As someone who gets paid for her communication skills, you think I’d have the whole process down. Not so.
It seems we all have our little slip ups now and again, and for some reason the situation gets exponentially funnier the more you’re known for your work with words.
That being said, I’ve had a few encounters lately where communication has completely broken down in hilarious ways.
Often, we sing our miscommunication. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the whole “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” mistake, and a few of us might be familiar with the old “You might as well face it, you’re a dick with a glove” mis-hear. But the funniest ones, the true belly-busters, are often the ones when we’re truly confused.
The inspiration for this post came this weekend in the form of a hilarious little two year-old – my nephew, Aaron. Aaron is adorable in many ways, but one thing I absolutely love about him is his innate sense of humour. The little guy has amazing timing – pulling faces and busting out jokes at just the right moments.
His parents – my brother and his wife – are amazing parents. They’re sensitive and nurturing, fun-loving and wholesome. They lead by example and rarely use questionable language around their kids or anywhere else. That’s part of what makes this next scenario so hilarious.
So on Friday morning I’m getting ready for work. Elizabeth, 4, is in my room helping me choose an outfit and put on makeup while Jackson, 6, is hanging out in the living room. I can hear Aaron stirring in the next room and eventually he toddles into my bedroom, sleepy-eyed and adorable in his Spiderman pyjama shirt and diaper. He gives me his famous grin, ginger hair pointing toward the sky and pillow marks still lingering on his cheeks. He looks like something out of a commercial.
I say, “morning, buddy!” to which he so sweetly replies: “Bite me.”
I’m shocked. I stand in disbelief, my mouth hanging open.
“Pardon?” I croak.
“Bite me!” he repeats, eyes searching for a reaction.
By this time, Elizabeth is also looking at me expectantly. Clearly, I’m the only one in the dark. My mind is racing. I don’t want to give him a reaction that will reveal how hilarious this phrase is, and I’m searching my brain for some kind of similar-sounding phrase he could be saying that I’m just not getting.
Turns out I’m the only one in the dark.
“Smokey bite me!” Aaron says, looking at me like I’m a complete moron. He and Elizabeth proceed to tell me about his grandmother’s cat and how it bit him on the tummy (upon further investigation I find that this is not even true, possibly making the story even more bizarre.)
Believe me, holding back laughter at that point was difficult.
But that wasn’t the only communication-based debacle of the weekend.
I had the pleasure of being invited to a friend’s going away party on Saturday and it was a ton of fun. The whole thing was a surprise planned by my friend Clara. Clara had asked a few of us to come to the venue early to do a little setting up and whatnot.
I was the first to arrive, so I introduced myself to the manager. We exchanged names and got to work, making sure everything was lined up for the big surprise. The rest of the early crew arrived and we had a great time making sure everything was in order. The manager and I made sure to communicate often, so nothing was left out.
At the end of the night, the party had wrapped up and fun times were had by all. Clara and I were discussing how wonderful the venue staff had been – the manager in particular.
“I’m going to write him a thank you card,” said Clara, holding up his business card.
That’s when I saw the name on his business card: Peter. The whole time I thought his name was Dieter.
My head started to spin (and it wasn’t from the alcohol, either). Thoughts came reeling back to me. “Thanks Dieter! You’re the best, Dieter! Have a great one, Dieter!”
I really don’t know if I said those things or not, but chances are I did. He kept calling me Sarah, so it stands to reason that I’d use his name, too. Oh, Dieter.
So the moral of the story is that no matter how much they pay you (or don’t pay you), miscommunication happens. I’ll just try to forget about it, hoping I gave Dieter/Peter a laugh if nothing else.
The whole thing can be summed up by a conversation I had with Aaron not too long ago, actually.
You’re damn right.
Love From Sarah