Yes, it could have been embarrassing if I would have accidentally spelled embarrassing with two ms like I almost did.

But that’s not the point. As I was going to say…

Have you ever found yourself blushing at something that almost happened? Something that could have turned out pretty embarrassing? Something you almost said or did that could have proved horribly humiliating?

If you don’t know what I mean, I’ll try to explain.

You see, I have several friends that like to play jokes on me. I deserve it, because I like to play jokes on them, too. You could say it goes both ways.

Anyways, when I think that someone is about to play a trick on me, I like to try to turn the tables and have the joke fall on them instead. Makes for a lot of laughs and plenty of memories…some better than others.

It happened several months ago when the weather was still warm enough to go bike riding. I was biking to our church to play around on the piano/keyboard. Our piano at home is great, but you can’t make it sound like a neighing rhinoceros or a burping trumpet. There’s even a setting that sounds like a laughing hippo, and one that makes ragtime sound like rock. Not like I would know that from experience, of course…

On my way to the church, I saw several friends biking towards me, just crossing the railroad tracks. They were heading to my house, so I waved and told them that I’d see them in about half an hour when I got back from the church.

One of them — Danielle — was the one that seemed the most likely to play a trick on me, and I just happened to notice the color of shirt she had on…bright pink.

They waved back at me and casually headed on, but I had a feeling they’d turn around, sneak up, and try to scare me while I was inside playing piano. Well, I certainly wasn’t going to let them have the privilege! I would get to it first.

But naturally, I had to act natural.

In other words, I would put the burping trumpet, neighing rhinoceros, and laughing hippo settings to use — after all, I was there to use the piano, wasn’t I? — while I waited for them to sneak up on me.

I played away, acting as natural as possible, maybe even talking to myself like I do sometimes, all the while keeping an eye or two out for any suspicious behavior at the front of the church.

From where I was at the piano, I could see the double doors that led from the entryway to the sanctuary. Behind those double doors were the big front doors where they would come in.

Soon I saw what  I was looking for. The double doors leading to the sanctuary moved slightly as the front doors were pulled open and a breeze came through.

Heh heh. Nice try. Didn’t anticipate the wind, now did you, Danielle?

I heard footsteps on the entryway floor and grinned to myself. But instead of coming up several stairs to the sanctuary, I heard the footsteps creaking away from me, down the stairs into the basement.


Well, it made sense. Danielle didn’t want me to see her right away…she was going to wait till I left, and then she was going to sneak up on me. Or so she thought.

I left the piano and dashed as quietly as I could towards the double doors. No one was in the entryway, I saw, so it was as I thought…she was in the basement. I crept down the stairs quietly, one by one, wincing at each creaking sound. 

It never occurred to me that the footsteps going down those stairs might not be Danielle’s, but if I had any doubts at all, they were erased by the flash of a pink shirt disappearing around the corner into one of the rooms.

I made it all the way down to the entryway without making a terrible amount of noise. I was on fourth step down the second flight of stairs when I saw the pink shirt reappearing around a door.

I tensed, ready to jump and yell my guts out.

It would be difficult to say who was more surprised when the cleaning lady rounded the corner and saw me there perched on the fourth step, leaning forward expectantly.

I nearly fell down the rest of the stairs.

My eyes traveled in shock from her small shoes to her jeans to her glasses and the long brown braid flipped over one shoulder…and back to the bright pink shirt.


“Um…I’m sorry, I thought…I mean…well, that is…I thought you were…um…a friend.”

She smiled, and I thought maybe she understood.

We talked for a bit, and then I said lamely, “I hope it’s not distracting if I practice piano while you’re here. I’m almost done…” I am now.

I quickly finished up, loaded my piano books into my backpack, and told the cleaning lady that I was leaving.

As I mounted my bike and turned towards home, one thought filled my head.

Wow, nice goin’ Kate! Now THAT could have been embarrassing!