Week 09: Am I A Rat?

Friday 2nd March 2018

Some day’s you’re the pigeon, others you’re the statue

Reading time 2 minutes 44 seconds

After a recent meal with a few friends my mate Jonny was toing and froing with the waitress and he asked her for a coffee. The waitress, doing her job rather well, explained that they have many types of coffee including Espresso, Macchiato, Latte, Cappuccino, Irish, Jamaican, Turkish, Australian, Vianeesse, Affogato, Mocha, Duplo, Iced, French Press, Percolated, Americano & various Liqueur coffees.

Jonny said “Errrrmm….can I have a Black Coffee please”.

The entire table laughed, the waitress rolled her eyes and walked away with the uncomplicated order. 

We asked Jonny why he chose a regular black coffee when the world was his coffee oyster and you know what he said?

“I panicked”.

This really tickled me but actually that kind of panic is real and it happens to us all when we least expect it. 

This week for example I panicked and the consequence was that I unwittingly hurt a small child. Let me explain;

I was walking through St Pancras station on my way to perform a comedy gig and saw an angry looking mum approaching. She was being followed a few steps behind by, what I assume was her child, and guessed was aged about 5. The kid was eating some type of sweet but as she walked by it dropped out of her mouth and onto the floor.

She stopped. 

She didn’t cry but she looked gutted as it looked to be her last one and I felt sad for her as you realise life can be cruel sometimes, particularly when you are 5. You could see that she was upset but this girl was resilient. 

Realising her mum hadn’t seen the error she picked the sweet from the pavement, looked at her mum again to ensure she’d not been spotted, and promptly shoved the whole thing in her mouth. The look on her face now had a mix of guilt and satisfaction on it.

It was hilarious. 

The range of emotions that girl had displayed on her face in those few seconds were exquisite and it made me burst out into laughter.

Now….some of you may be aware that I have a very loud and annoying laugh and I do not contain it. On this occasion I let it run free and in that moment it was the Usain Bolt of laughs as it had legged it from my big fat gob and was sprinting around the station. 

The angry mother stopped in her tracks.

She turned, looked at me and growled “WHAT’S SO FUNNY?” 

I then repeated the actions of my mate Jonny and I panicked.

“Your daughter…she dropped her last sweet… and she picked it up off the floor and ate it” 

The little girl glared at me. 

The mum then grabbed her daughter by the arm, gave her a telling off followed by a light cuff around the head and made her spit out the sweet. The girl glared harder at me. I could see her thinking how could this small stranger tell tales on me? And she is right as she had not wronged me in any way at all and if anything she’d bought joy into my life by making me laugh so hard. 

I learnt a valuable lesson that day. Not that I should tell tales on small children but that Panic is a response that can be managed and overcome. Breath, take a moment and then act. It’s just another tool to apply into my life.

“Life is 10% what you experience and 90% how you respond to it.” Dorothy M Neddermeyer