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French Canadian Virgins and Sahara Mouth

6 Apr

Have you ever had a moment when you can’t believe what has just come out of your mouth? I’ve been known to do that occasionally. Here’s one.

Quebec Virgin and Child

Quebec Virgin and Child

I was teaching an evening class on Canadian art. That night was on Quebec religious sculpture. There was a good attendance, about 200 students. I mean if you are going to screw up make sure it’s in front of the biggest audience, right? I was waxing profoundly on those marvelous Quebec Virgin Mary and Christ Child statues seen in every Quebec church. At the height of my expert stylistic analysis out came the words,

“You can always tell a French Canadian Virgin by the sway of her hips.”

Now I said big “V” Virgin. Two hundred people heard small “v”.

As the giggles began to roll around the theatre, first like a ripple, then a tsunami, my brain finally caught up with my mouth.

“Humma, humma, humma”,

Attempting a recovery I commanded,

“Next slide please. This is an example of a typical Quebec church window called ‘oeil de boeuf’ which translates as bulls–t.”

There it was, a twofer for the night. Two neurons must have been firing overtime. The class was mostly teachers. What a pack of animals! Cackling like hyenas. One laughed so hard she wet her pants.

Fortunately, or not,  I developed Sahara mouth, both my mouth and throat dried and seized up. From “Humma humma” to “Ack, Ack” all in 30 seconds.

Class ended early that night. Always have an audience, always! The bigger the better!
P.S. Oeil de boef means bull’s eye