Most embarrassing admission of ignorance?

What have you said and then immediately wished you hadn’t said, not because it was rude or malicious, but because it showed how ignorant you were of something everyone else in the world knew?

Mine: I was on a cricket tour of Swansea (then aged 26) and upon being haring from the other lads that there was a wet T-shirt competition at a local pub, I said I hadn’t brought a T-shirt.

I’m going red repeating the story nearly 20 years later.

This was said to me in some misguided attempt to either put me down or impress the other guys present. I was at a gathering of some of my old high school friends when I mentioned a book that I was reading. This young ditz spoke up, “Oh Gawd! You read? I haven’t read anything since I graduated from high school!” A stunned silence followed as no one could think of a reply that wouldn’t just make the situation even more embarrassing for her. She turned bright red, mumbled something, and left in a hurry.

“You mean you have to buy the hamburger seperate from Hamburger Helper? It doesn’t come in the box?”

“Is Cuba an island?”

I said that last one a few days ago and still feel extremely ashamed. I’ve been studying our atlas since then.

One my daughter won’t let me forget –

We were playing Trivial Pusuit and I had some question about where a river ends and in my ruminating the question I mumbled “Well Egypt is close to England so…” I am forever more labeled geography impaired and anytime any geographical information is needed my daughter’s response is:

“Don’t ask mom, that’s a Blue question.” :slight_smile:

I just learned a few days ago that “Orange Pekoe” tea is not, in fact, a flavoured tea but simply a brand name :o

From this website:

I’m sorry, but it’s not a brand name. I’m drinking some orange pekoe tea right now. Tetley. Mmmmm!

Just a few weeks ago I came to the realization that Porsche is German.

So basically for the past 15 years of my car-driving semi-enthusiast life, I did not know that one of the most sought after sports car badges in the world was German and not Italian.

Not that it’s a big deal, but I found it pretty embarrassing, considering how much time I spend reading car mags and watching car shows (even downloading Top Gear from the UK!).

I was looking at lovely photos of the earthrise over the moon a few weeks back, and of course the earth looks huge compared to similar photos of moonrise over earth. Without thinking, I asked my science degree’d and research’d for NASA partner, ‘Is the earth as far from the moon as the moon is from the earth?’

Well? Is it? I never got a reply from him; I think his brain vapour locked.


I’m 42 yo. I first read about the Blood Countess when I was 11 & regaled my friends with the legend of Elizabethe Bathorny. Four years ago, I was discussing her with a young friend, a mere 18 yo child, not even born when I’d first heard of the Countess- and my friend had the temerity to say…

“It’s Bathory.”

I thought nothing of it, then a few months later I was reading a book on vampires & noticed…


I dug out the old vampire lore books in which I first read of her.


  • Damn!

Well, relativity does say distance depends where you stand…




When I was in high school, I suffered a completely inexplicable brainfart and got U2 mixed up with UB40. Referring to what was then (mid-80s) the high profile Irish protest rock band U2 as “reggae-influenced” made me the butt of derision for a week. :o

Just two weeks ago a co-worker who was not well was walking me through some database stuff over the phone so that she didn’t have to drive back to work to set the query up herself.
To my chagrin, it involved “greater-than” and “less than” symbols. The thing is, I have never, ever been able to remember which is which. So I had to ask her. :o

Then the query didn’t work, and she had to drive back to work anyway, all sick… and it turned out that I had reversed the symbols even after asking. :frowning:

I’ve since remembered my work-around. I can remember which is which when I picture the numbers that it occurs between. So, I can do “8>6”, but seriously, if you say “which is ‘greater-than?’” I would have no clue. Mind you, I’m 31 years old.

Just remember that the “big” end of the symbol goes with the bigger value. That’s how I always remember it.

psst, Gravity, the duck eats the bigs numbers.

The less than symbol is the one that looks like an L

< = L
> not L


I had a long protracted argument with my little sister when I was a mere lad of <ahem> 35 about “truffles”.

I insisted that the fancy chocolates bearing that word on their wrappers were made with mushrooms.

Upon getting back from a stint in South America, I had forgotten that Cuervo = Tequila, and Corona = Beer. So, I went to a bar with a friend of mine. I was still in college and we were skipping an archaeology class. I figured, heck, I’ll have a beer - I don’t have another class for a couple hours. So I sat down and ordered a Cuervo. I was really confused when they brought me tequila, but thought maybe the bartender had messed up, and he was really busy so, too busy for me to stop him, so I drank it anyway, then decided to try again. I walked back to the bar (we’d sat in a booth by this time) and ordered another Cuervo. I was handed another shot of tequila and the bar tender, after giving me a look that said, “Lush!” scurried off again. So I drank it anyway, and ordered another thinking, “Jeez, surely this guy will just give me the damn beer I ordered this time.” Nope. More tequila. Finally I stopped the guy and asked him why I wasn’t getting beer. He immediately started laughing his ass off - “Oh, you wanted a Corona?!? Here’s one on the house!” Unfortunately a lot of people heard the exchange, and everyone started laughing. So I had both a beer and a tequila, and a room full of people laughing at me. Pounded 'em both. Never did make it to class.

I was once in a conversation with my wife and a woman she knew, and the conversation got onto George Sand. I said I wasn’t very familiar with him.

I was on a very sweet picnic date with a boy I liked, and he pulled out a couple of oranges. I had to confess that I’d never eaten a whole orange before, and had no idea how to do it.