Embarrassing moments


Well, I have a couple of doozies and one belonging to my friend…

My friend and I were country bumpkins when we were younger – not sophisticated at all and very inexperienced in the ways of the world. I once drank the water in my finger bowl at a restaurant. But her most embarrassing moment was worse….

She went on her first business trip with her boss and it was her first time in a plane and in a hotel. On the plane she was fascinated by the little free bottles of alcohol that were given out. She saw her boss ask for a coke and a whiskey, drink the Coke and put the little bottle of whiskey in his pocket. He did this a couple of times. She was a bit shy to follow suit. But…

When they got to the hotel she discovered the mini bar. Every night she would empty the entire fridge of all the little bottles and every day it would be refilled. So after a week her suitcase was full of free booze, macadamia nuts – you name it. Luckily she didn’t take the toweling robe.

When they checked out, her boss was presented with this enormous bill. It was literally enormous because the till roll actually rolled over the counter and down to the floor as they totted up her total. It was probably an entire year’s salary. With a beetroot red face she explained what happened. And then, in front of everyone, she had to unpack her suitcase on the floor of reception and give back all her loot…

My grandmother told me one but I am not sure if this one is true as I was not there. She was waiting at the bus stop in Wimbledon in London with a huge suitcase. It was hot and she was tired. But then a car rolled up, the driver leaned over and said ‘would you like a lift?’ Boy did she ever! She climbed into the car and tried to get her suitcase in. It would not fit so she pulled and heaved and finally had it wedged between the back and front seats. She looked up to tell the driver where to go when she noticed that someone had climbed into the passenger seat. It was the person who had been standing beside her in the queue for the bus. The driver turned to the passenger and said to her ‘Doris, do you know this person?’. Well needless to say Doris didn’t so my gran had to get out of the car. Naturally her suitcase was stuck so she had to huff and puff for some minutes before getting it out.

My smaller one happened when I used to work with computers for a living. This was in the days of DOS 3.1 when nothing was plug and play. Users used to accidentally format their hard drives when trying to format a floppy disk. Or think THEY had a computer virus because they got a headache after looking at orange text on the screen all day. This was in the days before computer mouses and CDs – which people used to attempt to use as remote controls/foot pedals or cupholders respectively. Most days I had a rather short fuse. To this day I have huge sympathy for anyone who works in computer support….

Anyhoo, I was trying to help a really infuriating user. She had called me out about four times in an hour for problems of her own making. The final straw was when she put an already printed page upside down in her laser printer and could not figure out why the paper was printed already – and upside down. With the wrong text. I tried to explain but she started shouting at me that it was the computer’s fault so I stormed off in a huff. Right into the walk-in safe. The worst part was that I was too embarrassed to walk out immediately so I stayed in there for about five minutes. When I walked out the entire department was standing there staring at me…. I slunk out with my tail between my legs and had to apologize to the user later.

But my biggest one happened when I was about 12 years old. We had some relatives called the Wiggals. Of course I found the name hysterically funny and always used to collapse laughing whenever I heard or said it. On the way to visit them one day my mother said to me ‘don’t you dare laugh at their name. Don’t even SAY their name’. I was so good right through the meal and managed to keep a straight face. When I was helping clear the table I kept thinking ‘Don’t say his name. Don’t laugh’. What did I say? ‘Please Mr Plate pass me your Wiggal’ What is even worse is that I held my hysterical giggles in so hard that I farted really loudly and then ran out of the room laughing like a mad thing and farting like I was jet-propelled. I am not sure my mother was ever invited back. To this day the word wiggle makes me giggle!

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

13 thoughts

  1. The golden days of computing! When we had 30 Mb of Hard disk space and we guarded it like it was the crown jewels. I now have an Apple watch which as 32GB of storage on my wrist! Crazy!

    I once split my suit trousers at work…. the back seam…. I did a temp repair with the stapler!!!

  2. Janet, I laughed till I cried at this just as much as I did before! Thank you – I needed that! Your grandma and the suitcase is hilarious, but the Wiggals wins every time.

      1. I read it again when I woke up in the night and had my head under the duvet to muffle the fact I was shrieking with laughter! You are a top storyteller, Janet! <3

  3. Janet,

    I know that I’m over 5 years late, but I just read your Embarrassing Moments post, and you just made me LMAO when I got to your story about the Wiggals. Totally made my night!! I love your goofy AND wicked sense of humor – you are a gem!

  4. This made me laugh so much – thank you! I think my favourites were probably your gran and her suitcase, and the Wiggals!

    I’ve had the usual emerging from the loo with my skirt tucked into my knickers. And then there was the incident in the men’s toilets in the press box at Lord’s cricket ground! I was the only woman in the press box, so the attendant said he’d make sure there were no blokes around when I needed the loo (of course there wasn’t a women’s toilet there then!) So I scuttled in to attend to business, came sauntering out – to find the man fro The Times at the urinals. I’m not sure who was most surprised! The attendant was nowhere to be seen!

  5. Oh Lord! Your story of the Wiggals had me in hysterics! Just what I needed on a cold, wet and blustery day 😀

    I remember when I worked for Hymac, and my manager wanted to show me something on his computer that was in his office. This was around 1988/89 so you know the sort of computer I mean. I couldn’t see the screen standing up and he was sitting in his chair, so I crouched down. Somehow, I lost my balance and started falling backwards. I reached out to grab the desk, but instead, pulled a pile of his paperwork down which landed on top of me, and I ended up on my back with my legs in the air, and yes, I was wearing a skirt.

    When I’d finally composed myself and returned to the main office that had 6 people in, I was rather quiet, but suddenly thought about what had happened and started laughing uncontrollably. Tears were rolling down my face. Each time I stopped and thought I’d calmed down, I’d rerun the event in my mind and started off again. I couldn’t tell my colleagues what I was laughing at as I just couldn’t speak.

    After about half an hour I’d almost calmed down enough to start talking. Then – the manager walked in. He looked at me, I looked at him and we BOTH burst out laughing.

    He managed, after a time to tell everyone what had happened. Even now, sometimes when I think about it, like now, I have a little snigger to myself 😀

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