Causing A Scene: The ultimate weapon
Posted on September 4, 2009 by yankeebean
As Americans in Britain we have the ultimate weapon at our disposal… the ability to cause a scene. Grown men fear it, children run in terror.
I am, obviously, exaggerating wildly (one of my favourite things!) – but there’s definitely something to be said for this. Many English people I know will put up with discomfort, incorrect orders, and social awkwardness to avoid causing a scene. I’ve heard mums say in a hushed whisper to their kids, “Be quite this INSTANT, you’re causing a scene”. I’ve heard people utter it as an intense threat or warning (yes, seriously), “You’d better do as I ask or I’ll cause a scene”
I’ve had this blog rolling around in my head for aaaaaages, now, but it’s never become fully formed enough to write. That is, until this weekend (cue suspenseful music).
Let me set the scene for you:
I was in Oxford with Mr Nice Guy, we were visiting some friends and staying with them in their gorgeous mid-terrace just outside of Oxford city centre. We’d just had an awesome dinner and were standing around in the kitchen, leaning on the counter tops, sipping wine and chatting. This kitchen is bee-YOO-tiful (I mean movie-style-instant-tourist-making European perfection). Antique wood furnishings with large cracked ceramic handles, double french doors that open into the perfect wild garden, exposed wood floors that look ancient in-a-good-way. You get the idea…
Anyway, so we’re all standing around and I notice Mr Nice Guy is shuffling his feet around. Not in a way anyone would notice, it wasn’t like James Brown or anything, just a little shuffle…
I glance down at his feet and see what looks like a fried onion on top of his right foot.
I look at him and smile cos I thought he’d dropped some onion on his sock during dinner and didn’t know what to do about it – but I was met by his alarming expression. As if he was trying to wordlessly say to me, ‘Oh my God, what should I do??’
The conversation goes on as normal for a few seconds while I’m glancing at Mr Nice Guys foot and trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Mr NG still continues to chat with us all, but glances back at me again with the same wordless appeal for help.
No one else has noticed this mini-silent-exchange…
So I bend down mid-chat (no big deal) to take the onion of his foot, intending to throw it in the bin – when the onion moved…
It was a slug! A SLUG!!
Mr Nice Guy had had a slug on his foot for God knows how long and had just continued to chat.
Why, you ask?
When I asked him later before we went to bed he said that he “didn’t want to cause a scene”.