If you're feeling glum in quarantine and need a pick-me-up, I dare you to think of some of your most hilarious moments and then laugh – a deep-belly laugh – at yourself, after you’ve laughed at me, of course.
By Anneke Roux
This is the second lockdown update From Anneke. Read the first, Life Locked Down: Can an Extrovert Survive, here.
It’s time for some deep-belly laughter. At myself.
The second week of lockdown isn’t treating me well. The exercising is still going. I’m stronger and more flexible – weight loss can’t be mentioned because I’ve probably doubled my calorie intake (boredom makes me eat, okay). I’m not getting dressed though, so there goes my well-thought-out advice from the previous post. I’ve hit quite a low emotionally. Also, I’m writing this while watching the extended version of LOTR: The fellowship of the ring. It’s a brilliant movie, but it means I’m really bored.
Being down and bored can only be cured by one thing, laughter (I’ve tried alcohol, but being drunk alone is no fun). Since it’s just me… I’ll laugh at myself and my memories of the outside, pre-lockdown world, and I invite you to laugh with me, and maybe a bit at yourself too.
Have you ever fallen through a chair in front of 1400 teenagers with cellphones? No? Well, I have. You can laugh. It was my greatest moment of hilarity and maybe also the most traumatic… It was “Big Brag” before the Inter-school competition and all the teachers (myself included) were to walk over the ramp in our makeshift school uniforms, fun hey? The ramp had no steps, you had to step on a chair and then onto the ramp. I was dancing in line all excited because it was my first year at the school.
The teacher in front of me stepped on the chair and all was fine. It was my turn. Now, you may know I’m on the heavier side, but I am not that big. When my first leg was on the chair and the other lifted toward the ramp, I felt a crack and suddenly I was tumbling backwards with the chair stuck around my leg. I was on the ground, teenagers and teachers laughing all around me with my chair-leg in mid-air. After a few seconds, which honestly felt like years, I was up and dancing on stage again. Admittedly, I cried as soon as we were outside after the “show”.
I mentioned the phones right? I went viral. The many videos: beat-drop version, slow-motion version, zoom-in version etc. were sent back to me from other provinces. It was everywhere, at least people could laugh. Now I laugh about it too. I feel it is vital to mention here that the ramp got some steps after that incident and the teacher who was in front of me admitted the chair already cracked when she stepped on it, told you I wasn’t that big…
Since I was in primary school, I’ve had a habit of wearing an extra pair of panties over my pantyhose (so that lazy Anneke doesn’t have to pull them up constantly). I still wear pantyhose with dresses in winter, it does great things for my butt, legs and all the cellulite. I love them.
Anyway, back to the panties. One morning I wasn’t thinking (not a rare occurrence) and I continued with my ritual. On this particular morning I put on a lacy, bright green tanga. In retrospect, I realise that they would do absolutely nothing to hold up the pantyhose, but hey, I wasn’t thinking and now you can laugh.
I was going crazy in class teaching my kids about finite-verbs or something and then I touched my leg. I felt something strange. Lace. Lace shouldn’t be around my thighs. I stared into the faces in front of me. I saw no laughter, no disgust, no embarrassment, just confusion. The panties were not that low, yet. Slowly I reversed back to my chair… grabbed a blanket that someone had forgotten in class, threw it over my legs and continued teaching while seated with my undies chilling awkwardly around my thighs. When they left, I threw the pair of panties into my bag. Those panties have retired since.
I’ve tried to seem relatively respectable, but I feel I need to add at least one drunk story.
It was the year 2014 and I was in university. I went to an informal dance. My date was a good friend and danced well. When we walked in, we were given a “blikbeker” and a bottle of cheap red wine. It was lovely. I drank to keep up with my date – he was a big guy – and before I knew it my wine was finished, I had stolen someone else’s wine and had a few shots, everything that sober people at dances HATE.
I remember feeling very strongly that the DJ wasn’t playing enough Afrikaans sokkie-music and decided to make a plan (at this point the DJ had banned me from requesting songs – probably because I was the most irritating white girl there?). So obviously, I went to the first impressionable boy I cold find. My mission was to get him to request songs I like, so that I could dance with my date (please do not ask me where my date was at this point, I had already lost him.)
The boy was a first year and someone else’s date. I got my game on and flirted to the best of my abilities. I remember playing with his tie and the next memory is being on his lap… making out. I looked up and my date and his date were staring at us. I burst into tears and my date had to take me home. I made out (accidentally) with a first-year boy when I was a post-grad student. And now I’ve realised that I can be a horrible person, I’m so thankful for the growth that has happened over the past six years!
As a bonus I’ll tell you that my friends and I once reenacted the Gangnam Style music video at a culture evening with a men’s residence. It is on YouTube. It is hilarious. If you find it, enjoy. I also bought (yes, you read that correctly) a fifth year medical student at a fundraising auction and took him to a dance when I was in my first year. The fear I instilled in the other girls might’ve had something to do with me buying him for the cheap price of R200…
There are many more extreme stories like this, but there are also hilarious everyday moments; like baking a cake and then having it all fall over (quite sad at the moment, but hilarious when you think about it) or telling your class a story only to mis-pronounce the word “push”… It also includes situations where I’m eating food from a bin because I’m hungry and mine is stolen, or begging three girls to walk beside me to class and keep my dress down when the wind is feeling a bit flirty.
We all have moments like these… they can be traumatic, sad and cringe-worthy at first, but they do make for the best stories and biggest laughs.
If you’re feeling glum in quarantine and need a pick-me-up, I dare you to think of some of your most hilarious moments and then laugh – a deep-belly laugh – at yourself, after you’ve laughed at me, of course.
This story was written by a guest contributor, Anneke Roux. If you enjoyed reading about her experiences, follow her on Instagram at @rouxanneke. And if you’d like to become a contributor for Essential Millennial, please contact us and we’ll help you share your stories far and wide.