“Shout” by Tears For Fears just finished playing on my iPod and thereby hangs a tale. strausmouse will recall this because he was there, even though we didn’t know each other at the time. At the time this depressing song was a hit, I was in junior high school and was invited to the Bar Mitzvah of a friend of mine, Brian Berry. At the reception was a DJ who was taking requests for a lip-synch contest or something like that. For reasons known only to Satan, I decided to volunteer and I told the DJ that I wanted to sing the song “Shout”. I spent the next half hour or so nervously wondering what the hell I just did and asking myself how it was that I got myself into these awful situations.

The DJ decided to have a little fun with me. When it came time to do my diddy, I got up there, and the DJ started the music to “Shout”–only it wasn’t Tears For Fears version of the song. Instead, it was The Isley Brothers version of “Shout”. I stood there stunned, not knowing what to do. I imagine it got a good laugh. Finally, he put on the version I asked for and things didn’t get much better. Several of my friends had to get up there with me to help me get through it. It was utterly humiliating, and if I could go back in time, I would kidnap myself from that reception in order to avoid embarrassment. Paradoxes be damned!

One other thing I recall from that reception was that I hung out with a kid I’d never met before–Joshua John Miller–but I recognized him as the guest star of a recent 2-part episode of Highway To Heaven, “A Song For Jason“. The whole episode was about a camp for kids with cancer and Joshua played one of the kids (the main guest star). In fact, when I met him, his hair was still growing back in. I spent most of the party hanging out with him, and I remember little else, even what we talked about. Although given my attempt at singing and my penchant for bending the truth a little back then, I can only imagine it was equally humiliating.

I could fill a book with embarrassing moments like these. But I won’t.