In this age of all media, all the time, one can achieve fame in many ways.
You can work hard and make a name for yourself in high-profile fields such as politics, journalism, sports, law or the performing arts. You can glom onto someone else's hard work and simply date someone in a high-profile field and gain fame by being the plus-one. Or, as is becoming more and more prevalent (and requires the least amount of effort), you can simply .
However, the public is fickle and this type of fame can be fleeting. So, I’ll offer up this bit of advice: The best way to achieve lasting fame is to poop your pants in first grade.
Come on. We all know that kid. The scab eater, the pants wetter, the kid who passed gas in the community swimming pool and was then dubbed "Bubbles." I not only remember first and last names of the offenders, but the grades when these transgressions occurred.
I don’t care if you now friend me on Facebook and are the president of a large multinational corporation who has traveled the world saving orphans. To me, you’ll always be the kid who picked his nose during the Pledge of Allegiance in Mrs. Taylor’s third-grade class. (Humiliating aside: Mr. I-hate-freedom-so-much-I’m-giving-it-the-finger-up-to-my-second-knuckle is also the first boy who ever kissed me. I think this explains a lot.)
This weekend at my cousin’s bridal shower, we were discussing this phenomenon because one of my cousin’s daughters noted that a kid named Ben at her school had reached this point of no return. As an assignment, each kid in her sixth-grade class had to write a report on a state and then bring in a food item representative of that state. Ben chose Virginia, and thus brought in a Virginia ham. His mother had apparently spent some time preparing this ham that was gorgeously garnished with cloves and pineapple rings and he proudly presented it to the class. However, just before setting it on the counter to slice it, he dropped the entire thing on the floor. My cousin’s daughter was upset because (and I quote), "I really wanted ham and the scent of it in our classroom just taunted me for the rest of the day." I, however, was upset for the kid because he will now forever be known as "Ben the Ham Dropper."
And if experience has taught me anything, it’s that this kid would be better off entering a witness protection program than trying to reassimilate into his classroom with a bunch of other kids who have not dropped delicious baked meat products in front of their peers.
You simply cannot outrun your past, says the woman whose ballet class renamed the demi plié the demi "pee-a" after an unfortunate incident during one of her class sessions.