Women and telephones are like peas and carrots, as Forrest would say. Not me though, the telephone is my arch nemesis when it comes to providing opportunities to make a prat of myself.
My parents lived abroad some years ago and it became apparent that the quality of ladies' undergarments was not quite up to my mother's usual high standards. This resulted in my having to stand in the middle of Wilkinson's, holding aloft large pairs of knickers whilst trying to describe them to my Mother on my mobile phone, which was wedged between my ear and shoulder.
The mild embarrassment of questioning looks from shoppers was topped only by Stig, who had endured enough knicker scrutinising for one afternoon. He snatched the phone from my already precarious grasp and announced to my mother "I've got a tow-rope in the back of the car, I'll make you a g-string". There followed several crackling expletives from my mother who, after threatening to murder her then future son-in-law, thankfully saw the funny side.
My mother has featured more than once in my phone humiliation. I was particularly drunk one night and had ordered a pizza. Stig had given up all hope of the takeaway arriving and taken himself off to bed. Ever the optimist when it comes to food though, an hour later I was still waiting... Still no pizza. I decided to phone the pizza place and enquire if my food was ever going to arrive. Being drunk and unable to remember which takeaway we ordered from, I picked up the phone and hit redial. It was 3am by now.
"Hello, I ordered pizza a bloody hour ago and it still hasn't come"
"Hello?" I was beginning to get that sinking feeling.
"You're drunk. Go to bed"
"Oh. OK. Sorry."
I had redialed on the wrong handset. She very considerately phoned me back at 8am to check if my pizza had arrived.
Then of course there was the time that I phoned my friend who seemed very confused to hear from me...
"Hi, sorry were you sleeping?"
"Clare; I'm in the Dominican Republic. It's 4am here"
I have to have reached a certain point in a relationship with anyone before I consider giving them my phone number. They are usually warned in advance by a sniggering Stig about what they can expect.
Having become accustomed to embarrassing phone conversations, we now have a game in Hayes House; whoever answers the phone in our house is given a word by the other people in the room that they must integrate into the conversation with the person at the other end of the phone. This is most effective when that person is a stranger such as telesales people or someone from the electric company.
Tis most hilarious getting my own back on Stig, listening to him say "shiver-me-timbers!" to the nice man from Asda home shopping, who had only phoned to tell us that he would be delivering our weekly shop in about 10 minutes. I'm amazed he actually turned up that week.