Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bottoms Up

Oh yes. I outdid myself this time. Let's let the lead-in be that I basically replicated one of my favorite funny memories, except in the original, the star was a relatively famous but not very likeable Spanish professor, and in the remake, I'm in the lead role. Now, I like to think I've reached an age at which I generally no longer find humor in other people's embarrassment. Generally. Not that this actually has anything to do with the remake, but it plays into the original. Mostly nowadays I am a helpful person, with the occasional "excuse me sir, you dropped your credit card," or "sure, I'll direct you to the place you're trying to find," or "of course, let me help you finish up so you can get home a little earlier"...but I have to say, I laughed all day at the remake.

Anyway, the original is just a short story: ditzy but well-published Spanish prof arrives to class late after taking the subway in the rain. Now, she's been mean to the non-native speakers all semester, belittling American culture in off-handed comments to the class all along. (Can you tell this is me trying to justify something?)

Today she comes in and starts writing on the board without taking off her trench coat because she's late; so she starts writing and talking about some literary topic--it was actually a really interesting class, she's famous for a reason, I guess. She's speaking in Spanish, so I'm concentrating pretty hard...she takes off the trench coat and throws it over a chair and keeps writing and talking. About halfway through the class, I look up from my notes and I realize that the entire back of her skirt is tucked into the waistband of her nylons. Those icky tan control-top-type nylons. And for the rest of the period, I can't even look up, I'm trying so hard not to laugh; except I do look up, and she is feeling a draft or a breeze or something on the back of her....well, her backside, and waving her hand around back there, but not quite figuring out where the breeze is coming from; and occasionally she must feel like her skirt is a bit askew and she straightens it out a bit (but doesn't do any untucking,) and I'm trying to sneak sidelong glances at the other girls (no boys in this class, if there were, I might have acted more...helpfully) to see if they are reacting--and they all have their heads down too!
Finally I just get up and leave the little classroom early, because I really am on the verge of hysteria and I have to get out of there because I'm starting to shake and soon she's going to ask me if I'm okay in Spanish and then I'll have to answer her with tears rolling down my face and my voice wobbling, and then when she figures out that her bum was hanging out of her skirt all period, she'll know I knew, and kaplooey, failure of Spanish Literature 205 or whatever it was.

Well, in today's remake, I head back from lunch after a quick stop in the ladies' room; I did notice that my skirt seemed quite puffy posteriorly, and I checked but it didn't seem out of place (I am sensitive to the skirt stuff because of the above story) so I went about my business, literally--and I'm sure I passed some co-workers in the hall. But it wasn't until I was talking to a nice grandmotherly type (client, not colleague,) when she interupted me and said, "your skirt's all wrapped up, and I'm sure you don't want go around with your bum hanging out!" So I rapidly rearranged things, (I hadn't even felt a draft or a breeze!) laughed hysterically for about ten minutes (rather inappropriately, I must add) and then tried to get back to work. Every once in a while I would erupt in hysterical laughter, prompting odd looks and questions about what I was up to from colleagues--even now I can't write this without laughing. Man, it's a good thing this remake wasn't set in high school--can you imagine the fallout? Probably not that cool to be well-known but not popular.

And that's what I get for dressing up. Thank you, helpful grandmotherly lady! I think I'll wear pants tomorrow.

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