Sometimes i open my mouth and the sweet vocal chorus of angels flies out and spreads its wings of love and harmony throughout the room, creating peace and a sense of well-being to all who are around me and can hear the amazing and enlightening words of which i speak.

Sometimes not.

Mostly not.

Actually, my real and audible outside words are often my not-for-public, inside words that have totally and involuntarily escaped through my open mouth hole, i.e., “vocal vomit.” 

They shoot out the first opening they see and before i can even get my hands around them, they’re gone. It’s like trying to catch a slippery fish that you just can’t grab hold of before it falls back into the lake (if by saying  “fish”, you mean spoken words you can never take back and the “lake” is really a staff meeting with your director present. Just sayin’.)

Just wait. As soon as I am awake. I WILL kill you.

It’s kinda like Bobby, the huge, fat, cross-eyed cat that owns our condo and allows us to live there too (and we appreciate that SO much, oh Gracious and Glorious Kitty King!). If he happens to catch daylight from the front door being held open just a moment too long… BAM! He squeezes his fat butt through the opening and he’s outta there! See ya! And then the chase is on.

The chub chasing the chub. It’s not something you can un-see.

But, at least with King Bobby, he is eventually caught and brought back safe and sound in to the condo where he belongs.  My involuntary utterances .. not so much. They are a source of near-daily embarrassment and i can’t seem to stop them. i find myself in social situations and i start feeling anxieties rising and increasing pressure inside and then statements that have NO purpose being said in polite company just gurgle up out of my throat and projectile vomit out into the room. If i’m lucky, only a few people hear. If i’m VERY lucky, one of those few people aren’t, say, my employer or boss.

i’m not that lucky.

Here’s just few of my more recent unfortunate party fails:

  • Referring to difficult students as “jerk-offs” in a formal all-staff meeting with the Director while interviewing a new candidate for an open position
  • Asking “Oh you knew her?” to a famous author speaking in front of a small group when she stated that she still “remembers the day Diana died.” Princess Diana. Duh. OMG. Where was i going with that?
  • Informing a Starbucks barista that i have a “star wars” that i wanted to redeem (instead of “star reward”) which is no big deal until i try speaking Klingon (which i don’t know) to cover up my embarrassment, and upon failing that, frantically shout, “Beam me up Scotty!”.
  • Sitting by the Big Boss Grand Puba of our entire University dept at a welcome lunch, and inexplicably launching into an entire life history including being a lesbian my whole life and then meeting the man of my dreams in California and settling in to a life living with a man for the very first time and all my friends were like whaaa? but my mother how cute was she in support of this from the start and helped me to make the decision to take a chance and go and my new guy even loves my dog who moved down here with me and has always had a house and a yard but now she is old and arthritic so living in a condo in a city is just fine and i had to get used to living in the inner city too with the ethnic diversity but i am totally loving all of the Mexican food trucks and Vietnamese pho restaurants although the neck tattoos throw me off and at first i was afraid to ride the bus because i thought everyone was a gangbanger but i am getting used to the police helicopters now and will somebody please shoot me and make this end –


And lots, lots, LOTS more.

It’s beyond being quaint or eccentric. i’m beginning to think it’s medical. Like Tourette. (Looking up Tourette)


According to the Tourette Association of America,  the vocal/phonic tics include grunting, sniffing, throat-clearing, hooting and shouting.

Not, opening-your-mouth-and-letting-the-crazy-out. 

Or, what i lovingly call, “vocal vomit”.

So…. i don’t know. i don’t know if it is a mental illness, anxieties, alien messages from another world or mini-strokes that cause me to say exactly the dumbest/worst/strangest thing in exactly the situations where i should be showing some grace and finesse. i don’t even know if it’s something i want to own yet – like i recently came to own all the other crazy stuff i do. (here)

But i DO know that if you invite me to your party, i may or may not ask if your husband has a boyfriend, where your mom buys her wig and advise your guests that video porn sex? Yeah, that’s NOT actually how lesbians do it.

You’ve been warned.

For some reason, when i googled “Vocal Vomit”, i got this pic of Liza singing her heart out. So, here you go. My present to you. Sing Liza, Sing!





  1. You are not alone. Although your case seems a bit more extreme than mine. Mine may be tempered by growing up in a semi-functional hot mess household where I learned to think before I spoke because speaking reminded others you were there and therefore a target for their wrath and other various insanities. So it isn’t really a morality angel on my shoulder judging if what I say is right or appropriate. It is more a should-you-even-speak-at-all angel. Since I’m old enough and wily enough to defend myself now the angel usually says “yeah, go ahead, that person ain’t gonna grab your arm, drag you down the hall and lock you in the closet while spewing about what a terrible filth you are.” A filter would be nice. Sometimes. People who know you get used to you. Those you just met… yeah it is good way to learn if they are worth getting to know. Those that roll with it–get to know them. Those that stiffen up and their eyes dart around for the nearest exit–you don’t need those people in your life.

    “Help I’m talking and I can’t shut up!”

  2. “Beam me up, Scotty”–that’s awesome and so are you. I would love to be at a party with you, like you would be my wingperson so that I wouldn’t actually have to talk to people while you entertained them for both of us.

  3. Honestly, I think the worst part of the Star Wars mishap isn’t that you blundered in public at a stranger, but that you followed it up with nothing but Star Trek references. That’s just painful.

    It probably does have to do with anxiety, though. I wouldn’t be surprised. When I’m in social situations where I’m nervous about speaking but have to, I tend to over-correct. So, rather than sitting in awkward-but-probably-inconspicuous silence, I draw more and more attention because I can’t shut up.

  4. I have a friend who has the ability to always say the worst thing at the wrong time. I wouldn’t call it vocal vomit with him. It is just more bad luck syndrome.

    If he makes a joke about alcoholism, you can guarantee the person he made it to is a struggling alcoholic. If he says anything bad about anyone, it will be within earshot of the person it was about. If he expresses an opinion about anything, it will inevitably be to someone who is quite passionate about that topic, but takes the opposing stance and is ready to fight about it.

    The things he says aren’t offensive by themselves or even inappropriate, but always uttered to the wrong person.

    It’s his special talent.

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