Cumberland Times-News

Columns

November 3, 2012

Some bad moments worse than others

There are first awful moments — and then there are first awful moments. I suppose some would define a first awful moment as the one in which they had just stepped outside the door and then realized they hadn’t put on their makeup. (That would probably have to be a woman, in most cases.) Another similar awful moment is stepping outside the door, and realizing you accidentally locked it — and don’t have the key.

There are a lot of first awful moments in life, and it’s hard to gauge the relative awfulness, especially when the moment is progressive.. Like the time I chomped down on a piece of bone FAM! while eating a hamburger, and, only after fishing it out, realized it was not a bone at all, but a piece of tooth. SAM! Luckily (or not), after further investigation, it turned out to be MY tooth TAM! — and even more luckily, I had not yet complained to the hamburger joint manager. But still, it WAS my tooth. Which makes it a first awful moment , multiplied at least three times.

Just to reassure you, I will not be dealing with the worst fams, but with minor fams that still give you a thrill. The kind of minor first awful moment that happens when you suddenly realize that you have just turned onto Oldtown Road while they were repairing it, or laying lines underneath, or whatever, that rendered it impossible to drive on further to reach your destination. FAM! You managed this by ignoring those boring signs that may have mentioned it earlier on. And you are at this very awful moment driving wrong way on the single lane roadway that has been prepared for (and is now carrying) traffic coming — the other way.

Another first awful moment that happens to me sometimes is at the computer when, with no such intention, I realize FAM! I just clicked on “Send” instead of “Save.” Or worse yet, when I have just completed an entire column for the paper and then accidentally flip some key (I have still not figured out which key this is) which sends the whole article into computer purgatory, never again to be seen by the human eye — or at least mine.

Now, I know, there is some key somewhere that will, if you are very careful and don’t touch any key before that one, restore to you your lost masterpiece — but sometimes I don’t seem to be able to locate it. Or, if I do, it doesn’t do the job, this time around. At best, it might restore the article I lost last week, though that’s no sure bet either.

A very subtle first awful moment was the time recently I realized , not so much that I was old — but that I pretty much started turning the corner into middle age — 50 years ago! To realize one is almost 50 years PAST middle age — FAM!

Then there is that first awful moment when you realize that you have just pressed your medic alert button while playing with the dog. Yes, I have one of those buttons, thanks to my daughter who virtually forced me into a corner and twisted my arm to make me do it. (Although, I must say when she succeeded I was, well, a little, relieved, but don’t tell her that.)

Rusty and I were playing tug-of-war with his favorite toy, and we had a good one going (which I was winning, if I say so myself), when suddenly I heard this disembodied voice in the next room, intoning, “Emergency, emergency, emergency.” “What emergency?” I thought to myself, “I’m winning!” when I suddenly realized that somehow we had activated the alarm. Well, I got it all straightened out with the attendant, and we laughed together (at my stupidity) — and several days later it happened all over again. FAM! and FAM!

Another first awful moment has been known to occur to me when I took an anti-diarrheal pill and then realized it was a generic-type Ex-Lax pill instead. Oh, FAM!, FAM!, FAM!

And can you imagine the first awful moment when you realize that you just baked your hearing aid in the dinner pizza. FAM! (Not me, but I heard about it from my hearing-aid man.)

Other first awful moments for me personally, include the moment (several times a year) when I realize I turned on the dryer, while the air conditioning was running. My house can’t handle both at the same time. And I ‘m no good with breakers. Oh, FAM it!

There is nothing that matches such first awful moments, for their sheer horror, shock, and cold sweat down the back. (Except maybe the second awful moment.)

And finally there is that first awful moment when you realize that, Maude, there have been one heck of a lot of first awful moments lately — could it have anything to do with your age?

FAM!

Maude McDaniel is a Cumberland freelance writer. Her column appears on alternate Sundays in the Times-News

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Happy Easter

    For the world’s more than 2 billion Christians, Easter is the day that defines their faith.
    The exact date of Christ’s resurrection is unknown, and even the precise locations of his crucifixion and burial are uncertain. This hasn’t stopped some people from saying they know the answer to these questions and others from trying to find out for themselves, or simply arguing about it.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Odds are good that you didn’t know this

    Odds or Probabilities fascinate many people. There is a special website called www.BookOfOdds.com and an accompanying location on Facebook at /BookofOdds .This website lists 400,000 odds. Three of the people who are involved in this media display have coauthored a book, “The Book of Odds” that presents some of key odds, drawing from polls and statistics published in journals. The authors are A. Shapiro, L.F. Campbell and R. Wright. This paperback was published this year by Harper Collins with ISBN 978-0-06-206085-3.

    April 20, 2014

  • Trivial questions you don’t have to answer

    Every so often in this life, my mind, all on its own, generates questions that have no real answers. So I have decided to pass them on to you. I’m tired of them. If you come up with any answers, let me know. Remember when TV jealously guarded the time zone before 9 p.m. for wholesome shows that children could watch. My gosh, how many years ago was that? It seems like another world nowadays, when you can see murders, torture and rape, or those implied, every hour on the hour, somewhere on your public screen. It might be comforting then, to remember that most children nowadays are glued to their little machines with whole different worlds on them, that they can access all day long. Except that in these different worlds they also can view murders, torture and rape on demand.

    April 20, 2014

  • Think it’s not a small world? You’re wrong

    Yes, you read that right in the paper a couple of weeks ago. I covered a wedding as a newspaper reporter. I’ve retired from doing regular stories because my primary duties lie elsewhere, and I don’t have the time or mental energy for it. But I agreed to do it for a couple of reasons, one of which goes back more than 40 years. The former proprietor of The Famous North End Tavern told me about a wedding that was to take place at the Lions Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care, where his wife works.

    April 20, 2014

  • No Bambi for you, Mrs. Doe

    Some people want so badly for deer birth control to work that they actually think it will, even on wild populations.
    I wish I had a couple bridges to sell.
    A week ago on the Outdoors page we ran the deer there do what deer  everywhere do. They eat the easiest food available such as gardens and ornamental plantings. They walk in front of moving cars. They give ticks and  parasites a place to live.

    April 19, 2014

  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014

  • Terps need to move and move quickly

    The good news is Maryland will never have to play another basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Goodbye, good riddance, sayonara, smell ya, no more of you, stay classy, we won’t let the door hit us on the way out.
    Until we see you in court.

    April 13, 2014

  • Sunday hunting Sunday hunting

    Legislation that increases hunting oppportunities on Sundays in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties has passed the Maryland General Assembly and reached the governor’s desk.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • You’ll never guess who the real hero was (He was six feet tall and bulletproof)

    Most folks know about the 20th Maine’s bayonet charge that repulsed the Rebels at Little Round Top because they watched the movie, “Gettysburg.”
    Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy post ourselves a hundred yards or so away from where it happened in real life. Tourists frequently ask us how to find it.

    April 13, 2014