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This is a question Out of my depth

As a schoolkid, I signed up for a public speaking contest purely as a ruse to meet girls. It haunts me still: in front of 300 people, I started to speak, dried up, stood there for what felt like half an hour staring at the floor and then slowly walked back to my seat. Oh, and the girl I liked laughed.

Have you ever been utterly, completely, devastatingly out of your depth?

(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 15:07)
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More Military Humiliation
To "boost" morale for the troops stationed in the middle of the desert with a ratio of 6,000 men to 1 woman, the Commanding General was fond of throwing impromptu competitions on Fridays and having each unit hand select a team for said competition.

Due to equal equality and minority rules and all that, I was usually the "token female" for each and every blasted event, no matter what that event might be.

So along comes Friday, my Captain calls me into his office and announces that I will be taking part in a base-wide swim meet.

Two problems - #1 I am a horrid swimmer, adept only at flailing and floating but not necessarily moving. #2 The only bathing suit I own is a racy two-piece number, clearly not suitable for a General Sponsored Event.

I borrowed a swimsuit from my dippy roomate, a blonde from Iowa who walked with a permanent limp, caused, no doubt, by the aforementioned men to woman ration. She was hungover, and waved towards her wall-locker and indicated that I help myself.

So there I am, getting ready to swim the 100 Meter Butterfly. I don't even quite know what that is but I'm a sport, right, so I watch other people and practice on the side by trying to imitate their arm and leg movements. A General's aide asked me if I was all right. I scowled at him. Clearly, as a US Marine, I was invincible and destined for winning.

I hit the water, begin flailing and flailing for all I am worth, sending up mighty spouts of water and large waves to my lane partners. I was clearly on fire, I was going to somehow win this thing, even without knowing the damn swim stroke because I WAS THAT GOOD.

Cut to the next scene. I come up to the end, gasping and gulping, grab the side of the pool and look around. There is no one around me. I'm thinking that victory is mine, I have finished first. No such luck. Everyone is already done and out of the pool, drying off and laughing at me.

Dejected but not completely defeated, I try to drag my exhausted carcass out of the pool. This results in a very unattractive posture wherein one foot is up and I am hanging on with one arm, splayed open for all the world to see.

That's when the collective gasp goes up from the crowd.

It turns out that the bathing suit I am wearing is a Tanning Swimsuit, the kind you can get a Tan through, if you are into that sort of thing.

It isn't meant to get wet.

When it does get wet -

It becomes totally see-through.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 13:49, Reply)

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