Open Mouth, Insert Foot

You know how sometimes, occasionally, once in a blue moon, I have a tendency to stick my foot in my mouth and end up in an awkward situation?

Oh, boy. A couple of days ago really took the cake.

It started with a group text from a number I did not recognize. I assumed they’d entered my phone number by mistake, and decided to have a little fun with them. After all, I never miss an opportunity to screw around with telemarketers. The text read,

Hey, girls!!!! This is Ashley. My family is SO excited to host you guys!!! There are 11 of you so make sure you come ready to have some fun and meet some new people!!! We will be going to the football game Friday night and it has been getting CHILLY, so make sure to pack warm clothes! We will be doing a shower sign up, some will have to shower in the morning and some the night before! Can’t wait to see you all tomorrow!

I responded,

Can some of us shower together?

Ashley answered,

Hahaha, your killin me. 🙂 We can talk about all the logistics when you girls get here and figure it all out. 🙂

My follow-up:

OK. Is anybody bringing pot brownies? Please say yes…

Her answer:

I’m gonna go with a hard no on that one!

I decided to end the charade at this point, after taking one last stab at her.

Funsucker. (Just kidding…this is a wrong number. Enjoy your get together, ladies.)

And she wrote,

Great…bunch of highschoolers coming for a leadership conference…lol you suck! My bad!

And that is when the whole thing dawned on me. Audrey was going away to a leadership conference with a bunch of high schoolers the next day. They must have inadvertently entered my phone number on the group text instead of my daughter’s. Well, shit! So I messaged her back privately, apologized, told her I meant no harm and never made the connection, and thanked her for hosting. Luckily, she was gracious over the whole thing, said she was glad it was a parent and got a good laugh out of it once the truth came to light.

Audrey, on the other hand, was mortified. We texted her last night to see how the conference was going, and she said great, except my text was the first thing that was brought up when she arrived.


It’s simultaneously horrifying and hilarious. I’m sure there won’t be any long-term damage to her psyche, but if so, I’ll pay for her therapy sessions. I promise.

I really do blame those telemarketers. The calls have only picked up in frequency, and every time I block a number, they switch to a new one. I don’t know what to do, so usually I mess around with them. A few days after the eclipse some Canadian pharmacy was trying to sell me Viagra and I concocted this tale about how I’d been out staring at the sun and had burned my retinas out and asked if the pill bottles were written in Braille perchance, and when the guy on the line said you can easily tell them apart because they are colored blue, I said, “Well, that’s all fine and good, BUT I’M BLIND!!!” And he hung up on me. The nerve! At least my coworkers got a kick out of the whole thing.

Moving forward though, I’m going to have to be very careful, I s’pose.

You’ve probably surmised that we got back from our trip without incident. Which is true, other than the massive rock chip on my windshield, an unwanted souvenir from a gravel road in Montana. My car is currently in the dealership because the check engine light came on yesterday, only on a Mazda it’s called the “engine system malfunction” warning indicator and that freaked the hell out of me for a few minutes. I assumed my car was either about to burst into flames or the engine block would fall out or something. I’m hoping it’s no big deal, but we shall see. By the way, Mazda, you might want to rename that something far more innocuous.

The Monday that we left Rapid City, we detoured through Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills to check out the fall foliage, and it was nothing short of spectacular. And then, quite unexpectedly, we ended up hiking two miles to a waterfall on a trail covered in a light snowfall from the day before. Gorgeous!

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We made it as far as Butte, Montana, where we holed up for the night in a crappy Day’s Inn. Got home the next day around 4:00. Breaking up the drive into two more equal portions like that was much easier than the long 15-hour haul across Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming the Friday before.

Now we’re all settled back into our regular routine. It’s been showery and cold, but this afternoon the sun has broken through the clouds and it’s turned into a perfect Autumn day.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

17 thoughts on “Open Mouth, Insert Foot

    1. Not yet, but she’s close!

      The check engine light was nothing. The gas station attendant in Oregon who filled my tank didn’t screw the cap back on all the way. Stupid, but at least it was nothing serious!


  1. Your poor daughter. At least you managed to verify that no drugs would be involved on that weekend. But she’s still talking to you? That’s good. Maybe she secretly enjoyed the attention. Great pics. Glad you had a nice trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. After the texts I received back, it’s clear drugs were the last thing on anybody’s minds. In fact, Audrey informed us yesterday that some of the parents questioned sending their kids on the trip after seeing my texts. Oops!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my, I can totally imagine Audrey’s mortification. My dad wouldn’t have been as cool as you though. He would have kept the group text going long past the point you did which REALLY would have gotten weird when we discovered the other parties weren’t entirely strangers.


  3. Mark, having the same sense of humor as you, I laughed out loud at the texting incident. And I’m sure after some time, Audrey will see the humor.

    AWESOME slide show! Gorgeous shots! And I am so envious that you got to see some snow, being that it’s been so incredibly warm and very humid here. However, I hear that starting tomorrow….we’ll be getting some great cool/cold Fall weather!


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