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Embarrassing Problems to Get in Public

Updated on April 21, 2011

There are many embarrassing problems or experiences that can inflict themselves upon you when you are out in a public place, frequently leaving you wanting to curl up into a tiny ball and hope the world can't see you any more, and may not notice you if you make yourself invisible enough. To illustrate the kinds of situations I am talking about here are some of my pet favourites:


1) Getting an itch in a very personal place whilst out shopping. This one is probably worse for ladies than for men, (who will generally scratch it without giving it a second thought), but for women it becomes a real art form to scratch that itch without being seen, after all, you can hardly give it a good old thorough scratching session in a supermarket full of disgusted looking customers. So what do we do in this situation........ well, often the best bet is to pretend you are holding your handbag or coat in front of your skirt or trousers, whilst using the other hand to scratch the offending itch surreptitiously. You can always try the wiggling about routine in the hope the itch will scratch itself against your clothes, but this rarely works, and if you are left with no other choice you may need to find a ladies room and relieve the itch there instead. I personally find the first solution the best though.

2) Sneezing, then realising you have sneezed out more than you bargained for, and have no hanky with you to clean up the offending result. Your best bet in this instance is to either sniff as hard as you can in the hope you can 'suck it all in again', or if it has gone too far for this to work, then a sleeve may be your best option. Not much fun to use your sleeve, but at least it can go in the wash when you get home, and it is infinitely better than everyone having to witness you walking around looking like 'Fungus the Bogeyman'.

3) Feeling sick, and knowing that you are no-where near a toilet or private place to 'let it all out' so to speak. Options available, for women, turn your body into a corner and pretend to be searching for something in your handbag, then empty the 'problem' into the handbag as subtly as possible. You may well have a nasty mess to clear up later, and possibly need a new bag, but this has got to be preferable to the misery of being seen throwing up in the middle of a shopping precinct, library or other public place. For men, not many options unless you carry a briefcase and can do the 'handbag trick'. A large coat pocket may be your only other possibility.

4) Fainting in any public venue is something no-one wants to happen. It happened to me at a wedding reception once, and I was only there as a friend's 'plus one', I didn't even know the couple whose wedding it was. As my friend was happily chatting away to the Groom (shortly after we arrived), I was standing next to them and found myself feeling steadily more and dizzy and faint. Okay okay, so I had made the mistake of smoking a joint before I went to the reception, but so had my mate, and she seemed fine. As the faint feeling got worse, I felt myself about to collapse, and deperately grabbed my friend's shoulder, exactly at the point my leg muscles suddenly collapsed, and I sank to the floor with a big thud. Next thing I knew I felt her and the groom dragging me across the dance floor, and all I could think was how the toes of my shoes must be getting scuffed to bits as they trailed along the wooden floor. I also heard someone saying, 'she's had a few too many', which was ironic, as I hadn't even got as far as the bar yet. Once they got me outside and lay me down I could hear all these people talking around me, and then when I started to come round properly they had moved me into an interior room. The first face I saw upon awakening was a Priest, and he joked with me by saying, 'Don't worry, I am only here to give you the last rites'.

I finally recovered enough for my mate to get her boyfriend to pick us up and take us back to her place. Poor guy had only just arrived home after dropping us off. This truly was a really embarrassing occasion, and I firstly recommend you don't smoke a spliff before any night out, and secondly always carry some smelling salts just in case. Lastly, if you start to feel dizzy, get to a chair as quick as you can, or tell someone, it has to be less embarrassing than passing out in front of a room full of strangers.

Booger/Bogey Up Nose.
Booger/Bogey Up Nose.
Misbehaved Children.
Misbehaved Children.

5) Tripping Over in Public can be horribly embarrassing. It once happened to my Sister just when she was entering an electrical retail shop where she knew most of the male staff. Upon entering the shop there were three steps down onto the shop floor, and as she got to the top step she said 'Hi everyone' very clearly, of course all the staff looked round, at which point my elegant Sister lost her footing, and tumbled unceremoniously down the the short flight of stairs. Surely one of those situations you really don't want to open your eyes, knowing you are going to see the whole staff laughing at you. Not an easy one to sort out a solution to, or to avoid, unless you don't wear high heels, (especially you menfolk, well apart from fellow Hubber Christoph Rielly that is, who I am pretty sure loves his high heels).

6) A Booger up the nose can be really annoying, and not something you can easily remove publicly unless you have a tissue handy, yet you can't ignore the fact it is there. Solution, either dive into a shop, hide behind a clothes rail and pick it out the old fashioned way, (hopefully they don't have security cameras) and then get rid of it either by wiping it on the clothes in front of you, or eating it if you are that way inclined, or even gently place it in a pocket box like our fellow Hubber Spryte does, so you can save it as part of your collection, (see her hub ), alternatively find a safe corner, and hold the other nostril shut whilst snorting out as much air as possible, hopefully taking the massive booger with it. Just pray more doesn't come out than you bargained for, (see # 2 above).

7) Your Waters breaking in a public place. Not a problem I have had as I am still childless sadly, but I can only being to imagine how embarrassing this could be for the poor woman involved. What if you were in the Vets, would you ask him to deliver the baby, after him first getting one of his poor nurses to mop the floor? And what about poor Fido, and his Anal glands that still need expressing, does he have to give way to your greater need, and continue to drag his bum along your carpet for another few weeks? Other horrible scenarios could include you being in the dentist's chair, the back of a taxi, on a train, on the motorway or freeway, at your first child's school play or having dinner in a posh restaurant. The list could be endless, which is why I recommend staying completely housebound for the final month of your pregnancy to avoid this situation arising.

8) Misbehaving children in public, a real toughie this one, as nowadays, rightly or wrongly, we are not allowed to discipline children in the same way as most of us were disciplined as youngsters, i.e. a short sharp smack on the backside that would humiliate us into behaving even if it didn't really hurt very much. Few things are more annoying to see than a child out of control in a supermarket, a restaurant, a high street etc., and no doubt this in many cases is very embarrassing for the parent accompanying the child. Not too sure what the best solution to this one is, perhaps putting the child up for adoption later, (joke), but it is a tricky one to solve or prevent, unless you can offer the child rewards for good behaviour (assuming they are old enough to understand the concept), or make them have a 'time out' even in public, such as forcing them to face the Baked Bean's shelf for ten minutes whilst you ignore them but keep an eye on them. Perhaps you could carry a 'dunce' type hat, with 'I've been naughty' written on it in big letters, and make the offending child wear this for the duration of their trip around the shop. Embarrassment is often the best cure for misbehaviour. I could even suggest that every supermarket has an employee who is designated the task of 'Child Controller', and who the parents could build up to be a threat similar to a Headmaster at school, i.e. behave, or we will take you to the 'Child Controller'. Of course in reality all this person would do is give your child a gentle, but serious, talking to, at which point the humiliation kicks in again, and the child learns a valuable lesson.

Caught Short.
Caught Short.
Office Party Mistake.
Office Party Mistake.

9) Caught Short, this can be very embarrassing, more-so if you are a woman than a man, as after all, a man can usually hide it fairly easily and stand in front of a tree or something. This is not so easy as a lady, as it is hard to pretend you are doing something else if you are caught squatting in a public place such as a park. One of my earliest memories of childhood was needing to pee an awful lot, especially as I had a bladder problem back then. On one occasion my Mum, Sister and I were out on an organised treasure hunt when I needed to go badly. I ended up hiding behind a large thorny gorse bush, but unfortunately for me two young boys saw me, and I was mortified, and far more careful in future.

Another occasion we were in North Wales when I needed to go, so I went and crouched behind our car. My evil sister took a photo of my bare backside mid-flow, which was equally embarrassing.

The last occasion I remember was when my Mum had picked us up from school, taken us to town, and wandered off on one of her lengthy shopping trips, leaving us in the car for an hour or so. I was so very desperate to go that I ended up lifting the car mat in the back seat, and peeing under it to avoid wetting myself. Luckily no-one walked by and saw me, but I didn't tell Mum for at least 15 years afterwards. Solution, never trust your sister, and don't drink any liquids for at least 24 hours before you go anywhere that toilets might not be readily available.

10) Drunken Behaviour, this is one of those embarrassing antics you perform that seem perfectly okay at the time you are somewhat the worse for wear, but the next day the memories come flooding back with a toe-curling vengeance. How many times have you woken up the following day and remembered insulting someone, having a row with a person, being sick in front of people or drunkenly singing loudly to a pub full of people? I bet at least some of you fall into one or other of these categories. What is worse is when you don't remember, but someone else reminds you later, and again the memory comes back and you want to die and never see those people again.

Have you ever sent texts when drunk, and really wished you hadn't the next day, but it is too late now? For instance, 'I have always fancied you but never had the guts to tell you before'. Soooooo bad if you wake up the next day, happy in your relationship, and wondering if this other person is going to tell your partner about the text. Oh, and let's not forget the 'Office Party Snog'. What must it be like to have to go into work the next day knowing most of your work colleagues saw you snogging the zit ridden office messenger, and you were letting him grope you in all kinds of obscure places. Added to this is the fact he doesn't look nearly so attractive in the cold light of soberness, and now you can truly see the oozing pimples that make up his pizza-like face. Solution, don't get drunk, or drink loads of milk before you go on a bender, unless you want the humiliation this experience will most likely bring in your direction.

11) Sex, with a bad choice of partner. My Husband had a friend who embarrassed himself really by telling too much about one of his former one night stands. (Prepare to be totally grossed out). This guy took a girl home, went to bed with her and spent some of their liaison sucking on her nipple. As he described it later, 'it was great, as I sucked on it I kind of felt this juice run into my mouth, it was really horny'. Sounds just about bearable so far doesn't it?, but not when he goes on to tell of what happened the following morning. Apparently when he woke up she was in the bathroom, and when she returned to the bedroom there was a huge burst zit/spot on the very same nipple he had been sucking on, (please forgive my graphic details, as I know this story had me heaving for months, but was so funny, and yet so grossly embarrassing for him, I mean, would you tell someone if this happened to you?????). Solution, don't sleep with someone until you know them really well, and have had a 'vet's certificate of soundness' awarded by a registered expert.

12) Wind/ Flatulence, a nasty one to be sure. Put yourself in the position of being in a confined space, such as a taxicab, and there is only you and the driver in the cab. You desperately need to pass wind, but know that it is going to be smelly, and the taxi driver will know it can only be you, as he definitely wasn't responsible. What do you do, suck your bum cheeks together, pray that wind is the worst thing that is going to emerge if you let rip, or cut short your trip and get out of the cab to avoid embarrassment? Tricky one definitely! What if it is your first meeting with your potential in-laws, and you want to make a good impression! Do you A) Make an excuse and go to the bathroom, B) Explain you have a crucial mobile phonecall to make that needs to be made outside, C) Come clean, let rip, and take full responsibility or D) Go through with it and blame the dog, (assuming they have one)?

I am sure, certain in fact, that there are many embarrassing problems and situations I have neglected to mention here, but please feel free to add your own experiences to the comments section below.


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