Good Friday to you, oh wise Dopelings!
I’m in the mood for some stories. But not just any stories. I’m looking for a particular kind of story. Stories that include the phrase “…and the [place] went silent.” For example, “I belched, and the restaurant went silent.”
Your story can be funny, embarassing, lame, true, fictional…whatever. Making your story entertaining is always a plus. Here’s my story to kick things off:
Back in high school I was in the marching band. (I played trumpet, if you’re interested.) I was an outgoing, jovial guy, at least around my fellow band geeks. I was also a bit of a leader, both within the trumpet section and within the band as a whole. I was, you might say if there were such a thing, a band stud.
One day we hopped in buses and headed up the highway a ways to a major statewide band competition. We’re talking thousands of band geeks from dozens of bands. For some reason even though we didn’t perform until later in the evening, we arrived pretty early in the day. That gave us plenty of time to goof around, and a little time to rehearse. By the time we finished performing and sat around for the awards ceremony, we were all pretty pooped. We had also consumed mass quantities of caffeinated beverages. Y’all know what happens when teenagers are both exhausted and caffeinated.
Anyway, after the awards ceremony we, and every other band geek from every other band, headed back to our buses. Imagine, if you will, hundreds of school buses, all of them running, belching massive clouds of disel fumes. Mmm, tasty stuff, right? Yeah, not really. We sat in that yellow sea of school buses for 25 minutes, all the while inhaling noxious gases. Combined with exhaustion, hunger, and extreme over-caffeination, it was a recipe for Bad Things.
I felt ill. Really ill. Once we got on the road I sat with my head pretty much hanging out the window, trying to get fresh air and trying not to puke (which would be a definite image-killer). The folks near me knew I wasn’t feeling well. The girls in the back – friggin’ snotty flag line chicks who did not fit in well with the rest of the band – did not.
Eventually the flag chicks got cold. They all put their windows up, as did most everybody else. I would have been happy to do the same, but the fresh air was really helping me feel better, and nobody near me minded that I left the window open. The flag chicks asked (told?) me to close my window. I politely told them that I would as soon as possible, but not right then. One or two other people mentioned to them that I was keeping the window open in an effort not to toss my cookies. They griped a bit, but I tried to ignore them. They kept complaining. I was getting annoyed.
Somehow or other, while discussing the issue amongst themselves, they decided that the reason I wouldn’t close my window was that I couldn’t – that I wasn’t man enough, or strong enough, or whatever. They found this entertaining. One of them stood up and yelled out to me “If you were a real man, you’d be able to shut that window!” This caused much joy and laughter among the flag chicks. Zing! They’d gotten me. I snapped. I stood, turned around, glared at them and said, in a forceful yet understated voice:
“Oh yeah? Well, if you were all real women, you’d be at home in the kitchen right now!”
And the bus went silent.
I sat back down and resumed my nausea, fully aware that the bus was dead quiet for a good 30 seconds. When I finally felt like puking wasn’t imminent some ten minutes later I closed the window.
Best of all, when we got off the buses I fully intended to apologize for lashing out. As I started to do so, the flag chicks apologized profusely to me, saying that they felt just terrible for being so rude to me. Somehow my totally sexist (in a humorous way), moderately rude outburst was completely excusable and even understandable.
And thus was born the inside joke of "If you were a real [fill in the blank], you’d [fill in the blank] among my friends, all of whom loved me for getting such a great dig in on the flag chicks.