Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Caitlin Upton Moment

Who hasn't heard the hapless answer of Miss South Carolina, Caitlin Upton, to the question, How can it be that a survey found that 25 percent of Americans can't find the U.S. on a map? [See comments for a more accurate rendering of the question.] If you haven't, you can watch it here, or read it here:
I personally believe the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh ...; people out there in our nation don't have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and ...; I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., err, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future ... for us.
Three thoughts:

First, pity on the poor girl. She is no doubt at least somewhat brighter than her answer would have you believe. She just choked ... big time ... nationally. For the rest of her life, she'll hear, "Are you the Caitlin Upton, the 'South Africa and, uh, the Iraq' Caitlin Upton?" She'll just have to overcome it, and overcoming it will make her a stronger, smarter person.

Second, I don't know what survey it was that found that 25 percent of us can't find the U.S. on a map, but I can tell you what the right answer to the question is, the answer Caitlin should have come up with:
I personally believe that the only way a survey could report such a finding is that it was a biased, left-leaning tool, not a truly scientific survey. I would be willing to bet my crown, which I sure hope you will place on my pretty blond head soon, that the survey was doctored by a National Education Association in order to dupe Congressmen and Congresswomen into sinking even more money into the bottomless pit of our failing public education system. Americans are smarter than that, but the NEA apparently knows members of Congress aren't.
But I wasn't on the spot like Caitlin was, so who can fault her?

And third, if you haven't ever had a "Caitlin Upton moment," it's probably because you've never had the courage to step out in front of a crowd of people and accept a spotlight.

My Caitlin moment came when I was emceeing an annual awards ceremony for our professional association -- a big deal, hundreds in attendance. The night had progressed well, and it was time for the big award.

What I meant to say was, "This is it ... hold your breath ... the winner is..."

What I said was, "This is it ... hold your breasts ...."

There was no point in even trying to get to "the winner is," because the laughter was so loud and I was so mortified. Fortunately, I don't remember then next few seconds, I just have vague sense that somehow the award was announced and a recipient -- who no doubt holds a grudge against me to this day for spoiling his or her big moment -- came up and accepted the reward.

Have you got a Caitlin moment? Want to share it?

Labels: , ,