I don’t really need to ask this question but I will anyway: Have you ever really embarrassed yourself?
Of course you have, you’re only human.
The point is, we’ve all made silly blunders that have resulted in embarrassing moments. Even Queen Elizabeth probably has had a Royal bird take a Royal dump on her Royal hat on Derby Day.
The real problem is that you’ve probably noticed that your brain never lets you forget these moments.
This is the same brain, mind you, that can’t remember the important things, like your blood type or checking account and license plate numbers.
But if someone asked you to tell them who was at your cousin’s wedding reception - where after a quick trip to the restroom, you unknowingly walked around, drink in hand, trailed by a three-foot long piece of toilet paper - you could name every person in alphabetical order.
And you can precisely recall the exact time of day, the temperature and humidity and the color of the tie you wore that time you got up to accept the Most-Likely-To-Succeed award at your high school graduation with your fly open.
Your brain relishes these moments so much that it likes to take them out and play with them decades later.
Luckily, I never had the toilet paper or open fly experience, but I remember one such uncomfortable experience I had while eating at a very expensive restaurant in San Francisco.
I, of course, spilled pepper from a fancy combination salt and pepper shaker over the nice white tablecloth directly in front of me. I tried to brush the pepper off the table, but all I did was just spread the mess all over the table.
In a moment of utter brilliance, as I tried to brush away the evidence, I knocked my glass over with the side of my hand and slopped beer across the table.
By the time I finished, much of the crisp, white tablecloth was a series of grey smudges outlined in a large patch of yellow that looked distressingly like the newspapers you housebroke a new puppy on.
Ever so casually, I tried to hide the mess with my elbow and upper body when the waitress brought my dinner.
Instantly, she saw what a mess I had made of things and gave me not the look of contempt that I had expected, but - worse - a look of utter sympathy.
It was a look you might give a stroke victim who has lost control of the muscles in his mouth but is still gamely trying to feed himself.
It was a look that said, “Poor thing. Bless his heart.”
For one horrible moment I thought she might wrap a napkin around my neck and cut up my food for me.
Instead, she retreated to her station near the bar, close enough though so she could keep an eye on me throughout the meal, ready to spring forward if any pieces of cutlery should clatter from my grasp and stick in my forehead, or a sudden spasm should cause me to tip over backwards or fall face-first into the main course.
I got through the meal in fine shape, but my brain never fails to remind me of that incident whenever I eat over a white tablecloth.
My apologies for the memories this column will undoubtedly bring back to you.