Not So Famous Poorly Chosen Words

“And what did Pablo Sandoval do when he left the dugout to go to the bathroom in the middle of a game, Matt Lauer?”

Not So Famous Poorly Chosen Words

1) Matt Lauer, Today Show, NBC-TV, Friday, June 19, 2015: Leading into a light story he was about to report on Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval leaving the dugout to text women in the clubhouse during the game, Today Show host Matt Lauer reported this big news to the nation and three anchor colleagues sitting with him at the news desk as he spoke in this form:

“Later, (after getting a hit earlier in the game), during the seventh inning, he (Pablo Sandoval) left the dugout to go into the clubhouse to use the bathroom, and – do you know what he did? … No, not that!”

Note: Way to go, Matt! Whenever a player leaves the clubhouse to use the bathroom, the fans always want to know if it was for Number One, Number Two or some combination of both basic needs. If it was for Number Two, however, please spare us the gradiently differential data on how things went down.

2) A local Los Angeles radio station flash news report on a robbery arrest , sometime in the 1950s: “The arrest was made by Sargent Tom Williams, a defective of the Los Angeles Police Farce.”

3) Richard Nixon, speaking publicly at the Grand Opening of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin after being shown with the much larger LBJ as the host was physically moving his Republican guest with pushes and pulls through the different public rooms: “A short while ago, as President Johnson was throwing me around the library …”

4) In 1972, with the initiation of federal revenue sharing with cities for the support of certain local projects, many Houstonians were wondering what then Mayor Fred Hofheinz was going to call this new program by name so that they could then submit bids for assistance or make recommendations on how the money was to be spent. Your humble writer here submitted a written suggestion for what we felt was an appropriate program name, but we never heard from the mayor, one way or another, in any active form. The fact that we never heard from the mayor at all about anything after this suggestion was our answer. We wonder why? All we said was, “Why don’t you call our local federal revenue sharing program by a name that everyone will recognize? Call it ‘Preparation H’.”

5) Years and years and years and years ago – before I was ever, ever, ever, ever married, a girl friend and I drove over to Matamoras, Mexico to do a little shopping in the market and then have dinner. On our way out of the hotel, my key chain broke and I hurriedly picked up the several items that had fallen to the floor and stuffed them in my pocket. We had a great morning. My girl friend bought a colorful little handmade bowl. We decided to place the turista purchase in the trunk of the car before lunch, but we found the trunk door partially unhinged when we got back to our parking space, I figured I had just failed to close it properly when we checked into the motel the previous evening. I closed it hard this time and we then went on from there to enjoy a great (what else?) Mexican food dinner at a little cafe near the square. The open, then solidly closed trunk would simply soon prove to be one more of the quirky circumstances that combined that fine day to set us up for an unforgettable experience.

On the our way back into the USA, we were stopped by US customs as part of a random check and pulled aside. And here came my time to misspeak again.

Customs Officer: “Do you have anything in your trunk to declare, sir?”

Yours Truly: “Just a little pot, Officer.”

Customs Officer: “Oh really? – Well, I think you had better open the trunk and let me see for myself.”

Yours Truly: “It’s not that kind of pot, Officer! I didn’t mean to …”

Customs Officer: “Just open your trunk, sir!”

Yours Truly: (now fumbling nervously for my trunk key in the handful of loose keys I had pulled from my pocket. It wasn’t there.)

Customs Officer: “Which one is it?”

Yours Truly: “It’s none of these, Officer! Would you believe my key chain broke as we were leaving the motel in Brownsville? – It’s got to be there – on the floor somewhere.”

Customs Officer: “Pull over, Sir! – You guys are in for a long afternoon!”

Indeed we were. Of course, this was fifty years ago  and things were slightly different then. With no cell phones, and no answer to a call for friends who were staying at the same Holiday Inn, US Customs allowed us to squirm for a couple of hours in our search for someone who could find and bring us the trunk key. Allowing one of us to go get it by taxi was never an option. Neither of us were going anywhere. And one other officer kept inferring that they could get that trunk door of my 1964 Ford Falcon open very quickly in their own way, if I didn’t come up with a key pretty soon.

What happened next probably wouldn’t happen today. The customs officer who stopped us finally walked over to us as the delay time crawled up to nearly three hours and handed me the ignition key to my car. “Look, young man, (yes, they used to call me that), we’ve been watching both of you pretty carefully for quite a while now, and you’ve both done a pretty good job of convincing us that you aren’t trying to smuggle dope by convincing us that you are just a couple of dumb ass tourists who would plant drugs in your own car trunk, then make dumb statements to us, and then spend the rest of the afternoon being good actors. – You guys are not acting. This was the dumbest thing I ever seen at this crossing. Now get out of here, – go find that damn trunk key,  – and never come back to Mexico without it! – Have you got that?”

Yours Truly: “Yes, Sir.”

Nuf sed. One of these days I may run out of self-flagellation stories from my youthful naivete and my apparently honest-to-a-fault need to keep telling them.

T.G.I.F – And GO ASTROS – Win ‘Em All this weekend and leave the Mariners “Sleepless in Seattle!”

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2 Responses to “Not So Famous Poorly Chosen Words”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    I attended both games here in Denver and watched my Astros sweep my Rockies by identical scores of 8-4 and be the first team in the American league to reach 40 wins. There was a large contingent of fans sporting Astros colors at Coors Field.

  2. Sam Quintero Says:

    Customs agents do not have a sense of humor in any border crossing or entry into a country — coming or going!

    Bill, having said what I just wrote, been there, done that!!!!

    Indiscretions of the youth!

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