Think of the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. You know, the kind of stories that make you cringe every single time you tell them, even though it’s been, like, eight years since you had brunch at that little café in Smyrna, Georgia and you had to go to the bathroom really, really, really bad and, because God has a really terrific sense of humor, there was somebody in the men’s room who was not coming out anytime that year, which left you no choice but to duck into the women’s restroom where, again since God is a regular comedian, you discovered someone had clogged the toilet, meaning you were up to your ankles in toilet water, and the whole thing was terribly embarrassing, particularly when you walked out and saw not only the manager but also your horrified date.

Of course, in accordance to the ancient rules of comedy (see “Stiller, Ben”), any “Oh, Crap!” moment is comically enhanced by the infliction of pain, either physical or emotional. Take, for instance, when I was a 6th grade student at Rock Lake Middle School in Longwood, Florida. There I was, with my spiked mullet and startlingly enormous glasses, thinking I was quite the stud. In reality, I was slightly less cool than my classmate Billy Jeffries who, according to legend, was still wetting the bed.

Anyway, it was March and the big news around school was the upcoming 6th grade dance. I had my heart set on asking Michelle Johnson. Now being the stud that I was, I went about asking out Michelle in the classic studly way: I wrote her a note. But this wasn’t just any note. This was a literary masterpiece where I transcribed (in nauseatingly great length) my deep feelings for her—not to mention about 9 jillion references to how pretty she was and what a cute couple we’d be. I wrote the entire three-page manuscript during Social Studies class. I was just about done when the teacher shot me a “don’t make me come over there” glance. I quickly folded up the note and slid it inside my Social Studies book.

The bell rang and I walked out of the room, confident my note would sweep Michelle off her feet. It wasn’t until my next class when I had a horrible realization:

I had left my Social Studies book behind.

As soon as algebra ended, I ran (see “Runner, Road”) back to the Social Studies room. Yes! The book was right where I left it! The note, on the other hand, was gone. Little did I know, that jerk Billy Jeffries had found the note and, at that very moment, was in the library making a few hundred photocopies of it. Thirty minutes later, those copies would plaster the school walls. Twenty minutes after that, Michelle would call me a “giant spaz!” in the cafeteria, loud enough for everyone in the zip code to hear.

Moral of the story: Never ask someone out in a note. However, if you must, DO NOT let the note out of your sight.

I told that story because, up until a few days ago, I thought I had a secure hold on Stupid Stock. Of course, that was until I accidentally stabbed myself in the thumb with an Epipen needle. For those of you who don’t know, an Epipen is a crazy large needle carried by people with food allergies in the event they eat a peanut or something. So basically, as your throat is closing from the allergic reaction, you’re supposed to take the Epipen and stab yourself in the thigh. Now I won’t get into the details of how I stabbed myself (some things are truly too stupid to disclose) but let’s just say that I discovered the answer to the question, “hmmm…I wonder which side the needle comes out of.”

As I sat there with my thumb bleeding like a character in a Monty Python movie, my only thought was, “Howthehell am I going to explain this to the doctor?” Fortunately the doctor didn’t bother to ask, probably because he was too busy deciding whether or not I should go to the emergency room.

Anyway, looking back, all’s well that ends well. The hole in my thumb is closing and I’m almost to the point where I can eat a shish kabob without whimpering.

Moral of the story: Don’t play around with an Epipen needle. However, if you must, point the thing at Billy Jeffries.

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ROB BLOOM is the Arts & Culture Editor at TNB. He's also a comedy writer, screenwriter, copywriter, somewhat decent juggler, pro wrestling historian, former Disney character, and, perhaps most impressively, a connoisseur of all things deli. He has written for the Cartoon Network, McSweeney's, Opium, CRACKED, Fresh Yarn, Monkey Bicycle, Funny Times, NPR, and the Travel Channel. Last year, Rob’s original screenplay was produced by the Upright Citizens Brigade and shown with the trailers in movie theaters across the country. Rob is also the writer of a regular humor column, which has been praised by the Erma Bombeck Writing Institute as well as his parents who proudly display it on their refrigerator with magnets shaped like fruit.

Rob grew up in the sunny Orlando ‘burbs but now lives in Philadelphia with his wife, newborn son, and Shih Tzu badass. You can contact Rob at [email protected]

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