Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tongue Tied

Yesterday, I was in Charleston for the Medical Library Association's Southern Chapter conference. I used the church analogy there, as I have done in a couple of dozen speeches over the last year. When I got to the part where I say you can smell the "incense of the old books deteriorating on the shelf..." I accidentally said, "...the incest of the....INCENSE of..." Of course, if I had just elided over it, it may have gone unnoticed. But the moment I corrected myself, the audience erupted in laughter. After stammering for a few seconds, I resumed the speech. Three sentences later, when I usually say, "We aren't there to save their immortal souls..." it came out, "We aren't there to save their immoral souls..." More laughter, and then, as the room quieted, a voice from the back of the room announced, "Paging Doctor Freud!"

The worst of it was, at the end of the program, in the schmoozing afterwards, no one believed it was just a couple of slips of the tongue. They all thought I'd rehearsed this! What kind of reputation am I developing?

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