So, didja ever have one of those days when you said something that sounded different in your head than it did out loud? Or maybe when you said something without thinking and regretted the words the instant they were out of your mouth?
Back before I went to vet school, I was a graduate student in the Fisheries and Wildlife Biology department. During that time I had a TA-ship with a professor who taught Public Relations to budding wildlife biologists. One day, he asked me to go with two of the undergrads and give a program to one of the local grade schools.
The two undergrads were in their early twenties, young men who were work-study students for Professor D. I was only a few years older, maybe 26 or so, but they were endearingly respectful and seemingly almost awed by my status as [insert angel choirs and ethereal light here] a Graduate Student. They were oh-so-careful to get all the props together and offered to carry the heaviest ones to the truck (ignoring for the moment that I was recently off the racetrack and had biceps that were nearly as big as theirs). This was all rather sweet, and since they were earnestly being respectful and polite, I allowed this with nary a smirk, and thanked them graciously.
The three of us trundled out to the truck, a tiny Chevy Luv owned by one of the students. (At the time, I relied on public transportation to save money). The two boys carried the slide projector and the boxes of slides, and one of the two animal mounts (a beaver and a mallard duck). I carried the other.
We crammed ourselves into the miniature cab of the truck, slides and projector nestled between the feet of one of the guys, animal mounts on our laps. I sat in the middle (this offered in a courtly way, and I'm sure a more comfortable socio-psychological arrangement for the guys than being crammed in on top of one another, with me on the end.) The only way we could all fit - and still leave the driver enough space to shift gears without getting MUCH better acquainted with me - was if I sat with my left leg crossed above my right and my left foot braced against the lower panel of his dash, more or less in the glove box. This wasn't as uncomfortable as it sounds; I was able to brace myself securely, and it allowed a scant clearance between the gear shift and the bottom of my thigh to preserve the modesty of the driver. In addition I was young and flexible, and very fit, so I was perfectly content with the arrangement. Certainly I was more comfortable about it than the two guys were, both of whom kept their eyes studiously on the road and maintained a steady patter of small talk to distract themselves from the idea that they were smashed sardine-style up against (gasp!) a Grad Student.
In due course we arrived at our destination, extricated ourselves from the confines of the truck, and put on a successful and interesting wildlife program for the kids. The beaver and duck mounts, which we passed around, were a big hit, as were the many extremely good slides, and we left there with both sides well-satisfied.
Back to the clown truck to fold ourselves back in. I scrunched myself into the middle again, the guys sandwiching themselves in beside me. The passenger guy had a little trouble shuffling his feet amongst the slides and projector whilst still balancing his stuffed duck, so I uncrossed my legs for a minute to give him more room to get situated. Then, balancing my own mount, I had to re-cross them, which was mildly challenging in the tight space. Ever helpful, and noticing my contortions, the kid to my right asked me, "Do you want me to hold your beaver?"
I couldn't help it. I gave him A Look, brow cocked and sidelong. He went red to the roots of his hair. I started laughing. The driver started laughing. We all started laughing. The kid was still beet-red, but at least he no longer looked like he wished he would spontaneously combust and disintegrate into a tiny smoking pile of ash.
"No, thank you," I said demurely. "I believe I can manage it myself."
After that, I admit, I was smirking. Just a little. Innocently. Both guys were noticeably flushed, but I (fresh from the track, and used to far worse on an hourly basis) was serene. Deeply amused, but serene.
We got back to the U and the guys unloaded the slides and projector, walking briskly a half step ahead of me whilst I carried my beaver sedately back into the building. I could pretty much feel the heat waves rolling off their heads as I walked along in their wake. They neatly stashed everything - sedulously avoiding my gaze - and the passenger kid took off out of there like a scalded dog. The other kid was pointed toward the door when Professor D came out and asked us how it went.
"Oh, fine," I said. "The slides were a hit, and of course the kids loved the animal mounts." I carefully avoided adding, "Everyone loves a stuffed beaver," but I think a little glint of mischief might have shown in my eye, because suddenly the other undergrad melted away like frost on a spring morning.
Didja ever have one of those days....?