing her brow. “But you said it was…”
“Oo-nah-mehd,” I finished, and we all burst into giggles. Yes, that’s right, I had just figured out an exotic new pronunciation for the word “unnamed.” Fail complete, facepalm in progress. XD
And Yes…All These Stories Are True
Embarrassingly true. I think God’s “common sense” jar was empty the day I came through. XD But I have to be honest about myself (both my awesome moments and my laughable fails). Sometimes, it pays to remember we’re all human, and laugh about it. ^_^