One of my friends told me about an embarrassing incident when out with her four-year-old daughter. She was in a queue at the supermarket and in front of her was a woman with tattoos on her arms. Her daughter, having been told off for a similar incident only hours before, said loudly: "Look, mummy, that lady's been drawing on herself with felt tips. Tell her she's naughty." My friend suddenly remembered she had to find something at the opposite end of the supermarket!
This got me thinking about embarrassing moments. When I was a trainee reporter on a local newspaper I was given the very important task of telephoning a man who had grown a giant marrow. One of my first comments to him was, "I hear you've got a particularly big one." At the time I was sharing an office with three male reporters who all started laughing so much they had to leave the room.
Another friend recalls the time she was in a posh restaurant having an informal interview with a managing director. She was extremely nervous. In an effort to break the ice, he told a mildly amusing story at which my friend broke out into nervous guffaws of laughter. She had just taken a drink and she laughed so much that wine spurted out of her nose all over the crisp white tablecloth. She didn't get the job.
Then there was the friend who was telling her colleagues all about the woman in reception wearing a hideous trouser suit. She described it in detail as dark grey with red lapels and turn-ups and really, really wide trousers. She was laughing as she described the outfit and - you've guessed it - one of the workmates said, 'That's my wife.'
Then there was the child whose school was holding a pyjama day in aid of charity. In the morning instead of school uniform, she put on her PJs with the little pictures of Snoopy all over them. But when she got to school she was the only one in PJs because she'd got the wrong day! The teachers felt so sorry for her they had a collection in the staff room and she made nearly £50 for charity - so it wasn't all bad!
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