Dog of a foot-in-mouth moment

We’ve all put our foot in our mouth at some stage.

Like congratulating somebody on being pregnant when they’re not.

And we liked this one, told to us by a former politician.

This politician was entertaining constituents on the hustings when a chap approached walking his dog.

The dog was a rough, tough-looking mutt with a chewed ear and a limping gait caused by being overweight. The bloke looked much the same.

The politician approached him with his hand out. “If ever there was an example of man looking like his dog, you’re it.”

The bloke looked at him and replied: “It belongs to my wife.”

“I lost two votes that day,” the politician said.

Are you guilty of a foot-in-mouth moment?

•••

Ageism would appear to be well and truly alive even though the ranks of older Australians are filling fast with baby boomers. Take this exchange between members …

Linda: I wish someone would slot into retail training the idea that senior people do not want to be called honey or dear by retail and service people. It is difficult to stay pleasant when this happens to me. I don’t want to be rude, I am a dear to my family and friends, but not necessarily a dear to someone working in a shop or who has a public service role. I believe it is a well-intended practice and I can’t find a nice way to say, “Please don’t call me that.”

Triss: Try my way, Linda. When a sales assistant says, for e.g., “Can I help you, dear?” I just say, “No thank you, dear.” It usually works.

Mick: What about “No thanks kiddie. Are you taking time out of school to fill in?”

Trebor: I always love the shop assistant who asks, “You right?” I usually reply that I’m slightly left of centre.

Trebor again: I like Bob Hoskins’ line in Mona Lisa – “You working here or just wearing in a new pair of shoes?”

•••

Did you know that January is the Latin word for door, as in ‘door to the year’? Makes sense.

It’s also the month in which we will see what has become almost an annual debate in this country – should Australia Day be on 26 January?

The day, of course, marks the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet and the raising of the British flag at Sydney Cove.

It’s perhaps curious that 26 January was chosen, given that the formal establishment of the colony of New South Wales didn’t occur until 7 February, when the formal proclamation was read out.

Many have argued that it shouldn’t be 26 January or 7 February.

And since 1938, Aboriginal Australians have viewed Australia Day as a day of mourning and dubbed it Invasion Day, which has since been changed by some to Survival Day.

So should we change the date of Australia Day? Here are some of the suggested options. Let us know which date you support.

1 January – Federation of Australia declared in 1901.

25 April – Anzac Day.

9 May – because the first Federal Parliament opened on 9 May 1901.

27 May – when, in 1967, constitutional changes were legislated allowing Indigenous Australians to be included in the national census.

9 July – now called Constitution Day because of the day in 1900 when Queen Victoria gave her assent to the Constitution of Australia.

1 September – first day of spring and officially Wattle Day.

3 December – the date in 1854 when the Eureka Stockade occurred.

•••

Judy recently asked if anybody could remember the verse that the Wittner shoeman used to get children to recite on his school visits, but exactly when we don’t know.

Judy could only recall the first two lines, but Terry thinks he’s able to fill in the rest.

He says it went like this:

Happy children by the score,
Coming from a Wittner store.
Happy soles and happy feet,
Wittner shoes are hard to beat.

“That’s how I remember it,” Terry says, “but I’m not sure if it was primary school in the 1950s or later at high school that I heard it.”

Tell us …
Do you have a story, anecdote, memory or photo to share with other YourLifeChoices members? Do you know someone with a milestone birthday or anniversary coming up? Email [email protected].

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Written by Perko

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