What did the blonde say …
Hey! Don’t finish that question, you might offend someone.
Okay, I’ll try again.
What did the fat …
NO! Stop! You can’t call people fat! That’s rude.
So there was this Muslim in a ….
Whoah there! Now that’s just asking for trouble!
Well, how about the public servant (okay) at the work party (yeees) who gave a boob apron …
Absolutely not! Get ye to counseling!
That was the directive for the executive director of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions when he was caught red-handed giving an apron sporting a pair of female breasts to a workmate.
Yep, Nigel Hadgkiss, was a very, very naughty boy giving his colleague a boob apron to celebrate an ongoing joke they shared. We’re all familiar with these aprons, they’re the ones our grandpas, uncles, fathers, boyfriends and hubbies have on some occasion dragged out at barbies, guffawing with their mates at the hilarity of it all. Now, okay, women don’t strut around wearing aprons featuring details of the male anatomy. We just don’t. But we also don’t get our knickers in a knot over our boofy men who think it rip roaringingly funny to wear aprons sporting fake boobs. I suspect its a boy thing, a bit like armpit farts.
Certainly not worth a complaint, surely! But in our increasingly sanitized work environments it’s getting more and more difficult to negotiate the minefield of sensitivities surrounding us on a daily basis. So, Nigel copped it. Frankly, having seen photos of Nigel I was more shocked over the fact he possessed a sense of humour. I guess lumbered with such a toffee name, this former Federal copper had to develop a look you’d never mess with. He’s a stoney-faced kind of bloke and the fact he found something he thought would trigger a laugh was probably a pivotal moment. But then it backfired when someone obviously with a strong aversion to boob aprons ran and complained.
The incident reminded me of a former colleague who welcomed a missive from head office advising that Kris Kringle presents be tasteful to prevent anyone being offended. If ever there was proof that offensive is in the eye of the beholder, it emerged with her trembling account of being traumatised by a Kris Kringle gift one Christmas.
She explained how she was crippled with humiliation when given a can of perfumed body spray.
“Well it looked like to everyone else that I must have had body odour!” she wailed.
Er, no. It looked like the poor bloke saddled with her gift found something under $10 which was girly and nice.
In an age when we are probably spending more hours with our colleagues than with anyone else, of course its important to be respectful of sensitivities and differences. But let’s not be strangled by political correctness. Remember how good it is to have a laugh, even if it is at the boofhead wearing the boobs.
Does political correctness go too far in your office?