So far, so good.
I made it to 15 minutes at the 25th high school reunion without anyone laughing at me. Perhaps everyone decided to put away that infamous incident that forever humiliated me back in the day when we were all students.
“Michael Bateman? Is that you?” a voice interrupted my thoughts. I turned around and saw Bob Rossa, a dear friend and fellow classmate who was in quite a few of my classes. He may have appeared older and grayer but he still had that unmistakable smile. Wait a minute, are those dentures?
“Bob! How have you been?” I exclaimed out as we embraced. “So how’s life treating you?”
“Life’s been good. I’ve landed a steady job managing the marina at Hasta Harbor, got myself a wife and got three sons I’m proud of. So what about you? Have you…”
Bob’s voice trailed off as if he was struck by a sudden revelation.
Here it comes…
“Wait a minute, we were in Spanish class together, weren’t we?” Bob smiled as a certain memory came back.
“Oh my gosh, it’s you! You’re the one who likes fast carrots!*
Bob started laughing uncontrollably and turned to the crowd of fellow reunion attendees.
“HEY EVERYONE! HERE’S THE GUY WHO LIKES FAST CARROTS!”
Slowly but surely the auditorium began to fill with laughter as everyone recognized me from that fateful day in Spanish class when I inadvertently became the laughingstock of the entire school. Everyone surrounded me as I became the center of attention with nonstop laughter from all around. Apparently no one was willing to just let it go, much to my humiliation.
Spanish class, 1985.
Mr. Rodríguez was chuckling to himself as he returned the graded essays everyone had to write in Spanish. As he returned mine, he announced to the class, “It seems we’ve learned something new about our friend Michael here. I never knew he likes fast carrots.”
As the class erupted in laughter, I frantically thumbed through my essay to search for the offending passage, and there it was, on page three.
Me gustan los carrots rápidos.
I like fast carrots.
I meant to say I liked fast cars but it was way too late to change that now.
Way too late.