Freudian Slips: The Frito Bandito of Lip Synching

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

November 01, 2005

The Frito Bandito of Lip Synching

I received the pleasure of being introduced to a new staff member at a sheltered workshop that employs handicapped clients. Early into the conversation, the energetic woman let me know that she is hearing impaired. I told her I understood but she established three ground rules to communication: always face her, enunciate words, and remember to speak in a loud conversational tone. These sounded like public speaking fundamentals so what human service worker would give her lip over such reasonable professional courtesy?
My stories usually begin with me minding my own business and this one is no different. While pecking out a letter on my laptop at work, I began to inhale a chemical smell. It was a nasty smell that only got worse. The culprit turned out to be a plastic sippy cup that had runneth over a dishwasher rack to melt on the heat coil. I couldn't shake the smell. So I pulled my polo shirt up over my nose to act as a bandana mask. My raised shirt helped buffer the toxic smell. I returned to a rather peculiar looking typing style at my desk.
About fifteen minutes later, the same hearing impaired staff member walked from her neighboring building over to my office cubicle. As irony would have it, it had been only a week since our inaugural meeting. Our eyes met as she rounded the corner but she did not acknowledge my smile. My hand pointed to an empty seat for her to sit down. She scooted into a chair closest to my desk. We began to talk about a mutual client when I sensed her becoming perturb. I assumed that the awful smell of plastic meltdown had overcome her. Alas, she asked me a question that required a lengthy explanation regarding resources in the community. About a sentence into my discourse, she interrupted me.
"Joe, you're being quite rude. You know that I can't read your lips with your shirt pulled over your face. Could you please stop it? Stop it right now."
There was no masking her feelings. People wear their emotions on their sleeve but this was about none other than the shirt on my back. Embarrassed over my wardrobe malfunction, I yanked down my bandana and breathlessly apologized. But by now, the toxic smell had dissipated. It had disappeared without a crime scene investigation trace. I stuttered trying to explain away the bizarre circumstance but she wasn't buying the wardrobe malfuntion or my newfound speech impediment. I had become an politically incorrect Frito Bandito bastardizing the art of lip synching.



Blogger Erin said...

Oh how well I know that rancid sippy cup smell!

Thanks for the laugh!

11:21 PM  
Anonymous et said...

Joe, as you know, I can also hear better when I see your lips moving. My sympathy to all who have a problem in this area.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

A pour smell.

I hear ya.

8:07 AM  
Blogger lilly05 said...

There's just nothing like being politically incorrect on accident. Not to worry Joe it happens to me all the time. Embarassing as it is I realized that sputtering out an akward apology at the scene of the infraction is probably not the best solution to this problem. I give myself a few minutes to collect my thoughts and then make my apology. My dear sweet Husband was the first to suggest this method to me. :)

4:12 AM  

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