"Once you touch it," she said, "it's so soft that you forget how wrinkled it is."
Not your typical dinner conversation, eh? Thank god she was talking about the cloth napkin I'd handed her.
I file her statement under the long list of things people have said to me before realizing how their words might be interpreted. It's the sort of thing that is always followed by a spectacular pause. The trick is to not interrupt. For proper comedic effect, you've got to let the pause last until it becomes unbearably awkward.
Let it hang.
My all time favorite example of this occurred during my freshman year of college.
During my very first day on campus, I met the girl I would date for the next two years. She caught a cold during our first semester and I found myself on the phone with her overbearing mother who was convinced her daughter couldn't survive a day without her guidance.
Her mother told me to, and I quote: "Pump her full of fluids."
I wanted to say "Listen, if that were the cure for a cold, believe me, she wouldn't be sick in the first place."
Instead... I greeted that pause with a marvelous grin, and I let it hang.