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It happens to the best of us. Mouths move while brains chew on big ole’ wads of stale salt-water taffy.

At some point, I suspect a near saintly person like — for instance — Charlie Sheen, has had moments when his mouth moved without benefit of his brain.

It’s happened to well respected politicians.

Seriously.

If you had a name such as — oh, let’s say — Anthony Wiener, would you not confirm you were in direct message mode before tweeting a suggestive message with a picture of the body part matching your last name?

THE COMMOM BLOOPERS

Yes, I’ve blathered many of the common brain-to-mouth malfunctions:

  • Laughed and said, “Who would name their kid Bertha?” and learned the woman behind me in the grocery line was named after her dear, departed grandmother, Bertha. God rest her soul. God shut my mouth.
  • Shook hands with someone at a gathering, and said, “So pleased to finally meet you,” and been told “We met last month at the Higgenbotham’s reception.
  • Regrouped with, “Why, of course we did! You’ve changed your hair since then, haven’t you?” And, been told “No. I’ve worn my hair this way for years.” Shut the front door! And, get a new ‘do. That one sucks.
  • While conducting a training seminar in England, and during a discussion on sexual harassment, told the attendees (thankfully, all female) that back-in-the-day my then-boss pinched my fanny every time he passed. Why did they all turn beet red? Ask Nigel Blackwell. He’s British.

MY PERSONAL CORPORATE AMERICA BLOOPERS (A Sampler Package of Why they Don’t Miss Me)

Sampler #1

I have a horrid habit of picking up accents and imitating the person with whom I’m speaking. At a cocktail reception, a major client of mine approached. Let’s call him Ralph.

[Yes. Sincere apologies if your dear, departed grandpa was named Ralph. Mine were Ira and Oscar. Seriously. Go for it!]

Back to the blooper. Ralph had a slight stutter. I do not make fun of people who stutter. Ralph stood before me and said, “G-g-g-g-loria, how are you?” My response? “F-f-f-f-f-fine, Ralph, how are you?”

Slurp! More wine? Slurp!

My brain farted, okay? Speaking of brain farts…

Sampler #2

My department was once assembled in The Boardroom of the Fortune 500 company I worked for. Our mission? A casual chat with the freaking Chairman of the Board and CEO. No pressure. Just fifteen of us assembled around the polished table, tasked with telling him a bit about our careers.

During my rambling, I came to the bit when I left the company to venture into entrepreneurial waters. I thought I’d use clever phrasing to pretend I’d been foolish to leave his Chairmanshiplyness’s Company. I began with, “Then, in nineteen-blahdy-blah, I had a brain f…..er…burp, and…”

Did the lofty Chairman of the Board let that slide? Of course not! “You had a what?”

“Brain burp. I had a brain burp, and…”

Leave it alone, you old fart!

Sampler #3

I blame this one on a bad hair day, coupled with rushing around for signatures on a major sales transaction. I may have been wearing pantyhose with sandals. Who knows.

Winded, frantic, I hopped onto an elevator occupied by two people. I paid no attention to them, and reached to punch the button for the executive floor. Already lit. Great news. No delays en route.

Then, from behind, I heard a voice I recognized. It was Senator Phil Graham. A big shot, being escorted by our Governmental Affairs* Senior Vice President.

[Sadly, Governmental Affairs is not an oxymoronic word combination.]

I peeked behind me. Senator Graham reached to shake my hand, and said, “I’m Phil Graham.”

“Of course you are! Recognize name your voice welcome and oh, boy. Name. Gloria. My. Meet you nice. HA! HA! Listen me to.”

Please God, if you’re going to kill me in a freak elevator malfunction, now would be a great time. Please and thank-you.

I didn’t apologize for not voting for him. Small blessings.

THE JOKE I HAD TO FINISH

Back on scene at a projection meeting happy, happy hour(s) in our Hospitality Suite . Is it any wonder I’m a recovering alcoholic?

I worked in a largely male dominated industry. A fair-number of said dominate males congregated in a circle telling bawdy jokes. Loved them. I was tipsy nearly toppled, and began a joke. My brain didn’t cast its lure to the punch line, until I’d snagged the attention of all. The joke?

It goes something like this:

A man walks into a psych ward to visit his grandpa, and is escorted down a long hallway to his grandfather Ralph’s room. En route, they pass an open door. Ralph sees a patient swinging a tennis racquet with great enthusiasm. No ball. Just the racquet.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m practicing. I’m getting out of here soon and, when I do, I’m going to compete at Wimbledom.”

“Well, good luck to you.”

At the next door, he witnesses a patient swing a golf club, cuss up a storm, and bang his 9-iron on the floor.

“What’s wrong?”

“Just shanked the ball. I’m getting out of here soon, and when I do I’m competing in the Byron Nelson tournament.”

They arrive at Grandpa Ralph’s door. It’s closed. “Ruh-roh,” the man thinks. “What am I going to find here?”

Ruh-roh, I also think (Novel concept, that.). I brain-play the punch line. So does an exec in our division. I look at him. He raises his eyebrows. “I was wondering what you’d do when you got to this part. You started it. Finish the joke.”

ERK!

I cleaned it up as much as I could, but in essence…

The man opens the door to find his grandfather lying face up on the bed with a hard — you, know — male genital part, and a peanut balanced on the top.

“Gramps! What are you doing?”

“I’m *effing* nuts, and I’m never getting out of this place.

Jokes no more me tell. Slurrrrrrp!

WHEN A FRIEND’S BRAIN FARTS, TAKE NOTES

I have a friend who dates back more years than you have any business knowing.

[Yes. I can still count that high.]

She was a branch manager for a financial services company — our mutual employer. Back-in-the-day, we kept cards on all client names in Rolodex files–our then equivalent to a name search aide. Flipping through them was sometimes called flexing.

My friend (we’ll call her Bertha) answered the phone one busy morning. It was a competitor seeking a credit rating.

[Time out. Trust me. You’ll thank me. I have to replace one word in this story because it is the offensive, vulgar “C” word used to refer to female genitalia.  Thank goodness for Jenny Hansen|More Cowbell and the letter Z in the A to Z challenge. The “C” word will hereinafter be changed to Zatch — a less offensive term for female genitalia.]

“Sure. The name?” Bertha says.

“Harry Zatch.”

It’s a busy, noisy day in a large office. Bertha’s Assistant Manager stands at the reception area near the Rolodex files, across the office.

“Ralph! Flex a Harry Zatch for me, will you?” Bertha shouts.

Ralph gives her one of those you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me looks. The office goes silent. Including the customers.

“Oh, wait!” Bertha clicks back on the line. “Is that spelled with a “Z” or a K?”

“Z. Z-A-T-C-H.”

“Ralph! It’s spelled with a “Z”. Look up a Harry Zatch. Z-A-T-C-H.”

Ralph goes through the motions. “No Zatch here.”

“That’s a no record.” Bertha tells the caller.

“Oh, come on. All women have Harry Zatch’s!”

Click.

“You guys, I think I just got an obscene phone call.”

Ya’ think?

YOUR TURN!

Those are my corporate America bloopers. Trust me. I have more from my the days before, during, and after. There may or may not be a sequel. Tell us about your (or, your soon-to-be-former friend’s) bloopers, aka Brain F….er…burps. Don’t be shy. You know how I L-O-V-E to play in comments. Don’t let me down. When you do comment, provide the pseudonym you’d prefer when I repeat your story ad infinitum. Dibs on Ralph, Bertha, Oscar and Ira.

HUMOR WHEN IT COUNTS

Susie Lindau (Wild Ride), bloggess extraordinaire, chronicles her journey with breast cancer. In this second installment of her Boob Report, Susie demonstrates her humor, courage, and (bonus!) a blooper in public while dining with Kristen Lamb and Piper Bayard. Visit. If you don’t already follow her, you’re missing tons of adventures through her eyes and camera lens.  She brings humor to the table during a difficult time. Hugs and prayers, Susie!

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