by L. Stewart Marsden
“Hey! Watch this!”
You know I’ll bet a large percentage of most embarrassing moments come right after someone shouts this. Certainly true for me.
It was Labor Day, and a group of friends had gathered to play tennis at the public courts. Because dozens of others had the same plans, there was a wait.
Nearby the courts were some swing sets, outfitted with toddler seats as well as the flexible u-shaped seats. My three-year old daughter was with me, and I scooched her into a toddler seat and began to swing her.
“Weeeeee!” we both chorused as she swung out and back.
Directly in front of the swings, about 15 feet away, was a chain link fence separating the playground area where the swings were from a sandy beach that sloped down to the lake.
I let my daughter’s swing go and walked over to one of the “adult” swings.
“Wanna see Daddy do a trick?” I asked her. She smiled and giggled.
So I began to swing. Really high. Leaning way back on the reverse swing and flinging my legs straight on the on the forward.
Dressed for tennis. White polo and white tennis shorts. White socks and white Adidas.
A crowd of my friends along with dozens of unknowns, waiting for a court to free up.
“Hey! Lookit me!”
All eyes turned toward my voice as I completed a couple more swoopingly big swings. At almost the end of my forward swing, I launched myself. I was going to fake sling-shooting myself out over that chain link fence, only to simply fall from the seat onto the sawdusted ground in front of me. What a trick!
Those flexible seats, by the way, are fastened to the swing chains by large chrome S hooks. One of those S hooks, while I was swinging, had managed to work the bottom part of the S into my tennis shorts pocket.
All eyes on me. Slow-motion. Coming out of the seat to begin my fake leap. Feeling a tug on my tennis shorts. Feeling the shorts separate along the seams. Feeling me not only leave the swing seat, but my tennis shorts, behind as I flew into the air, a la Michael Jordan’s famous basketball dunk configuration. Out into the air. Free. Wearing my white polo shirt, my white socks and white Adidas, and white Hanes briefs, while the swing and my white tennis shorts stayed behind — no pun intended.
My shout for attention was still echoing over the lake, as was the uncontrolled laughter of my friends — and new friends.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?