What's the silliest thing you have ever done? I guess you will only reveal what you want to reveal. Maybe there are even sillier things that you wish to keep secret! Silly things can be accidental or deliberate.
Years ago, after a ferry journey from Ireland and a long drive across southern Wales, we ended up at my brother Robin's house in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. I was pretty tired and it was quite late so we decided to have takeaway fish and chips for our evening meal.
There we were round the table. Our children were still very young and for a treat they were drinking squat little bottles of cola. Those bottles were very similar in size and shape to the vinegar bottle. You guessed it already. I reached out for the vinegar and ended up pouring cola all over my lovely golden cod and chips.
Everybody laughed and the moment was so deeply etched in my little daughter's mind that for years afterwards she would remind me: "You put coke on your chips!" What a silly billy I had been!
In late 1978 there was a Christmas disco party in the lower school of Dinnington Comprehensive in the heart of South Yorkshire's coalfield. It was agreed that attending staff members would don fancy dress just for fun. This was in the days before paedophilia became newsworthy.
I decided to go as a dirty old man. For some reason, I already owned a rubber mask complete with hair, a bulbous nose, warts, bushy eyebrows and wrinkles. At a charity shop I bought an old brown Macintosh coat that was grubby and a size too big for me. I put a flatcap on that my mother had previously created on her sewing machine and I stapled a rolled back cover of an old "Playboy" magazine into my coat pocket. It was a simple disguise but I really looked the part - a proper dirty old man.
Other teachers laughed and so did the schoolchildren but as the Christmas party progressed, I noticed something weird. The kids were getting closer to me. Some started pulling at my coat and getting physical. One ripped the "Playboy" cover from my pocket. They were laughing but it was as if they forgot that there was a teacher behind the mask. I had become the dirty old man I was imitating. They had bought into the illusion.
I took the mask off and they all stepped back. I was "sir" again. Then with the mask back on the prodding and pushing restarted. I felt like Quasimodo in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".
It was something but at the same time it was nothing. I have always remembered that experience from my days at Dinnington. Perhaps I should have played safe and gone to the disco party as Robin Hood or Hamlet or a massive banana.
I have done quite a few silly things in my life but one that stands out was running after a lady calling out to her because I thought she was someone I knew. It was only after she turned around that I realised it was not her. I still feel a fool when I think of it to this day, lolReplyDelete
Should have gone to Specsavers!Delete
I remember going in a Chinese takeaway for the first time and didn't know what to order. People were getting agitated waiting for me to make my mind up. So I looked again at the menu and instead of asking for beans sprouts soup I asked for some beans and sprouts soup!ReplyDelete
Isn't it good to have the English gift of self deprecation? People are far too serious. Great post YP.
If you can't laugh at yourself you are a twat - to use a term of endearment that is commonly used in Yorkshire.Delete
I hear West Cork mothers saying it too! Other Cork words: Hot press - Airing Cupboard, Runners - Trainers, The Messages - Shopping, The Jack's- lavatory...Delete
"Ey up Mrs Northsider! If you want me to do the messages you will have to tell me if you put my runners in the hot press or the jack's?"Delete
I've just managed to stop myself from doing something very silly indeed. I was about to tell Yorkshire Pudding about some of the silly things I've done.ReplyDelete
I am sure you have got many many to choose from!Delete
One of which may be admiration for the 1971 Jethro Tull LP 'Aqualung', the cover of which shows Ian Anderson dressed as a dirty old man, and on which the title song begins with the lyric: "Sitting on a park bench eyeing little girls with bad intent".Delete
Yeah. When you look back - not a good line or a good thought.Delete
Tasker, same here. I too stopped myself - before spilling. Yet the first silly thing that popped into my head on reading YP's post only involved a Christmas tree and my good self trying to dispose of it (after Christmas). By way of mitigating circumstance: I was only twenty. No harm was done. Not to me, not to the tree. No witnesses. I shall take the tale to my grave.Delete
PS As to "Aqualung". Wow, you sure do know your music.
Intriguing mystery - "The Tale of Ursula and The Christmas Tree" but some tales are best left secret. Did you derail a train with it?Delete
I believe I am too aghast at the thought of you as a costumed dirty old man that I can't even think of anything I've ever done that is that silly. I'm sure I have, I just can't think of anything.ReplyDelete
How about mud wrestling with Karen Purser in your yard?Delete
Your reply to Mary made me laugh!!Delete
Good! And it didn't cost anything!Delete
I would not deign to get down in the mud with that woman but I would donate a pig to take my place in any such match.Delete
Just another reason to avoid fancy dress at all costs!ReplyDelete
I'm not sure what qualifies as silly. I've done stupid things and things I regret, but I'd rather not revisit them!
Now my imagination is in overdrive!Delete
I can just imagine you as the epitome of a dirty old man. I wonder why?ReplyDelete
It's the opposite of my true character - angelic choirboy.Delete
I once poured the boiling water from the kettle into the milk jug. But it was ok because that's where I had put the teabags.ReplyDelete
Are you now living in a place of safety Jean? "Nurse! Nurse! I can't remember my name!"Delete
What possessed you? It's a well known fact that we dress up as that which we dream of. You know: Princess, knight, indeed Robin Hood, a pirate, a gipsy, a witch, Baby Jesus. Let's assign you the Court Jester.ReplyDelete
Good job that I wasn't at your school. Would my father have seen the "funny" side of your costume? Let's not dwell on that thought. Though he may have awarded you prize for the most convincing costume of them all.
I lived in a bedsit. I didn't have spare money or time to hire a costume but I did have that rubber mask. It made sense and it was silly too.Delete
In my youth I was known to do many silly or crazy things, particularly as a teenager. I once helped a friend win a contest to see who could get the most people in a car. Myself and another friend rode in the trunk (boot) of the car. She won the contest.ReplyDelete
What kind of car was it? I bet it wasn't a Mini!Delete
I can think of two off the top of my head, one on purpose and one accidental, so I'll give you both. "On purpose" was a skit my classmate and I did as an exercise for French class. We acted out a waitress and a customer ordering a chicken sandwich. But we dressed up for it and had a fake chicken sandwich - two pieces of cardboard with my budgie's discarded feathers poking out from the "crusts". We wrote the skit as the customer being indignant over the food. Considering we were both usually quiet students, it went over well and we got a lot of laughs. The accidental silliness was at our sit-down wedding reception. We had stood up for the minister to say Grace and I didn't realize my newly minted husband had pulled my chair out further after I stood up. When we sat down, he didn't get there fast enough and I sat on the floor. On a stage. In front of all the guests. I actually found it hilarious as soon as I was seated again, and it's my example of a principle I honestly believe - every wedding has something that goes wrong, and it's best to embrace it because it makes a good story later. (I'm remembering your story here of losing your key at your daughter's wedding. Has it turned into a good story yet? by which I mean a story you don't mind telling for comic effect)ReplyDelete
The phenomenon you described with the students and your costume is quite interesting psychologically, isn't it?
Thanks Jenny. An interesting read. The key incident still sits unhappily in my memory. It kind of spoilt that special day for me but as you suggest - perhaps one day I will be able to laugh about it.Delete
I suppose the silliest think to which I'm prepared to admit (or which I can remember if I'm honest) was to accept a bet (at the tender age of around 20 long before I became young) to walk down Dale Street (Liverpool's legal/financial hub) dressed as the Mad Hatter. I won my bet. No one batted an eyelid.ReplyDelete
Ha-ha! I guess that such sights are not particularly unusual in Liverpool. Did you see The Cheshire Cat?Delete
Okay, now I see why the photo of the banana. I went as Mr. Rogers one time.ReplyDelete
You mean Fred Rogers? That means you pretty much went as yourself!Delete
Well, the kids thought that was so!!!Delete
What I don't understand.....apart from you thinking " dirty old man" was appropriate for a kids party.....is why they were " getting physical" with said dirty old man. Had their parents not told them about men in raincoats etc? Perhaps they knew it was you all along?ReplyDelete
I wonder if there's a support group that battered dirty old men can call?Delete
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