Verbal failure…

with one comment

I have come to the realisation that I don’t react well verbally under pressure. 

I notice this during arguments, or when shaken out silent contemplation on the tube by a question from a stranger, when I’m likely to spout something completely inappropriate and sometime incomprehensible.  Just because I feel under pressure to perform.

I think this failure in my verbal capacity can be best demonstrated by something that happened around 7 years ago while out celebrating my 20th birthday at a comedy club in central London. 

Imagine the scene:  Smokey comedy club, low ceiling, around 60 people filling the room.  The compere is a short fat man, bit aggressive (in my favour, he isn’t very funny).  I’m a bit squiffy, just turned 20 and a bit shy in front of a crowd.  And my so called friends have just pointed me out to the compere as celebrating my birthday.

Compere:  Hey!  Birthday Girl!  So it’s your birthday then? 

Me: [going red] Er…yes it is

Compere:  These your friends with you?  That your boyfriend next to you?

Me:  Um…yes these are my friends, but no…er…this isn’t my boyfriend 

Compere:  No?  Do you have a boyfriend?

Me:  …er…yes, but he’s not here this evening, he’s working

Compere:  And what does he do?

Me:  …um…He’s a policeman*

Compere:  Way-hey!  A Policeman eh?  Got a big truncheon! Eh?  EH?

[sniggers around the room]

Me:  Um…

Compere:  So, birthday girl if I was the last man on earth, and you were the last woman…would you?

Me:  NO! [a tad too forcefully]

Compere:  [mocks hurt] Why not?

Me:  Um….

Compere:  Come on Birthday Girl…I’m the last man…your the last woman….

Me:  [feeling the pressure]Um….look – I’ve had my tubes tied OK? 

[confused silence]

Compere:  Right…OK [quickly moves on]

[Later that night, I’m in the toilets – a woman comes up to me while I am washing my hands]

Woman:  Ooooh which birthday is it?

Me:  20

Woman:  20?  Wow that’s pretty young to have your tubes tied isn’t it


The point is, I have never had my ‘tubes tied’, and to this day I have no idea why I said that I had. 

Proof, I feel, that I just do not operate well under pressure – at least verbally. 

*I did ditch the policeman boyfriend


Written by Lores

April 14, 2009 at 9:29 pm

One Response

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  1. What can I say… except “ouchie”. Wincing as I read it 🙂

    Cue lots of bad jokes about ‘performing badly under pressure’…


    April 14, 2009 at 11:52 pm

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