December 13, 2011

Embarrassing Moments

Just taking a quick moment to blog about something non-melancholy for a change. ;-)

Every canvassing leader has perhaps a hundred embarrassing stories that will never be told. The ones that happen when the students are in the van are bad enough, (and the unwritten rule does seem to be that the very most embarrassing moments will always happen when the students are in the van.) Tales are told and retold of canvassing leaders driving the wrong direction down a one-way street, rear-ending their fellow leader at a stop-light, or, my personal favorite, backing up into the car behind them in the turn lane (still not sure how that one happened!!)
My own canvassing team from Oklahoma Academy a few years ago will never let me forget the day that we got locked into the wildlife refuge and lost two hours and some vehicle parts in the attempt to get back out... It's a long story, if you want to know maybe you can ask them, they'd be happy to tell you!

But for all the blunders that the students see, there are a hundred that will never be known by anybody but the angels, unless they happen to be funny enough to make a good story.

One of these happened in Oklahoma on a slightly icy day. The road was a little slick and I was taking great care with my driving. Icy days are nerve-straining days for canvassing leaders, you know! I was driving that van sooo carefully, and by God's grace, there were no accidents and all students made it home alive and well. I didn't fare so well... I had, with keenly deficient foresight, chosen to wear a pair of cute, little flats with miserable traction. The designers had originally put a little velvet on the bottom, but it was long since worn off. Because I was being more cautious with my driving, I was backed up with more things to do than usual. So when I stopped to take books to Heidi, I reasoned that it would be more efficient to run the books up to her at the door than wait for her to finish canvassing the house she was at. I grabbed the books and started on a mad dash across the street.
I mentioned that I was having a problem with deficient foresight that day?
A moment later I was lying on my face in the middle of the icy street, the books sliding crazily towards the ditch. I looked up just in time to see the offending shoe flying over my head like a launched missile.
I wanted to burst out laughing, but figured the middle of the street wasn't the best place, so after hurriedly retrieving the book and my shoe, I delivered the former to Heidi (who was still canvassing away, completely oblivious to the whole drama) and retreated to the van.

Yesterday, I had a situation vaguely reminiscent of this one. Again, a canvasser had called for books and I was low on time so I stopped to deliver to the door. My stock box didn't contain the book she needed so I skipped around to the back of the van to retrieve it.
You know how airline attendants caution you to take care when opening the overhead bins to claim your luggage because "items may have shifted during flight"? Well, apparently the same is true of mini-vans. (I hasten to note here, for those who would be quick to compare my driving to the motion and speed of a jet plane, *ahem* Lucas, that I was driving within the posted speed limit prior to this experience.)
As I was saying, items had apparently shifted during drive, and as I lifted the hatch, a cascade of Joy in the Morning and He Taught Love poured onto the street and began making a rapid descent down the hill. I attempted to stop the flow but it was too late and I could do nothing but helplessly watch them go.
When gravity had finally claimed the last book, I bent to assess the damage, hoping against hope that nobody had seen..
But alas, just at that moment, I heard a pause in Jacinta's canvass and a warm chuckle from the man she was  speaking to.
"Uhhhhh, yeah," she covered, "uhmm, that's my leader."


  1. :-D Oh, Beth! That nearly brought tears of laughter! I suppose you could have simply said that after the cascade of books started, it was all downhill from there...
    Thank you for sharing, I definitely needed a good laugh!

  2. Thanks for the laugh, Beth. In all reality, I think only a canvasser can truly appreciate the humor of canvassing accidents (it does help that I also know some of the people mentioned, too ;-).

    Speaking of ice and canvassers...remember last February when we were in Texas? Remember the day I lost my voice? Well, prior to it's departure, I was canvassing a strip mall. I saw Michael coming, and he looked like he was in a hurry, so I dashed into the last store before he saw me. Soon I was on my way back out, scouting for Michael and paying absolutely no attention to where my feet were walking. Apparently a water line had broken due to the cold, and the water had streamed across the sidewalk before freezing. Well, my path happened to take me across that treacherous patch, and the next thing I knew I was laying flat on my back with my feet in the air and my books sailing through the air above me! For a moment I lay in stunned silence, then I realized that Michael was looking for me... I scrambled, gingerly (if scrambling can be done gingerly), to my feet and grabbed my books as quickly as safety permitted, hoping that I could look composed before Michael spotted me. Whew. I just made it.

    "Sarah! I've been looking for you! Let's go! It's time to eat!" I climbed into the backseat, trying not to choke on the laughter that wanted to spill out in amusement at how silly I must have looked and relief that no one had seen me. :-)

    But now it's on your blog, so... People can laugh all they want!

    Sarah VH

  3. hahahaha, Araya, that comment literally made me laugh out loud!

    Sarah that's terrible!! hahahaha. I'm glad you didn't get hurt! Toooo funny!! Btw, we're here canvassing in Texas again and Lorina met a family in Winnsboro that you canvassed last year. They bought books from you I guess, and they told Lorina that you were a "delightful young lady." I've been meaning to reply to your awesome newsy email and tell you that, but now I've just told you on here and I can fill my newsy reply with other things. :-) Miss you!!

  4. lol, what can I say. I would be surprised if something funny didn't happen to you. I love you girl, and was so very blessed to see you this weekend.

  5. Hahahahahah. I remember that day when the books started falling out of the van...oh memories memories of canvassing. I love you Beth Johns and I miss you lots.