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This is a question Out of my depth

As a schoolkid, I signed up for a public speaking contest purely as a ruse to meet girls. It haunts me still: in front of 300 people, I started to speak, dried up, stood there for what felt like half an hour staring at the floor and then slowly walked back to my seat. Oh, and the girl I liked laughed.

Have you ever been utterly, completely, devastatingly out of your depth?

(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 15:07)
Pages: Popular, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

So a few weeks ago, I was in class and two volunteers are asked for and, being a cocky little shite who believes she can do anything, I put my hand up - they laugh. and then write my name down. Without telling me anything. at all.

Turns out, I have just voluntered to dance behind a horse-drawn stagecoach at the Lord Mayors show in like three weeks, with only two rehearsals, one of these being on the morning of the actual procession...

To make matters worse, my wonderful old mother was phoned up to ask for my shirt size and, being blisfully ignorant and still remembering me when I was 12, orders a small one.... Also, I'm going to be the oldest person there, with a bunch of kiddies, in a shirt that's too small and to make matters even worse I can't dance, have no co-ordination and do not know my left from my right....

I'm planning to get thouroughly drunk beforehand so I don't remember the experience...
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 20:48, Reply)
Vitamin C
It's good for you, and in effervescent tablet form it can make a tasty drink. Sort of.

Then one day I was sitting at work, a bit bored, and decided it might be an idea not to use a glass of water, but to suck one instead. But that didn't get me out of my depth.

It was when I started chewing.

Kids, don't try this at home, try it in the office!
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 19:25, Reply)
Yes I have.
I joined B3TA.
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 17:53, Reply)
Twice in one night...
I was at the 18th birthday party of a friend in some bar out near the sea front somewhere (I think it was called 'Zoo' or some such). They made the error of having a special offer - Two drinks for the price of one (not too expensive) drink.
Being 17 and possessing neither taste nor sense, I proceeded to begin the heavy drinking (this at 7.30) with the order of two pints of lager and a double whisky for while I was waiting. This was repeated thrice before I felt the need to go home, whereupon I tried very unsuccessfully to boak horizontally into a litter bin outside the bar, upsetting the bouncers somewhat. Not so much out of my depth as drowned in booze...
Soon after this, in my pissed and blissfully unaware state I wandered off and caught the train home.
Two stops later, I began to feel decidedly... unwell, and had to get off the train again for some air. Unfortunately for me, while I was waiting for the next train to come along, some crazy old alcoholic dosser, uhm, 'befriended' me.
Which was mightily inconvenient.
Especially when it came time to get off the train and go home to the family.
The specimen had decided he'd found somewhere to sleep, and wasn't going to be brushed off too easily. So, having recovered a little, I thought I'd buy some time. I suggested we went for a drink at the pub next to the train station, and while I was there I'd escape somehow.
All the way to the pub I was shitting myself, this crazy bloody old derelict tagging along with me, and I was already way too fucked to go home and have them NOT know I was as pissed as a cranberry.
Got to the pub, and I had what can only be desribed as THE WORLD'S MOST BRILLIANT PLAN! Being courteous, I held the door open for the fella. He went inside, and (considering how drunk I was) gave him a good hard kick up the arse.
And then I ran away.
Like fuck.
(And yes I did get rumbled for the massive boozing...)

Apologies for length and girth, there's always too much.
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 16:35, Reply)
Just today...
...went to an ex-government car auction looking for a sensible, economical 4 cylinder sedan. Having attended one auction before (just the one...) - I'm a bit of an “expert”, or so I told my dear wife and friends.
"Ooh, that's one's nice and a bit below book value". So I bid on it and then a friend tells me that he didn't know I was after a V8. I wasn’t. Bluffed that I was just practising and heaved a sigh of relief when the car didn’t reach reserve anyway.
A little later and I see a sedan that’s okay and tell my wife “Yeah, I’ll bid on this just to test the reserve price”. “SOLD!!” says the auctioneer and I realise that he’s pointing at me. It took a minute to sink in…
End result was actually a very nice fully optioned low km sedan for about $5,000 less than book value, so I’m now regarded as very astute at bidding by my friends and more importantly by my wife, who may well “reward” me tonite.
Way out of my depth, but don’t tell anyone…ever...
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 16:08, Reply)
I did computing back when I was in high school. The school prided itself on it's computing facilities (hey, this was the 1980s). We'd write stuff in Turbo Pascal, and occassionally the school would flog our work on to other schools - programs to take student health data for education department surveys and the like.

It was the age of no-one failing, and in this spirit the sports carnival didn't have winners as such. Instead, everybody competing was allocated points based on their result. The school was broken up into about four teams, and the team with the most aggregate points won the day. The faster/higher/further you went, the more points you earned for your team.

Now, such a daft system obviously required computers to keep track of all the students and their times. Hello, senior computing class, can you write us a package? You bet we could.

We wrote two versions. One for marks/checking by the teacher. The second was what we compiled and ran on the day. Only a few small changes...

One of the perks of being on the coding team was we got to spend the day in a caravan on the side of the school oval, entering the times submitted by the various students. We also had control of the PA system, and had a cassette deck, so we also provided the musak. Cue lots of alternating ACDC and Rick Astley tracks.

We still had to compete in some events. As you crossed the finish line there would be a teacher chanting out times - you remembered the time as you crossed, and took it to the van for data processing.

Being nerds, we were pathetic at sports. Always had been. So, we'd taken the opportunity to, er, cheat the system. We'd altered the program to recognise our names, and "improve" our times by a couple of seconds, thus increasing the points for our teams.

Unfortunately, one of the features of the system was a series of reports on the top times recorded over the day. And for most of the day, us nerds sat at the top of the times for the 100m, and thus were destined to represent the school at the upcoming interschool carnival. And thanks to hourly reports, we bloody well knew it.

It was well into the afternoon before a few decent runners dropped us down the rankings. We were sweating bullets there for a while though.

Apologies for volume.
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 15:38, Reply)
when i lived in new york
me and a friend decided to go out on the town. After several TVRs (they were new then) and a bit wobbly, we ended the night in a really great bar off Union Square. The place closed and I was chatting to someone outside, not noticing where my mate had gone. She walks out with, well, whatever the plural is for Norweigan men. HUGE NORWEIGAN MEN. Like Vikings. 18 of them. God knows where she found them, it was a small bar. So then she bundles us into a taxi with them.

Where are we going, I ask.
To a party, she says.
Where is the party? I ask Huge Incomprehensible Scandinavian 1.
Newark, he says.
Riiight, I say. Who's party? I ask.
Ours, he says.
Okaay. Who's going? I ask.
Us, he says.
Just us, I ask.
Yes, he says.

Picture forms in mind: Two young women, the only ones, in a flat containing 18 HUGE MEN (accents and nationalities are irrelevant by this point), with a crate of beer, 40 minutes journey from both where we are right now and where I live. And no mobile phone.

aaaaa. never, been a situation like that before or since, was left floundering completely for a few minutes before sense kicked in.

Grab my friend at the nearest stop light, pull her out of the cab and deride her for her level of dumbness, cab drives off. Pher-yew. Call me paranoid, but I still don't feel that was wise....
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 14:57, Reply)
My first year of high school, i decided that i wanted to play the saxophone.
I barely knew how to put the thing together, let alone play it. Every thursday, i used to lug around what felt like a 10kg box on a 1/2 hour walk to my school.The only real reason that i started playing was so i could avoid having to go the 2 hour religious education classes. After about a year of convincing my teacher and my family that i could play, i was unknowingly put forward for the school recital. My task was to play "London Bridge Is Falling Down", so for the next week i was panicing. I figured out that i could play the song by writing the notes down in sequence, E,G,D and so on. So recital night comes and i was told that i was going to be part of a duet. The relief poured through me, so we were called onto the stage and i was greeted by about 300 parents that had come to see the recital. I tenderly placed my piece of paper on the stand and started to play. The first few notes went well, until i noticed that the other person wasn't playing with me. She was just stood there, looking at me. I looked back at the paper and could no longer read my writing, the notes had somehow re-aranged them selves. My playing had reduced itself to a note a second, kind of like a tooting sound. I looked out into the audience and i could see people shrinking into their seats, cringing. Thats the last thing i remember until my music teacher revived me with smelling salts. The saxophone is now rotting under my bed.
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 14:50, Reply)
Thank you
For years I've squirmed with embarrassment at the cringeworthy things I did at school. But, having read that dozens of you went through the same horrors, I feel a bit (only a bit) less of a freak.

1) "Tap dance."
Primary school (inevitably). For reasons best know to someone else, I decided to tell my music teacher that I could tap dance. I couldn't. I'd seen it on the telly. She then suggested I give a demonstration. After about 15 seconds of me red facedly flailing like a beetroot windmill, she told me to go and sit down with a tone of voice that still makes me shake.
"Class Twat" status achieved effortlessly.

2) "A Scottish Soldier"
Primary school: for some reason the teachers decided random children should do stuff in front of school assembly. Somehow the young Calgacus finds his stupid self in front of hundred of hostile eyes having volunteered - volunteered - to sing a song I'd only heard a few times on a tape: towit "A Scottish Soldier". On stage I got nervous and did what young boys do when they're nervous. Check their flies. In front of hundreds of people. The place erupted. Years of mockery followed. I forgot the words to the song. Forgot how to speak. Forgot how to walk.
"School Twat" status achieved effortlessly.

And it only got worse when I discovered girls...
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 14:00, Reply)
I used to be in a cover band
and we did Working Men's Clubs and whatnot. We had a monthly residency at the local Socialist Club, which was full of sweet old ladies and chain-smoking granddads. In between songs like 'Summer of 69' and 'Great Balls of Fire' I used to tell vaguely risque jokes, which always went down well. Until I told this one.

Paul McCartney: Kids, I've got some good news and some bad news. Which do you want first?

Kids: The bad news.

PM: Kids, your mum's died.

Kids: Oh no! What's the good news?

PM: Fucking steak for tea.

The tumbleweed blew across the stage. We lost the residency.
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 13:54, Reply)
Lies, lies, lies...
I was once given a gold medal by my Grandma which she had one at a local bowles match, I thought it might be a good idea to take it into primary school to show my friends and as they were all quite interested the story got some how muddled (I lied through my teeth), it went from my Gran and I both playing to just me triumphantly overcoming the odds and winning gold. At some point the Headmaster came over and saw the medal, snatched it and walked off, I assumed (never do this) that he had confiscated it because of my blatant lies, oh no.

So there we were in assembly, when he announced to us how we had a champion bowles player attending the school, oh shit.

I had to stand up and fabricate the whole thing, in front of my entire school and my sister as well who knew full well it was bullshit, as to how I'd won. I almost thought I'd got away with it until I mistakenly said the small white ball was a Jill instead of a Jack. I wanted the ground to swallow me.

Lesson learned.
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 13:50, Reply)
to cubber:
do you have a mirror in your kitchen?!
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 13:49, Reply)
My Struggle
Due to various complications at birth, I am completely unable to sing. I got sacked by my ex-school choir, and I regularly get mocked at music college for my lack of vocal talent.

It came as a shock, when at the age of 15, I was asked to audition for the lead role in a school musical. I auditioned, and was surprisingly successful in my endeavours. Sadly, when it came to the performances (which most of the town had come out to watch) I got nervous. My usual sub-par singing voice ended up sounding like mating warthogs - the audience weren't particularly appreciative.

Even to this day, almost 5 years on - I still can't understand why I was picked for the part.

This incident was hugely detrimental to my sex life.
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 13:47, Reply)
Interview from hell
I stupidly agreed to go to an interview the day after my 21st birthday. I woke up rather worse for wear on the morning of the interview in my mates house and gracefully stepped over the heaped bodies of my mates who were sleeping around the lounge. I managed to have a wash and get my clothes on in the kitchen, which was the best choice as the bathroom had been "decorated" with a load of curry from the night before.

Anyhoo, I turned up to the interview and things were going swimingly. I was proud of myself. Not only had I managed to get totally trolleyed the night before, but I'd woken up at the right time, got changed and washed and I was answering the questions with ease. Well.. everything WAS going well until one of the interview panel asked..

"I notice from your CV that it was your birthday yesterday"

"Yes", I reply, brimming with pride.

"That would probably explain why you only have one eyebrow and part of your hair is missing."

I almost shat myself. My brain completely stopped working and I went as red as a post box. It was my own fault for not using a mirror - I was so hungover I'd not even bothered. I managed to fumble may way through the rest of the interview, claiming I knew nothing of it - which was true, but they did not believe. They thought I was having a laugh and never gave me the job.

(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 12:07, Reply)
try athlon
the night before this year's london triathlon i bought a (required) wetsuit. not being one for pre-race instructions, i got all keen ad headed down to the front of the queue for the off. treading (for treading read taking on) water for ten minutes waiting for the starter's klaxon i quickly became out of my depth and got that sinking feeling. just when i thought things would improve with the signal to go, i couldn't and felt 100 or so co competitor's crashing over the top of me. that's roughly when i stopped breathing and had what was later described to me as a panic attack. don't get me wrong the images of me spewing up lumps of thames while resisting efforts to have oxygen force fed still make me chuckle but the memory of that moment where you realise that no-one is counting how many orange swimcaps are bobbing up and down in the water is a chilling one which wakes me in the middle of the night.

my thoughts go to the little old lady who stared at me and my bike for ages on the tube heading home before asking "where's your medal?" at roughly the same time as she realised maybe i didn't have one.

ahhh. bless.
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 8:20, Reply)
Back in primary school...
I decided to skip a health assembly by hiding in the toilets. I lost track of the time though and didn't come back to class until after lunch.

I then had to explain to my (extremely strict and uptight) teacher where I had been for the last four hours.

I said I was waiting for my mum. In the toilets.

Oh god.
(, Thu 21 Oct 2004, 7:28, Reply)
Wrong....so wrong
Being a lady i have a few tactics for getting men to buy me drink. One of these being pretenind im german/french.

oNe night out in glasgow i was trying it on with sum guy pretneing i was called Gertude and i was from germany. One thing leads to another and we ended up goinf out for 6 months with me having to pretend i was german and called gertrude. Cue being introduced to his mother (who coincidently was german) and having to recite standard grade german at her.

Mum ahhh wie heibt du Gertrude!!
mE: "Eh....ich bin...gut."
Mum: Wie kommst du?
Me: Il get me coat.....

Never heard from him again.....
(, Wed 20 Oct 2004, 23:30, Reply)
oooh bloody hell
i get so nervous i start throwing up. I myself had a public speaking thing once, I managed to control myself pretty much although i spilled my glass of water just before i was about to speak. I had to laugh, cause everyone was looking. But i could have crapped myself just as easily
(, Wed 20 Oct 2004, 23:26, Reply)
University Interview + Hangover = Rejection letter
For once this isnt a post that involves a french exam in junior school (theres alot of those).
So there i was in the car on my way to an open day at Aberystwth university, the previous night had been my mates 18th so i was drinking lots and as i remember eating birthday cake and garlic sauce. Needless to say the car journey was a long one (or at least it felt like it) so that didnt help.
Anyway we got there i felt shit and hoped we would just look around going ooooh look at the pretty buildings. What i didnt know was there was an interview with each prospective student, eek.
Nevertheless the interviewer asked alot of questions on advanced genetics, i sat blank faced mumbling occasionally.
Rejection letter followed soon thereafter
(, Wed 20 Oct 2004, 20:27, Reply)
Talent Show
Oh yes, I had forgotten...

In my last year of high school, I was approached to do a dramatic reading of some of my writings for an audience. There was to be a fund-raising talent show, and needed all the "talent" they could find.

Well, I decided to do something a little fun. I had written a first-person narrative from my grandmum's point of view, and thought it'd get a laugh if I did it in Grandmum garb.

Up on stage, dressed and acting like an old hypochondriac woman, I did my best to solicit a laugh from the audience. Instead, there was just an awkward, embarrassed silence. Someone in the audience started shouting something at me (I couldn't hear over the sound of my heart pumping blood behind my ears), and I realized my writing wasn't nearly as funny as it had been earlier that week.

Humiliated, this boy-in-a-dress slunk off-stage, where I learned that the fund-raiser wasn't for cancer (as I had believed), but to help pay for medical supplies for an elderly woman suffering from cancer. Everyone treated me horribly off-stage.

I ended up having to go back on and apologize to the audience, and explain that I didn't know exactly what we were raising funds for. In drag, sans silver wig.

(Same auditorium as the "Abstinence Lecture." I still hate that fucking place.)
(, Wed 20 Oct 2004, 20:18, Reply)
The Secret Door
One of the first things I do when moving to a new house is go into the loft and check out for any forgotten treasure and dead rats. Onetime I was crawling around and found another trap door! I got very excited with thoughts of a secret room full of stuff I could have. I couldn't open it and assumed it had been nailed down so I got me a crowbar and with lots of grunting and splintering wood managed to crack it open, only to see my neighbours staring up at me from their bedroom. :(
(, Wed 20 Oct 2004, 19:59, Reply)
Yay Abstinence
I went to a Catholic school, where we never really learned about sex - but abstinence was heavily lectured upon.

One day, the school held a guest speaker assembly in the auditorium. Towards the end, the female speaker came up with a really sickening rhyme about "Say no to sex," and received a lot of applause. I made a rude comment about it, which was overheard by a strict teacher.

Anyhow, this teacher insisted that - to make up for my rudeness - I ask a question during the speaker's Q&A session, right then and there. So I stood up, and didn't know quite what to say.

"Is it okay to have... you know, sex... if you don't want babies? ...But are married?" I asked, the first thing I could think of.

She laughed at me, and said, "What, do you plan on doing it twice during your whole life?"

I was out of my depth, and so I said, "I guess."

The whole high school laughed, and never forgot it. I never got laid for years after that.
(, Wed 20 Oct 2004, 19:54, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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