Ai yi yi! This was Embarrassing…


When Dr. Ruth Allan asked me during a podcast interview to, “tell us about an embarrassing thing that happened to you,” I didn’t hesitate.

I’ve deposited piles of embarrassments in my memory bank. But Ruth was interviewing me during the first week in May, so I had to trot out the story of…

My humiliating Cinco De Mayo Mishap 

The year was 1992. I was living in Washington, D.C., out with my friends on a Tuesday night. 

It was Cinco de Mayo. 

In Mexico, they were celebrating their country’s glorious victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. 

In D.C., we were celebrating discounted margarita pitchers for $5.99. 

By the time the fifth pitcher reached the table, I began to wonder, “How am I going to make it to work tomorrow.” 

I was a reporter at a weekly newspaper, and tomorrow was deadline day.

I had interviews to conduct, articles to write. 

As I filled my glass to the brim with more margarita, I thought, “I can’t be hungover tomorrow.” 

Why did it have to be Tuesday? 

The Pilgrims got it right. Celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday. Take Friday off. Sleep in. Digest that turkey and stuffing. Eat some leftover pie for breakfast. Go shopping. 

But no such luck with CInco de Mayo. I would wake on Wednesday, drag myself from bed – dry-mouthed and head-achy – and mope my way to the newsroom. 

And that had me madder than a Mexican hornet. 

“Hey!” I barked. 

My pals fell silent. I had the floor. 

“Why does Cinco de Mayo fall on the first TUESDAY of May?” I asked. “It oughta be on the first THURSDAY. Or better yet, the first FRIDAY.” 

And then, for good effect, I nodded and refilled my margarita glass. 

I waited for all my pals to cheer and declare, “Right on, Tom. Great idea!” 

Instead, my pal Mark said, “Pardon me?” 

I repeated it, more slowly this time for my dimwitted friends, “Why… do… they… celebrate… Cinco… de… Mayo… on… the… first… TUESDAY? Why… not… the… first… FRIDAY.”

“Ummmm,” Mark said. “It’s CINCO… de… Mayo. The FIFTH of May. It falls on whatever day of the week it falls, dude.” 

(Mark only called me “dude” when he was lecturing me.) 

I let it sink in. CINCO. I began to remember now. I learned how to count in Spanish on the grade school playground. A faded memory. 

I ran it through my brain: “Oooo-no, dose, trace, kwat-tro, sink-oh. Hmmmmm. I repeated it in my head, this time ticking the numbers off on my fingers. ‘Sink-oh’ was the fifth number.” 

I nibbled on a tortilla chip. Salsa dripped from my chin. 

A giggle – check that, a snicker – pierced the silence. 

Someone said under their breath, “Muy estúpido.” 

My girlfriend (soon to be my wife), Melissa, shook her head slowly and stared at me with pity. 

I tried to recover. “Of course,” I said. “May 5th. I knew that.” 

But it didn’t fly. 

And I’ve never forgotten. 

Maybe that’s why I love Rosetta Stone’s “hardworking farmboy” advertisement. The language learning company’s ad is a classic. Among the best print ads EVER. 

It’s all about the emotional transformation you experience when mastering a foreign language. 

That’s what great story-powered ads do. They evoke a journey. They promise an emotional transformation. 

On Monday (Nueve de Mayo), I’m hosting a one-hour storytelling workshop (on Zoom). I’ll break down that ad and reveal…

How to Build Emotional Bonds with Prospects So They’ll Choose to Buy from You

We’ll start at 10:30 a.m. CDT, 8:30 a.m. PDT. and leave plenty of time for Q&A. This workshop won’t be recorded so tune in live if you don’t want to miss out. 

This workshop will be muy bueno!

So click the button below to register.

Whenever you’re ready…here are a few ways we can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you’ll land more clients:

1) Follow Tom Ruwitch on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Attend our free training: “How to Harness the Magnetic Power of Storytelling…” Discover how to transform marketing from a confusing, resource-draining hassle into something that’s simple, fun AND productive. Details and registration here.

Want to get great content like this...

...delivered straight to your inbox?

Join our email list...

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Post Categories

Previous Post

Next Post

Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.