Every Awkward Thing I've Ever Done

Awkward Photos: It is I, Heather Hanson

When I was sixteen I attended a wedding in Vegas with my parents.  My mother and I were both invited to the Leopard Print themed bachelorette party.  I bought a hat at a Vegas strip mall just for the occasion.

The first part of the night was pretty tame.  We went to see some geriatric man perform family friendly comedy at Caesar’s Palace and rode the roller coaster at New York, New York.  Then it was time for the mothers to retire so that the bride and her friends could have some real fun.  Since I was underage I assumed this was when I should leave as well, but the bride grabbed my arm and held me back.

"You’re coming with us."

She promised my mom that they weren’t going to do anything crazy so I could stay with them.  Then, as soon as the moms left, the bride presented me with my first fake ID.

It wasn’t “fake” so much as it was… not mine.  One of the other women at the bachelorette party, Heather, had just moved from North Carolina to Michigan, and therefore had no need for her North Carolina drivers’ license, so she gave it to me.  She was 5’2”, 26 years old, and a redhead.  I was 5’6”, 16 and definitely not a redhead.

"It’ll be fine!" Heather said.

The first test came while we were playing the slot machines and a cocktail waitress came to take our orders.   I tried to make sure that she looked at Heather’s ID first and mine last, so that she wouldn’t notice that it was the same name on two IDs.  But Heather was so unconcerned she ended up showing her ID right before it was my turn.  

My heart was pounding in my throat as the waitress looked from my ID, to me, and back to the ID again.  ”Oh my god, it’s so obviously not me.” I thought.  ”And it so obviously IS the woman standing next to me.  They’re going to arrest me and throw me in Las Vegas jail.  It’s probably inside that Pirate ship at Treasure Island.  I’m going to die inside the Pirate ship at Treasure Island!”

"Okay, what would you like to drink?" the waitress asked.

"A beer?"

"What kind of beer?"

"I don’t know whatever Heather’s having.  I mean whatever I’m having.  Because I AM Heather.  But also her name is Heather.  Such a funny coincidence.  We talk about it all the time.  Heather, what are you having?  I’ll have a Corona please."

From that moment on I felt invincible.  No one could stop me now.  I wanted to show the whole world my fake ID.  

"Oh, my ID?  Here it is.  I’m 26.  My name is Heather Hanson.  I live at 1721 Pinewood St., Raleigh North Carolina, 27615.  My birth date is April 13, 1974.  I’m an Aries and an organ donor.  My favorite color is blue."

"Ummm, that’s great.  I just asked if you knew how to get to the Luxor from here."

"Of course I do, I’m 26."

"Okay, how do you get there?"

"Oh, I don’t know.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not 26.  My name is Heather Hanson.  I live at…"

"Yeah, yeah, I know.  Thanks for nothing."

"You’re welcome!"

And I was right.  I was invincible.  All night long I used that ID, and no one questioned it.  No one even looked at me funny.  By the end of the night even I thought the ID was real.  I thought I WAS Heather Hanson.

I brought the ID home with me.  The very next weekend my friends and I took the license to Arrow Liquor Store, down the street from my house.  

"Can I see your ID?"

"Of course, fine sir."  I presented the ID with a theatrical flourish.  My teenage friends watched in awe.  

The cashier glanced at the ID, then at me, then back at the ID.

"I know.  The picture doesn’t do me justice."  I gave him a winning smile and batted my eyelashes.

"This isn’t you."

"You are mistaken, fine sir.  It is I.  Heather Hanson.  I live at 1721 Pinewood St., Raleigh North Carolina, 27615.  My birth date is April 13, 1974.  I’m an Aries and an organ donor.  My favorite color is blue."

"This isn’t you.  I’m confiscating this.  Now get out of here, or I’m calling the police."

I walked out of Arrow Liquor Store more dejected than anyone who has ever walked out of Arrow Liquor Store before, which is saying a lot.  My whole self-identity was crushed.  If I wasn’t Heather Hanson of 1721 Pinewood St, who was I?

A few years later, in college, I got a new fake ID.  My identity was restored.  My name was Chelsea Collins and I lived at 501 N. 5th St., Brooklyn, New York, 11211.  My birthdate was July 27th.  I was a Leo and my favorite book was Pride and Prejudice.  

Just call me Chelsea. 

(Here’s a picture of the real Heather (Hanson is not her real last name) with some guy named Jamie, from one of the seasons of MTV’s Road Rules.  When we passed him Heather went “That guy looks familiar.”  It wasn’t until a full block later that she screamed “JAMIE!” out of nowhere and took off running after him.  I followed her and managed to take this picture.  As you can see, we look pretty much identical.)

Someone Else’s Awkward: I’ll Have The Guh-No-Chee

My mother is an intelligent, successful, cultured woman, who cannot for the life of her pronounce foreign words properly.  

When we travelled to Spain together I was constantly shaking my head at her horrible pronunciation of “gracias”.  Not only did she completely forgo Spain’s -th sound in place of the c, she always stressed the a’s.

"Grah-sea-ahs."

Luckily most of the Spaniards thought it was endearing.

Even in America she gets into trouble.  She still to this day calls Chipotle “Chipolte”.  As in “I love the burritos at Chipolte.”

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"It’s Chipotle, Mom."

"Chipolte."

"Never mind."

She is totally aware of the problem.  Last time I was in town we went out for Italian food.  Her absolute favorite is Gnocchi.

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"How do you say this again?  Guh-no-chee?"

"Nyo-ke."

"No-chee."

"Nyo-ke."

"Nee-yo-chee."

"Nyo-ke."

We practiced for several more minutes and finally it seemed like she had it down.  Then the waiter arrived.

"What can I get for you today?"

"I’ll have the Guh-no-chee."  She smiled proudly.  I just nodded my head.  

I still have trouble remembering how to spell restaurant and how many m’s and r’s are in tomorrow.  We all have our problems.

Today’s Moment of Awkward: Schooled by a Sixth Grader

I spent a few weeks in Chicago recently, visiting my parents in their new house.  One night my cousins and their kids came over for dinner.  Their oldest daughter is eleven now, and she is currently in her “figuring out her moral compass” phase, a.k.a. her “right vs. wrong” phase.  I’m pretty sure this is a phase we all went through.  There is right and there is wrong.  There is nothing in between.

As you may have expected, she’s a vegetarian now.

We were all sitting around the dining table, she was pointing out how macaroni and cheese is actually very bad for you, and my parents brought up Mexico for some reason.  Then we all launched into the “is Mexico safe?” discussion.  

"I actually know someone who was kidnapped in Mexico," I said.  And then I laughed.

"Why is that funny?" my eleven year old cousin asked, in the voice an attorney might question an obviously lying witness in.

"Oh, well I guess it’s not really.  But I mean, he’s okay.  He’s fine.  And it was just a funny story so…"

"What’s this funny story?"

"Ummm, you know, it doesn’t matter."  (It involved a lot of drinking, drugs, strippers and a bus full of orphans, maybe not appropriate for this moment…)

"No tell me.  I’d just LOVE to know how someone being kidnapped could be funny."

"It’s not.  I was wrong.  I’m sorry.  It’s awful and I’ll never laugh about it again."  I hung my head in shame.  I’d been schooled by someone who just a few years ago thought Dora the Explorer was the greatest historical figure since Christopher Columbus and Santa Clause.

But that wasn’t the worst.  After dinner, while we were sitting on the couch, I got a notification on my phone from Instagram.

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"Oh, you’re on Instagram?" she asked.  If you want to understand the inflection in her voice, replace the word Instagram with Heroin.

"Umm, yeah…"  My voice was more like "uh-oh, what did I do wrong now?"

"Aren’t you a little bit OLD for that?"

Ouch.  An eleven year old just verbally sucker punched me.

"Well, all of my friends are on it, so I think it’s okay…" I muttered.

"All my friends are on it too, but that doesn’t mean I have to be.  I don’t believe in social media."

"Oh… that makes sense."

"I mean, no offense, but I just feel like you could find a much more productive use for your time. But… totally up to you."

That’s when her phone beeped.

"OH MY GOD, WE CAN BUY FROZEN ON ITUNES?  I LOOOOOOVVVVVVVEEEEEE FROZEN!  PLEASE MOM CAN I GET IT, PLEEEAAAASSSEEE."

That’s when I remembered that I’m an almost-thirty-year-old woman and she’s an eleven-year-old girl.  So no, I am not too old to be on Instagram, and what’s so great about being productive anyway?

Today’s Moment of Awkward: Customs Cheese

Over Christmas, I went to Costa Rica with my family.  My dad bought a new pair of cargo pants with zip off lower legs.

"Check this out," he said when he first saw me.  "Now they’re pants…" he unzipped the lower halves of each leg  "… now they’re shorts!  Pants, shorts, pants, shorts!  And check out how many pockets they have!  I could have gone without luggage, I could have just packed everything into my pants!"

He was very proud of those pants/shorts.  He wore them everywhere.  He even wore them on the plane on our return trip.

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Now when my father is tan he has a tendency to look… kind of…  what is the word… oh, right.  He looks kind of terrorist-ey.  He has dark hair and a beard and the minute he goes in the sun his skin turns the color of a nonfat vanilla latte.  A nonfat vanilla latte that might suicide bomb some other lattes.  Basically he’s almost always “randomly selected” to be searched at customs.

Our return trip was no exception.  He was immediately pulled aside and told he’d been “randomly selected” to have his bag searched.  Security opened his suitcase and rifled through it, seeming almost disappointed that everything matched his customs form.  Then one of the guards (are they guards?) unzipped a side pocket of his backpack and found something suspicious.

Guard (?):  Aha!

Dad:  That’s an apple.

Guard:  Yes, you’re not allowed to bring produce, meat products or cheeses through customs.

Dad:  Oh, okay.

Guard:  Did you think you could sneak this past us?  Did you think we wouldn’t find it?

Dad:  I forgot it was there.  Honest mistake.

The guard confiscated the apple and then begrudgingly allowed my dad to go on his way.  

Me:  Looks like they caught you and you’re dastardly plan to sneak an apple into the country.

My dad just chuckled menacingly to himself.

Me:  Why are you doing that?  Please stop doing that.  It’s the sound of my nightmares.

He scary chuckled some more.  In fact he didn’t stop scary chuckling until we got to baggage claim.  

Dad:  They can’t catch me.  They’ll never catch me.

And with that he reached into his 17 cargo pockets and removed a sausage, a kiwi, a papaya, a banana, 2 apples and 3 different kinds of cheeses.

Dad:  Mwahahahahahaha.

He is now on the no fly list.

Awkward Photos: Throwback Olympic Thursday

I haven’t written a post in over a month.  I haven’t written a post since 2013!  Part of the reason is that I’ve been crazy busy at work and part of it is because now I feel this enormous pressure to find something special to write about.

Well, I think I may have found that something.  Today is Thursday, which means another throwback photo of Child Jessie, and I think I’ve found a photo that is both awkward and topical.

Ta-da!

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In 1996 I attended the Atlanta Summer Olympics.  We were there for the second half of the games, and therefore missed gymnastics, which basically meant that I gave less than a shit about the sports aspect of the Olympics.  I mean how many times can a twelve year old watch men swimming laps in a pool with any enthusiasm?  What I did care about were the souvenirs, particularly the pins.  

If anyone else attended the ‘96 Olympics they can attest to the fact that pins were all the rage.  Trading and collecting Olympic pins was akin to… well… trading and collecting Pogs… only FOR ADULTS!  People actually fought over Coca-Cola and McDonalds pins, but the most sought after of all was the brown UPS truck pin.  People spoke about it in hushed tones.  Getting your hands on a UPS truck pin was like getting a hold of the Holy Grail.

I just looked the UPS truck pin up on Ebay.  They’re available now for $4.  But in 1996 they were priceless.

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I never got my hands on the Brown UPS Truck Pin, but I collected my fair share of other pins.  While my parents were watching diving, and equestrian racing and rhythmic gymnastic (the red-headed stepsister of normal gymnastics; I mean for god’s sake, is twirling a ribbon and dancing around with a pilates ball really an Olympic event?), I was making back alley deals with overweight men with fanny packs.

"I’ll give you an NBC and a Kodak for a Visa and two Coca-Cola’s,"  I whispered.

He looked nervously from side to side, making sure no one was listening in.  ”It’s a deal.”  

He reached a grubby hand into his fanny pack and surreptitiously handed off two pristine pins, wrapped in clear plastic baggies.  It could have been heroin if it weren’t so nerdy. 

When I wasn’t busy selling my soul to get the Texaco four pin set, I was begging my parents to buy me Olympics apparel.  I finally managed to talk them into getting me Olympics earrings, an Olympics necklace and the styling Olympics windbreaker shown above.

After a week in Atlanta I returned home to Chicago, sure that when I showed up at school decked out in my Olympics garb my classmates would be so wowed that they would lift me up onto their shoulders and carry me down the hall chanting “Jessie is the best!  Jessie is the best!”  

I strutted down the hall, trying to come up with reasons to spread my arms out so I could show off my windbreaker at its best.  No one gave me a second glance.

"(Cough.  Cough.)  Sure had fun at the Olympics…" I tried to work into every conversation, but no one was taking the bait.  I even slut sneezed the word Olympics.  "Olympics (Achoo.)  Olympics (Achoo.)" Nothing.

"Since you were gone so long we gave your vice president spot in the mock election to Jeremy," was all I got in response.  "Now you’re just a reporter."

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

When I got home I took all of my pins off and threw them in the garbage.  Luckily, my mother retrieved them and had them all framed along with our tickets and my badge so that I could look at them with embarrassment for years to come.

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Today’s Moment of Awkward: A Christmas Memory

When I was little I loved lizards.  I had a string of pet lizards, and my favorites were two anoles named Fred and Ethel (I called them/thought they were chameleons, but have since learned that I was wrong).

They looked like this (although this is not them):

I’m not sure why I loved them so much.  They weren’t sweet or cuddly. They ate worms and live crickets in the most disgusting way possible.  They seemed completely indifferent to me, at most, if not actively against me.  One time I tried to kiss Fred on his weird lipless mouth and he bit my lip, latching on so hard that even when I ran around the house screaming, he was still able to hold on.

But despite all that, when Christmas rolled around, I wanted them with me.  By that I mean I wanted to take them out of their temperature controlled cage, put them in a tiny travel cage, and bring them downstairs to the living room so that they could watch me open presents.

Because if there is one thing lizards care about in this world… it’s watching eight year old children open presents.

I knew that my lizards had to be kept warm and since they were leaving their heat lamp behind I decided that the best way to keep them warm was to place their travel cage on the space heater.

And that was basically as far as my plan went.  I put them on the space heater, patted myself on the back for being a conscientious pet owner, and then promptly forgot about them.  And that is how Fred & Ethel, my pet lizards, became Fred & Ethel, my dead lizard corpses.

When I came back to fetch them after opening all my presents and gorging myself on Christmas candy I found their little lifeless bodies clinging to the top of the cage, trying to escape (too graphic?).  I wailed and screamed for my mother and told her that Christmas was ruined forever.

I don’t remember what she said to comfort me but I do know that I didn’t have any pet lizards after that.  I did had dogs though.  Lots and lots of dogs.  But luckily, dogs hate Christmas.  According to my parents it’s a known fact.

Today’s Moment of Awkward: Seize the Mug

A month before I left for college my parents’ friend asked if I would like to make a little money acting as a bartender/cater waiter at a party he was throwing.  Of course I agreed, because obviously the best job you can have is working at a party full of old people who are about to get drunk and tell you stories of the Great Depression.

And get drunk they did.  Particularly my parents’ friend who had hired me in the first place.  He cornered me in the kitchen, my arms full of hors d’eouvres, and gave this speech.

"You’re so young."

"I guess so…"

"I was so dumb when I was young.  I made choices that were not good choices.  It’s like I wish I could go back and tell young me what to do.  That’d be cool.  You’re young."

"I guess so…"

"You’re about to go to college.  That’s the best time of your life.  If I could go back in time and tell my college self what to do I’d give him my lucky mug."

At this point he took a mug out of the cabinet.  It was a white mug and it said Carpe Diem in black letters.

"I’d tell my younger self Carpe Diem.  Seize the Day motherfucker.  Sorry.  I swore."

"It’s okay."

"Seize the Day motherfucker.  You’re not always going to be young and handsome and a pussy magnet.  Sorry."

"Less okay, but still okay."

"It’s like I’m so fat now.  I’m just so fat.  And balding.  And I wish I’d just seized the day.  Like just grabbed life by the balls and just ballsack fucked it.  Sorry."

"Kind of not okay."

"But maybe you can do it.  Maybe you can ballsack fuck life."

"I’d rather not."

"You know what I’m saying.  Carpe Diem.  Seize the Day!"

Suddenly he had a thought.  I say this because it was like a drunk lightbulb went off in his head.  He looked up at the sky, smiled, wobbled a little, and then turned to me.

"You’re going off to college in a month and I want to give you something.  My favorite mug."

With a shaking hand he gave me his mug.

"It will remind you to Carpe Diem every day.  Fuck life in its ass."

"Please stop saying that."

"You’re welcome."

So I took the mug.  I mean what the hell, it was a free mug.  Everybody likes free stuff.

Two weeks later he came over to my parents house for dinner.  And get this… he wanted the mug back.  It was his lucky mug.  But he refused to actually ask for it back.

"So…. ummm… how funny is it that I gave you my favorite, lucky mug?"

"It was nice of you.  Thanks!"

"Yeah, but it’s my favorite mug.  I’ve had that mug for 20 years now."

"Wow, that’s a long time.  I sure appreciate it."

"You probably don’t need another dumb mug.  What are you going to do… take it to college with you?  Haha."

"Yep.  I am.  It’s going to college with me as my most prized possession."

Needless to say he never got his mug back.  And I still have it to this day.  I think.  It’s probably in storage.  Or at Goodwill.  Carpe Diem, Seize the Mug.

Awkward Photos: You Had Me At Hola

This week on my travels I will take you to other parts of Spain that aren’t Barcelona!  Namely Madrid and Seville.  

If my pictures are any indication then the most interesting thing about these two cities was definitely their signage.  Oh and the fact that we were almost made homeless because Spaniards hate bulls or something.

How NOT to pose in the common area you are being forced to sleep in because the hostel lost your reservation and all the rooms are full of people who are there to see some big bullfighting competition because people love animal cruelty and what the fuck why do you have to be so mean to the poor bull what did he ever do to you, did he tell a really inappropriate yo mama joke or push your cat down a flight of stairs because then maybe I’d understand and oh, look, I match the decor.

How NOT to pose with Enrique Iglesias like you are mocking him for doing something good and trying to get kids to “Lea” although why does he have to pose like that with his pelvis jutting out and those bedroom eyes while holding a copy of The Old Man and The Sea or some shit, there is absolutely nothing sexy about The Old Man and The Sea and also he’s just holding the book, not lea-ing it, does he even know how to lea? all I can say for sure is that he knows how to look good in a pair of Levi’s and maybe that’s the point anyway, learn to look sexy holding a book and no one will care if you really lea-d it.

How NOT to pose in a fountain with a deep and brooding Spanish man like you are making fun of him when really you are just jealous that as an American you will never really be able to master the deep intellectual brooding that Europeans are so good at, clearly he is thinking about the meaning of life and what our purpose is on this Earth when you’re just thinking you’d kill for some french fries right about now.

How NOT to pose in front of a travel agency covered in faces of celebrities like a) you look anything like these celebrities when in reality you kind of look on the bring of death, what is with those circles under your eyes? have you not slept in a month? or right, I guess you haven’t, and b) like you have any idea whey there are photos of Andre Agassi, Angelina Jolie, Adrien Brody and Al Gore in the window of a travel agent, like what is that even advertising, that you should travel to other countries because that’s where the celebrities live? Spain you crazy.

How NOT to pose with the saddest poster in all of Spain because I’m tearing up even now you guys, his name is Roco and he’s only five months old and he has chronic bronchitis and needs his medicine and if you find him call his mother because she’s worried and IT’S WRITTEN IN THE THIRD PERSON! LIKE THE DOG WROTE IT HIMSELF!  LIKE HE SAT DOWN AT A LITTLE DOG SIZED DESK AND TYPED ON HIS LITTLE DOG SIZED COMPUTER ABOUT HOW HE’S LOST AND SICK AND HE WANTS HIS MOMMY!!!!! OH MY GOD I’M DYING I’M DYING I’M DYING I’M DYING I’M DYING I’M DYING!  

So that’s how I died in Spain.

Celebrity Awkward: John McCaining

On Monday I wrote about my job working on a TV news channel.  While most of my guests were experts in their fields, few of them were household names.  But every once in a while I got a celebrity (or a celebrity of sorts).

Enter John McCain.  It was the year of his presidential campaign.  He came into the building with three secret service agents.  Or maybe just private body guards.  Basically three big scary dudes. 

I tried to play it off like it was no big deal.

"Hi, Mr. McCain.  My name is Jessica.  Come right this way."

And then he winked at me.

Did he wink at me?

That would be odd.

Why would a man running for president wink at me?

I took him to the “green room” (basically another closet, but this one had a couch and a make-up mirror) and told him I’d be back for him in a few minutes to set him up for his interview.

Everything went pretty smoothly from there.  He didn’t ask me to do his make-up, thank god.  He followed me into the studio, let me mic him up.  And then just as I was leaving the room he winked at me.  Definitely winked at me.

Back at my computer I hurriedly opened up AIM and started chats with pretty much all of my friends, and even some people I hardly knew.  ”John McCain just winked at me.  Twice.  I think he’s hitting on me!”

What could it mean?

Then his interview started.

"We have John McCain with us today."

"Hi, Sally."  Wink.

He winked at Sally (Sally is not the real name of a newscaster.  Honestly, I can’t remember any of the newscasters names, so…).

"So, Mr. McCain… blah blah blah…"  (I have no idea what they talked about.  I really only watched the show to make sure the camera didn’t suddenly zoom off to the left, as it was known to do, or explode, as it hadn’t done yet but might any day).

"Well, Sally…"

He winked again.  Then again.  He double winked.  Or was it an eye tick?  Did John McCain have a weird, flirty eye tick?

After the interview I brought him out of the tiny studio and back to the green room, where he and his enormous body guards said goodbye.

"It was wonderful meeting you, Jessica.  Thanks for all your help."

And he winked at me.

I never did figure out if John McCain wanted to get in my pencil skirt, or if he just had a random facial tic.  But from then on my friends and I have always called half-winking/half-eye-ticking “John McCaining”, as you can see from this Facebook photo from 2007:

  

Today’s Moment of Awkward: The Orange Candle Man

I used to work for a TV news channel at their remote studio in Manhattan.  My job was to greet the guests who didn’t want to travel all the way out to New Jersey, mic them and put them in one of two closet sized TV studios.  If, in 2007, you ever watched a news station talking head interview with a weird fake city skyline backdrop I might have been the one who set it up.

Something like this, only without that guy, whoever he may be:

At any given time there was only one person running the remote studios.  There was a morning guy, but our shifts only overlapped by an hour.  So I not only dealt with and miced (miked?) the guests, I also operated the computer controlled camera, dealt with any technical problems and communicated with the control room every step of the way.  

All of that I knew going in.  What I didn’t know was that sometimes I would be required to do guests’s make-up.

In the green room there was a vanity mirror and on that vanity mirror was a case of make-up.  I have absolutely no idea where this make-up came from.  It was there when I started the job, and it was there when I left the job.  I can only assume most of that concealer and powder had been there since World War II.

Sometimes a guest would come in and say “I was told there would be someone here to do my make-up.”

And I would say “You don’t need make-up!  You look great!”

Sometimes that would work.

Other times they would say “Don’t you think I at least need a little powder?”

Then I would pull out some wipes the morning guy had given me.  They were basically oil blotter wipes, with a tiny bit of powder on each one to stop shine.  I would rub one of the wipes over the guy’s face and say “Ta-da!  You’re good to go!”

That almost always worked.

But one time it didn’t.

"I don’t think that’s enough.  Are you seriously the make-up person?  They told me there’d be a make-up person and I’m not going to go on camera without full make-up."

"I am indeed the make-up person.  And if it’s make-up you want, it is make-up I will give you."

The truth was that I had never done a man’s make-up before.  I had never done a woman’s make-up before.  I could barely do my own make-up.

I looked into the make-up case and selected a foundation.  It sort of matched his skin tone.  It had separated into a top oil layer and a bottom sediment layer.  I shook it for a while and then I slathered it on him.  Then I selected a powder.  It too seemed to match his skin tone.  Since it was approximately 100 years old the powder didn’t go on so well either.  It kind of caked up in spots, but I ignored that.

I thought he’d be satisfied with foundation and powder, but when I was done with that he still stared at me as if waiting for more.  So I added a little blush.  And some eyebrow pencil.  And just for good measures, a little mascara.

"Okay.  Done."

"Thank you."  He said that in a tone that did not at all sound like he was really thankful.

A few minutes later I set him up in one of the studios and returned to my cubicle to man the computer operated camera. That’s when I saw him as the TV audience would see him, under the hot studio lights.  He was bright orange.  Like the color of a prison jumpsuit.  Just neon orange.

The control room let me know that the interview was being postponed for a few minutes as the previous interview had run late.

Should I do something?  What was there to do?  I didn’t really want to go in there and tell him I’d done a horrible job.  And it wasn’t as if I had time to wash his face and make-up him all over again.

So, of course, I did nothing.

And it only got worse.

After a few minutes under the hot studio lights his face was covered in sweat.  And what happens to make-up on a sweaty face?  It started to drip.  All of it.  There were orange streaks down both of his cheeks and across his forehead.  Black mascara dripped under his eyes.  And worst of all make-up accumulated on his upper lip until it looked like he had a gross orange mustache.

And then the interview started.

The entire viewing audience could see exactly what I was seeing.  A melting orange man.  No one was listening to any of the questions.  They were just thinking “why are they interviewing an orange candle wearing a business suit?”

As soon as the interview was over I went in and unmiked the guest and brought him out of the studio.

"How did I look?"

"Fantastic."

"Really?  I was sweating my ass off."

"Couldn’t tell at all."

Never trust me to do your make-up.