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  Texas : Features : Columns : N. Ray Maxie :

"Well, I Should've
Gotten up and Moved"

by N. Ray Maxie
N. Ray Maxie
Safety talks. I love it. Doing traffic and automobile safety talks to civic organizations, high school Drivers Ed students, auxiliary clubs, the PTO and various public events around the state was fun. It was our driver safety awareness program and a favorite part of my job. Anytime I could talk about automobile driving safety, I enjoyed it. Maybe by teaching safety, I could help prevent someone from having a serious auto accident. Thus avoiding damage, injury or even death on our Texas highways. Safety pays, you know.

One such talk was scheduled to be made before the local McLeod, Texas, Ladies Auxiliary Club. Their meetings were held in the highschool cafetorium. All speakers were asked use the stage with a microphone while addressing the group. I was told there were usually 40 to 50 people present for this meeting.

On the day of this particular meeting, I wanted to arrive early and scope out the situation in their cafetorium. So getting there a little early, I immediately went to the stage. I had been told that after my introduction, I would walk from behind the side curtain out to the microphone. So, I laid out my exact footsteps on the floor across the stage. I marked each step with a chalk mark on the floor, right up to the microphone. Simple! Just follow the chalk marks; step by step. I had scoped this one out precisely. I was ready.

Everyone was gathering. The time for their meeting came, 1:30pm. Nervously, as I waited backstage, I heard the group president give me a long and eloquent introduction about all of my experience and accomplishments. Then she called out my name. My cue !! So I slipped out from behind the side curtain and started my steps exactly as I had marked them on the floor. Very good ! Heading for the Mic, I said, "I'm coming", which were the opening words of my prepared speech; i.e; "I'm coming to bring you a talk about automobile safety." Right then, I missed my step. So I backed up, got myself back in step and started over again. I said, "I'm coming" and I clumsily missed my step again. (I thought; what's wrong with me today?) So I backed up again, got back in step and started over again. (Third time's a charm, they say.) I said, "I'm coming" and this time I hung my right toe on the back of my left shoe heel and tripped. I stumbled and fell right off the stage; right out into the laps of several little old ladies sitting right down there on the front row. (Wow ! What a stumble-bum !)

Well, what could I say ? So startled ! So embarrassed and ashamed, I got up off the floor and lavishly apologized to these dear little ladies. Desperately, I was hoping that no one was seriously injured. They weren't and I was extremely glad. I was straightening up my clothes. I was helping little old ladies get up off the floor and straightening up their clothes. Oh ! I was SO embarrassed ! This had never happened to me before. I was picking up chairs and purses and apologizing profusely. Then one little old lady said, "Well, I should've gotten up and moved. You told me three times you were coming."
N. Ray Maxie
piddlinacres@consolidated.net
"Ramblin' Ray" June 1, 2005
 
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