My life turned into a joke at the weekend – literally!
We’ve all heard that old gag about the person being in a public toilet cubicle and the person in the next cubicle says “Hello?”
And the gag teller replies with ‘Hello’ and starts conversing with the other cubicle dweller only to be talked over, as it turns out other cubicle dweller is on the phone.
Well there was me at the weekend having to quickly and unexpectedly use a public convenience.
There was I, sitting, all systems operating, so to speak, when I discovered there was no toilet paper in the holder!
EEEEK! I was definitely in a bit of a pickle.
Then I heard someone take up residence in the next cubicle! Brilliant! Saved!
I enquired with a hesitant but loud enough “Hello?”
My voice echoed off the 1970s tiling.
I repeated “Hello?” this time a bit louder.
I thought “Bitch is ignoring me”.
And then a few seconds later came the sound I longed to hear as she said “Hello?”
Relief flooded over me and with thankfulness I said “Oh hi, do you have any toilet paper in that cubicle you can spare?”
But the end of my sentence was cut off as she said “Hi, yeh, I’m here, I’m just in the toilet, I’ll meet you at Coles in a minute.” into her phone, and continued to have a full blown conversation while sitting on the potty!
There I was, totally alone, no handbag (and resultant residue of tissues and receipts that may have come in handy) and no idea of how to get out of the situation.
Let’s just say that I’m now intimate with the number and quality of layers of paper it takes to make up a loo roll tube.
The difference between this event being a disaster and an amusing anecdote is mindset. Over the years I’ve trained my mind to look for the humour in everything as I scan life for material in writing and performing stand-up comedy, but the by-product is the discovery of how wonderful a humorous re-frame of life can be in coping with life’s lumps and bumps.
Both laughter and tears are responses to stressful situations – they each release tension in either one way or another. If we choose to respond in tears and sadness it closes down our options and leaves us without choice, a victim of circumstance.
If we choose laughter (which can also involve tears, but of a different kind) it takes away the power the situation may have had over us, we keep our sovereignty of life and we retain the ability to make positive choices in how to get under, over, past or through the situation with significantly less stress and sadness.
And that includes being stuck in a ‘situation’ in a toilet cubicle with no toilet paper. I felt a bit like Indiana Jones in that cubicle. I thought, ‘what would Indy do?’ And you can bet I was also thinking “Possible comedy material!” – after all, most comedy is born out of someone else’s pain!
So, after all that, I have one question for you;
Do you fold, scrunch… or scrape?
I conduct courses and workshops teaching how to speak with influence and authority, and to develop your powers of humour and comedy for pleasure, public speaking and life coping skills.
The next Comedy Course for Beginners starts in Adelaide on 15 October – email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for details
The next workshop The Power of Comedy in Business will take place in Melbourne on 25 October – for details click this link