Pine Nuts: Embarrassing moments remind us of previous embarrassing moments |

Pine Nuts: Embarrassing moments remind us of previous embarrassing moments

I love the new glossy cover of the Lake Tahoe Action, but it has caused me no end of consternation.

You see, I pick up my copy while out on my daily run through the village and stick it inside the elastic band of my running shorts, where it used to stay put.

But now it slides down to where it is particularly uncomfortable, not to mention it makes me look not unlike SpongeBob SquarePants. I do hope they go back to the old cloth cover so that I can get home without the embarrassment.

Which leads me to think of other embarrassing moments, and we all have them. I would venture to guess that no person in profane history has escaped this life without an embarrassing moment.

Even as newborns we suffer the embarrassment of the doctor holding us upside-down and spanking us on the backside to prompt us to let out a howl and maybe pump out a tear or two.

This reminds me of a humbling moment that happened 25 years ago when I was first getting started portraying Mark Twain and was volunteering to appear wherever they would have me.

I was invited to visit a convalescent home out on Highway 50 in Carson City. Well I arrived right on time, but at the convalescent home over on Kuntz, unawares I was at the wrong convalescent home.

As there was no one in the lobby to greet me I started cajoling a couple of folks in their wheelchairs. Within a few minutes I had half a dozen residents gathered around, and then here they came, wheeling down the halls, “Mark Twain’s in the house!”

Before long the lobby was full of great old folks raptly tuned-in to tales of Tahoe and early Carson City. I was satisfied that all was right with the world, until a nurse saddled up alongside me, cupped her hand to my ear, and whispered, “Are you checking in, Dear?”

I realized I was in a tight spot. Here I had this captive audience while my scheduled audience was waiting for me over on Highway 50, and this nurse was thinking I was hers to keep.

I didn’t know what to do so I kept talking to my adopted audience while nodding to the nurse to assure her I would square everything if she would just let me finish.

Trying desperately to wind down my remarks without having to quit in the middle of an anecdote, I watched the nurse out of the corner of my eye as she began to work up a chart on me.

I was sure she was convinced that somebody had just slowed down out in front and pushed me out, and that she was writing “SCHIZOPHRENIC-BIPOLAR” on my chart, and I would be locked in a room until a full examination could be made.

Only by the grace of God did I escape from there with my ego intact, and though my accidental audience seemed sad to see me go, my nurse was definitely disappointed, for she was confident as a Christian holding four aces that she had herself a keeper, and in a white suit no less.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.