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Timber! -- Writer's Poke #161

For Writers:

The English department had a beautifully renovated building, but the graduate teaching assistants were still housed in what had started out 100 years ago as a men's dormitory. We didn't even have our own phones (let alone computers) in our offices. Instead, we had to walk down the hallway to the one phone that the entire floor shared.

Our office furniture wasn't much newer than the building itself. But my desk was big and sturdy, and with a little imagination, you actually did believe that the old "duck and cover" drill could work with with a desk like that.

Every time I sat in the old wooden chair, however, it was an act of faith. It was designed so that you could lean back in it, but every time I did so, it let out an ominous loud "CREAK!"

One day as I was killing time grading student essays, I leaned back in that chair. It would be the last time anyone would ever lean back in that chair. All I heard was a snapping sound, but it echoed throughout the entire building.

My office mate and fellow graduate assistants raced toward the sound, and what they found when they entered my office was a broken wooden chair, and me on the floor. Laughing.

What was your most potentially embarrassing moment that turned out to be just a funny experience?

"The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate." -- Douglas Engelbart


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