This weekend I made an important discovery. I discovered my purpose in life.
And what is that purpose, I hear you cry? Simple. My purpose in life is to consistently make an utter tit of myself purely for the amusement of others. It’s alarming just how often I manage to do this. For example, I sometimes ditch tights in favour of pull ups, even though I know, without fail, that within five minutes of leaving the house the elastic will fail and I will spend the remainder of my evening fruitlessly yanking them back up, only to feel them ping and slither their way ever closer to my ankles. The triumph of hope over experience.
Here are just a few ways in which I have shamed myself in the eyes of the world, whilst simultaneously amusing onlookers.
When I was 14/15 I had a job in a kitchen which was hell on earth, an absolute torture chamber of heat. This was the summers of ’94 & ’95, which I remember as being unseasonably warm, but the heat was exacerbated by being crammed into a Second World War era asbestos pre-fab with no insulation. The building was hot in any case, and when you added deep fat fryers, four massive industrial ovens and hobs to the mix, the temperatures regularly topped 40 degrees. My colleagues and I spent our time redfaced, sweating freely, limp hair plastered to our heads, serving up food that reeked of fat, the smell clinging to us until we could escape to a shower.
We were all quite young and full of high spirits, so the atmosphere was a lot of fun, lots of joshing and practical jokes. Waterfights after work were fairly regular – the person who did the washing up would flick water at someone else, they would respond in kind, cleaning sponges would be wrung over heads, that kind of thing. All lots of childish fun. Until the day I wore a thin cotton dress in an attempt to keep cool. A white, thin cotton dress. With white underwear. You can see where this is going, can’t you? Waterfight ensued, climaxing with me having a bucket of ice cold water tipped over my head in front of a crowd of at least 100 people. So 100 people who knew me as ‘the girl who takes the meal tickets’ would now know me as ‘the girl whose nipples and pubes we’ve seen’.
Spending a lazy, boozy Sunday afternoon/evening with friends, watching Jackass in the depths of a British winter. I was drunkenly slumped on the sofa, and realised I needed a wee. The only problem was that my friend was sitting on the floor in front of me, so I needed to step around her. My brain worked out that much, and I probably would have successfully managed this, had she not moved at the last minute. I tried to step around her, lost my balance, drink flew out of my hand, I crashed to the side. But not to the floor, oh no. Onto the GLASS inset of the coffee table top. There was a horrified pause from the fifteen or so other people in the room as they saw me sprawled inelegantly on the carpet, glass EVERYWHERE. Then, mortified, I jumped up, and ran to the bathroom (I really needed a wee). Everyone was clustered at the bathroom door shouting ‘Lucy! Lucy! How bad is it? I’m calling 999!’ I eventually emerged, sheepishly, explained that I was fine (miraculously) and was hastened back to the sofa and handed a drink.
Which I then knocked over onto the cream sofa. And the best part of all this? The house didn’t belong to any of us. One friend was supposed to be house-sitting it for their grandparents.
2 I haven’t drunk vodka since 2002. Not a drop. Especially not apple vodka, and especially not apple vodka with apple juice. It was absolutely yummy, and I was out for the evening with some Polish friends who had brought a bottle of this sweet nectar with them. The problem with drinking apple vodka with apple juice is that it tastes like you are drinking apple juice alone. The problem with drinking apple vodka with Polish friends is that they are fairly hardcore vodka drinkers who are pouring fistfuls of apple vodka into your glass, rather than just one or two fingers worth. So you are drinking very quickly, and vast amounts. So you are very, very, very drunk. Fearfully drunk, in fact. And it’s not a gradual realisation. It’s one that hits you between the eyes when you are talking to that unutterably gorgeous chap you’ve had your eye on for a while, who has finally decided to talk to you. The realisation will come to you when you keel over backwards, legs akimbo, right yourself and say ‘surrah, slippeded. Floorswet.’ Before smiling goofily at the object of your desire. One tiny braincell told me I needed to make my escape before shaming myself further. Ten minutes later, having cannoned off everyone in the bar, fallen over several tables and chairs and attempted to leave through the wall, I made it outside and made a stab at walking the 100 metres home. It took whole hours. For every step forward, I staggered at least five back, to the side, the other side, fell over. In the end, I made the lifesaving decision to crawl, although even that was a bit of a strain, and I ended up having to wriggle at various points, rather like a caterpillar. There are photographs in existence of this incredible journey. No, I’m not going to post them here.
Just to prove that I have been making a pratt out of myself since I was a child, the time that I was talking to my mum about sea creatures. We moved onto giant squid and I made a small, but crucial error. ‘Mum, Mum, did you know that some giant squid have 16 foot long tentacles?’ is what I intended to say. Unfortunately, I substituted ‘tentacles’ with ‘testicles’. It’s been 25 years since I uttered that sentence, but whenever I am reminded of it, I still want to unzip my skin and crawl inside my own ribcage with embarrassment.
And finally, in my most recent cock up, linking a friend to another post on this very blog. And then remembering, several days later, that I've written some very personal stuff on here, including mentioning that friend. I am shrivelled with mortification. Dying of cringe. And really hoping that they didn't venture beyond the post I linked them to. But knowing they did. Lucy Benedict, you are a complete and utter tit.