Epic fails are funny. Seeing people fall is hilarious. You might utter an ouch, but you will laugh. Some twisted gene in humans force us to laugh at the expense of our fellow man. To be defined as an epic fail, the incident has to be so spectacular that you need to tell everyone who has ears. Default inclusions into this category involve anything related to your mother-in-law falling. It’s those little moments in life that assures you God also has a sense of humour.
We were in Knysna a few years ago with my girlfriend’s family, whom later became my in-laws. This was when dinosaurs still roamed the earth. Knysna is South Africa’s own rainforest, situated on the Garden route in the Western Cape. It is unique due to the fact that a few elephants still roam free in parts of the forest.
It is really beautiful and the local tourist council created easy access for disabled tourists. They constructed raised, wooden decked pathways scattered along the side of the main road. You just park the car and then follow one of these walkways as it loops through the trees. You get a great feel for the forest, the wetness and the density. Just like the picture. But that is only half the story.
We visited there in August, which is one of the Southern hemisphere’s winter months. Winter in the Western parts of South Africa = fine continuous rain. Fine continuous rain = slippery walkways. Slippery walkways = Epic fail waiting to happen.
We were strolling along, the parents in front, and me and the girlfriend hanging back. To study nature and so on. 😉 As we were “reading” one of the “signs” pinned to a gigantic tree, Mr Fate tapped me on the shoulder, so I looked up and then witnessed one of the funniest moments of my life.
My soon to be Mother-in-Law was skipping down the wooden path. As I am writing this I still don’t know why she did it. The path had a slight decline and veered to the left about twenty metres down. Mom was picking up speed. She sees the turn and decides to slow down. Mother Nature can be a real bitch sometimes, all dressed in black S&M. Gravity is her whip that she uses to get you in submission.
Mother Nature had her whip on display on that fateful day. Mom tried everything humanly possible to reduce speed but momentum and wet wood was not helping. Needless to say, she didn’t make the turn but her feet slid out from underneath her and she landed “smack!” on her ass. She looked like a kid going down a half-pipe, without a skateboard. She was sitting there in the rain with her legs stretch out like a toddler.
Yes, it had to be extremely painful but nothing on earth could have prevented me from breaking out in hysterical laughter. I probably sounded like the wicked witch of the west. Birds flew up from the canopy freaked out by the sudden break of silence. I knew instinctively that I wouldn’t be able to help her due to my inability to walk, so I didn’t even bother. My girlfriend gave me “the look” and started running down the walkway towards her fallen mom. There was no use warning her. She had the speed, there was the slight left turn, there was momentum and good old Mother Nature… Yes she did.
I was left alone watching two females sitting side by side on a slippery deck. The fact that her daughter fell, probably eluded my mother as to just how funny her own fall actually was. So they cracked up. Two girls sitting giggling hysterically in the rain.
But I was dying, very slowly. I couldn’t breath, I was laughing so hard with no sound escaping my mouth. I think I was lying flat on the pathway at this point.
You might ask where dad was when all this happened. He was only a few metres in front of me, exactly where his wife left him, wiping the tears from his face on one knee. He looked up and we locked eyes, only for a moment but that was enough. We completely lost it again.
The wife and girlfriend did not speak to us for a while. They had to pick themselves up and each had this huge, big, wet patch on their butts. We. laughed. again.
The only regret was the video camera that was left in the car.