The reflective property of slapstick

In the conference room, delegates listen to speakers through plastic devices that fit over one ear. Or they listen to the translators through them. Interpreters I mean. Plastic ear cups are connected to your chair by a curly plastic cord that stretches out to about 6 feet when you forget about the cup and get up and walk off before twanging back across one or more surprised fellow conference participants (just the cup not you, normally). This is very funny to watch from a distance, and yesterday I discovered it to be equally funny, in a slightly embarassing but what the hell life’s too short to worry about stuff like that way when it happens to you. By “you” I mean “me”. Although the possibly Malaysian delegate didn’t find it especially funny to have the thing snap back at her, and the probably Chinese delegate gave me a downright dirty look. Lighten up, dude. It’s only a plastic ear thing. Happens at least once per conference, sometimes more.

4 responses to “The reflective property of slapstick

  1. Maybe ‘lighten up dude’ is a concept untranslateable to possibly Malaysian and/or possibly Chinese. But I doubt it.

  2. Sounds like a great way to get whiplash.

    Nevertheless, it surely never gets old watching it.

  3. sue

    That reminded me of a LONG time ago, when the U.N. was located in Flushing Meadows (Long Island) and was quite new. My class (probably grade school) went on a field trip there, and by far the most interesting thing was the headphones and the switch so you could listen to a wide variety of languages.

  4. mmm. i have this problem with my ipod.