Week 19: Stuck Up A Tree

Friday 11th May 2018

Reading time 3 minutes 17 seconds

Act Your Age Not Your Shoe Size – Prince.

I believe it was Rik from the Young One’s who once said “Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread”. Well he was right. I’ve since been told that this phrase is an idiom, well I am THAT fool who rushes in and I am less idiom, more idiot.

All I generally require is the spark of an idea and I’m up for it. In fact, much to the annoyance of people close to me, I need almost no information when I make a decision.

Yesterday this fool once again rushed in with consequences involving trees, wees and performing comedy.

I normally go running in my local park but yesterday my knees were hurting. Or as my old Nan would say they have been giving me ‘Jip’. I never knew what Jip was but from memory a lot of her body parts gave her Jip. Regrettably I now know Jip in all its forms as it is currently affecting all items north of my big toenail and even that isn’t in great shape.

It was a glorious day and whilst I was in the park it reminded me of where I grew up. That was a different childhood park and it had crazy dangerous hills that I used to cycled down (one of them was called Dead Man’s Drop) and one day I thought it was a good idea to ride down it. Whilst I made the perilous descent my bike hit something and stopped, I on the other hand didn’t and I flew magnificently through the air like Superman until my old friend gravity played its part and my body hit the ground. Was this Jip? No. Phew, I thought, I was lucky not to be really hurt that is until my bike came crashing down on me moments later. Oh….that was Jip.

After a reminiscing wander through my new park I thought it would be a great idea to relive part of my youth so I climbed a tree. As previously stated as soon as the idea popped into my head the decision was made and by the time I thought if this was a good idea or not I was already up the tree asking a man on the ground for help because I was stuck.

How do you get down from a tree? Getting up seemed simple but getting down not so much. 

One of my earliest memories of my Mum was when she looked up after my cries for help while I was stuck in a tree in our garden and said that if I got up there I could get down. Three hours I was up that tree and eventually I got down when I needed a wee. I thought the wee reasoning would not have been required as I’d cried so much. I was five years old.

Damn! Why did I just think of that? It made me need a wee.

Back to the tree dilemma. How was I going to get down from it? It’s not like an ex-girlfriend would pop up and push me.

The man who stopped was in an electric wheel chair. I shouted to him that I was stuck but he laughed then drove off shaking his head. “Oi!” I cried out, “I used to be disabled, we’re meant to help one another.”

About ten minutes later the ‘what ifs?’ kept popping into my head. “What if I had to phone the fire brigade?”, “What if I’m the idiot on the front page of the local newspaper [again] embarrassed for wasting public resources?”, “What if a cat was not rescued because they were helping me?” Is my life worth more than a cats? Who makes that decision?

I was beginning to think I may have overestimated my remaining sixteen summers and that I should have done more with them. For example I’ve never been to Japan or slept in a tent. Is this what a wasted life looks like? Dying in a tree? Oh Swampy you made it all look so romantic.

Moments, that seemed like hours, passed and a Mum with two children walked by. I called out in desperation. “Please help I’ve got myself stuck up this tree.” She just laughed. She was mean. What is it with people? This was no laughing matter. She then repeated the words I heard from my own Mum “If you got up you can get down.” Mums…..

Then a couple joined her and they asked what was going on. I’m not sure what she said but they laughed and within a few more minutes there were about 12 people looking up and they were laughing. 


I had an audience and they were laughing at me. You know what this means.

“Good afternoon everyone, I’m Mat Wills and welcome to the park. I seem to be stuck in this tree.” The crowd laughed hard. Wow, this was a gig!

In Comedy if you have a really great gig it’s known as ‘Taking The Roof Off’. I looked up but there was no roof which could only mean I was on the verge of having my best gig ever. Watch Out McIntyre!

Someone then shouted out that I was barking mad. The crowd laughed again. I shouted back that I told the guy in a wheelchair and that he must have gone to get help. They laughed again. That wasn’t even funny and they cackled. This was audience interaction at its finest.

I explained about having left my mobile in the car and the laughing continued. I even think I heard the word idiot more than once. By this stage who cared. It was great and my woes had left me. 

I told a few more gags but by this point they were beginning to lose interest and I realised it was too much of a good thing and I’d have to exit stage left.

Necessity is the mother of invention so I decided I would have to climb down. I gradually eased my way down and made it to the much lower branch and hung off. I then stupidly looked below me. This was a mistake. OK, I’ll climb back up and have a rethink. No I won’t as my puny little hands wouldn’t let me and I had begun to lose my grip. I fell. The crowd gasped. Thud, tuck and a roll then I stood up and gave a theatrical ‘TaaDaaaa’.

The mean mum asked if I was OK. Of course I wasn’t OK but people were laughing again. I know that laughter is what I want but preferably not like this as it would be much more fulfilling if it had been through some clever word play I’d created and not because I had become some kind of modern day Frank Spencer. 

Although deep down the smiles I’d created were a great comfort and they were a good crowd too. Tough but appreciative.

I’m no longer up a tree but truth be told my knees are now really experiencing some jip.

The Comedy scene on the moon of Endor awaits.

Picture: Me with one of the most interesting people I’ve ever had the pleasure to constantly disagree with. He reminds me not to surround myself with people who share the same opinions and that free speech means it’s not all going to be to your liking. His face is hidden because he’s shy and would never give permission to be on “That Social Media Nonsense”.