I’ve done some pretty odd things in my life … questionable at best … okay downright stupid (and, sadly, I’m sure there’ll be a few more to add before I call it quits).
Most I daren’t mention. Of those that I can …
Well, I have forgotten to wear sunscreen on a boat out on the Hauraki Gulf (on a beautiful sunny day). Several times I’ve unsuccessfully tried to bluff in poker with absolutely nothing. I persuaded my Dad to buy a Betamax video recorder (so some of the blame rests with him). I tend to install software as soon as it comes out (which is all my own doing).
One time I even managed to accidentally staple my finger … and boy did it hurt. Whatever you do, don’t try it at home boys and girls. Unfortunately, that’s not really the dumbass bit. You see, I then actually managed to staple myself again when showing a friend how I’d done it!
Of course, mistakes happen. Accidents happen. Stuff-ups happen. Clearly, I’m not proud of such things. But the one thing I can be sure of when life doesn’t quite turn out as planned, is that the memory generally (and the pain and/or embarrassment) fades with time, denial or senility – or a combo of the three.
Take a friend of mine, for example. One Sunday, he decided to go out for a quiet, afternoon walk with his partner. They were minding their own business as they enjoyed the pleasant surrounds of a park near Auckland’s Western Springs.
The sun was shining. The birds were signing.
Suddenly, a young yobbo (complete with hoodie, saggy trousers and pimples) jumped out from the bushes in front of them, yelled “boo” or words to that effect, turned tail and took off.
Now, my friend was a bit taken aback but was prepared to leave it at that, relieved it was nothing more serious than a teenager’s prank, and have a ‘the youth of today’ tale to tell over the next day’s morning coffee.
Not so his partner.
She promptly legged it off after the guy. Needles to say, my dumbstruck friend had no choice but to join the pursuit.
So, there they were, both chasing this young man, who presumably hadn’t quite envisioned such a thing happening when he’d been hiding in the bushes.
To cut a long chase story short, my friend’s partner eventually caught up with the youth, grabbed his hood and brought him to a halt, nearly garroting him in the process. She then proceeded to give him a serious amount of lip and could have been heading towards physical violence when my friend finally arrived and intervened – trying to be the peacemaker, naturally.
Throughout the ensuing conversation, the young guy kept looking round. Eventually they asked him why and he said that his friend was videoing the whole thing … at which point he took off again, never to be seen.
Unless, of course, you come across footage on YouTube that seems just like this. My friend spent the entire weekend scouring the latest uploads, and has been checking every day for a couple of weeks now.
Ah, those five minutes of fame. Maybe I should tape myself stapling my finger …