You know when you watch a film or TV show and you see the main character screaming and panicking as some sort of harrowing scene plays out in front of you? You exhale a judgmental puff of air from your nose and confidently exclaim, “That would never be me that. The most important thing to do is to remain calm and level headed. Most people don’t have the capacity to be like that.” This is often met with whoever you’re sat with calling you a prick while they watch you stick another handful of popcorn in your gob. Well, this week I was involved in a situation that once again revealed to the world just what a nervous ball of mess up I am.
You see, it was a Saturday night and I was relaxing on the couch when I heard the door go. This was strange in itself as we’re not the most sociable couple in the world. So unsociable I am, I employ a technique when an unexpected knock of the door happens. That technique is as follows – I don’t move, wait for whoever it it to get tired of knocking and then I enjoy them fucking off.
On this occasion this did not happen, so I reluctantly made my way to interact with another human being.
Upon opening the door, I am in an instant thrown into a state of panic, as in front of me I see an ambulance and a paramedic.
The paramedic quietly, and professionally, steps forward, “Is Melissa in?”
With my breathing slowly spiralling out of control I shut the front door behind me and grab him by the shoulder, shouting a a little bit too loudly, “Is it her Dad? IT’S HER DAD ISN’T IT?!”
Taken aback by the man screaming in his face, he attempts to respond, but before I allow him to speak again, I continue, “Oh god! He has heart issues. How am I going to tell her?!”
In my troubled head, this paramedic is here to tell me that my girlfriend’s father has passed away. A man who in recent years has had a couple of heart attacks finally beaten by the very thing that keeps him alive. At this point, I have my hands on my head and am pacing back and forward, just uttering frightened grief ridden phrases. The paramedic then stops me, reaches into his pocket and pulls out a purse that my girlfriend lost last week on a night out in town.
In a matter of seconds, I’ve gone from a man about to tell his girlfriend that her Dad has passed to feeling like a fucking idiot. My adrenaline being as it was, I don’t exactly remember how the rest of our conversation panned out, but within moments he was gone and I was stood in my front yard sweating profusely and holding my girlfriend’s lost purse.
What an idiot.
I’ve always been this way. I remember once when I was about fourteen, we were playing a game of cricket in the street. It must have been around the time when the England cricket team won The Ashes, because usually there is no chance you’d find me wasting my time playing such an awful game.
Anyway, I was batting and as the delivery came in, I swung back.
The ball, however, didn’t fly off as I had hoped. It just slowly hit the wall and pathetically rolled back towards the direction in which it had come from. Then, surrounded by a defending silence, all I heard was the shrieking cry of some annoying little kid who had previously been trying to ruin our game. I had only gone and accidentally hit him full force in the head.
He ran off.
Moments later his man mountain of a Dad came bursting down the street.
“WHICH LITTLE PRICK HAS JUST CAVED MY LADS HEAD IN WITH A CRICKET BAT?!”
I was petrified. But uncharacteristically I found the courage to step up.
“It was me, sir. I didn’t mean it though, guvnor. He ran behind me. I’m awfully sorry, I am.”
Despite sounding like some Victorian street urchin I had stood my ground. The Dad had been told and had accepted that I wasn’t at fault. He dragged his knuckles back to where he came from.
That had told him.
“Go on then. Next bowl.” I asserted smugly.
Noting happened. Oh. Sorry. Except it did. My siblings and friends pointed out that I had rather embarrassingly pissed my pants. A streak of newly fresh urine making my crotch it’s new home. Like an embarrassed skunk that applies a similar defence mechanism, I walked slowly with my cricket bat and into the house. The smell of piss wafting in the back wind and my days playing that awful game coming to an abrupt end.
I don’t know why I react like this. Psychologically you could link it to growing up around a father who used fear as a way of making sure we behaved? Perhaps being a product of a childhood divorce who grew to panic whenever someone raised their voice?
It could be a myriad of things in my environment that has moulded me into an exhausted, fear induced neurotic moron. Or it could be that I’m just a massive shithouse.