A friend was lecturing in Latin America. He was going to use a translator, but to identify with his audience, he wanted to begin his talk by saying in Spanish, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.” He arrived at the auditorium a little early and realized he did not know the Spanish words for ladies and gentlemen. Being rather resourceful, he went to the part of the building where the restrooms were, looked at the signs on the two doors, and memorized those two words.
When the audience arrived and he was introduced, he stood up and said in Spanish, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.”
The audience was shocked. He didn’t know whether he had offended them or perhaps they hadn’t heard him or understood him. So he decided to repeat it. Again in Spanish he said, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.”
One person in the audience began to snicker. Pretty soon the entire audience was laughing. Finally, someone told him that he had said, “Good evening, bathrooms and broom closets!”