...and the place went silent

Good Friday to you, oh wise Dopelings!

I’m in the mood for some stories. But not just any stories. I’m looking for a particular kind of story. Stories that include the phrase “…and the [place] went silent.” For example, “I belched, and the restaurant went silent.”

Your story can be funny, embarassing, lame, true, fictional…whatever. Making your story entertaining is always a plus. Here’s my story to kick things off:

Back in high school I was in the marching band. (I played trumpet, if you’re interested.) I was an outgoing, jovial guy, at least around my fellow band geeks. I was also a bit of a leader, both within the trumpet section and within the band as a whole. I was, you might say if there were such a thing, a band stud.

One day we hopped in buses and headed up the highway a ways to a major statewide band competition. We’re talking thousands of band geeks from dozens of bands. For some reason even though we didn’t perform until later in the evening, we arrived pretty early in the day. That gave us plenty of time to goof around, and a little time to rehearse. By the time we finished performing and sat around for the awards ceremony, we were all pretty pooped. We had also consumed mass quantities of caffeinated beverages. Y’all know what happens when teenagers are both exhausted and caffeinated.

Anyway, after the awards ceremony we, and every other band geek from every other band, headed back to our buses. Imagine, if you will, hundreds of school buses, all of them running, belching massive clouds of disel fumes. Mmm, tasty stuff, right? Yeah, not really. We sat in that yellow sea of school buses for 25 minutes, all the while inhaling noxious gases. Combined with exhaustion, hunger, and extreme over-caffeination, it was a recipe for Bad Things.

I felt ill. Really ill. Once we got on the road I sat with my head pretty much hanging out the window, trying to get fresh air and trying not to puke (which would be a definite image-killer). The folks near me knew I wasn’t feeling well. The girls in the back – friggin’ snotty flag line chicks who did not fit in well with the rest of the band – did not.

Eventually the flag chicks got cold. They all put their windows up, as did most everybody else. I would have been happy to do the same, but the fresh air was really helping me feel better, and nobody near me minded that I left the window open. The flag chicks asked (told?) me to close my window. I politely told them that I would as soon as possible, but not right then. One or two other people mentioned to them that I was keeping the window open in an effort not to toss my cookies. They griped a bit, but I tried to ignore them. They kept complaining. I was getting annoyed.

Somehow or other, while discussing the issue amongst themselves, they decided that the reason I wouldn’t close my window was that I couldn’t – that I wasn’t man enough, or strong enough, or whatever. They found this entertaining. One of them stood up and yelled out to me “If you were a real man, you’d be able to shut that window!” This caused much joy and laughter among the flag chicks. Zing! They’d gotten me. I snapped. I stood, turned around, glared at them and said, in a forceful yet understated voice:

“Oh yeah? Well, if you were all real women, you’d be at home in the kitchen right now!”

And the bus went silent.

I sat back down and resumed my nausea, fully aware that the bus was dead quiet for a good 30 seconds. When I finally felt like puking wasn’t imminent some ten minutes later I closed the window.

Best of all, when we got off the buses I fully intended to apologize for lashing out. As I started to do so, the flag chicks apologized profusely to me, saying that they felt just terrible for being so rude to me. Somehow my totally sexist (in a humorous way), moderately rude outburst was completely excusable and even understandable.

And thus was born the inside joke of "If you were a real [fill in the blank], you’d [fill in the blank] among my friends, all of whom loved me for getting such a great dig in on the flag chicks.

First, on behalf of all former flag chicks, [expletive deleted] you. :slight_smile:

Secondly, my story …

I was at a party many years ago, listening to a friend talk about her new boyfriend, when she happened to mention that he looked quite a bit like a picture she’d seen of her (absent) father as a young man. We made fun of her about that for a bit, and unfortunately, my comment came flying out of my mouth at high velocity and volume just as the music stopped for a moment.

(Loud music ends)
Me: So, I was fucking my dad the other day …

And the room went silent.

I decided that there was no way I could take it back or qualify my statement. I simply stood up, curtsied to the room, and went back to my conversation.

I am a part time professional magician. I do kid shows as well as large events and corporate gigs. For my kid show, I do this illusion where I draw a face on a notepad and then the face comes to life. The eyes move and the mouth opens and closes. The kids really eat this one up since I play like I never see the face move. They start yelling and screaming at me that the eyes are moving and the mouth is talking. I get about a good 5 minutes of byplay on this when I suddenly tear the page with the moving eyes and mouth off. Immediately after doing this hand the page that was just moving a second ago to a kid in the audience.

The crowd goes completely silent. The kids go silent because they just saw the face moving and now they have the page in their hands. The adults go silent because they were just thinking that this was a “cute” trick and now they can’t explain how the eyes and mouth were moving.

I absolutely LOVE doing this trick in my show.

I sorta expected that, and I definitely deserve it. :slight_smile:

But I do want to make clear that I don’t feel that way about all “flag chicks.” Just this particular batch.

(And yeah, I know they don’t just use flags, and they’re not all chicks, and chicks is a bad word, etc. etc. etc.)

When I was in college, for complicated reasons I had to take one class at another university in the same city. It was a great big hassle, but I needed the class for my major. So twice a week I had to leave one class slightly early, wait for someone who was letting me borrow his car, then drive downtown, park, walk a mile and get to this class. I didn’t mind too much because it was for political science, one of my majors, and my college had a very small department. I was having the same professor for a lot of classes. So I saw this as diversity. Plus it was European Political Systems, a class that interested me besides being necessary. So it was worth it even though it was my fault that I had to go to all this trouble.

Well the professor was an idiot. I was going through all this trouble for an idiot. The class was huge and full of the type of student who thinks it’s fun to get the teacher off topic and shoot the bull so we wouldn’t have to take notes, etc. The easiest way to do this with this particular jerk was to mention Russia/Soviet Union. He’d been there, fancied himself a specialist in the area (which I doubt) and instantly became Mr. Animated Geek Professor every time someone uttered “Soviets.” :rolleyes:

As I say, I was annoyed. One day as usual someone had him off topic he’d posed some stupid question. I stuck up my hand, answered his question, and then said:

“And now can be please get back to the discussion of the Bundesrat [or whatever the topic was]?”

And the room went silent.

Actually after the silence, there was a big round of “Ooooooooooooos.” I probably wasn’t very popular but I didn’t give a shit. I wanted to graduate!

This one isn’t funny— far from it, actually— but it involves a room going quiet, so here goes:

College. Party at somebody’s apartment. For atmosphere, most of the lights are off, and there are candles on the windowsills.

I’m sitting in the middle of the staircase up to the second floor with three or four people, just chatting. A woman steps up onto the landing from the main floor, turns, and sees us. She waits. We shift around to make room; she doesn’t want to squeeze by. Eventually, she looks like she’s going to change her mind, and she backs up a step…

And puts her scarf/wrap thing, made of light white synthetic material, into a candle behind her.

Instantly there are flames crawling up her back and getting into her hair (well-sprayed and quite flammable). She doesn’t notice, but I’m the first to react: I leap off the stairs, grab her shoulder, and beat out the flames with the only thing immediately available, which was my bare hand.

The place goes silent. There are several seconds of quiet, stupid staring, while everybody stands around and watches me deal with the crisis. Nobody moves to help. They might as well have been sheep looking at a parachutist hanging from a tree.

Rather quickly, I get the fire out. Damage: The scarf is ruined, and her hair is frizzy. And once there’s nothing else to look at, the party resumes. Nobody bothers to check on her (she gave me an offhand thank-you and fled, apparently embarrassed at her clumsiness and now her appearance), or, it should be said, on me, either. So nobody was aware that the synthetic material had melted onto my hand and given me rather substantial second-degree burns.

Not my favorite memory.

I was skiing with a guy friend at Beaver Creek a couple of years ago. We’d stopped for lunch at some eatery near the base and had brought our food out onto the balcony. It was a beautiful day and the porch was pretty crowded with the tony set. We were about halfway through the burgers and beer meal when all of a sudden Creig lets out this huge growling burp, the kind that you force out real loud and sound out a couple of words with…BBbbbbuuuuuuuurrrrrrppppppppaaaaaaawwwwooooooooowwwwwoooooo.

I looked at him, dumbfounded, and he goes “Oh man, I can’t believe I just did that.” Yes, there were lots of folks around and they’d all gone silent, just staring at him in amazement. Normally I could care less what people think but, admittedly, that belch was pretty frikkin’ nasty.

I was arriving at my Humaities class, finals were two days away. Before class begins, there’s always about 4-6 students outside the classroom waiting for the doors to open so they can go in. On this day, there were about 10 of them, and they all seemed to be socializing with their books open.

“Well! If it isn’t the Breakfast Club!” says I. A few people giggles, smiled, and others seemed a tad annoyed.
I continue: “What’s everyone doing with their books out?”
“Studying for the final” says someone.
“The final? Well that’s not for another two days, we have plenty of time.”
“Hahaha. No man, that’s today.”
“…It is?”

And the room goes quiet. Everyone stares at me for a solid 10 seconds, not saying anything.

Well, the teacher had announced the test was going to be on Tuesday several times, but only announced that it was going to be rescheduled to Thursday once, and I guess I just didn’t hear that announcement. To say I bombed the test would be a remarkable understatement. I eradicated the test. Unleashed the four horsemen of the apocalypse on it. Moonwalking through a time portal is to the rules of the universe as to me taking this Humanities final. It was brutal. Too bad. I had all of wensday planned out so that I could study and ace the test. Oh well, that’s life for ya.

When I was a kid, my whole extended family trooped up to Denver for a family wedding. My aunt (who is 2 years older than me, which is a long and fascinating story) was among the big group of us who went to a fairly upscale restaurant for lunch.

A few minutes after we’d started eating, my aunt squeals, “Oh my god! There’s a roach on my plate!”

**And the restaurant went silent. ** And THEN everyone in the entire place dropped their silverware on their plates.

The waiter practically teleports over to our table to inspect the plate and after a moment he reported in a louder-than-normal voice, “Young lady, that is a mushroom.”

This happened in 1985 and we still tease her about it.

Names changed to protect the paranoid and those with icky diseases.

Back when I was in college, a bunch of us were sitting in the cafeteria having dinner. My friend Jill and I were sitting near the end talking quietly about how she had recently been diagnosed with gonorrhea, AKA, the clap. Another friend, Jack, joins the table, sitting at the very end. So, we’re discussing this, and Jack must have misheard something, because suddenly he stands up, slams his books down on the table, and says, very loudly, in the middle of a packed cafeteria, “I do NOT have the clap!”

And the place went silent.

And then the cafeteria erupted in applause.