Covert Oops – codename: She Who Laughs First


She who laughs first turns embarrassment into a shared moment of fun, of ice-breaking joviality, of another fight won against perfectionism, of loosening the noose of seriousness, of just plain being human appreciation.

I’ll admit I look rather sinister in that photo, but a funny kind of sinister. I have a twisted sense of humour so it suits me. I use humour as a cure-all for the havoc, pain and general unexpected shenanigans of life which could bury me under seriousness.

In my mind it’s never too soon… but sometimes it is too soon to share the humour. So I don’t. I keep it to myself and think I’m hilarious, and am very relieved that I am because otherwise I’d have killed myself a long time ago.

I am an agent of chaos.

Others experience me this way, and can often be seen running for their lives making the sign of the cross with their fingers hoping that’ll keep me at bay. Am I exaggerating? Probably… not.

I definitely experience myself that way, but I can’t run away from myself and making the sign of the cross with my fingers does not keep me at bay, it actually encourages me to challenge myself, for the naughty devil in me to poke, prod and mercilessly tickle the prudish side until I break its self-seriousness.

I’m very gaff, social faux-pas, foot in mouth, prat-falling prone. I always have been. I tried to control and censor it and it only made things worse, and digging a hole to hide in because the earth refuses to open up and swallow you is hard work, so I eventually did what I always do – Took the lazy option/solution and flipped what seemed like a negative around and made it into what seems like a positive. I turned a disability into an ability and empowered myself.

Feel free to try and pop my delusional bubble – it’s reinforced so you’ll need a bigger and sharper pin than the one you’re holding right now. However I might let you pop it if it’s worth the laugh!

I embarrass myself on a regular basis, often deliberately. She who laughs first creates a contagious virus to spread through all those exposed to it. Laugh with me, laugh at me… just laugh, it’s healthy, free and fun.

centaur of attention - gemma correll

Gemma Correll (fantastic website… and genius)

So, when was the last time I embarrassed myself? More to the point, when was the last time I didn’t!?!

I think the first time I realised that something which I did that was embarrassing could be beneficial for me was…

When I was 6 years old at boarding school. I was the youngest boarder and a freak in so many ways. I didn’t fit in… and still don’t.

I peed myself in the middle of history class. Not just a small pee type of wetting myself which may or may not have been noticed by others and only embarrassed me in my mind. No, no… why would I do anything as simple and subtle as that!?! It was a long pee which flowed and flowed in an almost never-ending way – you know the kind of pee I’m talking about.

The run up to this incident was very basic me-logic which is how my disasters usually start.

I had ballet class after history and my ballet teacher was a scary woman, she was strict in a way which made her an evil witch to a small child. She could turn me into a toad for being a few seconds late to class. So… since changing after history class from my uniform into ballet clothes required trying to get back to my room through a maze of corridors, then change, then maze of corridors all the way to the other side of the school… which invariably made me late and exposed to being turned into a toad…

I concocted a cunning plan Baldrick (Blackadder) style.

I decided to wear my leotard and ballet tights under my uniform, that way I could do a quick Superman change after history and arrive on time to ballet class.

It was a good plan. Except I didn’t factor in the possibility that my body might need to function in other ways. Pee was not included. Peeing was not an option. Pee decided to make plans of its own.

My history teacher and classmates were wonderful and I came out of that experience not feeling all that embarrassed about it. A bit but recoverable and no need for excessive cringing and letting out audible groans at the memory.

I learned a lot in history class that day, such as – You can get away with a lot of shit (pee) when you’re the freaky baby of the group. And people can be very lovely.

Ballet class taught me something else about people, something I already knew, so it confirmed it – some people aren’t worth the lengths you go to please them.
My ballet teacher made me do the entire ballet class in pee sodden leotard and tights… but at least I wasn’t late to her class and she didn’t turn me into a toad.

That’s all folks!

johnny depp quote