Running for Congress in the memory of my late friend Jay Houston Marx was supposed to be a snap.
I was invited to speak before a community panel whose focus was keeping their city safe and making it even safer. I had lots of ideas to put forth. Views on approaches to transformational justice, creating art programs for youth, and late night alternatives to the bar scenes that would keep young people off the streets. These were all part of my arsenal to encourage responsible social change. Intuition failed to inform me that I was in danger of being compromised.
“We must endeavor to lift up our youth. And support and celebrate their growth. Let’s encourage them to be strictly bound to contributing to the communities that pick them up. Honor roll students, B students, D students all have the same needs. Acceptance and support. At this junction…”
It was here in my speech that I felt my bra strap burst and sting into my shoulder. My perfectly presentable rack became a pair of lopsided headlights before an onlooking group of concerned parents and youth.
Perhaps it would not have been observed had I not been a DD student by the end of my high school career. But when your breasts are so big people have instant emotional reactions and judgments, a wardrobe malfunction can leave you vulnerable to the law of gravity. I crossed my arms as casually as I could. Years of theatrical training prepared me to continue.
I opened my mouth to continue when a delinquent voice heckled me from the back of the room. “Her boob just pulled a Janet Jackson!” Laughter bellowed up to the apron of the stage. What would Janet do? Control came to mind. Janet Jackson would somehow control the situation. Painfully, I wished for a campaign manager so I could have someone pull the fire alarm.
“In my effort to keep your community abreast of current solutions…”
More laughter. Howling laughter. Smartphones were snapping pictures.
Running for Congress was indeed supposed to be a snap. The only thing snappy was my bra.
To learn more about Elizabeth Croydon, visit her website here.
Featured image: Kerry Callen