I went to a wedding yesterday, and what a beautiful occasion it was. The Bride looked stunning and the Groom scrubbed up well too. As with any celebratory event, there were cameras flying around everywhere, which was a problem because my standard pose unintentionally makes me look even more disabled than I already am. Just when I thought I’d escaped all the lenses; it was announced that the guests were invited to record a video message for the newly-weds. This, as some of you may have guessed, created an impossible challenge because it meant that I had to keep a straight face under pressure. Obviously, I fell at the first hurdle, leaving my friend to awkwardly congratulate a couple she’d barely met on their marriage. I can only imagine what that footage is going to look like. Tape upon tape of glamorous guests offering their well-wishes, and then the gag-reel where I uncontrollably shake with laughter.
Inappropriately getting the giggles is what I’m known for and being the ‘all or nothing’ person that I am, I either find something totally hilarious or not in the slightest bit amusing. I’d make the worst comedian because I crack up at my own jokes before I’ve even got to the punchline and instead of crying, I nervously laugh at everything. Here are my top three incidents that really shouldn’t have been funny.
The One in Waitrose:
This took place a few years ago on a mundane Saturday afternoon. We had taken a trip to Waitrose to restock Mum’s wine stash. Now, for any of you who don’t know, my brother, Kenneth, is severely autistic. He is non-verbal and the only person I know who can say a thousand words with one disapproving glance. Kenneth is either unable to communicate when he needs the toilet or simply has better things to do with his time – no one quite knows. But, regardless, he wears pads which resemble giant nappies to prevent any accidents.
Anyway, we’d replenished Mum’s supplies and we were making our way to the till when Kenneth obligatorily dashed for the chocolate at the end of the aisle. As Mum was meticulously lining her bottles up on the conveyor belt, all I could see was Kenneth’s trousers slowly gravitating towards the floor. Before I had a chance to comprehend what was about to happen, he was shuffling along as fast as his restricted legs could carry him with his pad in full view as he reached for the Dairy Milk. To this day I can’t work out what was funnier; the horrified look on the faces of the old biddies who were traumatised by what they’d witnessed, Mum’s oblivion to the fact that her son had unwittingly performed a striptease or Kenneth’s gleeful joy when he managed to wangle a two-for-one purchase on Dairy Milk.
The One at the Funeral:
This didn’t directly involve me, but it still makes me laugh out loud and it was the reason I was kicked out of my History lesson at school. One of the Teaching Assistants made the mistake of telling me the tale of how she’d had to comfort a fellow pupil because he’d just returned from his uncle’s funeral. In an effort to shift his mind to happier places, she had asked him what had been played during the ceremony. It transpired that Westlife was a keen favourite and so ‘Flying Without Wings’ was on the playlist. A perfectly reasonable song choice until the boy revealed that his uncle had taken his own life by jumping off a bridge.
Disclaimer: I am in no way laughing at this tragedy or what the boy’s family must have gone through. However, there is a certain level of irony.
The One with the Chips:
Apologies if you’ve heard this story before. I have a vague memory of it being featured in a previous blog, but I can’t seem to find it.
It was a warm summer’s day and Ant, Unc and I were people-watching on the Brayford in Lincoln, when, from inside the pub, came an elderly couple. The gentleman had a pint in one hand and his walking stick in the other, whilst his wife carried a plate of fish and chips. Anyone who has walking aids will know that they tend to have a mind of their own which can put their owners in precarious positions. As the lady carefully put the lunch on the table, the gentleman got his walking stick intertwined with the chair leg, causing him to become unsteady. Beer was sloshing everywhere so the lady rushed to her husband’s aid. At that stage, what she should have done is taken the pint from him and then moved the chair, which she did, but in reverse. So, as she freed his stick, he lost his balance, fell forwards onto the table, dropped his beer and face planted his fish and chips.
As I said, it’s really not funny and I really shouldn’t laugh…