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Carol Perkins: The Worm Wrestling Contest
Previous Column: The Nosy Raccoon
By Carol Perkins
Back in the eighties, the TV game show, "Match Game" was popular. As a fundraiser, one of the school clubs conducted a "match game" in which students filled out a questionnaire, paid a dollar, and a computer program generated a list of five compatible people. It was all in fun.
The faculty and administrators also participated, and five adults landed on each person's list. It was all in fun. At least it was until it turned sour.
By noon on the morning of the results, word raced back to the high school of a statement one of the administrators had made, which he had boldly shared as he held out his list. "I wouldn't take any of these women to a worm wrestling contest."
I was on his list. At first, I merely smirked at the idea that he found the five of us unworthy. Then an idea kicked in and here's what happened.
I folded a piece of paper into the shape of a card and on the front printed, "You're invited." Inside, I drew and colored a wrestling ring with five worms in high heels circling a man. At the top, it read, "To a worm wrestling contest." Then I sent it by someone going to the central office, unsigned, to be placed in the hands of this man.
The next day during our lunch break when the majority of the faculty was in the workroom, he sheepishly arrived. "I knew I shouldn't have said that. It was a joke. I should have known someone couldn't wait to tell it." BUSTED!
I never admitted to the card, but he knew it had come from me. I was proud of putting him on the spot.
He lost the support of five women that day; women whose support he could have used. He thought he was being cute, but what he said was demeaning and rude. None of us would have gone with him if invited. He would have sat alone at the worm wrestling contest.
The moral of the story was best said by Ben Franklin. "A joke at another man's expense is not funny." Although we remained friends and I laughed it off as far as he knew, I never see I worm that I don't think of him!
You can contact Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was posted on 2021-10-22 13:00:53
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