I'd like to think that I have a pretty good sense of humor, and I'm always looking to make a joke when the situation calls for it. This inclination has gotten me in some trouble before, because what I mean to say isn't always what ends up coming out of my mouth; whether it's a lack on context or just the wrong thing at the wrong time, I've wound up saying inappropriate things a few times when I'd have been better off keeping my mouth shut. I'd like to think that I learn from my mistakes and don't do it as often as I used to (read: there are times when I actually think before I speak), but there are still instances where a well-meaning joke comes out all wrong.
For the latest example of why I really shouldn't just say the first thing that comes into my head, we have to go back a few weeks to the Pittsburgh Comicon. Overall, the show was great and I think I did a good job presenting Teddy and the Yeti to a comic reading public that was often unaware that it even existed. I was friendly, talking to passers by and just generally putting on a happy face for the show (not that there was any reason not to do so - it was a fun show).
I really screwed up in talking to one potential fan to the point where I doubt he'll ever pick up Teddy and the Yeti, even if I announced that the new creative team was Alan Moore and Jack Kirby (it's not, by the way). On the odd chance that he actually reads this posting, though - dude, I'm sorry. Holy crap, I'm sorry.
You see, a gentleman walked up to the ol' Wagon Wheel Comics booth and started flipping through one of the issues, and I attempted to strike up a conversation with him as he browsed. He was wearing a Superman shirt, which of course wasn't anything out of the ordinary, as we were at a comic book convention. The bottom of this shirt, though, was tucked into his pants, and you could see the image of Superman's belt and red shorts printed on the shirt before it disappeared under his jeans. This isn't something you usually see - most "classic" Superman shirts are simply solid blue with the "S" logo printed on the chest. The shorts were something new, so I wanted to ask if he was wearing MORE than just a shirt - I wanted to know if he had on the whole Superman costume.
So, in short, what I WANTED to say was "are you wearing an entire Superman costume under your clothes?" Which would have been a perfectly legitimate question, and if he was, he probably would have been happy that someone noticed. In reality, though, what I ACTUALLY said was "is that a onesie you're wearing?"
Yes, I asked a grown man if he was wearing clothing for babies, perhaps complete with a snapping butt flap in the back. You can see how this might be somewhat offensive. The man looked at me, put his copy of Teddy and the Yeti back on the table, and walked away.
I realize that I'll never be able to apologize to this guy - I've scared him away forever, like I said. But OH MAN, that is not what I meant, and I'm embarrassed to have insulted him in such a manner. Sigh. I'm sorry, man, I'M SORRY!!!