I was in the middle of an embarrassing situation last week, and I wasn’t the one embarrassed.
Man, that felt good.
I was headed to a meeting about 80 miles from home and stopped for a cup of coffee. I spend a lot of time on the road and I keep track of the places to get a decent cup of coffee. Not everyone does that - I understand there are many people who don’t even drink coffee, and even more people who don’t care how their coffee tastes.
I am not those people. I’ve spent enough time drinking stale, cold coffee out of a leaking Thermos to not want to do it anymore.
Anyway, I stop at this particular coffee shop about once every six weeks or so. As a result, I’m not a regular, but I am a face they’ve seen before. This particular day, I came through the door and the owner gave me a big smile and said, “So, did you finally buy that coffee roaster?”
I had no idea what he was talking about. I’ve never talked about buying a coffee bean roaster, I’ve never even thought about it. As far as I’m concerned, a perfect cup of coffee is one that someone else has made.
I looked at him, he looked at me, both of us with frozen smiles on our faces, as he slowly realized he’d mistaken me for someone else. Because I’m trying to be a better person, I let him off the hook by saying, “Oh, I’ll leave that to you.” He relaxed and we started talking about the weather. In Minnesota, that’s a topic you can fall back on pretty much anytime and find something worth discussing.
I have to say, it was a great moment - to be right in the middle of an embarrassing faux pax and have it not been my fault. It made me smile all the way to my meeting. It reminded me of the Mel Brooks quote, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”
Here’s some more comedy for you. In 2006 Apple, Inc, the computer corporation, was involved in a lawsuit with Apple Corps, a music company owned by the Beatles. A tv station was doing a special on Apple vs. Apple and asked a person named Guy Kewney to appear on the show to provide some expert insight into the legal issues involved.
It just so happened that another man, named Guy Goma, was scheduled to interview for a job on the station. Sadly, Guy Goma showed up a few minutes before Guy Kewney.
The staff brought Mr. Goma into the studio and got him seated and wired up to a microphone. He thought it was just a strange new form of interview, until, of course, someone said, “We’re live!” and a reporter started asking him technical questions about the music industry. He hung in there pretty well, except he looked a little surprised when he was introduced by a different name and none of his answers made any sense.
It sounds like a nightmare to me, but Mel Brooks would have loved it.
My coffee shop guy wasn’t in nearly as embarrassing a situation as Mr. Goma, but that doesn’t matter.
What matters is that, for a change, it wasn’t me.
Copyright 2020 Brent Olson