“It was Tuesday morning” says Mayor Verwilst. “A colleague’s wife was fresh out of her bath and walked straight through the picture. She wasn’t wearing anything except knickers. Her husband didn’t notice a thing. The meeting fell completely silent. The chair didn’t have a clue how to respond but finally asked the guy to switch off the video.”
Wilfried Vandaele, Mayor of the seaside resort of De Haan and a Flemish lawmaker, won’t easily forget a meeting with fellow MFPs. “I’d noticed a lady colleague had ensconced herself in an enclosed space during one of our video meetings. I hadn’t realised it was the loo. After she had finished, she stood up and cleaned herself up and inspected the toilet bowl. It was a particularly embarrassing moment for her. I’d advise anybody to turn off the video when they are not speaking.”
Mayor Vandaele isn’t dropping any names, but relates the tale of a colleague from East Flanders Province. “During the council meeting one of the leading opposition councillors passed wind. It was quite a fart in several loud bursts! Dot dot dash it would have been in Morse Code. I don’t know what the message was” laughs Vandaele.
A meeting of the city cabinet of Oosterzele (East Flanders) will long remain engrained on the memory of Mayor Johan Van Durme. “I’d just had my bath and as it was an evening meeting I’d put on my pyjamas. It was a very neutral pair and I didn’t think anybody would notice. Soon after we started laughter broke out among my female colleagues. They had noticed immediately. My stripes had given me away. I really felt embarrassed sitting there in the city cabinet meeting in my pjs. I did ask if they wanted me to get properly dressed, but it wasn’t necessary. We did have a good laugh.”