Sunday, 2 May 2010

Oops, I did it again...

If you were ever under any doubt about how hypocritical the Brits are, just look up any of the press coverage of Gordon Brown’s faux pas this week. If you just crawled out from under your mattress (and we could forgive you during electioneering time) and missed this, he was recorded having a wee chat with an old lady and afterwards, thinking his microphone was switched off – naughty, naughty broadcasters we can see how your minds were working here – he complained about being set up with such an interview saying that the old lady was a bigot.

The press went into meltdown. Gordon Brown was a mess, he should be locked up, he was the worst thing to hit politics since a certain Austrian midget grew a moustache and hypnotised a nation.

C’mon people...let he/she who is without gravel cast the first stone. Sorta.

Yes it was a mistake. And yes, he should know better, but has ANYONE, ANYWHERE in the planet, in the course of their daily lives not done something similar? That polite face we show to people we would much rather not be close enough to spray with our spittle is what lubricates society. Otherwise we’d constantly be at each other’s throats.

On the other side of the pond, Joe Biden is garnering a reputation for making the odd gaffe.


"Stand up, Chuck, let 'em see ya." –-Joe Biden, to Missouri state Sen. Chuck Graham, who is in a wheelchair, Columbia, Missouri, Sept. 12, 2008

"This is a big fucking deal!" --Joe Biden, caught on an open mic congratulating President Barack Obama during the health care signing ceremony, Washington, D.C., March 23, 2010

I myself have been guilty of it on many occasions, and on many occasions even within earshot of the person concerned. And *he blushes* often directly to them – it’s a wonder I can even speak at times what with my foot being so firmly wedged in my mouth.

One time, more than a few years ago I was at the movies with my then-wife waiting for the film to begin, when one of my friends and his brother walked past on the way to their seats. The lights were still blazing so we couldn’t not see each other.

Some backstory is required here. Said friend had just been jilted by his fiancée, a week before the wedding. This particular night, on which fate contrived to bring us all together, was supposed to be the stag. So instead of a night down the town, pickling my kidneys and humiliating the groom by stripping him and wheeling him down the high street in a cage...I was at the cinema with my good lady.

“Hey,” my friend said when he saw us, his face as long as a weekend stuck in a lift with David Cameron.

Me and the missus just stared at him. We hadn’t seen him since his intended broke his heart. There was an awkward silence that stretched out for the length of time it could have taken for the movie’s opening credits to roll past. The planets yawned and stretched. Several species of insect died out in the Amazon. I grew a five o-clock shadow. The extended version of Bohemian Rhapsody played through the cinema loudspeakers.

Eventually, thinking that somebody HAD to say something and that someone HAD to be me, I nodded towards the giant screen and with an expression that mingled sympathy, humour , gormlessness and a touch of heartburn said...

“This beats going out on a stag night, eh?”

My wife elbowed me in the ribs, the brothers walked past after shooting me the “what an asshole” look, my entire head blushed as brightly as a belisha beacon and then... only then did the fecking lights dim.

So Gordie, (and Joe) you have my sympathy.

(In the interests of having some form of dialogue with you lovely people, why don’t you fess up and tell me of a time when you put your foot in it, here in the privacy of this wee blog? You first EW. You MUST have loads of stories to tell.)


  1. to sum up the story - all politicians should be arrested and sent to some deserted islands. Agreed?

  2. I commend you for making your confession. You're WAY braver than I am.

    In order to give you some company, I will share a very BRIEF version of my biggest foot-in-mouth occurrence. I preface my story with the disclaimer that I was 18 years old at the time, working in my first full-time job, and should be given just a little bit of slack. Maybe.

    Anyway...I was in the office with my boss, a co-worker, and one of the company owners. Something (I don't remember what) had been messed up and I was on my knees on the floor, fixing it. My superiors stood around me in a circle, watching me struggle. I do recall that any of them could have accomplished my task much quicker.

    I made a [negative] comment about the intelligence (actually, the lack thereof) of the individual who had messed up whatever I was fixing. Dead silence greeted my comment. I soon learned that the person I'd insulted had the poor timing to enter the office at precisely the moment I opened my big mouth.

    Even though I sought her out and apologized a short while later, she never spoke to me again. Not even to accept my apology...


  3. Hey Linda, nice to hear from you. As for your "victim", the truth is often the hardest thing to hear.

  4. Once I attended my cousin's big celebration when he became a priest. They had NYC Police bagpipers as part of the entertainment (it was like a wedding) and I was talking to one of the good looking pipers and having had a few gin and tonics, asked him what he was wearing under his kilt (as we all want to know, though rarely voice). So being the bold girl that i am, I reached down and started to pull the hem up and he screamed and ran away and basically spent the rest of the time telling his fellow pipers what I had done. They were irish, of course, and i'm sure he had issues with, ahem, modesty. He probably told his mother, too.

  5. p.s. - re gordon brown. having listened to everything that happened, i thought even what he said in private was polite. that woman sounded a bit harsh on foreigners, IMHO. Most american politicians tend to curse up a storm when no one is listening, which is more telling of someone's character, also IMHO!

  6. Thea, I know guys who would have enjoyed the attention, guys who would have been quite offended and guys who would just flash you without waiting to be asked. Which would you have preferred? And I'm not saying which one I am. Totally agree with you on the Gordon Brown thing, BTW.

  7. i've been told there is a big difference between irish mama's boys and real i don't approve of flashers, of course, but a man who enjoys the attention are probably more my type. but i try to avoid the gin and tonic as i'm trying to behave.

  8. Well, here's to Thea and Linda for owning up. Unfortunately, I probably stick my foot in my mouth more than most. But fortunately, I have a very short memory and can't think of one instance, ;). I find your phrase 'thinking that somebody HAD to say something and that someone HAD to be me' is the key. I guess I blink first. Thea, don't give up the G&Ts - they help with this very issue! You probably weren't nearly as embarrassed as you would have been without them.

  9. well, the other evening at a bbq, i had two G&Ts and my sista whispered to me that i was getting a bit slurry. but i do think my bro in law was spiking mine to liven up the party! what i'm trying to do now in ingrain the word 'feckin' (thanks, malone) into my vocab so that when i'm slurry i don't also adjectively swear using the other word.

  10. In my experience the Irish reign supreme when it comes to swearing. the most foul- mouthed can sound like they're reciting poetry - so you can thank them for the "feck" in your new vocab.

  11. oh that's right, in your part of the world, it's 'fookin'

  12. Nah, we Scots are much more direct and gutteral. We prefer the full throated sound of "fuck".

  13. Michael! shush - the wee one might hear ya

  14. Totally agree about poor Gordon, Michael.

    As for my fessing up - there are so many instances to choose from. One of the worse was (years ago) meeting the ex-girlfriend of a friend of mine in a pub. She was a nice enough woman, intelligent, pleasant to look at, etc., etc.
    'Hi,' she said. 'Haven't seen you for ages.'
    'No,' I said.
    'You haven't changed a bit,' she said.
    'Neither have you,' I said.
    And then, to my eternal shame and for no reason that I had then or can fabricate now, I added 'Maybe you should.'

    Unforgivable, and I've absolutely no idea where it came from or why I said it.

  15. Thea, I would get SUCH a lecture if he heard me use cuss words.

    Bill...mmmm....I think if you delved a little deeper on that one you would come up with an answer. There are NO accidents. Except for when I do it.

  16. well, she was a friend's 'ex' - maybe she done him wrong and you taht tidbit tucked into the back of your mind - nevertheless, it was a good jab. I gather she didn't buy you a beer. t