Her name was Cathy…  She lived just down the street from me, and we were in several classes together in the sixth grade.  She was smart and I was – me.  We didn’t talk much, but we had been neighbors and classmates since the fourth grade, and I thought she was kind of cute – she had blonde hair, a pageboy haircut, blue eyes behind, and framed by, some sort of tortoise shell looking glasses with fairly thick lenses.  Though I didn’t quite understand why, I really liked her and wanted to get to know her better. 

During class one day, we were instructed to form teams of two for some assignment or other.  I was about to team up with one of my buddies when I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I turned around and almost swallowed my tongue – there was Cathy – standing before me and looking all cute…

Our eyes locked, and for a short eternity, I was completely lost to all that was happening around me…  My universe had suddenly contracted to the exact space in which Cathy and I were standing… There were no stars, no planets, no moons, no sky, no sea, no people… There were only her eyes, and I was immersed in those two pools of blue – It truly was one of those incredibly rare moments in life when time becomes completely frozen in its temporal tracks.  And then she spoke… To ME…

She said “Billy, will you be my partner?” 

My heart joined my tongue, stuck in my throat… I didn’t know what to say… I – I stammered, searching for words, just – just the right words… What were the words I needed at this exact moment???  Where were they? The words that would be etched in her mind for all time as the most perfect, the most wonderful, the most – the most – the most – perfect statement that anyone could ever deliver at this, the most perfect moment in my life, so far??

Search as I might, the words wouldn’t come… So, rather than say something imperfect, I did the next worst thing… Simply stated, I farted.  It wasn’t of the great bull moose variety, mind you (I doubt it was heard in the principal’s office), but it was loud enough…  I had heard it, she had heard it, she knew that I had heard it, I knew that she had heard it. And, worst of all, we each knew that the other knew that we had each heard it…

This, of course, broke the spell…  She must have assumed that my flatulence was just my way of saying “No,” because she just turned away and found another partner.  

It is still, today, the most humiliating moment of my life.  And it’s also one of my great disappointments.  My one chance with the girl of my dreams, gone in an audible puff of methane.

Fortunately, it was not long after this that my dad was transferred to Ventura…

(From Chapter 7 of my bio. But I thought it would be a good addition to the category…)

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