You see, it was no ordinary paint, and I tried to explain how necessary it had been that I'd used Dulux SuperGrip Primer (and I discovered that SuperGrip Primer doesn't scratch off from skin very easily. Well, not at all, in fact), and that it had been essential for me to quickly nip to the boat just before we were due to leave home, so that I could put a coat on the window surrounds. It simply had to be done, I said in my defense, so that I'd be able to get the undercoat on in time for the top coat to get dry before the windows were due to go back in on Monday. My explanation didn't seem to improve the situation. Maybe trying to justify my mistake was also a mistake.
Countless fellow guests came up to me, 'helpfully' pointing to my ear asking 'Is that paint on your ear?'
I offered what I thought was a perfectly reasonable story that I'd had to paint my Boat For My Potplants shortly before leaving home. 'Your what for your what?', came the response. I decided to cut my losses, concentrate on my canapes, and just say that my wife had failed to noticed the state of my ear until it was too late.
For some reason that proved to be my worst mistake.