The Caroline Vault: Cue Card Guy

Whenever Jamey inadvertently says something that I might construe as inappropriate (sometimes even borderline offensive…), after he realizes the error of his ways, he usually tries to cover his tracks by saying something overly nice, in a scripted voice. For example, if my hair is all messed up in the morning when I get up, he’ll say, “Good morning big hair”, I’ll make a mad face–something that looks like this, >( –and he’ll then try and make up for it by saying, “Oh but you’re so lovely.” Jamey and I always joke that there’s a guy standing behind me holding up cue cards that contain the pre-written, reconciliatory lines so Jamey knows what to say to rectify the situation. Cue Card Guy. Now this isn’t a new concept–sitcoms have been using this scenario as a basis for their punchlines for years (ie, man says something mistakenly inappropriate or insulting to woman, then uses thinly-veiled-compliment-said-in-staged-voice to cover it up, or vice-versa), however, Jamey is different in that his cue card guy slips up so much, he should probably be fired.

While let’s say, 4 times out of 10 Jamey makes a nice recovery with a real compliment, the rest of the time, he’ll say something that doesn’t qualify in any universe as a compliment. For example, he will comment on how stinky I am after I work out (patently false, by the way) and then when I make this face >(, he’ll say something like, “Oh, but you’re so good at not putting your shoes on the wrong feet”, or “Oh, but you have so many hair products”. While both of these things are factually accurate, they’re not compliments and they don’t serve to undo the potentially offensive comment that he just made. I imagine his cue card guy scrambling around because he dropped the card that contained the real compliment and instead accidentally held up something that said, “You have a knack for sorting recyclables”, which Jamey, unable to come up with his own comment, blindly reads out loud in a pseudo-monotone while hoping for the best. I know I can’t be the only one who experiences this type of behavior from significant others, but I’d be willing to bet that most people’s cue card guys are slightly more savvy than Jamey’s.

If Jamey ever makes a comment to you that you find shocking and/or inappropriate, don’t be surprised if he recovers with something along the lines of, “But you always make such complete stops at 4-way intersections”–blame Cue Card Guy. I’m not sure why Jamey even keeps him around.