Did I Say That Out Loud ?!
No doubt by now Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton have come to regret having boldly praised McCains experience while taunting Obama for being such a neophyte during the primaries. OK, Biden might be, Hillary’s actually saying “Take that, Dumbo-ears!”
Either way, politicians moreso than anyone have moments they’d like to retract the second they happen. A recent fairly innocent jest involving pigs comes to mind. Nothing like having 60 days left to campaign and knowing you’ll spend half of it discussing farm animals. We have a dumb political process.
Everyone Has Think Before You Speak Moments
Got to thinking about this because a friend named Allout at Webmaster Talk Forums posted some “Oops “moments he’d seen in an email. [Yes, his name is Allout, his parents hated him.] My oddly named friend posted the following as proof one should think before they speak, or at least hope there are no nearby camera crews. Here’s a sampling:
FIRST TESTIMONY: I walked into a hair salon with my husband and three kids in tow and asked loudly, ‘How much do you charge for a shampoo and a blow job?’ I turned around and walked back out and never went back My husband didn’t say a word… he knew better.
SECOND TESTIMONY: I was at the golf store comparing different kinds of golf balls. I was unhappy with the women’s type I had been using. After browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one of the good-looking gentlemen who works at the store. He asked if he could help me. Without thinking, I looked at him and said, ‘I think I like playing with men’s balls’
Actually he/she (how can you really tell online?) posted a few others that were just as good, or at least similarly off-center / off-color, but truth be told there are days I’m actually too lazy to cut and paste. Please don’t tell my boss.
The Flip-Side of the Record
Reminded me that it can be just as uncomfortable to be on the other side of that exchange, as illustrated by the following long rambling self-absorbed tale. If you don’t like those, forget blogs and buy a paper. [Nope, on second thought, that won’t really make a difference today.]
NOTE: The following narrative is unsuitable for members of my family, particularly my mom, my wife, or anyone known by my children. If you read below this point, don’t blame me, I tried.
The Long and Winding Tale
In college I worked a day job as a butcher at a grocery store. Most of the time was spent in the cutting room, but if the bell rang we went out to the counter to assist a customer with whatever need they might have. Our store was located near DFW Airport, and the nearby apartment complex that was loaded to the gills with flight attendants.
That’d mean nothing today, but this was back then all flight attendants were hired by the guys who later created the Hooters chain. They kept what we *really* liked about travel, improved the food, and got rid of the stupid planes. We had seriously hot customers. If management knew how cool it was to work in a place where nubile females leaned over refrigerated counters they wouldnt have paid us on rain days. We’d have come to work anyway.
Wasn’t uncommon for some of ’em to have a pet, and we were happy to grab something outta the bone barrel for somebody’s pup free of charge. No biggie, you work in a place like that and you become as universally loved by dogs as you are hated by cattle.
One day the bell rang and I walked out of the cutting room door and found myself face to face with a dazzling young lady from the nearby apartments… just tongue tying drop-dead gorgeous. She was Babes of the Big 10 combined with Swimsuit Issue good-looking. [Mom, if you’re still there, I just read the articles.]
She was there for a dog treat (or to ruin my life, either is possible). She looked me straight in the eye and without so much as a hint that she knew what she was really doing to a 20 year old kid with all the appurtenant silliness… she sweetly said “Excuse me sir… do you have a really big bone?”
Scientific Proof: Hormones Control Speech
With age and hindsight I’ve come up with about a thousand great lines I shoulda said. The possibilities for wit were right there. I’d pay to have the moment back… but sometimes you just live your life knowing you were handed the ultimate straight line and in your moment of being tested, you failed. Hell is the act of living a life filled with regrets.
No, the normally somewhat facile brain froze, as did pretty much everything else. Nothing standing here but a 20 yr old deer in the headlights, with a face turning beet red, and a brain that couldn’t bring my tongue to speak for fear of what might come out. I turned and RAN back inside the cutting room wondering what would spill out if my jaws unlocked.
Moments later and oddly enough without apologizing for having sentenced me to a future of remorse and shame, she left with her dog bone, and I got over it. Sorta. Or Not. It’s been 30 years, and I relive the moment with the stigma of a deerhunter who meets the ultimate trophy buck face to face right after setting his rifle down to answer nature.
I doubt there are really parallel universes, but if there are, I hope in at least one of ’em I mustered the perfect cute but non-threatening retort… and that sweet young thing and I got to go on a nice but not too nice parallel universe date or something. I’ll hold on to that hope. You just don’t get do-overs.