I have no filter. A friend once gifted me with a pin to wear that said, “Caution…socially inappropriate.” In baseball terminology, I have no on-deck circle. If a pitch comes at me, I take a swing at it. Sometimes it’s a line drive and a home run, but sometimes it’s a swing and a miss. Occasionally, it’s an infraction that could get me thrown out of the game.
“Do you have any corded wall phones?” That’s what I asked the young clerk at the big-box store. Even asking that question is a testament to my advanced years on this planet.
“I don’t think so,” he said with a puzzled look and a blank stare.
“You don’t know what that is, do you?” I asked.
“No, Ma’am,” he said.
I should have let it go and walked out, but I have a habit of “messing with” store clerks and service people, especially when they seem bored or stressed. My goal is to leave them laughing or at least give them a story to tell to their friends later. As in, “You won’t believe what this old lady said to me this morning.”
“How about a VCR?” I added. “No? A tape recorder? A sundial? A butter churn? An abacus?”
I had his attention now, but he wasn’t laughing. He seemed a bit nervous and it looked as if his hand was fumbling under the counter for the security alarm button.
I wasn’t going to get the laugh I had hoped for and I didn’t have enough cash on me to make bail, so I backed out the nearest door. I don’t always hit a home run.
A male co-worker once handed me a thick stack of papers and said, “I apologize for not stapling them. My stapler wouldn’t handle it, but I know you have that big kachonka.”
I know there is no such word as kachonka, but I assumed he was talking about the large heavy-duty stapler on my desk. It makes a loud noise when stapling and it does sound a lot like “kachonka.” He was aware of my sense of humor and he should’ve known better than to pitch the phrase, “I know you have that big kachonka” at me.
I responded with, “Did you just say that I have a big kachonka? Maybe I do, but what are you doing looking at my big kachonka? How would you like it if I turned you in to Human Resources?”
Fortunately, I got the laugh I was aiming for. I’m lucky he didn’t turn ME into H.R., but like I said, my co-workers had been putting up with my inappropriate comments for over 20 years. They long ago stopped asking me if I had change for a five-dollar bill, because I always responded with, “Oh, I have plenty of singles, as long as you don’t mind that they are all wrinkled and sweaty. My stage job paid really well this weekend.” Sometimes I get the laugh. Sometimes they just walk away. I’m surprised they sort of believed me. At my age, I would have to pay the audience to look at me.
At a recent appointment for a mammogram, I told the technician, as suggested by the sign on the wall, “By the way, I might be pregnant.” I’m clearly a senior citizen, so this comment was met by the young technician with a startled look and a moment of silence while she decided how she should respond to this ridiculous comment.
That’s when I added, “Somebody had better tell those three wise men to saddle up their camels and head for the star. Another miracle is about to happen.”
I got the home run and the laugh I was aiming for. On the way out, I said, “I’ll take an 8 by 10 and a dozen wallets, and make sure they are from my best side.”
Once when I was planning to build some shelves, I went to the hardware store for supplies. Immediately after I asked the clerk, “Do you have any stud-finders?” I became aware of the colloquial meaning of the word “stud.” I added, “The stud I have at home is getting kind of old and tired and I’d like to find another stud and trade up.” I laughed at my own dumb joke (as I often do). He did not. This one clearly was a swing and a miss. I bought my stud finder and left.
One of my most regrettable and inappropriate comments was made at the funeral visitation for the mother of a dear friend and co-worker. I gave my friend a big hug and told her how sorry I was about the loss of her mother. Her husband, who also worked at the same company, but whom I had never met, was standing beside her. She said, “Thank you.” Then she gestured at her husband and said, “Gary said everyone has been so kind. He has been so touched by everyone at work.”
Without thinking, I threw up my hands and said, “He’s been touched by everybody? I swear I never laid a hand on that man! I don’t who you’ve been talking to, but that’s a lie! Haha.”
Immediately I realized what a faux pas the remark was. I face-palmed and apologized profusely. My friend laughed and said, “It’s ok; if my mom were here, she’d have laughed at it herself. It’s ok. Really. I’m used to your sense of humor.”
That’s when her husband turned to her and said, “This must be the woman you were telling me about.”
Sigh. My reputation for saying just about anything for a laugh apparently had preceded me.
I made a decision to try harder to rein in my comments; to think first, and respond later.
It wasn’t meant to be. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. See there, the word “tricks” just sent me down the wrong path, as at least a dozen risque comments involving the word ‘tricks’ just flooded my brain.
My mother and sister once accompanied me on a hiking weekend. We stayed at a lodge in a state park, where we signed up for a wildflower hike in the woods. We joined a group at the trailhead, where we were met by the young female ranger who would be leading the hike. She started the hike by saying, “This is my very first time leading this wildflower hike. Feel free to ask any questions. If I don’t know the answer, I have my wildflower guidebook with me and I can look it up.”
She should have studied a little more.
When we came to a large patch of purple wildflowers, someone in the group asked what they were called. I’ve been hiking in that area for many years and knew the flower to be called phacelia.
She responded with confidence, “Those are called fellatio.”
Startled, I glanced at my mom and sister and whispered, “Did she just say what I think she said?” They shrugged.
Then she said it again. And again. For once in my life, I was determined to let the pitch go by. I pressed my lips tightly together and struggled mightily. No one else in the group thought it was funny, or tried to correct her. Apparently, in this part of the country, they are not familiar with the technical term for a blow job, more commonly known as a B.J.
But when she added, There is fellatio all over these mountains,” I lost control. I snorted and was overcome with sophomoric giggles.The woman standing next to me gave me a look of annoyance and said, “What’s so funny?”
I said, “I think she means phacelia, not fellatio.”
She replied, “Phacelia/fellatio; she’s just pronouncing it differently. It’s the same thing.”
“Not where I come from, Lady.”
That’s when we decided to leave the group and set off on our own since my reaction was distracting the group.
Alas, the damage was done. My socially inappropriate behavior had been released into the wilderness. After that, I was going to swing at every pitch that came my way as if Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers had pitched it.
When we came to a large patch of wildflowers called erect trillium, I commented, “Erect trillium? Look around; there’s bound to be some fellatio in bloom nearby. Hey, if the fellatio is in full bloom on this side of the mountain, do you think the cunnilingus is blooming on the other side of the mountain? Hey, maybe fellatio and phacelia do sound alike if you have a mouthful of…hey…where are you going, Ladies?”
Geez, even my family has had enough of my socially inappropriate behavior.