I was meeting some clients at my studio over the weekend. A family - mother, father and a baby girl in a stroller. Given that most strollers now have more in common with humvees than with anything resembling a moving contraption for tiny people, I was pleasantly surprised that theirs could fit through my narrow studio doors (the typical four-wheel-drive-rollbar-included tank-strollers often have to be left on the stoop, with Dad). So, I was making conversation and remarking on the fact that their delightful stroller was happily fitting through the door, when I forgot the word for "stroller."
Pointing at the stroller, I said, "I'm so happy that your..." Blank. Nothing. I couldn't think of anything. Baby-push thing? I thought desperately. Baby with wheels... baby carriage? Tram? No wait, pram?? I came close to saying that one out loud but halted when I remembered that people stopped saying "pram" in 1890. And in my confusion over "tram" and "pram," and aware that the silence of my hanging sentence was drawing painfully on, I blurted out the next words in my head:
Good grief. They, thankfully, didn't react. Maybe they didn't hear it (although it felt like I yelled it, baby bUGGGGGYY). Or maybe they heard it and wrote it off as artist eccentricity? That wouldn't be so bad. Still mortifying, but not so bad.
And all this reminded on Michael McIntyre on Top Gear, explaining how he forgot the word for "jerrycan" and came out instead with "petrol suitcase."