“Success covers a multitude of blunders.”
—George Bernard Shaw
Putting on the Ritz
I was staying in a posh L.A. hotel. One morning I scooped up a message left outside my door, but as I strained to reach for the slip of paper, I fell forward slightly and ended up locking myself out of my room—stark naked. With my heart now racing, I dashed down the hall, where I found a trashcan. I tipped it over, then gratefully wrapped myself in the trashcan liner. I crept down the stairs to the lobby. The woman behind the reception desk had clearly seen me coming, for she issued the replacement access card without once looking up.
I was a lowly staff member at a fancy fundraiser in New York. The man sitting next to me had been hitting on me all evening and I needed to duck him, so when the college president invited the entire staff to join his wife and him for cocktails in the hotel lounge after dinner, I accepted, despite my boss’s glare at my breach of protocol. I was congratulating myself on the success of my plan until we all sat down on the low chairs in the lounge. There I suddenly realized what the tablecloth in the banquet hall had masked: when I was seated, my brand-new dress hiked up dramatically. I strategically placed a tiny cocktail napkin on my lap, gulped down my drink, and fled as soon as possible.
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