Jul 142020

There is a popular T-shirt that I see both in boating circles and RVing groups that says something along the lines of “I’m sorry for what I said when I was backing up the RV” or “I’m sorry for what I said when I was trying to get the boat on the trailer” or some variation of that. Yeah, I know how that goes.

Like a lot of men, I have a long history of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, embarrassing myself, and sometimes those around me. Other times I knew exactly what I was saying, I just didn’t know somebody was listening. In either case, it’s always been the same thing – open mouth, insert foot.

When I was in high school, a buddy of mine and I were walking down the hallway, and two lady teachers were behind us. We could not help but overhear their conversation, one of them saying she overslept and was running late, and hardly had time to put her face that morning. I said my buddy, “See, I told you she was two-faced!” to which he quickly retorted, “If she has two faces, why would she wear that one?” I guess we were too dumb to realize that if we could hear everything they were saying, they could hear everything we said, too. We went to the principal for that little incident, and although Mr. Fultz admonished us for our behavior and told us to be gentlemen from then on before sending us back to class, I did notice that there was a slight upturn at the corners of his lips and a twinkle in his eye. And when we left his office, as soon as the door closed behind us, we heard him laughing out loud.

Fast forward to when I was a young soldier in basic training, and somebody horsing around in the barracks threw his boot at someone else, missing and shattering a window. Of course, nobody wanted to take the blame for that one when the Officer of the Day came through the barracks and saw the window. It happened to be right near my bunk, and he asked me if I knew happened to the window. I told him I didn’t, and he said, “It’s my job to know everything that goes on in this barracks, Private. Why do we have a broken window, and I don’t know how it happened?” I replied, “Sir, I don’t know why you don’t know anything at all.” You would be surprised how many push-ups a young soldier can do with a drill sergeant standing on one side of him and a lieutenant standing on the other. I’m pretty sure that I lowered the elevation of Fort Knox by at least an inch or two that day.

Back in my newspaper days, my first wife and I had to go to some kind of community function, and she had bought a new dress for it. She was standing in front of the mirror fussing, like women sometimes do, and said, “Why do I look so ugly? This dress makes me look ugly, doesn’t it?” Now, what I meant to say was that the dress looked fine, and so did she, so stop worrying about it. But instead, I said, “There’s nothing wrong with the dress. Don’t blame it.” I don’t know where that came from, but I do know that sleeping on the couch for the next couple of nights was not the most comfortable thing I ever did.

Another time, also back in my newspaper days, my secretary and her large dog were roughhousing and the dog slammed its head into her face. She came to work the next morning with a black eye and said, “I look like a freak! Isn’t this the worst thing you’ve ever seen?” It didn’t make her feel any better when I said, “No, it’s not the worst.”

Years later, myself and several people from various agencies attended a seminar on prostitution in Phoenix. We were riding back to Tucson in an extended van and one of the women, who I knew quite well, said, “The whole thing with street hookers and pimps and drugs is absolutely disgusting. But call girls, I don’t know what to say about that. I’m a single mom, and if it came down to selling my body or my kid going hungry and sleeping in the car because I can’t pay the rent or buy food, I might do it.” Again, what I meant to say was that she was my friend, and I would always help her out if she got in trouble. But what I actually said was, “If that ever happens, just call me. I’ve always got some money lying around someplace.” It was a quiet, rather uncomfortable ride the rest of the way back to Tucson

Thought For The Day – Thanks for teaching me the meaning of plethora. It means a lot.????

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  One Response to “Open Mouth, Insert Foot”

  1. I still say forget publishing your fiction books, Nick! Publish a collection of your daily blogs and they will sell like hotcakes!

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