100-Day Challenge – Day 5

Write about a moment when you said or did something extremely embarrassing or accidentally insulting. Go into detail about the feeling of mortification, and how you felt after you said it.

Does this help exorcise the guilt/embarrassment at all? Can you imagine a fictional character going through the same process?

^ ^ ^

I was 18, fresh out of boot camp and a new student in air force electronic school. For those to whom physics and the understanding the flow of electrons came easy it was a walk in the mark. Me? It was the most difficult thing I’d ever faced. Six hours of school each day plus an additional six or eight, or even ten hours in the barracks was not uncommon for me. I was running on reserve.

Because I carried the rank of E-1 – no stripes – a lot of extra duty came my way. One one of them to don a white waiter jacket and serve food in the chow hall for the noon hour rush. Rumors stated that the serving line handled 1,200 people per hour.
It was Friday. Everyone was tired and pissed.
My job was to serve strawberries with this giant serving spoon. It looked pathetic, but the mess sergeant gave me definite instructions: two strawberries. No more. I don’t care if President Eisenhower himself comes down this serving line he gets two strawberries. IS THAT CLEAR?”

“YES SIR.” I replied.

Someone opened the door and the procession began. It was a madhouse and everyone, I mean everyone, complained about their two strawberries. I held my tongue.
Then along came a burly E-5, an NCO with a big mouth.

“What’s going on here? You paying for those strawberries our of your own pocket?” he bellowed.

“Blow it our your A**,” I replied.

I could not believe my mouth said that.

The E-5 reached across the food line in an attempt to grab my collar and drag me into the dining room. I backed tight against the wall, shed my waiter coat, sprinted through the kitchen and then jumped off the loading dock. And I didn’t stop running until I was safely inside my barracks. Fortunately, my waiter coat concealed my name tag, so the Staff Sergeant didn’t know who I was. Still, I lived in fear for many days there after.