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Old 04-25-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
Dr. Drib
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Your most embarrassing mistake! - Funny AND serious at the same time!

Yes, we've all been embarrassed or made embarrassing mistakes. And I DON'T mean the time you almost messed your pants. (Well, ok, maybe I do! )

This is a post that can be both funny AND serious at the same time! Remember, please stay on topic so that we all can share our embarrassing moment(s).

I'm cheating a little bit, because this was an ALMOST embarrassing moment.

I used to be the Publications' Editor for the Arkansas Press Association (APA). It was my responsibility to write and do layout work on a weekly publication; on a monthly publication, a slick, a saddle-stitched magazine; and on an annual publication. I also wrote publicity when the need arose.

This work included photography (I had earlier been Clinton's Official Photographer when he was Gov. of Arkansas); and writing (I had earlier written a play that was produced at the university, a play called "Mama On Ice," about two boys who kill their mother and then put her in an ice chest, but pesky neighbors keep dropping by.) I had also been the Features Editor for the University's newspaper.

So, I have a lot of training as a Journalist and in Journalism.

The mistake I almost made dealt with the word "Public." Instead, I misspelled the word to be "Pubic." This would have gone out to more than 100 newspapers throughout Arkansas and to potentially thousands of readers. I don't remember exactly what the sentence was, but to make matters worse, the sentence made sense with this wrong word - horrible sense. I personally didn't catch my mistake, but the Executive Director did - (a real controlling bastar*, by the way.)

When one makes a mistake like this - and in one's chosen field - the error seems compounded. It's not like falling down the stairs and breaking your neck. If you don't survive, then at least you're dead and there's no embarrassment following such a happy happenstance. You're dead and nothing can trouble you. If you do survive, who's laughing at a guy with a broken neck?

What's your story? This can be a nice thread with analyses and commentary.


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Old 04-26-2009, 08:52 AM   #2
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When I was fresh out of college and living on my own , my boss's boss's wife invited the whole office to a dinner party. And the invitation said , "Please bring a plate".

So, well intentioned but hopelessly dumb, I went down to the local store and bought a plate as the place I was living didn't even have a kitchen much less any utensils.

Anyway, I arrived up at the dinner party spot on time and, when the boss's wife answered the door, I proudly handed her the (empty) new plate. She smiled weakly and invited me to join the others on the veranda.

About a half hour later, she came up to me as asked me to come out to the kitchen. I, of course, complied and dutifully followed her. When I got there I found all the wives were there waiting for us.

Then, she asked me if in a serious tone, when I'd gotten the invitation, did I take it that 'bring a plate' meant just that. "Yes" I said, pleased I actually read the invitation.

Needless to say, the wives broke into gales of laughter. When that finally died down, after what seemed like an hour, they gleefully explained the 'bring a plate' concept as my face got redder and redder.

Cripes

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Old 04-26-2009, 08:57 AM   #3
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That's hilarious, cassidym. And, naturally, it's the wives who found it hilarious and amusing. I can imagine them just waiting to burst into gales of laughter - but only when they found out what you had to say.

I'm from the South, where manners and gentility count for everything. And I mean everything! In the South, we say, "Bring a dish," but to my knowledge no male or female friend has ever reported to me such a faux pas as yours.

Wonderful!
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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Needless to say, the wives broke into gales of laughter. When that finally died down, after what seemed like an hour, they gleefully explained the 'bring a plate' concept as my face got redder and redder.

Cripes
I would have done exactly as you did. What was the intended meaning of the term? Bring a plateful of food?
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:09 AM   #5
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I would have done exactly as you did. What was the intended meaning of the term? Bring a plateful of food?
Yes, contribute the food of your choice. Bring some food, please. Everyone "brings a dish/plate," and then there's a whole buffet of food for all the guests.

A common expression in the South.


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Old 04-26-2009, 10:30 AM   #6
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We call this "pot-luck", and as a courtesy I would have phoned ahead to find out what *dishes* have already been offered, so that there wouldn't be 10 variations of (e)scalloped potatoes.

I would have assumed there was a typo and brought a "date", same with "dish", if I received an invitation like this from one of my friends.

WDE.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:52 AM   #7
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We call this "pot-luck", and as a courtesy I would have phoned ahead to find out what *dishes* have already been offered, so that there wouldn't be 10 variations of (e)scalloped potatoes.

I would have assumed there was a typo and brought a "date", same with "dish", if I received an invitation like this from one of my friends.

WDE.

You're right, too: A common expression is "Pot Luck." -- something like, "We're having a party Saturday. Pot luck, bring anything," for example.

The term "pot luck" is used interchangeably with "bring a dish." At least, here in the South. (I'm talking about the U.S. and not Peru.)

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Old 04-26-2009, 10:55 AM   #8
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As I now recall, the invitation did say 'Bring a dish' but I still misconstrued it in my 23 year old bachelor mind and brought, well, a dish.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:02 AM   #9
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As I now recall, the invitation did say 'Bring a dish' but I still misconstrued it in my 23 year old bachelor mind and brought, well, a dish.
A mistake like yours can scar one for life. The laughter of women can sometimes be cruel, especially when it cuts to the truth. (See Billy Joel, "She's Always A Woman," for further references.)

Anyway, I hope you're now a married old man and remember this episode happily every evening when you set the table for dinner.


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Old 04-26-2009, 07:26 PM   #10
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When I was fresh out of college and living on my own , my boss's boss's wife invited the whole office to a dinner party. And the invitation said , "Please bring a plate".

... snip ...

Needless to say, the wives broke into gales of laughter. When that finally died down, after what seemed like an hour, they gleefully explained the 'bring a plate' concept as my face got redder and redder.
Well, I was confused until I googled for "bring a plate". I've never heard this phrase nor seen it on an invitation. But, I have been to many "covered dish" or potluck dinners. It's a shame that the invitation wasn't a little bit more informative.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:29 PM   #11
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"Bring a plate" is a standard phrase down this way too, sometimes accompanied by "BYO". It would be unusual for someone here not to understand what it means.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:30 AM   #12
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To steer us gently back to the original subject:

Many years ago, in a Melbourne heatwave, I decided to do my ironing naked. (It was a really really hot day!) Have you ever noticed that ironing boards are set at groin level? Well, the iron slid too smoothly over the fabric and plowed into my manhood. A big red burn and plenty of pain and tears. I think my female boss was more embarrassed than me when I explained to her the next day why I was walking funny.

Irons come with the warning "Do not iron clothes while wearing them." They should include the warning - "Do not iron while naked." It's certainly a mistake I'll never make again.

Oh, if this thread comes back to life, I might tell my Bangkok story.
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Old 05-02-2009, 01:50 AM   #13
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As we live out in the middle of farmland with nothing but gravel roads, my daughter was very late in learning how to ride her two-wheeler without training wheels and was embarrassed because friends her age and younger (who lived in town) could ride effortlessly. My husband and I would haul her bike to the nearest playground, so she could practice on the smooth pavement of the tennis or basketball courts, which still wasn't often enough for her to overcome her fear of falling. But, of course, she finally did get it!

I'll never forget (nor will my family let me) the first time the three of us went biking on a local trail. As she was riding ahead with her dad, I, being the ever-so-proud mom, whipped out my digital camera, to take a picture of them both from behind and capture that precious Kodak moment, while I was still pedaling away. I probably don't have to tell you what happened, but I totally wiped out and it was messy (lots of blood and ground-in grit on my left hand, elbow, knee and shin), and painfully embarrassing (and painful physically which I tried not to let on, for my daughter's sake)! If I had some chalk, I would've had someone draw a chalk line around my body! My daughter was completely mortified , while my husband was dumb-founded that I would even think of doing such a thing. My camera came away with only a small dent, but after all I went through, regretably I still didn't get the photo!

Now whenever I ride, my daughter and husband give me the "hands-on-the-bars at all times" lecture. (Like I didn't learn my lesson ) and on our first hike this year my daughter had to point out every single rut or branch or dip in the trail! I couldn't even enjoy the scenery as I was too busy watching my feet and the ground! So humiliating!
(Moral: Pride comes before the fall!)

Last edited by rebarnmom; 05-02-2009 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Clarification and moral
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:32 AM   #14
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Well, I'll confess this one - mainly because it's the only one I can think of at the moment. When I worked at Jewel, (grocery store chain, for those who don't know), we had one male cashier. He was also our trainer, so he got stuck with all the newbies. One day he was in the middle of training someone, and the store was a complete madhouse. He had the newbie at the register, he was standing behind her, and I had been doing a price check. Our liquor department manager decided she needed Mike for something, and called on the register's phone extension. I was closer so I picked it up. She asked for Mike, and not thinking, I promptly handed the phone in his direction, and said, "Julie wants you.". Mike turned beet red and said, "Oh, really now?" and Julie was on the other end of the phone just dying with laughter. The newbie and the customer in line were all just laughing at me hysterically. They never did let me live that down....
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:39 AM   #15
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Mine occurred a very long time ago in English class in the 11th grade. It was my turn to read aloud from one of Shakespeare's works - don't remember which. There was a word "bustard", some sort of bird in my reading section that I blithely read as "bastard" - a word I was more familiar with. The whole class got a good laugh at my expense. The teacher corrected me and told me what a "bustard" was.

Wouldn't you know it - the bard actually had the word "bastard" a few paragraphs later. Before pronouncing it, I stopped and looked so long that the teacher said, "It really is 'bastard' this time."

Where (and when) I grew up, "bastard" was considered a naughty word.
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