Saturday, June 22, 2024 Jun 22, 2024
78° F Dallas, TX

A Partial List of the Occasions on Which I’ve Been Humbled

A recollection of a busy, draining life.
Steven Salerno

I was humbled when I attempted to implode the ACS building off Central Expressway with 300 pounds of dynamite and the skirt came off the core a bit too quickly, leaving standing an 11-story Leaning Tower of Dallas that became the butt of internet memes for a week, until things got so bad that my daughter’s eighth-grade teacher called and said my participation at career day was no longer needed.

I was humbled when I quit my job to run for a congressional seat and got so destroyed in the primary that I had to go into PR and work for clients who, for example, run cat cafes, where people pay to be surrounded by cats.

I was humbled when I got free car tires in exchange for my vote and then everyone found out about the free car tires.

I was humbled when I picked up a fumble in the Super Bowl and was running toward the end zone and showboating a bit too early and then someone came along and knocked the ball out of my hand and I didn’t wind up scoring the touchdown that I definitely should have scored.

I was humbled when that ball bounced off my head for a home run.

I was humbled when I crashed my Lamborghini and was so drunk that I left the scene of the crash and tried later to ride my electric bike back to my Lamborghini but got pulled over and couldn’t really put together a sentence and also peed in my pants a little bit.

I was humbled when I self-published my novel about mermaids.

I was humbled when I wore my black fringe cowboy boots to a Lee Ann Womack show at the Kessler and someone got a cellphone video of me saying, “We’re three white normal people just watching a white normal girl singing country music.”

I was humbled when I got a personal loan from a billionaire to address a short-term liquidity issue and then defaulted on that loan and had to hand over the historic estate I’d put up as collateral.

I was humbled when the hottest girl in high school out of nowhere kissed me at a party and I later learned that her boyfriend had put her up to it, just to see what would happen if the hottest girl in high school kissed me.

I was humbled when I was forced to announce that I would not file my quarterly report in a timely fashion and would have to restate my audited financial statements due to an impairment of goodwill or something like that, which, honestly, I didn’t fully understand.

I was humbled when I signed up to participate in The Real Housewives of Dallas.

I was humbled when my electrical wiring shorted out and made me burn to the ground as everyone watched.

I was humbled when I had to move to Garland.

I was humbled when a heavy rainfall caused a flood that swept my car into Turtle Creek and I had to dive into the rushing waters to retrieve the drugs I’d stashed in the trunk and I emerged sopping wet, my clothes clinging to a body far too old to still be doing drugs, my nipples more prominent than I’d have preferred, the drugs bulging in my pockets, the rain still falling, a bowl of hot Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup the only thought running through my addled brain.

But all the rest? The street named after me and the new job and the Grammy Award? That was not humbling. It was a huge honor.