1st girlfriend went to university in London. Went down to visit – she was at college all day, I thought hey – let’s check out Broadway as I’d seen it on tube sign. Yeah – Ealing Broadway. The ignorance and stupidity of youth – DORK!
What I expected
What I got
As a young girl I would love to play and frolic in the garden on a warm summers day with my siblings. Hours would be whiled away picking daisies, rolling around in the grass, chasing butterflies and running after the neighbourhood rats, which Mother would bake into a delicious quiche that same evening.
One memorable day, we found a sodden, stained mattress had been dragged into the garden. It was like all our Christmases had come at once! We decided the most sensible thing to do was drag the mattress over to the garage and hurl ourselves off the roof onto it. After several attempts at this, Mother spotted what we were up to and decided to put a stop to it immediately.
“‘ere you ‘orrible lot!” she wailed. “Get yersel’s off that bloody roof or yer’l brek yer legs! There’s four more rats to get or there’ll be no bloody quiche for you lot tonight, ya bunch of rotters!”
That’s the end of our fun, I thought, and probably a good hiding with the rolling pin again. One more jump won’t hurt though will it?
I launched myself off the roof, landing with a sickening ‘crack’. My ankle rolled under my foot and my face connected with the floor. I tried to get up but couldn’t walk.
Mother will be livid, I thought, that rolling pin will be going where the sun don’t shine! I hopped round the front of the house, through the front door and up the stairs. Hoping to trick the daft old bat, I made a huge racket in my room, crashing about and howling like a trapped weasel. Showing her my ankle, now the size of a grapefruit, I managed to convince her I’d fallen off my bunk bed.
For years the truth was hidden from her. At the age of 28, I finally plucked up the courage to reveal what had really happened that day. Fearing the rolling pin would be brought back out of retirement, I told her my hidden shame.
She laughed and called me an idiot.
Parts of this story may or may not be true.
When I was 19 years old, I had a spectacular bout with Glandular Fever. I spent months ill, completely lost my voice, my neck swelled up to the point where I couldn’t even swallow my own saliva, and breathing made my throat whistle.
It was pretty grim. I ended up dehydrated and hallucinating (unless there really was a black Labrador swimming in my parent’s living room carpet). But having gone through it, I knew there wasn’t really anything to be done, you just had to endure it.
This meant that, several years later, when my sister’s doctor told her she may have glandular fever, my parents felt comfortable leaving her in my care (while they swanned off on a holiday).
I provided a steady stream of paracetamol & glasses of water to her as she lay on the couch & assumed that was all I needed to do…
When she started to claim that she couldn’t walk to the toilet and that her feet were turning blue, I dismissed it as over-dramatic hysteria/hallucinating her feet being blue.
That was a mistake.
When my parents eventually returned from their holiday, they took the extraordinary step of actually looking at my sister’s feet… Which revealed they were, in fact, a deep blue/black colour.
This led to a doctor being called, who examined my sister for about 30 seconds before calling an ambulance…
As it drove away, siren blaring & lights flashing, I realised that she might not have been faking/imagining it.
Turns out that she was suffering from an auto-immune condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome, which was attacking her nerves, starting in the feet.
While she was in hospital, the paralysis made it up to her chest. She only just avoided going on a ventilator. She survived with only minor permanent nerve damage. She can walk again now (slowly).
I think my parents have forgiven me… Although they probably won’t trust me to look after them when they’re old & frail…
In middle school, we went on a trip to a place called Houlgate Village in York, which was a Viking re-enactment, living museum thing. So we all had to dress up as Viking peasants and do different activities throughout the day.
These hi-octane, thrill-a-minute activities included, “working” the fields (moving piles of straw from one bit of field to the other), guard duty (standing still with a wooden spear and shield for an hour), pottery making(yawn), being a prisoner (sitting in a cage for half an hour, still better than pottery making though), having a viking banquet in the chieftains hall at lunchtime, where we had to bang our tankards on the table when we wanted more “ale” (in reality, a weak lemon drink), the best bit of which was someone accidentally kicking the chieftains massive dog under the table and the chieftain completely loosing his shit about it, it actually enhanced the trip because that’s how I actually imagined a Viking to be; red faced with axe, looking like he was going to murder everyone.
The other activity was a game of Viking skittles. It’s like normal skittles, just set up some pins and then throw a piece of wood at them as hard as you can. We were told specifically not to stand anywhere near the skittles for obvious reasons. My plan apparently was to stand as close to them as possible, the reason I did this is still unclear all these years later.
I remember the kid throwing the bit of wood and it spinning through the air in slow motion towards the skittles, only it wasn’t towards the skittles, it was towards my head. I remember the explosive pain as it hit and then nothing until I woke up a few seconds later in the moat of a Viking motte and bailey castle. How did I get there?
Luckily a teacher had been filming the whole thing on “camcorder”(yeah this was about 1991), so I was able to ascertain exactly what happened with the rest of the school at a later date, much to the hilarity of everyone present. I remember thinking Vikings had it hard as I watched myself get knocked out by a Viking skittle, stagger backwards and then slide down head first, on my back into the wet, muddy moat.
The massive lump on my forehead lingered for 3 months.
When I was in year 8 at school, I would have been 12 years old, there was a group of year 11’s congregated at the bottom of a staircase which I needed to get around. To avoid the group and I decided to jump off a small wall at the top of the staircase down onto a patch of grass beside them. To do so I had to clear a jump a good two metres and jump over bush in the process. Whilst fully fixated on clearing the gap it never occurred to me that the bridge connecting the school and music block was no more than two feet above my head directly above where the bush and grass met.
I leapt off this wall, smashed my forehead against the bottom of the bridge, performed half a backflip and landed face first in the bush knocked out. After waking up midway through being dragged by my blazer to the school matron, by one of the lads I was initially trying to avoid, I got taken to hospital with concussion and head injuries.
The dumbest moments of my life have all resulted in me injuring myself. It’s hard to pick the dumbest of those dumb moments, but the time my dad brought me a bike home from work has got to be up there.
Over the years my dad has turned up home with various things for the family. I’m confident he’s acquired them legitimately as they’re never very sort after, and so not worth stealing. This bike being a good example of that.
I loved riding my bike as a kid, but at this particular time I was in desperate need of a bigger one so, even though it was a bit rubbish, I was just happy to finally have a bigger bike.
My dad warned me not to ride it until he’d had chance to check it over, as he wasn’t sure what condition it was in. I could tell what condition it was in – a shit one, but I didn’t really care so, ignoring his advice, I was straight out on it the next morning before school.
We lived at the top of a steep hill (you can see what’s coming) and the only way to ride was down, so off I went. As I got closer to the bottom I pulled on the break. But it didn’t bloody work! I went straight over the road at the bottom and into a wall, banging my head (as was usual when I was a child due to my larger than average head).
My lasting memory of the event is my mum hurriedly running (in that not very fast way that mum’s run) down the street in her slippers and dressing gown to help/laugh.
I still had to go to school.
I like to think of myself are a fairly switched on chap, however reality dictates the opposite on a regular basis. I think one of my dumbest moments was when I was 21, losing my passport in New York…on the way to the airport to fly home. This resulted in having to drive back to the city, which is quite a way from JFK. Luckily I was travelling with a mate who had to lend me enough money to sort the whole stupid situation. I had to get to the British embassy and sort an emergency passport, which meant staying another night in a hotel.
The next day it was all sorted (cracking effort Queen Liz, I assume she handles these kind of things.), we are on the plane home on the runway and a massive storm hits JKF. We spend about 30 hours sleeping on the floor of the terminal building waiting for our bags, it was only after my friend who has robotic legs (a story for another time) threatened to sue if he didn’t get the chargers which were in his bag that we actually got them back within about 15 minutes. We then had the option of staying in a hotel provided via vouchers by the airline over night or trying to rush to another airport to try and get a flight there. We opted for the hotel (Best Western) as we didn’t think we would make the flight.
What the airline (Delta, never fly with them) neglected to tell us was that the hotel they were telling us to go to was on the other side of Manhattan which is over a two hour drive away and we had to pay for our own transport. What they also neglected to tell us was that there was a Best Western, which we had the vouchers for, about a 5 minute walk away from the terminal building. After a much better night’s sleep than the terminal floor we flew home without a hitch. Suffice to say, I’ve never left the county since. Jokes, but when I do I store my passport internally. Never fly Delta.
looking pissed off a the top of the roc
University is the place to do dumb things. Apart from the whole degree thing that’s what it’s basically designed for. So the first dumb story that comes to mind for me was during my first year while living in student accommodation.
The building which I lived in used to run a fire alarm test every Friday at 11am, which was usually something I was able to avoid because I had a lecture at that time. But on this particular Friday I decided to skip out on my day of learning to stay at home to play Street Fighter 2 (because who wants to attend education you’re paying for?). So when the fire alarm started ringing around 11ish, I didn’t think twice about it, I just turned up the Led Zeppelin and kept playing Street Fighter. An hour of the fire alarm ringing still didn’t trigger there might have been something wrong either. In fact it wasn’t until I got a text from my flatmate saying that the accommodation was on fire that I decided it was probably time to leave.
Once I was outside I found out that someone had left their straighteners on and started a very small fire. The staff of the accommodation building struggled to understand why it had taken me an hour to get out of there, I put this down to the fact that they had never experienced the rush of defeating M.Bison perfectly. In hindsight it could have been a lot worse, and I could have died in a towering inferno. But I would have died a Street Fighter champion, and isn’t that the most important thing?
I’m not going to pretend I am the perfect human being, because quite frankly I’m not and almost every day it seems I have one of these “dumb moments”. There’s a very long list that would probably take me a millennia to write, but somehow I have to narrow my scope a bit. It was your average weekend, I’d just woken up and was feeling a bit experimental. I got the toaster out and put some bread in it. Waiting 2 minutes for toast seemed like an eternity, so I got out the butter knife and inch by inch lowered it into the toaster. At that moment the toaster gave out a loud pop and the electric went out. What I was thinking at that point in time I’m really not sure, but could have been a lot worse than it was. I’m glad it wasn’t. However it’s probably up there as one of the blondest moments of my life, but it was a cool experiment nonetheless.
Dumb and Dumber to image copyright of New line cinema