Readers share strange, weird tales and feats
Last week I challenged readers to share any amazing, odds-defying feat they had accomplished, either accidentally or on purpose, and promised to give signed copies of my book, "Hey, Waiter, There's an Umbrella in My Drink!" to the Two 2 weird tales.
I even shared several strange but true feats I had achieved, like hitting a cue ball off of a pool table and having it land in a pitcher of beer and throwing a shelled, dry-roasted peanut across a bar and sticking it into the ear of a lawyer.
Well, many readers seemed to confuse "amazing feats" with "embarrassing incidents" and so I received many tales of shocking personal humiliation and borderline criminal behavior. But most weren't all that special, like the lady who said she walked through a restaurant with a stream of toilet paper, stuck in her pants, fluttering behind her. Hey, before they invented disposable toilet seat covers, a lot of us obsessive-compulsive germaphobes did the old toilet paper fluttering parade walk through restaurants thing.
But I did get a few amazing feat stories. The funniest came from Kathy Kahikina, a University of Hawaii football team manager in the '80s and '90s. "A quarterback" (she ID'd him only by number: 18) used to tease her by calling her by the wrong name (Clarence, French Fry, etc).
One day at practice he called her "Lori," which, for some reason, was just too much for her and she got mad. "I pick up a football and throw it as he is jogging away, with the intent of hitting him on the back number and instead I nail him on the back of his head. And he wasn't wearing a helmet."
Everyone saw it, she says and all No. 18 could do was grin and point at her, as if to say, "I'll get you for that, French Fry." Actually, I made up the French Fry, Clarence names, but you know No. 18 had to be ticked off about getting beaned by some chick in front of all his buddies. Kathy concedes she wasn't aiming for his head but, you know, sometimes things just seem to work out.
The second amazing feat isn't as dramatic but is something we can all identify with. When John Henderson was in elementary school they used these things called "fountain pens," ancient writing implements. The pens had these slender ink cartridges. One day, John was fooling around with his friends and dropped one of the ink cartridges and it landed on the floor STANDING UPRIGHT!
"It was like dropping a penny and having it standing on edge!" John said. Of course, he picked it up before anyone could see and then no one believed he had done it, which is exactly the kind of amazing feat I was looking for.
Those are the kind of incidents that taught us -- for the first times in our young lives -- that there was a God and he was messing with us. They seem like small things at the time but we never forget them.
Look at John, he's 146 years old now and still hasn't gotten over it. I congratulate John and Kathy on their weird, true feats. Enjoy the books.
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org