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No one likes to make a fool of themselves. You either end up laughing at yourself or crying at your lack of gracefulness. The funniest scenes in movies are when people fall or stick their tongue on icy metal objects, or when animals attack … basically when the unexpected happens, people laugh.

There are a few moments in my life when I’ve felt the fool. My big feet have let me down or my lack of spacial awareness has caused me strife. It’s not pretty. I’m not all that proud but I can look back (now that I’m alone and haven’t done anything too silly lately) and laugh.

ROME: Smack bang in the middle of our 5 month saunter around the globe, I stacked it. Our friends were staying in a hotel with a marble staircase (oo la la… not really). It was their last night in the ancient city and we were young, free and having fun. I was so excited that my reef shoes and I slipped, bumpity bump on my bum down the stairs. It was like slow motion… donk…. donk… donk… splat. Red-faced, I stood up… “I’m ok.. ha ha…hmmm… I think”. I realised that we had weeks of walking, carrying a massive backpack, ahead of us and despair set in. Luckily a lovely waiter at our restaurant understood us sufficiently to grab me some ice and my ankle was ok! I was OK!

SCHOOL: Year 11. 17 years old. Shortish skirt. In the middle of the whole school. Yes I did! We had been sitting on some gravelly cement for ages and unbeknownst to me my leg had fallen asleep. So I stood up, fully confident that my limbs would work and then.. you know that oh-o moment when the unexpected is about to happen? I lunged in front of me and hoped that my sleepy leg would not be noticed by too many people. Much shaking of the leg ensued and my pride was saved.

PARENT’S HOUSE: Talk about sleepy legs. Fast forward ten years. Hubby and I were on lounges facing each other. I had been watching my beloved Gilmore Girls on my laptop (legs crossed, laptop resting on crossed legs) when I decided to get up!  BOTH my legs had fallen asleep and I fell forward, unable to hold myself up, right onto the feet of hubby and into his lap. I couldn’t stop laughing but I had unfortunately injured hubby man so he wasn’t as amused. Oops. Still makes me laugh to this day.

BEDROOM: So, I was being a good little housewife, going through my messy draw when it happened. I decided to put the rather heavy drawer on my bed to get stuck into it. Not sure what I was thinking at the time but I placed the drawer too close to the end of my bed. I then sat down behind it thinking there was heaps of space then I found myself balancing on my bottom on the corner of my bed. For a second I didn’t know what I was going to do. To fall or not to fall? FALL! Luckily I wasn’t injured just highly amused. Sad that no one saw me in my slapstick brilliance, I ran out to tell hubby who didn’t quite get how funny the moment was. No one could have I guess, except for me.

SON: And so the cycle continues. When my son was 2 he started his performance career. He’d often stand on a stool and sing songs like “Jump down now!” (and then he’d jump down). One time he was being a silly monkey in the bathroom. I had just told him not to jump around the bathroom as it’s not fun to fall on when it happened. He did his classic “Jump Down Now!” jumped down, put his hand on the clothes hamper, the lid fell in and he followed. This is a tall hamper so all I could see were these little legs running in mid-air. He was crying. I was laughing. I had my baby girl in my arms so I couldn’t fish him out immediately so he was left there in the dark, running on air until I put baby girl down. Still laughing, him still crying I fished him out and gave him a big cuddle. It was a proud moment.

I once sneezed in a lecture hall and no one looked my way. It got me thinking. Sneezing is acceptable but if I shouted as loud as I sneezed all would turn around, stare and question my sanity. How funny is our world?

I wonder if there are places where spontaneous shouting is the norm? Perhaps sneezing is frowned upon? The body does funny things… like farting. Every child finds fart jokes so tummy-splittingly funny. And every adult with even a mild sense of humour cracks a smile when the word ‘fart’ is uttered. It’s a funny word for a ridiculous bodily function. FART! Girls fart too, did you know? And I find it’s best to fart when someone is talking about trumpets or baddies or wind. Because it makes it even funnier… or is it just me?

Burping is less funny because it is a controlled thing. You can burp for attention and it doesn’t come out of your bottom, so the funny-o-metre would rank it low on laughs. Sneezing is funny, especially in kids who don’t know how to do it politely. And then for the adults there’s all kinds of sneezes: tiny, lady sneeze; spray sneeze; loud-echo-around-the-neighbourhood sneeze, cough-sneeze, silent sneeze, silencer-sneeze (the one you try to hold in but escapes nonetheless). Hilarious!

On the other hand being smelly is not funny. Deodorant was invented for a reason as were baths, showers, shower gel, shampoo and Glen-20. No one wants to walk into a bathroom and faint. We’re delicate creatures these days, so please do your best and use what is available to smell like roses (or good man smell).

Which brings me to hiccups… (great segue no?). They would have to be the funniest, most frustrating, uncontrollable bodily function (correct me if I’m wrong). What are hiccups? According to the internet, is when the diaphragm contracts over and over again, closing the vocal cords, making the hiccup sound. It can be caused by allergic reactions, spicy foods, carbonated drinks, eating too fast or MORE! It can make you hurl, burp or cause major frustration, cos you know that there are no cures in most cases, except for time. And, mostly the people who find hiccups hilarious are the onlookers not the sufferers themselves.

Ah, the human body; a complex combination of ick and oooo. It can be wildly beautiful and overtly disgusting. It can cause poets to poem and writers to swoon but at the end of the day, what goes in must come out. What could be funnier than that?

God bless our Japanese friends!

 

There’s nothing wrong with being a bit quirky. However, there is a line; one that must not be crossed. For this is a place where muttering cat ladies and boofy hair, blue eyeshadow and fake eyelash-ed women dwell.

Ho ho, no. I like to think I am only part ‘nutter’. I love thinking outside the box; going where the truly sane are scared to go. However, it can go either way. ‘Nutter’ can potentially come off as immature or silly if it is presented in a high pitched and overly excited way. Or it can be totally inappropriate. I have taken a trial-and-error approach to my nutter-hood-dom. Which means there have been many, many times where I have heard nothing but crickets and seen nothing but polite, horizontal smiles. Beetroot!

For example, one day I decided to go through my junk drawer. This drawer is a heavy, old fashioned thing that requires two handed and straight backed, bended knees lifting. And so I lifted the darn thing onto my bed to start the annual purge. Unfortunately, I placed the drawer too close to the end of my bed so that when I sat down I started to teeter on the back corner. Legs were held mid-air, arms were making circles as I tried to balance; “woooow, woooow!” It was like slow motion. I then fell from my fairly high bed onto the floorboards. As I was not hurt I ran into my husband’s studio and retold the story; proud of how funny I was. I quickly realised however, that the event was much funnier for me than for him. Again, beetroot.

The bonus about being only partly nutterfied is that in sensible times, people are not surprised when you have a clumsy moment, as they think you are being funny; a huge cover up! One of my best and most painful clumsy moments came

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in a performance at University. We had an audience watching us perform a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In rehearsals there was nothing behind the curtain but as I (a hilarious character) ran behind the curtain to get to the other side of the stage, I realised with a ‘thud’ that some smart person had placed a black, wooden stage rise behind the curtain. My shins were hammered. In my tutor’s comments he said he loved the part where I fell over backstage, it brought out the humour in the scene. Ta da! And again, cover up, beetroot and massive shin bruise and bleed.

I wear the badge, the label, ‘Part Nutter’, with much pride. However, I do fear that as I age and the mind starts deteriorating, that I will slide into the complete Nutter category. So please, if you see me on the slippery slope down into that fearful place, be a pal and lift me out!

1. An elderly woman was seen today riding a boy’s bicycle down a hill, while wearing a red hat. She was last seen riding in the direction of the local hospital. Was it  an emergency? And how did that red hat stay on so well?

2. I was walking my child to school the other day while holding a frog umbrella. People were particularly jolly that day; very smiley. I thought this level of friendliness was unusual until I remembered I was using my son’s FROG umbrella. It  was pelting rain and I couldn’t find my more adult floral number!

3. I once witnessed an elderly gentleman making an unfortunate choice on a freeway. He turned onto the wrong side of the road and started making his way in the opposite direction. I wonder what happened to him?

4. A friend told a story of her resourceful grandma. She always bought her granddaughter presents from op shops. Nothing wrong with that! But alack and alas, that granny went one step too far one Christmas when she bought her loving granddaughter some second hand undies, with fresh skid marks! Wrong, wrong, wrong!!

5. A lesson for the adventurous man… a nameless adult from my childhood was having his bathroom renovated but was desperate for a bath. So, he filled the laundry sink with nice, warm soapy water. At the end of his soak, he pulled out the plug while he was still in the sink (a very flexible man). Unfortunately for him, his um, ah, privates started following the water down the sink if you get my drift. On realising his mistake, I assume he quickly reinserted the plug and hopped gingerly out of the laundry area, in search of some ice.

6. For me, I never do silly things. Like smile at myself in the mirror, thinking it was a nice stranger lady, nor do I fall down stairs while excitedly going out to dinner in a foreign country. And I NEVER misjudge where I’m sitting and fall off my bed. I’m really quite sensible!

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