The thing about me (she says, breezily refusing to acknowledge almost a year of inactivity) is that my embarrassing moments are usually staggeringly public. I never seem to have the good grace to humiliate myself in the privacy of my own home with a few close, compassionate and understanding friends.
And the people who know me know this and are gently sympathetic when it happens and are, it must be said, remarkably tolerant of my many bad habits (I suspect because the entertainment gained from my hilarious cockups far outweighs them). These people are my friends.
And then there’s a select few - and they know who they are - who appear to feel it their bound duty to not only laugh hysterically 3 inches from my face when these little moments occur, but to REMIND me of it later with monotonous regularity and reinforce what a colossal dickhead I really am, deep down and also not really so deep at all. These people are my best friends and I love them even though sometimes they make me wonder - what’s a little vagina punch between friends, really?
This story takes place at an anonymous large warehouse/showroom type store that sells some sort of Scandinavian modular furniture, let’s call them "Blikea". I’m wandering around in pursuit of bedroom furniture (as one does). Pondering the difference between black and beech. Taking measurements. Assessing the durability of shelves by applying them to the faces of the screaming kids running around the aisl... no wait sorry I think that bit was just a lovely dream. I get further through to near the kitchen section and I see a big cubic crate of squeegees.
Now, it’s winter here. I leave for work early in the morning and so far my method of getting the condensation off my car has consisted of “drive really fast and see if you can outrun it” (not so much). So I think “a squeegee! That’s what I want!” and I go over to them.
They’re all short-handled ones. I kinda want a long one so I don’t get my clothes soaked wiping the water off my windscreen. So I’m thinking about this.
(... It’s worth noting at this point that the peanut that I call a brain isn’t very good at handling multiple things at the same time. I might appear to be doing one thing and talking about another and that much I can handle but as soon as you throw thinking about a third thing into the mix it’s a slippery slut... sorry slope into a world of inadvertent double entendres and Freudian sluts. Slips!)
So this is what’s going through my mind when the middle-aged Blikea saleslady starts heading toward me to see if I need any help:
“Short-handled squeegees! But I want a long-handled one. Maybe there will be some long-handled ones in this crate. Hmmm no, I think they’re all short. Would a short do? I don’t wanna get my clothes wet, probably a long one is better. But then long are harder to handle. Short would be easier to store in my car seat pockets. But I really did want long. Short. Long. Long. Short. Short long long short.”
I vaguely notice her presence short long but I’m carrying like eight things in one arm because I didn’t get a basket (one thing, fine) and still sifting short short short LONG! Damn, short through the squeegees with the other hand (2 things, ok) so I don’t really react until she speaks. shortlonglongshortshortlongshortshortlongshortlong (3 things - DISASTER.)
“Are you looking for anything in particular?” she says.
Shortlongshortlongshortshort “I need a shlong-handled one.”
My brain belatedly registers what I’ve said and I freeze. I’m sure the sound of all the blood I’ve ever made in the lifespan of my spleen rushing hell-for-leather to my face briefly overpowered the tinny elevator music coming through the ceiling speakers throughout the entire store.
I glance at her.
She knows what I’ve just said.
She knows that I know what I've just said.
To her enormous credit she doesn’t laugh in my face as she struggles to conceal the smirk.
I give up and own it. “Okay! NOT what I meant. I need a LONG-handled one.”
She says “Right. We don’t have any.” (Still smirking.)
“OK THAT’S FINE I’M JUST GONNA GO THEN OK THANKS VERY MUCH SEE YOU LATER BYE.” *cue whooshing sound as I hightail it outta there to the sound of her almost imploding in the distance.*
Honestly, my fucking brain...