The Most Embarrassing Moment in Deaf History

This is a story I've held back for a few years. I wanted to write about it when I was a humor columnist but didn't think it was appropriate for a family newspaper. In Drolz Uncensored, though, there's no limit to the stupidity I have to offer. Don't say I didn't warn you. *wink*

There's a wonderful TV store at the local mall (I'm not going to give their name for reasons you'll learn very soon). My kids love it there because they have wall-to-wall TVs of all sizes, including some gargantuan 52-inchers with stereo sound systems going full blast. Often, the store plays popular kids' movies on all the screens at once. My kids were repeatedly drawn there due to endless showings of Shrek.

One day my wife and I decided to check out the TVs for ourselves. As usual, every TV in the store was hooked up to the same channel. Some nature show was in progress, one of those National Geographic specials or something. The zebras and all were nice, but one thing was missing. There weren't any captions.

A young, 20-something salesman approached us. We told him that before we could select a TV, we wanted to see what the captions looked like on different name brands.

Eager to help, the young man tried to change some channels in search of a captioned show. It didn't work. Puzzled, the salesman excused himself for a moment. He briefly questioned another salesman, who pointed behind the sales desk. Apparently, there was some kind of master control switch that coordinated all the TVs at once.

The salesman disappeared behind the desk. Click. All of the TVs simultaneously jumped to another channel. Again, no captions. The hapless young man checked back with us, realized his mistake, and went right back to the desk. He fiddled around with the controls some more.

Click. Nope. Click. Nope. How hard could it possibly be to find a captioned show?

Click. A-ha! Finally! Captions everywhere. Satisfied with his good deed for the day, the salesman beamed as he walked back towards us.

"This one's nice," I said to my wife. "The captions are nice and big and..."

I never finished my sentence because my jaw dropped to the floor. The captions were very clear, and... obscene.

"HOLY BLEEP," the captions blared. "LOOK AT THOSE BLEEPS! BLEEPING AWESOME!" (Folks, I don't want to get busted for Internet porn. Fill in the bleeps yourselves, thank you very much.)

The salesman didn't even know what he'd done. He was too proud of his contribution to society to realize he'd clicked on a premium cable channel. I have no idea why the store had access to it. I'm guessing it was so they could pull in customers with popular (and appropriately rated) movies. Unfortunately, our sales buddy had clicked on this channel while an R-rated feature was playing.

Oh, it gets better (or worse, depending on how funny -- or not funny -- you think this story is).

The salesman patted me on the back.

"Nice, huh?" he asked.

At that very moment... you guessed it. A nude scene. Yes, the reason some character in the movie said "Holy bleep" was because he had just walked into a strip club.

Our friendly neighborhood salesman turned ghost-white. Finally, he realized what happened and rushed back behind the desk. But it was way too late. The stripper had already revealed her, uh, assets. On not one, not two, but EVERY single television in the entire store. It was gazongas galore. More jugs than a milk factory. My wife pulled me out of the store right then and there on account of the stupid smile on my face.

Folks, this definitely wasn't Shrek. But I think our salesman succeeded in attracting the critical 18-to-35 male demographic that buys more TVs than anyone else. It is for this reason alone I'm hoping the poor salesman wasn't fired. He was only trying to help.

After we left, my wife actually asked if I remembered which TV had the best captions.

"What captions?" I innocently responded. (Once again, my big mouth lands me in the doghouse. But it was worth it.)

We wound up buying a TV somewhere else.