It’s been a while since I brought you chapter one of my ‘most embarrassing moments’ series. It’s taken that long for me to uncurl my toes.
Now I’m ready to overshare the next sorry story. So go get yourself a cuppa and take a few minutes to wallow in my discomfort.
Do you have a friend who loves to play the clown and who seems un-embarrassable? You know the one – the darer, the heckler, the first to volunteer to go up on stage. Well I had a boyfriend like that. Let’s call him Olly. Because that’s his name.
We remained friends after we broke up and I paid him a weekend visit at Durham University. I’d never been to Durham so we spent a lovely, sunny Saturday together taking in the city’s sights.
During our walk towards the cathedral, Olly regaled me with stories of his recent craziness. He and his friends had invented a game called ‘collapse’, which was best played by a group and in a crowded place.
“Oh yes, Olly tell me more…”
So the idea of the game is just to cause panic and disruption. It’s not clever and it’s not funny for those poor innocent by-standers caught in the cross-fire, but to those playing the game it’s bloody hilarious.
“How do you play?”
Well you go to a crowded place and friend A dares friend B to collapse. Friend B must collapse onto the floor as if fainting/dying right there, wherever they are, on that very spot.
“And then what happens?”
They must lie there very still, with their eyes closed, as if dead. The other friends must keep walking as if not to notice.
“And the point is?”
To see how long the collapsed person can remain still without breaking out of character, to see how witnesses react, and to give the other friends a thoroughly good laugh.
By now we had reached Durham Cathedral. You can see what’s coming can’t you…
“Where would you play Collapse?”
And down he goes, in the middle of the main aisle inside the cathedral.
It’s respectfully, religiously quiet in there, but there are a lot of tourists, mainly foreigners, who all turn around to look at what caused that thumping noise – as Olly’s body hits the ground.
I spend the next (what seems like an eternity, but is probably about) two minutes kicking his limp body and telling him to get up, as loudly as I can without breaking out of a whisper. Onlookers think I’m kicking a dead man. It’s not funny.
Eventually he gets up and without looking me in the eye, or saying a word, he walks out of the cathedral.
I’m shell shocked. I follow him and we sit on a bench in the gardens outside and then I start laughing. I laugh until I cry and am unable to breath. I laugh like that for about half an hour until the pain is unbearable.
I continued to laugh on and off for about 2 weeks.
Phew that feels better. I’ve got more where this came from. Olly is a rich seam of embarrassing stories and I am fully expecting him to exact his revenge for this blog and I am scared.