Seven years ago, I showed up to my first day of work at a brand new job with sh*t smeared up and down the back of my clothing. Yes, sh*t. The real kind. The smelly kind. Till this day, I have no idea how it found its way onto my clothes. Did I lean up against something on the train? Did someone smear it on me as part of an elaborate practical joke? I don't know. However, I didn't notice it until five minutes before the start of the work day. In five minutes, the office would be filled with people I had never met in my life. In five minutes, my new boss would arrive to show me around and introduce me to the staff. In five minutes, life as I knew it could come to an end.
Everyone has an embarrassing story to tell. More often than not, these stories end with you brainstorming several different excuses to somehow justify whatever humiliating event just slapped you across the face. Yes, it sucks. And for a brief period of time, you want to hide. You want to disappear. You want so badly for a time machine to exist -- rewind the clock, avoid everything. However, life doesn't work out that way. We have to accept things. We have to move on. Sh*t happens.
In an instant, I ran to the bathroom. There I was, on my first day of work right out of college, standing over a sink in my boxer shorts, feverishly trying to wipe sh*t off my clothes. I wouldn't wish this situation upon even my worst enemies. So, I did the best I could do and used a lot of soap. I spent the remainder of the day meeting several managers and employees, with the first words out of mouth being, "Oh, by the way -- if you smell sh*t, it's me." True story.
Thanks to everyone for sending in shorts for this week! Without your help, I'd feel so alone and scared. Oh, and speaking of feeling scared, next week I am going to focus on the horror genre. Your assignment: Find me some spooky scary short film, tell me why you think it rocks and send all links to shorts at cinematical dot com. If I sh*t my pants, perhaps I'll throw it into next week's edition of Eat My Shorts. Got it? Good. Let's go watch some shorts ...
This week on Eat My Shorts, we're focusing on embarrassment, humiliation and everything that goes along with it. Why do I look the way I do? Why do I feel the way I feel? Are you one of those people who always says the wrong thing at the wrong time? Have you ever wanted to stand up, face the world and scream, "This is who I am -- take it or leave it!" No? Well, you should.
All it takes is one split second of stupidity to ruin your hopes, dreams and a chance to score with a really hot babe. In The Moment, one man finds out that windows are oh so evil. We've all been there before. You're walking down the street when you pass a large window and use it to check out your reflection. Does everything look okay? Is my hair messed up? Oh wait, what's that hanging from my nose? While our backs are be turned and away from prying eyes, we often don't realize how our reflection is out there for the world to see. Written, produced and directed by Hugh Mcleod, The Moment was an Official Selection at The Edinburgh Film Festival back in 2003.
- Combine the television show Punk'd with Star Wars and you've got Sith'd, a very funny fan film about a Jedi knight who comes upon a Sith Lord and prepares to battle. However, this Jedi soon finds himself in a very embarrassing situation when his lightsaber fails to do the job.
What if you are the embarrassment? What if every day is spent wishing you were in someone else's shoes? How do you overcome that? Well, it's easy -- just be yourself. Be different. Be a freak.
- Face it, not everyone is perfect. Whether we're fat or skinny, tiny or tall, each of us bears an imperfection that we wish didn't exist. It's embarrassing. It's humiliating. It makes us look like a freak. Created via the use of some brilliant claymation, Circle of Freaks is definitely an odd little short. It tells the story of a young boy who stumbles upon what appears to be a very peculiar freak show. At first, it seems fun to watch the freaks. They're weird. They're entertaining. Oh, and they're looking for a new addition. Thanks to Mike for pointing me in the direction of this bizarre film.
Finally, how can we overcome a potential embarrassment? While I would never support revenge as a method to feel better about a certain embarrassing situation, sometimes you do what you have to do. The following shorts show two different ways to get over and past what, potentially, could be a very sticky situation.
- Way before Sin City crashed onto the scene, Robert Rodriguez directed a short film called Bedhead. Shot entirely in black and white, story follows a little girl and her attempt to exact revenge (using her newfound telekinetic powers) upon an extremely devilish older brother who is hell-bent on making her life miserable. Using members of his own family, Bedhead was the first picture Rodriguez shot on 16mm while in film school. The pic also took home 14 awards and served as a pretty nifty calling card for the aspiring filmmaker. Later that summer, while on break from school, Rodriguez came up with another idea. This one was called El Mariachi. And the rest is history.
- Ah, there's nothing more embarrassing then having to get up in front of your class and recite a poem as part of some lame school assignment. It's horrifying. What if you look stupid? What if everyone laughs at you? For the remainder of the school year, you could be known as "The Stupid Poem Kid." How do you go on? How do you get through it? Well, using his own experience as inspiration, Galen Olson decided to make a film about the situation and call it My Platinum Love. Sure, the production value isn't amazing and the film certainly did not win an Oscar, but it goes to show, if you put yourself out there a little and take a chance, life can be very rewarding.
Once again, I'm looking for some scary short films for next week, as well as whatever you feel like throwing my way. Please send all tips, links and suggestions to shorts at cinematical dot com.