Deb Linda Falls on Her…um, Bait

[DISCLAIMER: Part of this post — okay, most of it — is a shameless rehashing of a post I made on my own blog almost two years ago. But since not many hardly any people read that post (and probably not any of you reading here today), and it’s not plagiarism if you’re stealing from yourself, AND, most importantly, I can contort it to fit this week’s topic, I’m going for it. Because, dudes, I have got to get out and shop, or my kiddos and husband won’t have any presents this year!]

*ahem*

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (aka Texas), I was an actress.

The theater I worked at “professionally” (hey, I was paid–not a lot, but it sure supplemented my teacher’s salary–so it qualifies) was a venue for old-fashioned melodramas. Handsome heroes, beautiful in-peril ingenues, and mustache-twirling villains. We served beer and popcorn between acts (yes, the actors were the wait staff), and the audience was encouraged to cheer the hero and boo-hiss the villain. Oh, and throw popcorn at all the bad guys with reckless abandon, too. This, in fact, was highly encouraged–we sold more popcorn that way.

It all started when, right after I first began teaching, I saw an old high school drama buddy of mine was directing a new show, and there would be open auditions. My roommate (another high school drama buddy, also a new teacher) and I figured what the hell, might be fun. Teaching at a Catholic high school, especially when you’re not Catholic, doesn’t provide a ton of laughs; we needed a diversion. Sure, “Shoot-Out at Hole-in-the-Wall” probably wasn’t high art of the sort we’d been accustomed to in our college days, but it beat spending all our spare time grading papers.

We tried out. We got the parts. (Really, blackmail had hardly anything to do with it. I mean, sure, we knew a few things about the director, but it’s not like we would’ve gone to the papers with it. Maybe his mother, but we wouldn’t have sunk to calling the tabloids.) Anyway, we were officially Flora (that was me!) and Fauna, Showgirls of the Old West.

Now, what we didn’t know at the time we were cast was that we’d have a big musical number. And neither one of us could sing. Not a note. Could not carry a tune in the proverbial bucket. When we expressed our concern to our director/buddy, he said not to worry. It wouldn’t be a problem. And he winked. (Smart people would take that as a red flag.)

Worry we did. A lot. We started to suspect he’d only cast us to humiliate us (some people get so testy about a little not-really-blackmail). But it turned out the reason he wasn’t worried was because he knew the audience would be a teensy bit distracted during our number after we ripped off our long skirts and started singing “If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait”–suitably choreographed–while prancing around the stage in fishnet stockings and high-heel boots. The catcalls tended to drown out our less-than-stellar vocal performance. Since we were young–and non-jiggly–enough not to be embarrassed about showing our legs, it all worked out.

(Aside: yes, as a matter of fact, this is how I caught the theater god’s attention. He was the technical director at the theater, and seemed to *cough* appreciate my bait. Reeled him in hook, line and sinker, and we’ve been together ever since.)

So, what, you may be asking yourself, does this have to do with wardrobe malfunctions?

Well, you see, things don’t always go as planned in live theater. One fine evening, while prancing around onstage in my black fishnets and purple suede boots, I slipped on some popcorn leftover from the villain’s last scene. Went down, ass over teakettle, to the cheering delight of the audience, who apparently thought it was all part of the show.

So, if by “wardrobe” you mean “theater costume,” and by “malfunction” you mean “almost killed myself,” then it works.

(Hmm. I do believe that’s the only time my tush ever got round of applause.)

In retrospect, it might have been a good thing sand the bottom of those boots before dancing in popcorn.

Have you ever had a dangerous wardrobe malfunction? Or unintentionally almost killed yourself in front of an audience full of happily cheering drunks? Do share!

35 thoughts on “Deb Linda Falls on Her…um, Bait

  1. Okay, no, so I never had what you’d call a “dangerous” wardrobe malfunction, or almost offed myself onstage, but I’ve had more than my share of wardrobe oopsies over the years. When I was a senior in high school, there was a semi-popular undergarment called petti-pants. Kinda like a cross between a half-slip and drawers, so essentially, I guess you could say they were bloomers. My favorite pair were red-and-white striped with a kicky white fringe. They were “fun”, and it tickled me to wear them under a staid straight skirt. So here’s the scenario: Following a basketball game, two other couples, my date and I went to an Italian restaurant for pizza. Before leaving there to go home, I made a quick dash for the lady’s room. Apparently, in my haste to rejoin the others, I didn’t pull those petti-pants up quite as well as I should have, because when we were walking across the parking lot to the car, um, those bloomers … fell off! Just, boom! One minute, I was walking, and the next, they were pooled around my ankles in all their red-and-white striped glory. (With kicky white fringes!) The other gals gathered around me, so I could pull those suckers up, but we were all laughing so hard, it’s a miracle I didn’t resort to simply stepping out of them and walking away. (Why, no… they aren’t MINE!) For some time after that, my boyfriend referred to me as D.D. short for “droopy drawers.”

    • LOL! Oh, that’s priceless! I think petti-pants should make a comeback. They sound adorable. And entertaining. *grin*

  2. Ha! GREAT story! I wish my “bait” got a round of applause–or even a whistle, at least once. But nope. LOL
    At RWA Nationals I wore some animal print platform shoes and almost killed myself walking through the streets of NYC. That’s about as close to a wardobe malfunction as I’ve gotten. 🙂

    • Kudos to you for managing that without killing yourself. I cannot navigate in platform shoes. I’d fall off or break an ankle for sure, even without popcorn.

  3. Look, any situation where your rear-end gets a round of applause can’t be all bad. Also, now I want purple suede boots. With a go-go heel if at all possible.

  4. Ah, the curse of the wardrobe malfunction. I’ve endured many.

    Before corporate America adopted casual dress, I used to wear skirts, heels and hose to work every day. To save money on hosiery, I bought the kind that came in an egg. I didn’t realize this until I put them on one morning, but I mistakenly bought panty hose with a sexy French Lace panty. I shrugged… who was going to see them?

    Well, I fell down a flight of steps that morning. The entire flight. I landed on my bottom with my skirt covering my face. Worse, the sexy French Lace pantyhose was on display for the entire company to see. All I heard were Whoas, catcalls, laughter and one or two Are you OK’s? Someone helped me to my feet and I couldn’t walk – cracked my coccyx.

    Which is code for “I broke my ass”.

    • Oh my! That is the worst kind of wardrobe malfunction. Embarrassment diminishes quickly, but broken tailbones hurt for a long time. 🙁

  5. Great story! I had a wadrobe malfunction in a Halloween costume once, dressed as a pseudo biker chick, wearing only a velvet vest on top that was two sizes too small. Should have probably thought again about playing pool and what might happen as I bent over the table to take my shot. The “girls” fell out right there in the bar in front of God and everybody. I won the award that night for best costume. Was also begged to wear it again and again. Gee, wonder why?

  6. I love this story. A lot. I would love it more if you would re-enact it and videotape it so we could see it. Consider it a gift to your fellow Debs and Deb Friends.

  7. OMG. we get an embarrassing story + a tidbit of how you met TG? i consider this an AWESOME blog post. i love hearing about the younger days of linda grimes. they’re every bit as saucy as i imagined.

  8. Well, there was the time when I was 14…I was wearing a bikini (yeah, the lasy year THAT was an option for me), and holding the little boy across the street on my hip. I think he was like 3. And there was a pool full of teen-aged boys…and Chris grabbed the end of the tie and gave it a yank…
    Oh, and don’t get me started on the time I went to my friend’s country club pool, pulled off my t-shirt and headed for the water. Suzie’s older sister grabbed a beach towel and tackled me before I realized I had completely forgotten to put the top of that swimsuit on!

  9. In high school, I directed our musical. “Kiss Me, Kate.” In the “Too Darn Hot” number, the girls originally were wearing fishnets, but our theatre teacher decided this was too risque. Since we were doing a risque musical and this was a very risque number, we were, naturally, outraged. Without the fishnets, it looked like a pajama party. Outrageous, right? But, being the good highschool students that we were, we rebelled. If the girls were singing risque lyrics in a risque number in a risque show, they should get to wear risque costumes. Right? RIGHT? So they did. On the last night of the performance. I was sitting in the audience next to my theatre teacher, seeing the reaction to the wardrobe “malfunction” first hand.

    Detention and a lecture. Totally worth it!

  10. I missed this story the first time around and I loved it! (Sorry–I mean, I loved the story, bu I’m sorry for your discomfort…aw, hell, you know what I’m saying!)

    All I want to know is…are you SURE you didn’t say the name that must not be mentioned in the theater?

    And here’s the those wardrobe malfunctions when we were jiggling in all the “right” places! 😉

  11. I did drama/theatre for 5 years and thankfully never had a wardrobe malfunction. HOWEVER, I also played field hockey for 6 years. If you don’t know, field hockey uniforms are skirts. Most girls wear cheerleader bloomers over their underwear. I…did not. Mostly because I kept forgetting to wash them. (I know, I was disgusting.) I was a “gung ho” sort of gal and well, on several occasions my skirt went flying up when I fell feet over my head. On one instance, I dove to score a goal (I did), but clanged my head off the post, knocked myself out for a few minutes and laid there, grassy cheeks for the world to see. My teammates laughed so hard, they LET ME LAY THERE. Jerks.

  12. 1970s. Polyester shirt. Dome snap closures. You already see where I’m going with this, don’t you? Sure enough, I flung my arms wide open for some reason, and the whole damn thing flung wide open, right down to my navel. Fortunately, I wasn’t participating in the braless movement at the time.

    Or how about the time I decided to dash madly across six lanes of traffic wearing ballet flats? One flew off halfway across the street and I had to decide whether to risk death retrieving it or just leave without it. (I risked death. I’m a badass. And I was broke and couldn’t afford another pair of shoes).

    Another day, another wardrobe malfunction. I was hoofing it across the street when the elastic in my underwear let go. Fortunately, I was wearing slacks, but the gitch slithered down and hung up on the crotch of my pants, leaving a droopy roll under my ass and around both hips. Try adjusting that surreptitiously while standing at the bus stop.

    I could go on and on…

  13. I read an excerpt from my book onstage at a steampunk ball in a corset and thought I might pass out from not being able to suck enough oxygen into my lungs. Can’t say that was a wardrobe malfunction though. I think the whole point of corsets is to keep you taking dainty little breaths.

    A martini after the reading fixed me right up. No worries.
    And next time, I’ll know to have one in advance.

    • Ah, the Great Martini Solution. I’ll have to remember that if I ever do a reading of my book. Hmm. Maybe I’ll get an engraved flask: In A Fix? Drink up! *grin*

  14. Once, while working in a busy office we had important visitors come to look around. Deciding I should look as busy as everyone else (often I wasn’t) I dashed around a lot. I got hot. I removed my sweater. That would have been fine if I’d had a blouse underneath. A dingy grey T-shirt would have been better than nothing. I wasn’t wearing a dingy T-shirt either … On the up side, no one seemed to notice my out tray was practically empty.

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