Let me describe a situation: you are talking to someone, having a perfectly sane and understandable conversation, when suddenly you are struck by a case of Word Salad. No, this doesn't involve lettuce leaves and a page out of a book, rather it involves the embarrassing moment when your words come out of your mouth in a violently tossed salad format. Don't deny it, I bet it's happened to everyone at some point or another.
The problem I have with Word Salad is that it strikes more often than it doesn't, usually when I am meeting someone new, and in which case they assume I am crazy, or drunk. Or both. I don't mind Word Salad so much when I am amongst family or friends; first there is the slightly bemused look, then it is just rather funny. The meeting new people Word Salad still gets me though, and the worst case I can remember involved a puppy, a dog sitter, and a low cut red dress.
When mom and I decided to book our tickets to come to SA, we had to find someone to look after the new puppy Lily as soon as we could. Eventually we found a man who looks after dogs in his own home, his name is Matt. The day before we left, Matt was coming round to our house to meet Lily and sort out all the formalities, Mom, my friend Stussy, and I were all at home. I also happened to be wearing a rather low cut red dress - but we will get to that later.
Mom was on the phone, Stussy was watching TV, and I was engrossed in a book when Matt the Dog Man arrived. Mom shot me looks which told me I had better go open the door, so I leaped up, still mostly in another world and ran to the door, flinging it open as Matt had been standing out there. There was no-one there. Right, so I did look rather stupid, standing in the doorway looking slightly wild eyed as Matt climbed out of his car. What do I do, I thought, so I started to shut the door, but then I would be waiting just inside and he'd seen me anyway. Do I look busy, like I was picking up post, or do I wait nonchalantly.
I waited nonchalantly. "Hi, I'm Matt", he introduced himself as he stuck out his hand for a handshake. "Hi, I'm Ariel," I replied shaking his hand. "How are you?" he continued with the pleasantries. It is at this point that I was struck by Word Salad. The phrases, nice to meet you, and fine and you suddenly became tossed like lettuce leaves in my mind, so I came out with this classic: "Nice and you?" This is what I said to the slightly concerned looking dog sitter. Fantastic.
He smiled a little fearfully as I tried to cover up my mistake; which incidentally involved more Word Salad before I gave up and ushered him in. I walked quickly to the back room, only to find that he hadn't followed me and was still standing just in the entrance hall. So I went back and ushered him in as though he was a frightened animal; which I suppose, in a manner of speaking, he was. Mom was finished on the phone by now, and Stussy had emerged to meet the Dog Man. Lily, the puppy, had also appeared to greet Matt enthusiastically.
The thing about Lily is that her enthusiastic greetings often involve weeing with excitement. Which is exactly what she did. Right in front of Matt's feet. Obviously it then needed to be cleaned, so what do Mom and Stussy do? They suggest I do it whilst they chat to Matt. Cue the low cut red dress. There I was, on my hands and knees directly in front of Matt the Dog Man, with, yeah you guessed it, the very low cut red dress. I shudder at what he might have thought.
Needless to say he was looking slightly concerned, I was feeling as though the ground should just swallow me up, and Mom and Stussy were chatting obliviously. I excused myself to take Lily outside, and shortly afterwards he excused himself to get out of the mad house. The moral of the story is, don't wear low cut red dresses whilst cleaning up puppy wee in front of a stranger who is looking decidedly frightened. Also, think before you speak.