Earlier this month, I received what has to be the funniest book I’ve been given for a long time. Yes, it’s Miranda Hart’s book ‘Is it just me?’. You know, Miranda of BBC1 Friday night hilarity fame, ‘what I call’ a funny comedian.
Ridiculous amounts of laughter – no, tears – are having to be endured by my husband at bedtime this week. Not, I must add, at my latest negligée or even my bed socks, but at my raucous cackling and occasional crazy antic. Ask him about the surprise, unsolicited, forward roll in bed at 11pm… (oh no, you can’t ask him. Well, you’ll have to buy the book then – see p. 37)
Written as her ‘Miranda’ self, the book is essentially a memoir of her mishaps, misdemeanours and downright embarrassments as she struggles to get to grips with the real world after leaving boarding school. Her 18yr old self is the pivotal character who pops up throughout the book, quizzing her on her life choices aged 38.
Anyone who’s known me for more than 10 years will know why this kind of book tickles me like a feather duster. I can relate to far too many of her silly scrapes and awkward moments.
Are you ready? Here we go….
Well, there’s the time my hair caught fire thanks to a pub candle at lunchtime on the VERY FIRST DAY OF A PROPER GROWN UP JOB. Personally, I blame the L’Oreal mousse. This was still the 80s, you know.
And then the time I couldn’t turn the bath taps off in my hotel room on my VERY FIRST BUSINESS TRIP (sounds hilariously grown up and professional, but it was a cushy summer job where I had to accompany the relocation team in shutting down the regional offices, get paid to stay in hotels and do the odd bit of filing…). Result? For fear of drowning in the bathroom, I resorted to calling up the ‘bell boy’ to turn the blasted things off, forgetting to get dressed beforehand. Think I made his day, opening the door with nothing but a towel be-draped around the important parts.
Or the time I drove off in my pea-green mini with my sixth form A4 lever arch file sitting astride the roof of aforementioned mini. My “I’m so cool, I’m driving” confidence was abruptly shattered as I heard a thud behind me only 500 metres into my journey. Mr Bean looked quite normal in comparison. This became a life long habit, despite repeated swearing never to do such again. Lets just say that my purse, a coffee cup, a baby’s dummy and a cupcake are amongst the items that have not only suffered this fate, but successfully arrived at my destination unscathed. My baking friend who made the cupcake still dies with laughter everytime I mention the escapade.
Or setting off on that classic student rite-of-passage, Inter-railing, full of proud “I can conquer the world” independence, only to get as far as Victoria station central London to discover I’ve left my YHA membership card at home….call to mother, yes she WILL come up to Victoria and meet me asap with said membership card, and YES, this will be the last time. (For those of you reading this from abroad, I hasten to add Victoria station was a whole 25 miles from my home.) Picture my student friend Mike, sniggering in background, and wondering where he can make a fast exit before its too late…
Then there was the extremely embarrassing time when I confidently ordered a quarter of a pint of Guinness, after my so-called friends told me this was possible… they ended up laughing on the other side of their faces when they saw me return to the table with said beverage, and me wondering what the commotion was about. Just goes to show what you can get with a large portion of confidence.
Finally, if you have the stamina for more, my aptitude for forgetting my purse, the worst time being en route back to UEA in Norwich where i was studying for a Masters (yes, note, intelligence needed to pass this degree). After filling up at a petrol station half way, I realise I have left said purse at home, 50 miles away…
The list goes on….at least, until I had children. Funny how they dispel the ‘dizzyness’ out of any sensible girl.
So, no, Miranda, it certainly isn’t just you….