Hump Day: Oscars blunder reminds us of our own red-faced moments

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wedesday, March 1, 2017
Moncton Times & Transcript

For those of us who stayed up until well after 1 a.m. to watch the Oscars on Sunday, at least we saw a bit of history with a colossal mistake that should have never happened when Faye Dunaway announced that La La Land won Best Picture.

In fact, it was Moonlight that had won, but someone mixed up the envelopes and she and co-presenter Warren Beatty were left red-faced after they’d inadvertently made the biggest boo-boo in the history of the Academy Awards.

Watching it as it happened, I sat up and took notice through bleary eyes. Viewers were stunned. The Academy was stunned. The winners and losers were stunned. Luckily, the producers of La La Land were the epitome of class and handled the blunder like real pros.

This just goes to prove, folks, that it ain’t over until it’s over. This was the equivalent of a bony hand popping out of a grave at the end of a horror movie or the supposedly dead hockey-mask-wearing serial killer opening one eye to the sound of a screeching violin, quickly followed by the closing credits.

It actually took me a long time to fall asleep after that. I felt horrible for the producers of La La Land. I mean the apparent pinnacle of their careers was snatched away from them due to what was basically human error. A wrong envelope. Hopes and dreams were shattered (and made – if you worked on Moonlight) by the contents of an envelope.

Reminds me of when I get my power bills during the winter. I’m having a great day and then I see that familiar envelope in the mailbox. I open it gingerly, take one look at how many numbers there are before the decimal point and then invariably wince. Ouch! I’ll be glad when spring is here and the need for constant heat in the house has passed.

On Monday morning, I thought that perhaps a midday nap would be well deserved at some point. Then I remembered my own major flub from last week. I think my napping days are over until I can handle them like a grown man in a responsible manner.

Picture it. Moncton. February 2017. A handsome young man has just come in from picking cotton in the field. His skin is tanned a light shade of cocoa from working outside in the scorching sun. His glistening muscles sparkle as he shakes his long locks of blond hair, sending sweat flying off into the hot, humid air which is heavy with lust.

In case you haven’t guessed – that handsome young man is me, which makes about as much sense as what really happened on that day when I made my own mistake. Perhaps it wasn’t as public as the Academy Awards blooper, but I felt awful.

What I was trying to do was set up a scenario in that it was justified for me to take a late-afternoon nap and fall asleep for nearly two hours. And I’m not talking a light sleep. I’m talking drool dripping down your chin, mouth wide open, snoring like a freight train. It was glorious.

At 6 p.m., the telephone rang. I did what most people do when they answer the telephone out of a dead sleep: I pretended I’d been awake. Unfortunately, I woke up so confused and out of sorts that I made no sense to the caller, who was wondering why I wasn’t at our pre-determined appointment. What? Who is this? What are you talking about?

When they told me, I did that ‘wake up from a nightmare’ thing you see all the time on television where someone sits up straight in bed suddenly with their eyes wide open and breathing heavily. Yup, my glorious nap ended badly. I’d messed up and had completely forgotten an appointment. Worse, it was with two people, not just one. Thankfully, it was for volunteer work and not a client. But still, I can’t believe I did it.

Now that I was fully awake and panicking, I apologized profusely and begged for time to get there. Unfortunately, they couldn’t wait, so we had to reschedule. I continued to apologize, even by email afterwards. I was so mad at myself. If someone would have done that to me, I’d be snapping my fingers and moving my head from side to side making nasty judgmental comments.

There’s one blessing, though. The guy who handed over the wrong envelope at the Oscars has a lot more to apologize for compared to my relatively mild gaffe. And if you need a nap to recover, buddy, my sofa is pretty comfortable. Call me.

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