Excuse me?

On my way to the gym at lunch time, i ran into Les. He and i have worked together for about ten years, and he is currently running the other branch in my part of the office building. We frequently commiserate over the pain and suffering of being supervisors.

We’ve always had a very healthy, collegial working relationship. Professional.  Friendly, without being especially social outside the workplace.  We were joking about the latest office gossip.  i marked my whereabouts on the sign-out board as he headed down the hallway to his meeting.

Stopping about halfway down the hall, he turned back to me and said “By the way, are you still fucking your ex?”

i froze in my tracks, astonished. “Excuse me, what did you just say?”

“Are you still fucking your ex?”

Again, i was slack-jawed. In utter shock!  My secretary, Janice, was watching the exchange and i briefly wondered if she was going to be a star witness in my future manslaughter trial…

Bewildered and stunned, i walked a few steps closer to him and said “i’m sorry… i still couldn’t hear you. What was that again?”

“Are you still offering up your axe? The guitar?”

Late last week, Les had asked my advice on buying a nice, used guitar so he could refresh his skills. i’d offered him one from my collection as a loaner instead.

And had completely forgotten….

“OH! THAT! Yes. YES! No problem! i’ll bring it in tomorrow…”

“Yeah… I need to convince my wife I’m serious about this before an outlay of discretionary income!”

And he was on his way…

image found here

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65 thoughts on “Excuse me?

  1. When was your last hearing exam??? Unfortunately, I have had the same sort of experience where my brain hears something completely different and then it just can’t change the wavelength.

    I’m still laughing… offering up your axe….. yep.

    • i have lost some of my high-frequency hearing from too much time standing in front of speakers at loud concerts. one of the reasons i volunteer to stage manage local festivals? behind the speakers!

  2. Hahahaaha! Welcome to my world, dearie! I wrote a post last year on my puzzlement at hearing a TV commercial that offered car loans to “qualified lesbians.” I’m glad you didn’t kill the guy. Although, I’d be glad to be a character witness on your behalf.

    (Love the photo, too. Where can I get one of those thingies?)

    • i got the biggest laugh out of my secretary after Les left… told her what i’d thought he said, and she just busted a huge belly laugh! made my day. told Les about it after lunch, too. he said “well, that explains that look you gave me – I thought you didn’t want to loan me the guitar after all!”

    • Maybe not just an age thing, i was remembered in high school for once saying “What’s wrong with my earrings?” when a friend said “There’s something wrong with your hearing.”

  3. *splutter*

    Yes, like last night:

    Cousin: Do you still like talking?
    Me: Um, yeah! Why? Did you think I’d give up talking for some reason? Dork.
    Cousin: TOLKIN, you freak, TOLKIN. JRR FUCKIN’ TOLKIN.
    Me: Um.

  4. Good thing you asked for clarification. If you’d said “no” (assuming that you are not, in fact, still fucking your ex (I have mixed feelings about the issue, because my ex is still fucking me. Financially, that is.)), then you would have seemed flip-floppy and inconsistent. Can’t have that.

    • i only flip flop when naked on hot pavement. Les really did think i had completely changed my mind about the guitar, based on my reaction. And i’d been SO enthusiastic just a few days before…

  5. Oh my God…thank god you clarified. From some people you are pretty sure they said what you heard but with some, what you hear you just know is not in their personality to say.
    I find it lovely that you told him later what you thought he said. It’s nice to have such a good solid work relationship with him. He’ll be laughing about it for days.

    • i brought him one of my nicer acoustic guitars today. tuned it up for him – and he noted that i was doing it by ear. “Yes, on a good day, i have relative pitch…. despite the fact that my hearing is obviously pretty piss poor!”

  6. Funny, the other day while drinking much Guinness a woman at the bar said, “would you like to discuss philosophy, i thought she said, “would you like to kiss me sloppily”, guess what i did?

  7. At least you asked for clarification.
    I probably would have shot back some smart-ass retort like, ” HA! I see your wife let you have your balls today!”
    Or something like that ….

    Damn, he REALLY would have been confused then.

    *makes mental note to ask for clarification more*

    • there are some of the folks at the office who could have asked me that question – joking around. i was pretty sure he’d never do it… far too mature. at least, compared to the rest of us…

  8. My life used to be a bit like this: one mispronounciation, one grammar slip-up and people look at me aghast. “Your mother is hot. Does she take it doggy-doggy?” is what comes out, when all I wanted was a stamp. Big incentive to learn the language properly, that was.

    • my daughter was teaching me basic turkish last month. when beckoning a waiter, to get his attention, it’s important to be careful. one slight adjustment to the tone and it’s “Are you single?” instead of “May i have your attention?”

  9. in the crap that is my life right now that was great shot of funny, i had uncontrolled giggles for about a half hour tears and all!

    my mum: oh look bette, the yellow gladiolus!
    aunt bette in a huff: i am not a dumb yo yo! and stomps off dramaticly….

    to this day i cannot look at yellow ‘glads’ and not snicker and remember my aunt bette (and her vanity of not wearing her hearing aids) i miss the ol’ drama queen!

  10. That is fkn hillarious!
    It’s not about the quality of our hearing, Friends. I can hear fleas sneeze from a mile away, but for some reason, words get lost in translation between my ears and my brain. I have what I call the “What? Oh!” syndrome. Someone says something to me, I say “What?” then 3 seconds later I say “Oh!” It just takes the ole synapses a bit longer to meet up at the junction nowadays than it did in my younger years. It does benefit others when they say something I don’t like. They are often out of my reach when I realize they said something that highly pissed me off.
    Ame in TN

    • i’m pretty sure this was exactly that sort of synapse misfire! he was speaking clearly and in theory, loudly enough that i should have heard him. it just went wonky inside my ears en route to my brain!

  11. Hi again,
    I hope you won’t mind, but I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. Should you decide to accept (as they say in the Mission Impossible), the rules are stated on my blog. You’re not pressured to follow thru…just my way of letting you know how much I like you & your blog!
    I really really do!!

    Jeannie

    • THANK YOU, Jeannie! i am truly diggin’ your fashion, lady! and have also enjoyed your visits here! i’ll do my bit with the versatile blogger award when i get some free time — my days (and nights) are still chugging along at an alarming pace! Thanks so very much!

  12. Thanks for the great laugh! To this day I still hear “do you need a tampon” when someone is asking me if ‘I leave the fan on?” I think I’ve always had middle age hearing.

  13. Why is it that we never mishear unexpected compliments or charming things? Every time I hear something weird it’s like, “Why did you drown the cat in grapefruit seeds?” At least yours made sense.

    • Lew has now taken to asking about my ex when he sees me — and giggles himself silly. While this wasn’t exactly a flattering ‘misheard’, it sure as hell brough some much needed humor to the workplace!

    • ground truth is rather different, i’m afraid. since he effectively moved out about five years before we got divorced, i was really even fucking him for the last few years we were married… let alone after the divorce!

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