Ha, my most recent one was on Friday. I was giving a lecture to school kids in our auditorium at Rutherford Lab. It’s a big auditorium, so I wore one of those wireless microphones in my pocket. The lecture started a bit later than scheduled, which was a bit of a problem for me because I had a “I’m a scientist, get me out of here” school live chat scheduled within a few minutes after the end of the lecture. So, when I was done, I rushed out of the auditorium, while the visiting groups stayed in there for the next event, some liquid nitrogen demonstration.
I sat down joined the live chat, typing a lot and very hard, giggling all the time (that’s what we mad scientists do when chatting 🙂 ), sneezing, talking to colleagues walking past, and so on. Once the live chat was over, I began to calm down and remembered that my phone was still muted from the lecture. So I grabbed into my pocket to get it – and had the microphone from the auditorium in my hand. Still switched on.
Well, of course I’ve had a lot more even more embarrassing things happen to me every once in a while, but I prefer to keep the really bad ones to myself. 🙂
I…have a habit of erasing embarrassing moments from my memory! Once when I was 17 I chucked a jar of concentrated sulfuric acid down the sink by mistake. When sulfuric acid reacts with water it does so…vigorously. There was so much steam fuming out of the drain I thought I’d opened some sort of demonic portal!