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a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is June 4, 2020

Grin 'n' Bare It

The kissing camera

By Kay Grafe

Kay Grafe
Kay Grafe

Over the years I have told you, my readers, that I am one of those people that “things” just happen to. That is what many of my columns are about. In my book, “Oh My Gosh, Virginia,” I say people like me are “incident-prone.” Mr. Roy agrees but says in most cases those incidents are caused by my actions or inaction. And he may be right.

I have also said in my columns or wherever I have been invited to speak that we are all faced with unwanted changes, unexpected challenges, and unpleasant surprises. But that things work out best for those who make the best out of the way things work out. I repeated this to myself several times as we drove back home recently from a weekend trip.

Okay, I know you are probably thinking, what has she done this time? First, let me give you some background. As you all know, Mr. Roy and I are big Mississippi State fans. We were season ticket holders for football, basketball, and baseball for many years and attended most games. We had some great times and made great friends. But, two years ago we sold the RV and gave up our season tickets. In the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, it says, “To everything, there is a season,” and our season for RV travel and season tickets are over. Sad, but true. 

Our good friends, Julie and Mike Clayborne, live in Tupelo. In fact, we are some sort of in-laws; our grandson, Hunter Flanagan, is married to Julie and Mike’s youngest daughter, Kelsey. Knowing how much Mr. Roy and I love MSU sports, they began inviting us to attend a football weekend in the fall and a basketball weekend in the winter.  

Several years ago, jumbotrons, or huge screen TVs, were installed at most sports stadiums, coliseums, and ballparks. These large-screen TVs can be viewed by everyone attending the event. In an effort to get all of the fans involved and entertained during time-outs and at halftime, they began a little game called, “Kissing Camera.” Those who attend college sporting events regularly are familiar with “Kiss Cam.” The camera operator pans the crowd and selects a couple to show on the large screen TV for everyone to see. The couple is then expected to kiss each other. If the couple responds with a long passionate kiss, the crowd cheers. However, if the couple fails to respond, or with only a “little peck,” the crowd boos.

Over the years, I have watched many couples perform on the jumbotron and thought, if they ever select Mr. Roy and me, I'll put on a show for them and the crowd will really cheer. On a recent Sunday afternoon at the MSU and Vanderbilt women's basketball game, before a sellout crowd of over 10,000 people, I got my chance. It was halftime and I had just told Mr. Roy to go down and get me something to eat. He put off my request, so I turned to the woman sitting to my left and started talking to her. And at that very moment, it happened. The “Kissing Camera” stopped on Mr. Roy and me. 

He reached over to embrace me, thinking I would gladly respond. I shoved him away and said, “What are you doing?” By the time I realized what was happening, it was too late. My one chance to perform on “Kissing Camera” had come and gone. And not only was my big chance gone but the crowd, including Mr. Roy, was “booing” me.  

As we were driving home that Monday morning, Mr. Roy said, “Don't be so sad, there is a bright side to the game yesterday.” Then I said, “What could possibly be bright about what I did?” He responded quickly, “Well you like to be the center of attention. And you certainly were that.”

Kay Grafe is the author of  “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H, to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.

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