Causing A Scene: The ultimate weapon

Posted on September 4, 2009 by yankeebean

yankeebeanAs 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”. :D

Bless him…

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Iota September 9, 2009 at 2:23 am

    I’m just glad you didn’t pop the ‘onion’ back into the casserole, or on top of your burger, or wherever you thought it had come from.

  2. yankeebean September 8, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Friskyturtle – Oh my God, I just watched that video and it is UNBELIEVABLE! What in the name of God is going on?? The good news is, if that’s ‘causing a scene’, then I’m proud to say I’ve never caused a scene in my life! Freedom!

    Lilibet –
    I wish I had some pictures, but I didn’t take any of the kitchen :) I did pick some of the apples and blackberries from the back yard and make a crumble though. Woop!

  3. lilibet September 8, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    You need to post pictures of that Oxford terrace kitchen! I couldn’t concentrate after the description of it!

  4. peacefulyorkshire September 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Frisky- Had a look at that link–All I can say is thank goodness she is not speaking loudly in an American accent! Well what would that do for our American reputation of “scene causing”….

  5. FriskyTurtle September 4, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    As a way to put things into perspective, I think this lady wins the award for causing a scene:

  6. peacefulyorkshire September 4, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Thank you for that hilarious post.
    The question I have to ask is… how did a SLUG wind up on his shoe?

    To “I love this Blog”: I find that my mere presence walking down the street causes a scene In England. Maybe I talk too loud? We’re clearly in the same boat!

  7. I Love This Blog! September 4, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Haha! I think I’m quite oblivious to potential scene-causing moments (except for the obvious, say, a shouting match in the middle of quiet restaurant). I think I’d fall under the “loud, obnoxious American” category, what with my tendency to greet someone enthusiastically and laugh out loud. Do you ever find yourself causing “scenes” just from going about your normal business?

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