You ever have one of those days? You know, the kind I mean where you open your mouth, and the words come spewing forth before your brain checks in. We embarrass ourselves and suddenly it’s like back-paddling against whitewater current. I call it that old “foot in the mouth” syndrome.
I’m probably one of the worst of the lot because my warped brain usually see things with a slant toward humor. I’ll give you an example. A lady walks up to me and asks me how your hair looks. Truth is it looks like a group of rats fought over which one was king of the nest. If I’m not careful, the first thing that will pop out of my mouth is something like, “What kind of wind tunnel have you been walking through?” That is only if I can keep from breaking into uncontrollable laughter at the sight of her. Unfortunately, sometimes people like her take my comments way too personal. Besides, what real difference does it matter what I think? She’s the one with the rats’ nest on her head.
But on occasion, I have felt bad about some of my off-handed remarks in trying to be funny. The other day I started into an elevator which already contained a number of rather “large” people. I stepped into the elevator and before I thought said, “Maybe I need to get off because we don’t want to exceed the weight capacity.” Now, in my mind I was referring to the number of us, but in hindsight I can see where I might have offended several of these people. Of course, the minute I heard the words out loud, I was sorry. I was even sorrier that I had not stepped off the elevator and had to ride several floors down with them.
I once attended one of those lazy man dinners I call them. That’s where everyone comes and has to bring some dish for a group function. Apparently, gelatin salads are the easiest thing in the world to prepare because there are always a ton of those. Anyway, I was walking along with a very good friend of mine deciding what to eat in a sea of different dishes when I came upon one of those green gelatin salads. I’m always wary of anything green and wiggly because at my house, it’s usually pre-penicillin. I made an aside comment to my friend, “I hate those green things and don’t see why they brought it.” Then as I was looking over the food, I said, “What did you bring?” And you know it, she pointed across the table and said, “The green salad,” and smirked. She’s a very good friend, thank goodness, and knows me too well.
One time I was caught at work dancing down the stairwell to the old Dr. Pepper song they used in TV commercials years ago. For those who don’t remember, it was something like “I’m a pepper, you’re a pepper.…” I don’t remember all the words because it’s probably been 30 years ago, but it was a real catchy tune and I was having a great time doing my imitation of Jimmy Cagney dancing down the White House steps in “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. Unfortunate timing, though, brought the Dean of the school where I was working at the time into the stairwell with some visiting alumni. Needless to say, he didn’t find it as entertaining as I would have hoped.
I say life is too short for us not to have a little fun, and if getting caught sometimes inserting our foot into our mouths is the price we pay, then so be it. So next time you get into a crowded elevator, once the door closes, turn and face the people and say, “Okay, now, on the count of three everybody sing.” Kick off “Happy Birthday”, and you might be surprised how many will join you. Have a little fun.