EST. May 2000 (AD)


Popular Columns:

Best Foot Forward

By Pamela Miller

To those of a certain age, being openly boastful about one's abilities may be perceived in a negative light. They were raised to believe, "If you have to toot your own horn, it doesn't need tooting." Well, stand up Satchmo and show your style, your flair, your outstanding abilities. Are you tops in butter churning? Well, don't let your Amish background prevent you from churning with glee. Is hopscotch your secret weapon? It's not just for the pig-tailed set. You're Number One, even though it's not technically possible for everyone to be the best simultaneously in the same area of distinction. Forget the math-based quibbles and show off.

The only thing stopping you from achieving outstanding recognition for your special talent is the occasional misstep, such as wearing tap shoes to clogging camp. We are all flawed, and yet all wonderful, so every wonderful person makes mistakes. The best examples come from real life, so here are actual fabulous people momentarily slipping into the abyss of embarrassment. These achievers lived to tell the tale, which additionally makes them superlative in the field of bitter truth.

Jocelyn C-Oregon.

Jocelyn was whipping up a batch of ratatouille for twelve, an enterprise that was taking three hours. She made the mistake of changing her shirt to evening dress during a crucial moment in the cooking cycle. While energetically stirring the ratatouille, an errant cube of eggplant flew through the air and landed on her white blouse. She quickly doused the front of the shirt (over the right breast), with a healthy amount of club soda. Just then, a guest knocked on the door. She could have ignored the door, or run to the bedroom to change into a dry garment. Instead, Jocelyn flung open the door and wished her guest a cheery hello. Her guest, taken aback with the sight of her wet clinging blouse, asked, "Are you lactating?" In her initial embarrassment, she was momentarily silent. Once she regained the power of speech, her weak recovery was to comment on his Jedi Braid, which made her appear intolerant to members of the Jedi Church. Plus, she was still standing in front of him, looking for the all the world like a contestant in a wet T-shirt contest. This was not putting her best foot forward.

Candace P-Missouri

Candace was proud of her medical achievements. Her dentist boasted that she had the best dental hygiene in two states. Her pulmonologist dubbed her "the Queen of Compliance." Now she was getting a mammogram. As per instructions, she affixed the round sticker with the metal BBs to the centralized areas of examination, did not complain of discomfort, and decided on a panini for lunch. She did, however, forget to remove the BB stickers following the exam. She was catching a flight to Tucson and apparently did not have time to spare. The BB pellets set off the airport metal detector, leading to a missed connection, an embarrassing personal moment with a member of the TSA, and a snagged undergarment. Candace P is still a medical miracle, but now she's a little bit more careful in her post X-ray dressing and grooming.

Clarence T-Connecticut

Clarence is the first one to tell you that he knows every bit of trivia about Blarney Castle. Kissing the Blarney Stone, a rather filthy enterprise truth be told, bestows the gift of eloquence. During Clarence's visit, he tripped over a party of revelers from Vancouver Island, was smashed into the stone façade by a team of construction workers positioning a scaffold, and trod on a bed of shamrocks, an injury punishable with jail time in County Cork. He should have skipped the kiss, but he had a goal. He wanted to kiss the Blarney Stone without being held, without losing consciousness from the precarious positioning, and without dropping his glasses. Alas, it was a trifecta of missteps, and his glasses were the first to hit the ground. Two football players from Duluth caught him before he could follow the glasses, and though it wasn't necessary, gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Clarence is quick to concede that perhaps he was a bit foolhardy. He remains the most eminent Blarney Castle scholar in Connecticut.


Millie made the mistake of using both her hands to shake the single hand of her psychiatrist. Though this was meant to convey her deep gratitude, her overwhelming respect for his skills, his warmth and truth and beauty and grandeur, the psychiatrist viewed this as a seductive move. Millie is currently shopping for a new psychiatrist.

Copyright © 2008 by Pamela Miller


Pamela Miller saves the world by day, writes by night, and wishes she could find a hotter place to live than Phoenix. The world is simply too cold.