Monday, August 1, 2011

#202 - ALL FIRED UP!

When I was a Sophomore at Santa Monica City College I took several speech classes.   Noooooo, way you say!  This gal is way too shy!  Sure, right!  Well, this story is about my final speech in that class.

I wanted to get an "A" since I was thinking about becoming a member of Toastmasters International.  All of my other speeches received fantastic reviews and I was working on straight "A's."  To me this had to be a speech that EVERYONE would remember, especially the instructor (who could be my Toastmasters' sponsor, if I finished well).

I researched feverishly on my topic which was drawn from a box.  At first I wasn't too enthused because it the topic I drew was, "The Dangers of House Fires."  However, after reading a gazillion articles a plan began to form in my mind.

An outline of the required techniques was made and under each one notes were sketched.  I began to get excited and could see the way it was going to go.  My information was well documented, phrased in interesting and unique ways, and I had come up with a mind staggering (required) demonstration/finale.

On the day of the final, I admit, l I was a little nervous.  With my notes memorized in my head I stepped to the podium and set up my props, stage right, on a table.  One of these props was a carefully crafted paper and cardboard house with shingles, a chimney, windows, door and the typical type of siding drawn in color on the model.

My voice was well modulated, my tempo was up beat and crisp, I demonstrated an excitement about the information I was imparting and put across the seriousness of the topic.  I HAD THEM EATING OUT OF MY HANDS.  I was cooking on all burners.  I was firing on all cylinders.  I was going like a house afire.  It is then that I launched into my final comment and the ending that would grab them all.

As I said, "Don't let this happen to you," I stuck a match and touched it to the house.  Well, here is where it gets interesting.  I had worried about the house not catching fire, or only partially burning so (remember I was only a Sophomore in college and REALLY STUPID!)  therefore I had soaked the paper house with lighter fluid....................  WOOSH!  up it went.  If the front row had been any closer their eyebrows would have been part of my speech.  Everyone jumped up, the fire alarm went off, and I looked on stunned at the conflagration melting the top of the table.  The instructor rushed up with a fire extinguisher and became a participant in my memorable demonstration.

Mann, oh mann, it went up in a mini explosion of flame in less than 5 seconds.  WHAT A SIGHT!
I GOT AN "A." (and a lecture from the Dean).

POST SCRIPT:  I have had several blog worthy experiences with fire.  See the following:
          #32 = the 9th Street Fire Fiend,

          #20 = Recipe for Disaster,

          #90 = From the Frying Pan to the Fire,

I also have one more coming up as soon as I get around to writing it.  What can I say....I'm a slow learner and I have already told you that have ADHD (and am a tad nuts).  By the way.  I never joined toastmasters.  I fell in love instead... ... ...


kt 7/3/11