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Gentle Reader, what's your favorite story of an awkward social…

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Gentle Reader, what's your favorite story of an awkward social situation? Especially one that was awkward at the time, but that with hindsight was really, really funny.
  • You may not believe this one.

    I was an IT monkey at school - not THE lowest rated lackey, but I'd say second lowest. My boss was a classic BOFH, very gruouchy in general about the school and the position he held, which he felt was beneath him. He was actually correct; he was -very- well informed and very keen and being an op for a bunch of superannuated Dells and a pack of would be system admins must have chafed lik hell. To top it off he had NO power to secure the network or make decisions to defend our data from our own users.

    I had to tell him that I could no longer work for the department - I was graduating - and when i went to do it he was not pleased - I was his favorite monkey, the one he sent to do all the stuff his level of expertise considered stupid. (Like updates and hardware upgrades).

    As he was standing up to shake hands with me he split the entire ass seam of his pants out. Not a little rip, the whole seat.

    I busted out laughing, even as I was absolutely horrified - this dude was my boss and I did admire him greatly, but it was like I couldn't restrain myself. I took to my heels before I could say something stupid and possibly fatal.

    I apologuzed later by e-mail, trembling in fear at the likely response, but he was dismissive of it, blaming the job for weight gain.
  • I was at an x-ray place in the waiting room waiting to get an ultrasound when I saw my friend's mother who I hadn't seen in a few years. She came over and asked me if that was me and I said yes and she said 'I thought so but you look so different, your hair is so different from when I last saw you' and I said 'Yes yours as well!!' then remembered as she paused and made a polite smile that she'd just finished chemo for her ovarian cancer and that she was actually wearing a wig.

  • Okay, I have a great one...

    So when I was teaching in China and first started raising the abandoned kitten that appears in this userpic (who survived under my guardianship, and has since gone on to live out in the country with a FOAF local) I went out to the supermarket in the evening to pick up some things to feed it. And lo, the bus stopped running early, and I ran around the parking lot trying to find another bus that could get me back to the college where I lived. Success in Mandarin was limited. Finally I gave up on not looking like a stupid foreigner and went around asking "Anyone speak English?"

    That was how I met this guy who was an engineer for a foreign company. He was both Chinese and not-Chinese -- he was of the Uyghur ethnicity, from Xinjiang (the muslim region of China) -- and so he also felt out of place in the local culture, but could navigate it better than me. For these reasons he ended up becoming a fairly good friend of mine locally. Anyway, there in the supermarket parking lot, I opened up to him about what was going on in my life and why I was there. "I have this baby cat," I said, since no one I'd met yet recognized the word 'kitten'. "And I found it in my stairwell, and I'm trying to save its life..."

    He sounded concerned; we exchanged phone numbers and duly parted and I got on the bus he'd found me, and I went home and fed the kitten, and all was well.

    A few days later, he called me. "I have talked to my friends," he said in a gravely serious tone of voice, "and we think you should take it to the police."

    "What?" Context was missing, and I wondered if I'd misheard him.

    "You should take it to the police station. They will know what to do."

    "Take what to the police station?" Still totally baffled.

    "The baby! You should take the baby to the police."

    I was incredibly embarrassed, but I cracked up. And proceeded to explain: "No, it's not a HUMAN baby, it's a baby CAT."

    "A baby cat?"

    "A baby cat. Meow, meow! So tell your friends not to panic."

    "Oh. Ohhhh. A baby CAT!" And then he cracked up, and we went back and forth like that for a little while.

    We stayed friends that year and it became a bit of an in-joke.
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