I didn’t intend to write anything today but with a topic like bloopers, I am spoiled for choice. Having read about the unfortunate happenings in Laura McInerney’s top drawer, I am reminded of numerous spectacular errors.

The first relates to spectacles, in fact. It is slightly cheating, this one, as it actually took place when I was doing a youth work project.

As many of you who wear glasses will know, swimming is problematic and often requires a hard decision. I could take them off and make do with no medium to long distance vision. Alternatively, I could keep the glasses on, and float around looking like a drowned accountant. I chose the first option.

The kids were running wild and having fun, which was fine when they were within 10 feet of me, but outside of that little ocular cocoon, everything was just Aqua and skin. Seeing my kids having such great time on the flume earlier on, I splashed my way over to them, like a horrible hairy Halle Berry, shouting “Come on girls, let’s go on the slide again!”

As I ambled closer, I saw not only their growing alarm, but also the fact that the kids were not part of my group.

So that was awful.

On the same day, in fact, and in that same pool, one of the older boys in our group – definitely one of ours, this time – took exception to a group of older teenagers. The kid I was responsible for was 13 and runtish. The group of droogs looked like they could and would punch through steel. The kid decided to say something bluntly offensive to these lads, and a fight ensued.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am the last person you would ever bet on to win a fight, but out of duty, I waded in. The fight, all taking place in the pool, I add, drifted. The scrappers were grappling and I and one of the other volunteers were attempting to prise them apart.

The fight drifted, dramatically into the torrents of the River Rapids section, yet the fight continued. What happens then was this stupendous and farcical scene of a group of loud, angry, wrestling young people being carried around a plastic tropical island by a wave machine. I think the Vengaboys were playing, but that may be a false memory. The instructors didn’t believe that we were responsible adults and we were all kicked out of the baths.

I shall finish with a teacher blooper, which must be heavily anonymised and sanitised, and will as such rely on euphemism and your imagination. I cannot be blamed for what you infer, right. I need to be subtle…

Several years ago, on a fateful Friday, some colleagues and I had been celebrating at a kind of party with juice and crisps and we engaged in merriment. As sometimes happens, some of the group engaged in too much merriment and had too many crisps and juices. Sometimes I accidentally get silly. This time I got so silly and I was being so silly that the big nice bald man with tattooed hands who worked there scooped me up in the juice-place and placed me out onto the street. My friends called me a taxi. Such fun.

When the taxi driver pulled up, even though I was really merry and silly, I recognised him. From the parents evening the night before…


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