Sunday, February 6, 2011

Genuine Imitation Faux Pas

I really shouldn’t be allowed out in public. Seriously—I shouldn’t. There should be firm policies against letting boneheaded women have access to normal people.

As I write this, I’m listening to Mr. Grumbles as he reads aloud to me from a catalogue: American Science and Surplus. Since I spend so much time working at the computer, the poor man has gotten quite proficient at speaking to my back and expecting nothing more than the occasional grunt in response. Once in awhile, he says something that breaks through my concentration and causes me to pause and really listen. I don’t do that often enough, I know. But he seems content to prattle away as he waits for that cognitive spark from his wife which acknowledges—at least temporarily--his presence on the bed behind me.

Tonight, he’s said several things which caught my attention. He read the description of a combination wallet and checkbook holder. It was made of “genuine imitation faux leather”. I puzzled over that one for several minutes. Genuine. Imitation. Faux. Leather.


As he read along, he also described another item offered in the catalogue. World War One-era glass urinals. Curiosity piqued, I turned around and said, “What in the world would someone want to buy those for?”

Of course, there was an answer. He continued. “These can be mounted on the wall and used as vases.”

What excellent imagery. That is the exact language--and usage--I would have chosen. Sheesh…

The catalogue offered other delights for just a fraction of the price you’d pay at any other high-class boutique or gift store. My favorite? For just pennies on the dollar, you can purchase a kit which includes toothpicks and toilet paper, so that you can turn house flies into mini airplanes. (Flies not included.)

I kid you not…you can’t make this stuff up.

But it was Mr. Grumble’s earlier ramble which really sent me for a loop. He’d climbed into bed and enjoyed his customary cuddle with his cat, Timmie. My husband doesn’t like cats, but he loves Timmie. She’s simply too danged cute and snuggly to ignore. He pets her and talks to her for a few minutes each night as she sits beside him with her tail-end on the bed, and her front feet on his chest or belly.
As he patted Timmie, I typed away-- hearing his words but not really listening. Not absorbing them. I was engrossed in a project, after all.

“That was pretty funny, this afternoon.”

“Mmm hmmm…” I typed away.

“You gave them quite a laugh.”

I turned around. He was talking about me, so I thought I’d better pay attention.

“I gave them a laugh, when?” I raised my brows enquiringly-- a little embarrassed, because I knew he’d probably already told me, and I simply hadn’t absorbed it. It wasn’t long before I regretted asking him to repeat himself.

We attended a meeting and luncheon today, and I was called on to give a brief rundown of the agenda for a conference which I have helped to plan and coordinate, and which is coming up on Saturday. As I explained the events for the morning session, I told the 35 attendees that there would be a segment during which representatives of other, similar organizations would come to the podium and give summaries of their own projects. I told them I was going to be very strict about keeping each speaker to his allotted five minutes. Someone in the crowd asked what I was going to do if a speaker went over his time.

I said, “I’ll yank him off.”

I remember the laughter. One chap asked, “You’ll WHAT?” and I thought he didn’t understand that I was serious. That those speakers would be held to their time limits, or there would be serious consequences!

The laughter went on. But saying that I’d jerk someone off stage if they spoke too long wasn’t really all that funny, I didn’t think.

That’s the problem, though. I didn’t think. I didn’t get it. And I carried on, content with my merry-go-lucky audience, and not even cognizant of the (genuine imitation) faux pas.

It took a retelling by Mr. Grumbles to make me realize I’d had another Bonehead Moment while in public. And he took more than five minutes to tell me, too.

Pffftt! I’m staying home, from now on. It’s not like I’ll be bored, here. I’ve got some house flies to catch before my order from the catalogue store arrives.


  1. Mount these on your wall and use them as vases? Holey dooley, Henrietta, I'd NEVER be able to have the boys around for the footie again. At least, not while Mrs Stilo-Tongue (please use the hyphen) is still in this fine country.

    Seriously though, I respect people who can do preserving. First world war era urinals. Made of glass. I swear that's impressive. I bought a box of wine glasses in Woolies the other day; dropped them when I was unpacking the car. 37 minutes. Not my record, but pretty darned close.

    By the way, that cat of yours would move a lot faster the other way up.

    By the by the way, if anybody needs house flies for that TP&TP kit, we have plenty. Buyer collects.

  2. Oh, and by the by the by the way, I know: 'wine glasses' and 'Woolies' in the same sentence - I'm FULL of class! :)

  3. Hey, Pal.

    You're full of class, all right. :o) It could be worse. You could drink your wine straight from the bottle. Or do you buy it in a cardboard carton? :o)

    Thanks for the grin. It's 1:30 a.m. here... time for me to give in and call it quits for the night/morning. Soon, anyway. :o)

    Nite nite.

  4. A real copy of fake leather. And they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  5. Hey, CP!

    I am STILL finding myself repeating that and puzzling over it! Genuine. Imitation. Faux. Leather.


    Hey, a man came to my office this morning and in the course of our conversation (the topic started out as 'real estate', but I am "mistress of the tangent") he showed me his boots and said they were kangaroo hide. SO! I simply HAD to haul out my roo scrote pouch/purse (that my pal Jack gave me) and show the gent! And then we had to feel each others' hides.

    It's amazing what two people can bond over....

    Heh...I love my job. And I love leather--genuine, imitation, faux or roo.


    Nice to see you, lad.


  6. OMG Karen - you never fail to make me laugh !

    What can one say to all that - feeling people's hides & yanking them off..........

    Hmmmn - I wonder which is supposed to come first ??

  7. Heh...

    It makes me smile to know you are laughing, Dozy. Now... go to bed!

    Love you.