A Simple Misunderstanding

I found this in a book that I read here and there......

The following story is well known. Unfortunately its origin is uncertain. It is an exaggerated and comical illustration of what can happen when our words are misunderstood.

An English woman looking for a room in Switzerland asked for help from the schoolmaster of the village where she wanted to live. After finding a place that suited her, she returned to London for her baggage. Once there, however, she remembered that she hadn't asked about a bathroom, or "water closet," as she called it. So she wrote the village schoolmaster with her question, referring to these facilities in her letter as a "WC".

The schoolmaster, puzzled by these initials, sought the help of a parish priest. The priest decided the woman must be asking about a wayside chapel.

Now imagine being this woman and receiving the following response to your request.Dear Madam:

I regret very much the delay in answering your letter. But I now take the pleasure in informing you that a "WC" is located about 9 miles from the house, in the center of a beautiful grove of trees. It is capable of seating 250 people at a time. It is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday each week. I admit it is quite a distance a way if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches along and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late. The last time my wife and I went was siz years ago. It was so crowded we had to stand the while time we were there. It may interest you to know that there is a supper being planned to raise money to buy more seats. Likewise, it may interest you to know that my daughter met her husband the first time in the WC, and they were later married in the WC. I would like to say it pains on my part. As we grow older, it seems to be more of an effort, particularly in cold weather. If you should decide to come for a visit, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go, sit with you, and introduce you to all the other folks. Remember, this is a friendly community.

Yours truly,
The Schoolmaster



  1. LOL!!!! That is HILLARIOUS!!!! :-)

    Poor Lady!! :-)

    P.S. So, did she move there?! And did she ever find out what the schoolmaster really meant??

  2. Sadly that was all it had on that story. :-(
    The book is called 'Speaker's source book 2'
    Daddy got it when He was in toastmasters.
    I'll read it here and there because it's got good quotes and stories, I just happened to stumble on this one and figured Mama and Daddy would like it!



Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
- Blaise Pascal