TGIF, RG2E Peeps!
Here’s the superfab LOL Bestselling Author Barbara Silkstone on turning Real Life Bloopers into Great Comedy…
If I just stand still for five minutes… wham! … something worth writing about will happen to me. I’ve crash-landed a hot air balloon, accidentally sky dived, been elected president of the Japan American Society (I’m not Japanese), been stalked by crazies, and ran off with a real life White Rabbit. The rabbit is my only regret.
The Japan America Society was founded in 1910 to honor distinguished leaders of both countries and to build economic, cultural, governmental and personal relationships between the people of Japan and America. It was my love for the culture and the language that put me in the right place at the right time. I was elected president of the Society in 1997. Never one to look away from a challenge, I took up the position with great enthusiasm.
My first official function as president was to host a dinner for an ambassador from Japan and the Japanese Consul General. Already a student of the language, I diligently practiced my first public speech. All eyes would be on me, the first female president. My supporters had taken a risk in backing me for the position. They were counting on my performance. I could not let them down.
The event was to take place in an upscale Japanese restaurant with acres of banquet rooms. Our room was the type designed with a sunken floor where guests settle into seats built below floor level. You have to shimmy down into a hole to get to your seat.
I wore a conservative suit with a pencil straight skirt. Chronically early, I arrived twenty-minutes ahead of time. The hostess walked me into the private dining area. I left my shoes at the door as is the tradition, and slid down into the sunken seats tucking my legs demurely under the banquet table. As I slipped into position my skirt rose up my leg. I tugged at the hem to adjust the skirt, catching my bracelet on my panty hose at mid-thigh. I struggled to free the gold links from the tougher than steel fibers of my run-resistant hose, sweating as I further entangled the jewelry higher up on my thigh. I had succeeded in affixing my right wrist to my right leg just a few inches short of obscene. The bracelet’s clasp stubbornly refused to release as I clawed at it with my left hand.
As the true horror of my situation sunk into my newly-presidential brain, ceremonial drums thundered announcing the arrival of the guest of honor and his entourage and all the guests who had gathered out in the lobby. I could stay seated and be rude, which would be unforgivable, or I could and did clamber out of the low seat, further tangling myself with myself. Unable to stand up straight with my wrist pinned to the upper part of my leg, I hobbled to the red carpet area… bent over, skirt jacked up to a distressing level, right wrist slammed against my thigh.
The looks I received from the dignitaries, especially those who had sponsored me for the position of president will stay lodged in my memory forever. The ambassador bowed to meet my “bow.” When I looked up at him, I zigged when I should have zagged and my bracelet got caught up even higher.
I excused myself and to the sounds of those wonderful Japanese drums marking my steps… I limped to the ladies room to remove my panty hose.
The next day we performed a ribbon cutting ceremony at one of the Disney resorts. Everyone was extremely polite and actually made eye contact with me. Toward the very end of the evening as I sat with the Japanese ambassador, he gestured toward my red hair. “I Love Lucy,” he said. There are some things that transcend language barriers and can be shared by all cultures. Slapstick is one of them.
Now… How I used this klutz-up in The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters. Alice is forced to represent herself in court. She is clueless but determined.
“What are they writing?” said Alice.
“Why they’re putting down their own names, in case they forget them before the trial is over.”
9:00 a.m. A bell rang and Leslie moved to his seat. The bailiff called the Court to order and the judge entered. We all stood.
The judge was female, about fifty-five, with a stubby body. She wore a long white wig like the judge in Alice in Wonderland. Bum luck pulling a lady-judge. I’ve learned that women are usually less compassionate with other women. She wasn’t going to be sympathetic to my flights of fancy. The worst part was she was probably in Leslie’s pocket.
As I slipped into position at our table my straight skirt rose up my legs. I tugged at the hem catching my bracelet on my pantyhose at mid-thigh. I struggled to free the gold links from the tougher than steel fibers of my run-resistant hose. My every movement succeeded in tangling me with myself. My right wrist felt permanently attached to my right thigh eight inches short of being obscene.
As the true horror of my situation sank into my brain, I watched the lawyers take turns going up to the podium to announce their names and whom they represented. Dallas Little was attorney for Leslie Archer. Glick waddled up to the stand, “George Blackstone Glick for the plaintiff, Algernon Green” he said in a big, booming voice.
“And for the Defense?” the judge asked.
I was sweating. I couldn’t stay in my seat. You had to walk up and announce yourself. I edged out of the chair bent over, hobbling, wrist on thigh, and skirt way up where it shouldn’t have been. I tried to act as professional as I could under the circumstances. I flashed the judge a self-deprecating smile.
“Alice Harte. I am here today in my own defense, Your Honor. I am pro se.” I couldn’t reach the microphone on the podium, so I spoke as loudly as I could considering my face was on my stomach.
The courtroom was silent; you could have heard a lawyer drop.
The judge looked flabbergasted. “Are you mocking me?” she snapped.
“Your Honor I have a problem. May I go behind the bench?”
“The correct terminology is ‘May I approach the bench?’”
I hunched forward, pigeon stepping toward her. There were twitters of laughter in the courtroom. The judge banged her gavel. “Silence. Ms. Harte if you are attempting to make a mockery of this court, I will not take it lightly. Now straighten up.”
The judge’s bench was a good three feet taller than my head. I waddled as close as I could and mouthed the words ‘Panty hose are stuck.’ She didn’t get it.
I figured if I could get behind the judicial platform I could take off my panty hose and roll them up with the bracelet and be done with it. The bailiff was one step behind me as I slipped around the bench and under the judge’s chair. I guessed he’d never seen anyone act that way in court before because he stood there dumbstruck and then broke into gales of laughter. The spectators joined him. The noise was so loud the judge’s gavel-banging couldn’t be heard. It was twenty minutes before they all got quiet and I felt secure enough to walk out from under the judge’s chair. I did so with all the dignity I could muster. I pretended I was Joan of Arc going to the stake.
“We will recess while the court regains its composure. Ms. Harte, I trust this is not a sign of things to come. I will not tolerate tomfoolery.”
I sat down next to Ron. “Ricky…”
“Welcome back, Lucy.”
The judge trounced back into her chambers with Dallas Little at her heels.
I turned to face a courtroom of laughing faces. The joke was on me. So far things were not going as smoothly as I had hoped.
Connect with Barbara here:
Bravo, Barbara!!! What a hoot! You know how much I luuuvvv your books! I’m tellin’ ya, RG2E Peeps, Barbara writes some of the most LMAO books available! Truly one of my all-time faves!!!
She’s not only giving away 10 Ebook Gift Copies of THE SECRET DIARY OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND, AGE 42 AND THREE-QUARTERS, she’s also treating one lucky winner to a T-shirt with the original cover’s Thugs Bunny!!! Let us know below if you’d like to win!!!
Thanks Bunches, Barbara!!! U rock, my friend!!! 🙂
The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder