Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down

When was the last time you fell over in public?

Mine was last Friday. But this was no slight slip that could be stopped with a steadying hand, or by dropping down into a one kneed proposal pose. No,no, no. This was a dignity free, slapstick acrobatic, both legs up in the air, bowling ball roll (sideways too).

I’d only bent down to pick up a shoe, flung from the baby buggy of the woman walking in front of me, but a medley of slippery soles, being a touch off balance with a bundle of boxes from Post Office and a robust forward thrust as I bent down to grab the shoe had me upended and rolling and tumbling like a wheel from a cartoon car crash. And, in front of a packed gallery of three - yes three - heaving bus stops. I even heard an offstage gasp from the old couple behind me.

Knowing how much entertainment gold there is in watching someone have a wobbler, how do you recover from a trauma like this? There’s only one way. Reach for your mobile phone, and role play receiving a call (or making a blame and claim call) at the precise moment you’ve recovered with a flourish and are back on steady legs. You can even lend a bit of weighty embellishment to the performance by frowning like a champ and giving the phone a few theatrical “what’s happened to the reception ?” glares until you’re safely out of sight.

'The Man Trap' - A Public Information Film on the perils of polished floors.

Freeze framed at the hand to mouth reaction moment, as any later would see Mum and daughter fold like falling trees, giggling themselves silly as Dad goes bouncing down the hall like Tigger.


BLTP said...

I do feel for you.
I was on assignation with a young friend in a sloping and packed pub garden. Our bench table was on the edge of the grass next to some bushes. It was all going well when my friend stood up to use the facilities the change in balance caused the table to fall off the grass it flipped up and shot me backwards into the bushes pint in hand. Cue huge gales of laughter even from my "friend". Carefully and dripping with beer I made my way to the toilets and just went home.

Matthew Rudd said...

I fall over whenever there's ice on the pavement. Despite the automatic carefulness in my strolling which such weather prompts, I invariably fail and look a proper dunderhead as I crash to the ground.

Planet Mondo said...

BLTP - you did the decent thing there's no easy way out from that one, it's the sort of calamity thats worthy of starting a church hall support group for.

Matt - Thats the thing I'm usually Mr Surefoot. I may have to 'pimp' my shoes with some rubber bands.I love the pose of an 'ice walk' it's all bent knees and angular elbows similar to the 'barefoot on heavy shingle beach' walk.

Cocktails said...

At lease you weren't carrying shopping bags full of apples, oranges etc. which comically jumped out and onto the surrounding pavement...

Tip-top clip there too - I'll be sure to stay clear of highly polished floors in the future.

By the way, I have tagged you for that completely stupid meme doing the rounds which you are very, very much free to ignore.

Five-Centres said...

I know your pain.

I tripped on a peach at Manchester Picadilly once in front of a packed train, who all laughed.

And I very, very nearly escaped certain death falling down an open pub cellar becuase an acquaintance had pointed out Clare Rayner sitting outside Pret A Manger. I only noticed about a split second before I plummtted that before me was an open trap door.

Could have been nasty.

Roman Empress said...

I slipped over coming out of East Ham station for a job interview last year. Funnily enough, Another teacher also fell in the exact same spot. (I'm an ex-teacher). The job was for a catholic school reception teacher. I didn't get it, my nerves were shot after that. (Bloody catholics, didn't want the job anyway).

planet mondo said...

Thank you all for your support and solidarity, I don't feel so ashamed now. There could be a few quid in some of those trips and slips you know! Clunky paving and overloaded bags, rogue peaches and openings, stress of an interview/and notorious blackspot etc..