I’m giving a presentation on writing to a bored junior-high language arts class. (I was writing a weekly grammar column for the local paper at the time, which somehow made me both an expert and a celebrity. Except to these kids.) Having made this presentation many times, I arrogantly leave my notes at home and work from memory, using only my overhead transparencies (remember those?) as my lesson plan. I get to a section in the presentation about easy spelling rules, and I suddenly realize I can’t remember if it’s siege or seige. And I get really flustered.
And then it pops out of my mouth. An expression I normally use only with people who get the irony. But for some reason my muddled brain finds it to be a perfectly appropriate thing to say to impressionable junior-high students: “Man, my dealer must have given me a bad batch of drugs today.”
The kids show their first signs of life. The elderly teacher looks as though I’ve just whipped out my dick and peed on her.
And I never regain control of the situation until the class ends, 20 sweaty-palmed minutes later.