The awkward moment when…your parents read the quote board
By Miriam Skinner
The quote board (a.k.a. ‘The Bog-Sheet’) is a staple medium of student humour; no Durham student house is quite complete without a cork board proudly displaying the year’s worth of laddy chat, banterous double entendres and cringey flippant comments immortalised in post-it notes and biro scrawl.
This is not initially awkward; it is a beacon to visitors proudly declaring that “yes, that’s right, we are a funny bunch. In fact, here is a concise summary of this year’s most hilarious moments for your delectation”.
The awkward umbrella is only extended on the occasion of the ‘parental visit’. I’ll set the scene: a friend’s parents were visiting from America and on their first night in town I invited them, along with eight others for a meet-and-greet German-themed supper. I was in the kitchen putting the finishing touches to my Bavarian sausage plait when they arrived. As I dusted off my apron and went to say hello I heard the mother’s voice from the next room proclaiming, in a confused and yet cheery American accent, the most awkward sentence I will probably ever write: “What’s this? I got a bald fanny?” The irony being, of course, that none of the offending quotes were actually mine.
I am much more disposed to say things like ‘Crumbs Alive!’ and ‘Oh My Giddy Aunt!’ than to make proclamations about the state of my nether-regions.
The bald fanny was my absent housemates’, along with the ‘licked nipples’, and highly questionable claim by one housemate that she could ‘eat a 6lb baby’.
I regret to inform you that I spent the rest of the dinner overcompensating for my error in the form of nervous chat which inevitably led to ‘over-sharing’.
The evening genuinely ended with me doing my incredibly inappropriate ‘epileptic fit impression’ to a doctor (the girl’s dad) and an epileptic friend whilst, all the while, my own voice was shouting inside my head “STOOOOOPP! WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING????!!!”
I feel at this point I should dispense some ‘Advice to Avoid Awkwardness’ but frankly, after such a tragic display of socially inept behaviour all I’m really in a position to say is this: if you feel yourself about to do an impression of a pretty traumatic medical condition, DON’T.