Youth in Asia? – News – Canton Daily Ledger – Canton, IL


I’ve had major doozies of ‘foot-in-mouth’ instances over the years; more than I care to remember.

I’d like to say I’m in the average category, but something tells me I’m more than likely above average.

In high school, I was in Mrs. Mary Peterson’s Advanced English class; a class which we had to go above and beyond to earn a good grade.

To prepare us for our term papers we had to write in the fourth quarter, senior year (which accounted for the majority of our entire overall grade), we were given numerous assignments where we had to take a topic, write a paper and read it to the class.

The last one was difficult for me.

We were discussing varying topics for an upcoming paper we had to do and one of my classmates said she was going to write hers on euthanasia.

I sat at my table in class, head cocked and asked, “Why do you want to write about youth in Asia? Is there a specific group or angle you’re looking at?”

She looked at me funny and said, “Euthanasia. It’s an important issue.”

“No, no, I don’t disagree, but you’re going to write about all the youth in Asia?”

She said no, just a focused group.”

“Then why call it youth in Asia?”

Because my topic IS euthanasia.

“But, why?”

I had not noticed but Mrs. P was laughing so hard she had tears. She wrote on the chalkboard, EUTHANASIA.

THEN it finally hit me she was not talking about youth in Asia.

In my defense, they do sound a lot alike.

It took a bit to live that one down.

But, there were plenty to choose from.

In the summer, if you were on the high school volleyball team, Coach Paulus ran a tight ship.

Our first practice would be at the crack of dawn and the second in the afternoon.

We had several foreign exchange students attend school with us through the years.

One was Megumi. I think she was from China. We all called her Meg and she was a hoot.

At one of our afternoon practices, I was nailed in the face with a volatile spike by one of my teammates. I didn’t have time to put my hands up because I was not paying attention as I should have been…that’s what Coach. P., said anyway. Tomato, toe-mah-toe is how I roll.

I was definitely seeing little birdies circling my head.

Saying the first thing that came to mind I yelled, “Mam-uh-jam-uh!”

Meg thought this was a cuss word, which surprisingly I did not cuss on that occasion.

She came up to me during a water break and said, “Deb, thank you for teaching me my first American cuss word.”

I attempted every which way to explain to her it wasn’t a cuss word it was something that popped out of my mouth after being hit squarely in the face by an extremely fast traveling volleyball.

I couldn’t convince her.

She went on to sign my year book, “Thank you, Deb, for teaching me my first American cuss word!”

Eh, it could have been worse and it would be.

As a high school football cheerleader it’s important to pay attention to whatever is happening on the field because there’s a very real possibility you may have to haul out of the way of players at any given moment.

I was standing in the back row, doing my cheers, not paying attention then BAM.

Next thing I know I’m on the ground with my classmate who is right around 6’4, 6’5 on top of me in all of his gear. He has always been an extremely nice person (he’s a doctor now and a darn good one), as he was profusely apologizing, helping me up, his coach was yelling at him to get back on the field.

You can bet I paid more attention to the game after than incident!

One I’m not likely to forget about soon is the infamous cheerleading debacle—yes, between football and basketball cheerleading I was batting 1,000 as my Gramps would say.

We, as a squad had and worked and worked on worked on a new stunt so we could do it at the next home guy.

As the smallest I was the one who was always was on the top, but this was different. As the cheer was winding down I was supposed to run to my friend, Angie where she would have her arms popped out in back. After hitting the middle of the popped arms, she would move her arms to grab and lift me to standing position on her shoulders.

THAT was what was supposed to happen.

What actually happened was a nightmare. Our timing was off and I fell off her backwards knocking my noggin on the gym floor with a very large THUD.

I knew I could do one of two things; curl up and hope no one saw me, (though audible gasp by EVERYONE in attendance forced me to accept they saw me, alright.

Instead, I jumped up and ran off the court as if nothing happened.

I still do weird stuff like that all the time.

When a waiter/waitress brings me food and tells me to enjoy I sometimes say, “You, too.”

I believe this particular trait is hereditary.

We used to do a ‘Gobbler Give Away’ each year in Abingdon/Avon. It was pretty cool.

A woman had come in and said she never went to Macomb, but would like her turkey.

I offered to go to Macomb that evening to pick it up.

The next morning, I sat the frozen bird on a chair near our mail/news slot.

Hannah Beth came into work after me, looked at the turkey, then at me and and again at the turkey.

“How did someone get that in our mail slot?”

I am biased, but my daughter is extremely smart and I couldn’t for the life of me figure A. someone would deliver a turkey to us and B. be able to push said turkey through a tiny slot.

She’s a college graduate for goodness sake!

I said, “Hannah do you want to think about it for a minute?”

Finally, I told her I put it there after picking it up for a customer.

“Oh,” she said.

Given she was pregnant with Sawyer, so it could be she had pregnancy brain, but how anyone could think a turkey would fit through that slot, I don’t know.

I don’t know what other people do, but I laugh it off.

At least she wasn’t writing about youth in Asia!



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