Becky says things about … falling over

Some people have their daily routines – buying a morning coffee, reading a paper in the park, cutting their egg sandwich into eighths, killing kittens – and I have mine. I fall over. Daily. It has become so normal that I swear sometimes I don’t even notice.

We all fall over – that’s a fact. But the laws of Maths and Science and gravity determine that most people don’t fall over more often than they fall over. For example, if Bob fell over on Monday 1st January, then he’d probably have a month to two months of safe movement before he fell over again. Whereas if I fell over on Monday 1st January, then I’d also probably fall over on Tuesday 2nd January, and Wednesday 3rd January, and so on and so on. It is quite exhausting.

I have fallen over in every way possible. The Casually Walking Along Fall, the Down Some Stairs Fall, the Up Some Stairs Fall, the Out Running Fall, the In Private Fall, the In Public Fall, the How the Hell Did You Fall Over That Fall. It’s downright tedious. When I am old and grey, I shall look back on my life and realise, with a pained sigh, that I spent most of my life scraping myself off various surfaces.

So, in case you can’t believe that a reasonably able-bodied person can be an oaf of phenomenal proportions, here are my top four falls of all time.

4th Place: The 71 Bus     –     Age: 27

After a heavy rainshower one summer’s day, the sun came out and I decided to go for a walk. So I put on my flip flops, and flip flopped on my way. I crossed the road round the corner from home, stepped gingerly onto the very, very slightly-inclined bit of pavement, slipped on the wet  concrete, and fell on my face, right in front of the packed 71 bus that was at that moment driving past. I can only hope that my shame and pain caused them mirth.


3rd Place: The Staircase    –    Age: 25

Falling up the stairs is particularly pointless. It is embarrassing, often painful, always a shock, and it makes you wary of these essential everyday house mountains. Most people have a bit of a trip – the unlucky ones might bash their chin, or bite clean through their tongue and have to spend the rest of their life with an artificial tongue made of rubber – then carry on their way. When I fell up our stairs, on my way to perform a perfunctory housekeeping task in the bathroom, I slid down a couple of steps. I picked myself up, and carried on up. I slid down a couple of steps again. I picked myself up, and carried on up. I slid down a couple of steps again. This happened a total of four times. It took me approximately four and a half hours to reach the top, by which time I was in no mood for cleaning the toilet.

2nd Place: The School Stairs   –   Age: 14

One of the corridors in my secondary school had a staircase that had a deep-set windowsill at the top. Many an adventurous young maiden would leap off the top step, swing off the windowsill, and land deftly on her feet a few stairs down, then continue on her way. I had done this many times without incident or scrape. I was intrepid. I watched Gladiators. I knew what I was doing.

One afternoon my best friend and I were late for class and were casually strolling through the empty corridor. We turned the corner. There were the stairs. There was the windowsill. You’re mine, I thought. I’ve had you before and I’ll have you again. I swung my bag over my shoulder, took a leap with the agility of a springbok, reached, reached for that windowsill, and missed. Nowhere near. Nope. Nothing. Flew through the air, crashed to the stairs, and rolled all the way down to the bottom where I lay for a good few seconds, not quite believing that I was inhabiting a body that was quite so stupid.

1st Place The Pub    –    Age: 19

Forget everything you thought you knew about falling over. This is the fall that changed the landscape of falling over forever.

It was summer. Euro 2004 was on. My friends and I were in The Kingston Mill pub. England were playing. It was packed.

Here is an illustrative map to demonstrate the layout:


It was two minutes before the end of the second half. I needed the toilet. I assessed the situation from our table: there were people sitting in front of the big screen: I would have to niftily step over them in order to reach the stairs on the other side. That’s fine, I could do that.

One minute to go. I prepared. I thought Go, now, before half time begins and all the girls rush to the toilets.

I got up. Stepped over to the screen. The huge screen at which about 200 people were staring. I stepped right in front of the screen with an apologetic smile to the 200 people whose view I was currently blocking. There was a pair of legs in front of me. It’s okay: I had prepared for this.

So in front of the screen, in front of the football, in front of 200 people who were, at that moment, looking right at me, I took a little leap, like a sprightly rabbit, perfectly cleared the legs, landed in a puddle of beer, my feet whipped from under me, and I fell right on my bum. In a puddle of beer, in front of a pub full of people.


There was a split second of total silence as the stunned pub digested the fact that possibly the best thing that could ever happen had happened, and then there was the roar and the chants of ‘SHE FELL OVER!’, and there was literally nothing I could do, but stand up, smile, give a cheerful wave to my adoring fans, and continue my way to the toilet, where I stood in front of the mirror and shook my head at myself for about ten minutes.

So there you are. A comprehensive illustration of how one reasonably intelligent person can make a monumental knob of herself on a regular basis.

Be safe out there – you just don’t know when your time will come…

73 thoughts on “Becky says things about … falling over

  1. This had me crying with laughter. I don’t like to laugh at people falling down because I know they feel mortified, but I feel I can laugh at your past falls because of your brilliant drawings.

    1. So in essence you are saying that you are laughing at the IDEA and the THEORY of me falling over, not actually at the reality of me falling over…. very tactful and diplomatic of you, I appreciate it 🙂

  2. I swear, your drawings just keep getting better and better. It sucks you’ve been humiliated so many times in public but just think, if you were more “balanced” you wouldn’t be able to share these hilarious stories with us. 😆

  3. Reblogged this on Speaker7 and commented:
    The artistry Becky uses to convey her frequent acts of face-planting in public is beyond amazing, but then you read the words she writes and you laugh so hard, you fall down and likely get run over by a bus. So be careful because I love you all so much. And please follow this blog because it is that good.

  4. Hope you don’t mind, but I reblogged this and wrote:
    The artistry Becky uses to convey her frequent acts of face-planting in public is beyond amazing, but then you read the words she writes and you laugh so hard, you fall down and likely get run over by a bus. So be careful because I love you all so much. And please follow this blog because it is that good.

    1. Speaker 7, you are beyond beautiful. I am utterly privileged to even be noticed by such a comic genius as yourself (I have read all your Fifty Shades recraps at least three times over, and I want to marry them). Thank you so much for this, I am completely and totally and soul-absorbingly grateful. 🙂

  5. Becky,
    You’ve been highly recommended by Speaker 7. I would have performance issues myself after such references…
    Le Clown

    1. Although that wasn’t my first thought upon landing in said beer (my first thought was ‘F**K’), I later considered myself very fortunate that I hadn’t landed in a steaming puddle of urine, because that would seriously have taken the biscuit.

  6. Speaker7 was right. This was hilarious. I feel a smidge guilty laughing at your many falls, but then I did slip and roll down the side of a mountain, so it’s more like I’m laughing with you not at you.

    1. Well then you can join my club. If anything, you can be the club leader because while I have slipped and fallen down many flights of stairs, kerbs, and slight declines, I have never tumbled down a mountain, so you can have the crown. Congratulations!
      P.S. Thank you very much for reading 🙂

  7. The story of falls just TRIP off your tongue. Newton proved the laws of motion years ago. Did you notice the start of the fall starts in what appears to be slow motion but the last couple of feet come very quickly and bloody hurt

    1. Nice to meet you too, Susan! Glad you liked it – and I’m also glad to hear that other people fall over too, albeit perhaps not in quite so ridiculous a fashion. Thanks for reading!

  8. I do what Speaker7 tells me, and this time I’m glad I did.

    “House mountains!” Brilliant! I suggest a moratorium on flip flops for you, missy!

    Do you ever hurt yourself doing this…you know, besides mental embarrassment anguish? Our family room connects to the kitchen by two of the most slippery stairs in the history of house construction. Before I instituted a slippers rule, I slipped down these stairs and fell specularly hard, landing on my hip in front of my husband and my visiting mother (who clapped) and had a huge rainbow-colored bruise for my effort. It hurt to sit down for at least a week.

    1. Hah! Somehow falling over, even in the most awful of ways, is made better by being applauded. Was it a genuine ‘Oh, that was lovely dear!’ clap, or a slow, sarcastic ‘You absolute twonk’ clap?
      And yes I do hurt myself. Which reminds me of a fall I forgot to mention. I was dancing round my dad’s study one day when I was about 21, went to do a flying-sit down on his desk chair, missed, and landed on one of the wheel legs. My left buttock was unbelievably purple for a good few days. Such is life.
      P.S. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      1. I’d like to believe if I’d appeared to be life-threatening injured, she wouldn’t have clapped, but you never know with her. She’s a nurse, so she’s seriously unconcerned by most illness and injury. I think the clap was in appreciation of the entertainment value for her and also to let me know, “oh yes, I did see that (…you absolute twonk”). Twonk…nice word!

        Be careful!

  9. I kept alternating between laughing at your stories and cringing because they remind me of some of my own more memorable falls (I don’t want to brag, but I’m kind of a master of the casually-walking-along fall).

    1. That’s one of the most pathetically embarrassing falls, but easily styled-out if you’re a pro, by turning it into a little run. That’s if it’s a trip, of course. If it’s a full blown flat-on-your-face fall, you’re buggered. 🙂

  10. SO glad I’m not alone! I have a theory that gravity operates differently on some of us that on others… 😉

      1. My husband “explains” me to people (usually after a face-plant) by telling them I perform random gravity checks… 😉

  11. Your art is truly inspirational. The blood trails are a nice touch. I once fell down the stairs at college and bounced a few times on the way down. Luckily, I landed on cushioning. Unluckily, there were several male college students laughing their butts off. Chivalry is clearly still alive and well.

    I’ve also fallen with children. Once I fell over backwards but held the baby up and she was fine. I was not so fine. My four year old just stood there looking at me like, seriously? I think the baby looked at me like that too.

    1. Oh God, I’ve fallen over with a child as well, except I fell ONto the child. Christ. All these comments that people are making keep reminding of other falls that I’d forgotten about…. Sigh.
      People laughing their butts off at falls are very commonplace. I don’t know what’s worse though, really: falling over in public and acknowledging your stupidity with others, or falling over in private and having no one on which to offload your ridiculousness….

  12. I have fallen up the stairs before. In front of a man on our first date. I was trying to be all coy and cute and then…slam! It’s okay, though, because later he spit in my face while being a bit too enthusiastic about the letter /p/.

    I don’t often literally laugh out loud when reading stuff on the internets, but I was giggling uncontrollably at this post. Good times!

  13. I’ve had my fair share of falls. I’ll spare you the details, but my physical ineptitude HAS forced me to invent ways to make the falling look intentional and/or like I wasn’t falling at all. My favorite is the one where I catch myself before actually hitting the ground and just keep stumbling forward in a oh-you-know-I-just-decided-to-start-running way.

  14. Your art is standalone hilarious! And your words too, of course.
    Gravity is my best pal too. I think the worst part of the fall, before all the pain, is the time for which you keep falling. It gives people a lot more time to stop what they’re doing. I had a fall down a fresh-from-rain-muddy slope in a train station in India. I could see my fall-viewership increase as I sloped down helplessly. At the base of the slope, people were actually tired of laughing hard. It was that freaking long.

    1. Hahahahaha this has cracked me up! Your fall-viewership had actually become bored with your fall by the time you had finished falling? That’s amazing. So you were left at the bottom with not only pain and humiliation, but silence. HAH. Sorry to laugh at your pain, but that really has amused me. I’ll be chuckling about that for the rest of the day! Thank you! 🙂

  15. Oh my God this was fantastic. I don’t often fall but I have similar mortifying things that occur in public. All very random and seemingly unrelated. Like making eight strangers stand in line behind me for 15 minutes for what I assumed was a single stall bathroom in use only to find, after one woman finally checked if the door was locked, that it was a multi-stall bathroom that was empty. We don’t choose the incidents; they choose us.

    The artificial rubber tongue part was my favorite!

    Thank you to Speaker7 for sending me your way! I love your writing and drawings.

    1. I have done exactly the same thing! I was at the front of a queue and assumed (rule number one: assume nothing) that there was one cubicle and when I finally nudged the door I discovered a huge empty bathroom with about 20 toilets! I have never received such a huge collective evil look in my life. Thank you so much for reading and making me laugh 🙂

  16. Like many other people, I always do what Speaker7 tells me. And I’m so glad I came here. Now my random falls don’t seem quite so isolating. 🙂

    Although, despite the number of embarassing falls I’ve had — including one where I tipped the pram with my 6 week old son in it upside down — none of them quite compare to the incident when I was a teenager. I got off the packed school bus in a rush, realised I was getting off one stop too early, but didn’t want to embarass myself by turning and getting back on the bus. Instead, I turned to walk quickly away and ran face-first into a lamp post. Then fell over. While everyone on the bus watched, pointed and laughed.

  17. You should really meet up with my best friend, who has similiar problems. To demonstrate: While we were performing a play in School in front of ALL the parents, siblings and so forth and her time for entry came, she stepped up the side-stairs to the stage and dissappeared with a scream! Apparently she stepped beside a step and crashed right under the stage structure.
    But she does not just fall for nobody else falls, she actually crashes into very visible boulders and hurts herself with things that under-three-year olds are allowed to play with.
    She tried doing agility sports like Tae-Bo and climbing and I am now trying to convince her to do Yoga for a bit of body-control.

    1. Hah, your friend sounds amazing. Although if we ever met, our combined forces of clumsiness might shove the world off its axle or something, and we’d be blamed for the ensuing apocalypse. And I’ve tried Yoga – all I end up doing is falling over in a confined space in front of a static audience. It’s just not idea.
      P.S. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! 🙂

  18. Becky, everything you do is the best. You should fall more often so we get the chance to read more of your accounts of mirth, perfunctory tasks, and being a monumental knob!

    1. A monumental knob! That must be a phrase you don’t hear much in America. Do you use knob over there? If not, you should. It’s great.
      Look, I fall over more often than anyone in the world, so I don’t think I should fall over any more frequently, because I’d just die, and then you’d be sorry. But I shall continue to relate them to the world so you can laugh at my knobishness.
      P.S. Thank you 🙂

  19. Ahahaha, the last picture looks like you fell over then pissed yourself 😛

    I remember leaving the pub at aged 17, on the way back to college; I fell off the curb and sprained my ankle, then my friends had to carry me back to college because I couldn’t walk.

    Aside from the “not looking what I’m doing falling up the stairs”, I rarely fall over. Perhaps you were born without balance?

    1. Yes, that picture does indeed look like I pissed myself. That really would have taken the biscuit. I would probably still be in hiding.
      At least you college friends helped you – I’ve heard some terrible tales about so called ‘friends’ abandoning fall victims in their hour of need. Just count yourself lucky.

      1. Well yeah, at Leeds Festival that was standard, anyone that goes down is on their own. Glad that didn’t apply at college, my having to drag myself across a street in the middle of the day smelling of booze slowly towards college!

  20. I just wanted to say that I am so sorry you fall like that. I don’t fall as much, but I trip over my own feet and then I will trip over absolutely nothing. I get laughed at quite a bit, but after awhile the embarrassment of falling in front of people just disappears and all you can do is stand up and smile. 🙂

  21. Becky.

    I’m about a month late reading this post, but I’m busy procrastinating right now (I don’t get paid for reading this unfortunately). Anyway, I just wanted to say that this here blog is one of the most consistently hilarious, totally funny interwebs text sites I ever go to. Seriously. Funny. You’re a great writer. Keep it up.

    I hope the force of my compliment won’t knock you over. If it did, apologies.

    1. Wow that compliment just made me keel over! Thank you so much, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you saying that – my aim is to make people chuckle (and procrastinate) and if I’m doing that then I’m a happy bunny 🙂 Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. 🙂

  22. Well, I don’t know about all these sycophants – I for one am appalled at what you’re doing here… as if I didn’t have enough reasons for not doing anything useful, now I find you. Puff, foam, spleen.
    I shall be writing to my MP at once… in crayon… on some cardboard… I made into a hat for him… and drew flowers on…

  23. I totally understand this thing about falling the most embarassing falls ever! You get quickly on your feet and before realizing you are hurt, you look around to check how many people actually saw the embarassing moment! 😀

  24. My personal favourite, performed often,is the random roll of an ankle in the supermarket, usually caused by my inappropriate-for-shopping heels, whereupon I recover (usually before actually hitting the deck) and stare at a spot on the floor nodding as if everyone can see the imaginary grape skin that brought me undone.

    Laughed till I wheezed at this post.

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