Monthly Archives: July 2013

In the Presence of Royalty

kingAfter reading one of my posts [ "Who's On First"  http://whimsicalbanter.com/?p=483], my friend Deborah shared this delightful story:

"Years ago my husband And I were on a harbor dinner cruise for work employees. The director was also there. This director had a reputation for being rather aloof and expected people to treat him like royalty, as if to bow in his presence so to speak.

Well during the cruise, I introduced myself as Peter's wife, and his position as a point of reference. To be more formal I employed proper protocol and shook the director's hand and called him "Mister _______." Evidently the man respected or appreciated the honor (and perhaps also wanted to refute his "royalist" reputation).

He smiled warmly, insisting on me calling him by his first name by simply saying 2 words "Neil, please." (It was too perfect a segue for me to pass up) Considering it a verbal instruction, that's exactly what I did! Suddenly people on the boat began to surround that scene, to see me kneeling before the director!

But what followed was even better. Then the director did something very unexpected. Neil began to kneel too, before me, right there on the boat in front of all those employees! I am probably the only one to ever have brought this man to his knees literally… all because "kneel" and "Neil" are homonyms!

 

Who’s On First?

whosonfirstAbbott and Costello are known for their incredibly funny routine, "Who's On First?"  [see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTcRRaXV-fg].

I experienced a similar situation yesterday. I was at my sister's house for a 4th of July BBQ. The house sits on a beautiful water inlet. The inlet is narrow, so the homes located on the other side of the inlet are easily seen. A number of us were in the backyard seated on the sundeck enjoying a spectacular fireworks display over the water.

My sister encouages all of us attending to invite friends, so there were a number of people there I did not know. Two gals had arrived late and missed the BBQ, so they ordered home-delivered pizza.  As they walked pass us with their rather large pizza slices in hand, I teasingly asked one of them, "Are you sharin' ??"

She turned around and said, "Yes."

I waited for her to offer some pizza. Instead, she stood there in silence, not moving.

After an awkward pause, I gently coaxed, "Well???"

She cocked her head and looked at me inquistively.

I repeated, "sharin' ??"

"Yes!" she repeated emphatically. 
 

All of us on the deck looked at each other with confused looks. Almost in unison we all broke out into laughter as the gal continued,  "My name is Sharon!  How did you know my name?"

Once we explained the misunderstanding we all laughed together. She continued on down the beach toward the campfire, pizza slice still in her hand.

As for knowing her name, the name tag on her shirt was a dead give-away.