Awkward Moments in Time

Last week I was at a music festival in San Francisco watching Ben Harper play. That’s not the awkward part. Ben Harper has a song called “With My Own Two Hands” which goes, “I can change the world with my own two hands…” It’s a great song and his band was jamming out and the crowd was going bananas. But there’s this part in the song where he starts repeating the refrain over and over again, “…with my own…two hands…two hands…two haaaaands.” And I turned around and saw this guy standing behind me who only had one hand. Not two.

And the whole crowd was singing along, “Two Hands! Two Hands!” And then the music stopped and people were just chanting “TWO HANDS” over and over again.

This man was on a date. And I could just see his thoughts, “Man, there’s just no escape is there, God? I come to this concert to forget about my missing arm for a few hours, I bring this cute girl along who I was hoping was gonna sleep with me, and now she thinks I can’t change the world — because I don’t have two hands. Was it really necessary to make a fifteen-minute song about this? You’re really fucking me up here…”

I felt so bad — as soon as the song finished, I wanted to do something nice for the guy – so I screamed out at the top of my lungs, “YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD WITH ONE HAND! BY THE WAY.” And I looked over at him and with his stubby arm, he gave me the finger, well, it was actually the wrist.


The other day I was at Bed, Bath and Beyond buying the Magic Bullet (As Seen on TV). And I had farted — this is important. There were no more Magic Bullets left on the display rack so I looked up and saw that there were a ton of them way high up on the very top shelf — where they stock them. I tried to climb up the shelves to reach one, but I couldn’t. So I turned around and saw one of the employees carrying one of those Poles Hooks – lucky day. I asked the guy if I could borrow it for a sec so I could get one of those Magic Bullets down from the shelf. And he said, “Absolutely not. Insurance issue. But I can do it for you.” Sure, I said, no problem. So the guy with the pole starts walking over right towards the spot where I had just farted. And it stunk. I didn’t know what to do, it was like sending someone into a burning building. So I just yelled, “Stop! Don’t walk over there.” And he froze — he just stopped right in his tracks — and he didn’t know what to do because it was so weird. He probably thought I was crazy — because he was just staring at me, waiting for me to explain why I made him stop. But I couldn’t come up with anything on the spot, so I just said, “I farted over there.” And he sort of just smiled, and then walked right over, stood in the middle of Ground Zero and grabbed me that Magic Bullet off the shelf with his pole. I didn’t tell him at the time, but I thought that was really admirable.


I used to jerk off to the couple that lives next door to me – they were always having really loud and raunchy sex. And I’d be up against the wall just whackin my penis. Then I found out it was two gay guys. Which made things a little awkward. Because if I had known that I would’ve jerked off way harder.


Whenever I try to throw something away in public – in front of people — like literally when I try to throw something into the garbage from a few feet away, nine times out of ten I always miss. And this is embarrassing because I was obviously trying to look cool in the first place and then I fail and have to go and pick my garbage up off the ground and throw it away a second time. And sometime I miss that one too. And that is probably just the absolute worst thing that can happen to a human being in this world. I don’t fuck around like that anymore though. Now I physically place things in the garbage. I put my hand all the way down to the bottom of the barrel and bury it deep beneath the cheeseburger wrappers and pickles — like I’m afraid it’s gonna jump out. And then I say, “Did you see that? I totally made it!”


When I was in college, I had this professor named Ron Boothe and he taught a class called The Psychobiology of Visual Perception. The only thing I learned was how to spell ‘Psychobiology’ (sp?). Anyway, it was this ridiculously hard class — your entire grade was based on one single test – the final. So the day before the final, everybody was freaking out because there was so much stuff to memorize and it was like absolutely impossible — and you couldn’t just write all the answers on your TI-82 and take it in with you — because there was no calculators allowed on this test. I used to convince my English teachers during tests that I needed to use my calculator. “It’s to count the words.” Anyway, the day before the test, we’re all freaking out until we get the luckiest email in the world. Our teacher sends us an email saying that the exam was postponed because he had to go visit his father who was in the hospital — which was great because we needed the extra time to prepare. So, the following week we’re all in class waiting for him to come in and give us the test. And the second he walks through the door, the first thing out of my mouth was, “No offense, but thank god you had to go visit your father last week, because none of us were even close to being prepared for this test!” And he goes, “Yeah…about my father…he was murdered.”

That was awkward.


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