Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sometimes My Mouth is Faster Than My Brain...

I like to think that as I've aged, I've learned to reason out my answers, measure my words, and make what I say count. However, there are times when my mouth moves in a gear faster than my brain.

Case in Point 1: I was told a colleague had been going through difficulties in her marriage, although this colleague did not want anyone to know. She had also lost a great deal of weight. I don't run into her often, so I resolved the next time I saw her to make a positive comment about her weight loss. Sure enough, we saw each other in the work room. My mind had already prepared an energetic compliment about how good she looked.

She said, "Shelly, have you heard about me?"

Ah, perfect opening for my weight loss compliment to her. My mind was already sending the message to my mouth to say, "I can see you've lost so much weight! You really look terrific!"

My mouth, on the other hand, was already engaged and didn't get that message. Instead, what came out was this, with the same enthusiasm and tone I was reserving for the weight loss compliment. "You're getting a divorce!"

She was very gracious, and that is what she had wanted to talk with me about, so we had a conversation about it, but I had put my foot so far in my mouth it was lodged behind my tonsils.

Case in Point 2: Oh, I hesitate to tell you this one. The shame of it sticks to me like a scarlet S. Please, don't judge mouth has a mind of it's own.

I have a number of large fitness balls I keep in my room that my students sit on in place of chairs (there are great studies out about how this helps kids focus) and then I also use them a couple of times a week in my fitness class. They are yellow, blue, or green, and the kids love them. When I returned yesterday after having a sub, two of them were missing.

I had to go through a huge amount of paperwork to get these and I didn't want to be missing any. My whole focus was on getting them back. Perhaps another teacher had just borrowed them, or some of the kids had left them in the gym. The quickest way to get word out is via the intercom, so off I trotted to the office.

My mind prepared a quick announcement about getting the fitness balls back rapidly to my room. I pressed the button that would send my voice to every office and classroom in the entire district.

Ohhhh, this is hard to type. Again, please don't judge me. It was my mouth. My mind had nothing to do with it.

Here it comes.

"Will the one who has the two big, blue balls please bring them to the office?" I cheerily intoned.

Only when the words came out and my ears heard that horror did it register what I had actually just said. The secretary looked at me, eyes wide, and then dissolved into hysterical guffaws. The principal staggered out of her office gasping as if she'd been hit with a poisoned gas attack, clutched her chest, and sank to her knees from laughing so hard. I slunk back to my room and saw I had already received several emails from other teachers. "Really? BIG, blue ones?" and "Who do you think is sitting on the big, blue balls?" The others that continued coming through the entire day I will not even repeat, but you get the idea.

I am sorry. This is not the vernacular I use in regular conversations. But this is what happens when the mind is not allowed to evaluate in advance what comes out of the mouth.

So, dear friends, there you have it. My mouth operates in a universe all its own. And please, if you have your own stories of a mouth that moves at lightning speed, feel free to describe it here. It would make me feel oh, so much better to know I am not the only one.


  1. Shelly, when I can stop laughing and wiping the tears from my eyes I'll try and cull just one story from the many I have where my mouth functioned ahead of my brain...! Thank you for the posting it was just too delicious of a breakfast read! And please...keep em coming...I love this stuff!


  2. OMG that is so so funny! I literally fell about laughing when I read this, thank god I hadn't taken a sip of my tea otherwise I would have decorated the screen!

  3. LOL - I was already laughing well in advance of your announcement on the P-A system, Shelly. You say your mouth has a mind of its own? My friend, I think the same can be said about your fingers.

    You wrote: << The shame of it is still shiny and sticky all over me. >>

    In the middle of an anecdote about blue balls, that's quite a descriptive sentence, my dear! (LOL) Me thinks your Freudian slip is showing and that perhaps what you need is another romantic weekend in San Antonio with your husband! :)

  4. Sush: Thank you, and please do share some of yours so I'll feel better!

    lyndylou: I think our principal is still laughing about it. She saw me later in the day, pointed at me, and burst out laughing, AGAIN!

    Shady: Oh my goodness!!!! Once again, I didn't even realize how that sounded! I have changed that line, and my embarrassment continues...argh!

  5. Oh, but what entertainment you provided with the second one, made all the funnier because it was said innocently.

    Don't worry, my dear. The people around you know you and who you are, which makes any slip or slight indiscretion all the more endearing. :-)


  6. Oh my!! You will never live that one down!!! I wonder if you'll even get your balls back?!!!

    It seems like the first one though, helped to open it all up for her to talk about it all? Hoping it did anyway!

    Like pearl said, I'm sure people know you and your character, so no one thinks less of you.

  7. Pearl: What made it even worse was I had to walk back into a class of 8th graders who had heard it along with everyone else and the boys snickered the whole period. Ugh.

    Jamie Jo: The balls still haven't come back to me, but I'm going to search the old gym today and see if they're there. I'm sure they will be remembering this story until I retire!!!

  8. I thought of a story that might make you feel better, Shelly. It wasn't something that I blurted out because I have never committed a slip of the tongue (har-dee-har-har). This happened in the mid 70s when I was working as a TV news producer. I won't reveal where but it was a fairly good size tri-city market. In their infinite wisdom management hired a rather effeminate young black man and decided that he should become our 11pm sportscaster even though he had no previous on-camera experience and absolutely no knowledge of sports! Without training him for the position they stuck him on the air and he opened his first sportscast with the words, "Good evening, ball watchers!" It was the era of affirmative action and quota systems and that might explain why nobody had the nerve to yank him off the air or even correct him. Therefore, he kept on using that as his opening line night after night, week after week. I was told that groups of people used to gather around TV sets in bars at 11:20pm and roar with laughter when his segment came on. There's got to be a better way for a newscast to get ratings!

  9. Shelly, I know that this is at your expense, but you made me laugh so much that I had to hold my stomach tight. Dear Oh dear, what a red colour you must have had on your face, specially for the last incidence. Also you are so gracious to post them and let us all enjoy. Thanks! this is Munir over here at Focus.

  10. Shady: Wow- what a choice of words! It does sound like he built up a cult following- I hope I don't build one up myself! Thanks for sharing- it does ease the sting of my embarrassment! And, thanks as always for stopping by!

    Munir: All that's left to do about it is laugh, so I'm glad it gave you a smile. I shall be watching my words very closely!

  11. OMG...Shelly between you and Shady and Shady and You I'll have to take a sedative to calm the laughter! I sadly have to report Shady's sportscaster was not in my viewing area in the mid 70's because I would have been watching!
    I think one of my most embarrassing moments was in my youth. My husband and I were dining at the Top of The Mart with another couple. We had a very attentive waiter who kept up a charming dialogue throughout the meal. Towards the end of the meal (thank goodness) I felt the urge to pay him a compliment as a thank you for his lovely service. So in this perky young girl voice I said, "You have such a lovely that Jamaican?". And he gives me a look of puzzlement and says, "No, I have a cleft palate". I felt awful, there I wanted to give him a compliment and only pointed out his impairment. I then dug my hole deeper, inserted my foot further by saying, "Well, whatever the reason, it is quite lovely sounding". He just stopped and stared and walked away. To this day when we hear someone speak with an accent my husband looks at me and says, "Say nothing at all...nothing"!

    Hope this story and your balls are not alone...(oh I had to I really had to...)

  12. Sush: Oh my- I'm still wiping the tears from my eyes- I could SO see that happening to me! At least you tried to make a save- probably no one had ever told him it was lovely sounding before. That made my day, and made me feel so much better about mine (although I am still getting emails today about blue balls!)

  13. Sush - Now you have me rolling in the aisle! (LOL) I love it when a lady digs her hole deeper! (Your words, not mine, dearie! LOLOL) Aren't we awful?

  14. Shelly, that's an absolutely wonderful story! I'm still laughing! Thank you so much!! It's so reassuring that someone else makes occasional major public gaffes!

  15. Awesome chat room today! I needed a good laugh. Shelly, you are a riot, my friend. Even when you don't intend to be!

  16. Dr. Kathy: Embarrassment loves company!

    Crystal: I think the comments were even funnier than the stories, which is a good thing!

  17. That's the funniest thing I've heard in awhile! That's one you'll be telling your grandchildren. Well... maybe not grandCHILDREN, but you know what I mean. Good stuff...

  18. Never try to summons anyone with big blue balls. They tend to be grouchy.

  19. Karen: I'm sure I'll remember it long enough to tell my future grandchildren because my coworkers will never let me forget it!

    Missed Periods: That should go down as a life rule...

  20. Stop it, all of you! You're killing me!! Hahahahahahaha!!!! I LOVED this story, Shelly. It really is too perfect and makes me love you all the more!

  21. Felt Family: You are so very sweet to me- thank you! I'm glad to know I'm still loved despite the terrible things my mouth says1

  22. *snort* nice, shelly. just nice! *rofl* i have loved reading this post - along with all the lovely comments. bad thing is that the kids wanted to know what was so funny.

    about blue balls ... we here in colorado call it s.b.u. ... sperm back up ... ;)

    ~ jannet

  23. Jannet: I think this particular one is going to follow me the rest of my life. And, the sbu- so much better than just blurting out blue balls!

  24. HAhahaha! And now you're sharing it with the WORLD??!!


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