Okay, first of all, there's nothing X- or even R-rated about this blog post, even though that's what first comes to mind with the word "Blooper." But we definitely had a "blooper scenario" last night at choir rehearsal.
The rehearsal itself went really well. We worked on two numbers pretty extensively--made a lot of headway in getting both pieces down. So far so good.
After the music was rehearsed, we moved into "prayer request" time. There were some very heart-wrenching and heart-warming requests and praise reports that occurred.
Just as we were ready to pray, one of the members had this request for a neighbor of his who had become suddenly ill this week with some kind of lung disorder. The neighbor's wife had called the family doctor who told them to get to the hospital immediately. The husband didn't want to have to summon an ambulance (probably from embarrassment or the understandable avoidance of the usual $1000 ambulance fee), so he insisted the wife drive him there.
She let her husband out at the emergency room entrance so she could park the car.
Still--so far, so good.
Then the prayer-requester said quietly, "But by the time she got into the hospital, he was already gone. (Pause)"
During the pause, the whole choir groaned loudly in sympathy for the poor wife who'd obviously been left behind. I remember thinking, "Oh, no. They SHOULD have taken the ambulance. Maybe that would have saved his life!"
When the groans began, the requester realized what the choir was thinking he'd meant. He got really panicky and shouted, "Not DEAD! Not DEAD!" He'd only meant to say that the man had already been taken up to surgery! Well, the choir lost it in their laughter--I think there was even a guffaw or two. It was so funny to be yanked from tragedy to comedy with just two words. It would have been a great scene from SEINFELD , THE OFFICE, or some other quirky sit-com.
It's always good to be reminded that words spoken or written take on a life of their own, depending on context and assumed meaning.
Beware of the poorly timed euphemism!
Or the overly-extended pause.