If you've been a regular follower of my blog since I started writing it, if you know me well in real life, or if you have met me on at least one occasion, then you will know that one of my favourite things to do in life is embarrass people. I've always known that one day this will come back to bite me in the arse, but I have continued to do it, year upon year, hoping and praying that karma does not catch up with me. Alas, karma has obviously been doing its research and has finally taken what it rightfully owns - my reputation. I was at work the other day, being told off once again because apparently doing the wedding march to the fridge is not "going as fast as I can", when the mother of a girl I used to go to primary school with saw me working behind the counter and came over for a chat.
"Oh, hiiii!" she cried joyously (can't blame her for that - who wouldn't be excited about seeing me?), "didn't you used to go to school with my child?"
"I did, yes," I replied, with slightly less enthusiasm, because, despite how happy I may or may not be to see her, I was still at work.
"Gosh, I haven't seen you in years! I think the last time I saw you, you were serving on the altar at St. William's church!" ... Why? Of all the things she could have remembered about me in primary school, why did she select that particular memory as the one she was going to shout out to all my work colleagues and destroy any and all street credit? Does she not know I have a reputation to uphold here? There are a multitude of scenarios she could have chosen from that depict me (accurately) as a child enveloped in coolness, but she decides to go with the one thing that makes me look disgustingly angelic? I think there's a lesson in this for all of us here...
Whilst we're on the subject of being embarrassed, I got trapped in a bathroom recently whilst I was having dinner at my mum's friend Alun's house. If he'd had an emergency cord like a Waterstones bathroom (remember that incident?), then I would have been able to pull it and alert the rest of the dining party to my distress. As it is, Alun is in possession of no such thing, so when I discovered that the door was jammed and I was stranded in a bathroom with no windows (therefore no other way for me to get out or care packages to be sent in), I became increasingly concerned that I would be in there forever and began having visions of myself growing old, living only off foods that were slim enough to be slid under the door (slices of ham, crackers, lasagna pasta sheets etc.) and drinking toilet water for hydration. Eventually, my good friends Alun and Bella heard my anguished cries and came hastily (though a little too nonchalantly, in my opinion) to my aid. After several forceful shoulder barges from Alun, and a few hopeful, maybe-this-time-it-will-work rattles of the door knob, it became evident that I was going to be imprisoned for quite some time. My vision had become blurred with hunger and I no longer had any concept of day and night. A small part of me was genuinely quite concerned that upon my release I might forget all social norms and, with my feral instincts kicking in, accidentally eat Alun and Bella. Alun eventually managed to kick the door down (with what I imagine was a very manly, very impressive high kick) and free me from the confines of my porcelain cell, net at the ready in case I turned nasty. My transition back into mainstream society was smoother than expected and after a while I was back at the table, happily drinking all the free wine and eating cheese. The only tell-tale signs of my time in captivity consisted of a small U-bend tattoo on my left bicep and finding Alun's beard and ponytail a lot more alluring than usual, which I can only assume is a symptom of Stockholm Syndrome and is completely beyond my control.
Alun, the hero himself, is part of my Thursday evening pub gang, which consists of various fifty-somethings (I'm told they're the new twenty-somethings) who are actually my mum's friends but who I have adopted as my own as they more often than not buy me a pint, are the masters of bad joke telling, and are generally more entertaining than the people I should be going to the pub with. (This is partially because nobody my age can afford the pub as we spent all our money getting degrees and now we work in supermarkets). I was particularly entertained this week when one of my mum's friends, let's call her... Chanet... told us all how she had just been swimming with her husband, let's call him... Jim... and realised at the swimming baths (i.e. too late) that she had failed to bring along the correct swimming attire. Rather than waste precious exercising time by turning back and going home to collect it, she instead resorted to swimming in a vest and her husband's underpants. Can we all just take a moment to appreciate that this happened? If there are a better and more badass group of pub people than this in the world, then I would sincerely like to meet them, take them swimming, and make them swim in their husbands underpants.