I was a chubby kid.
And I loved it.
Well, I loved my childhood. I didn’t exactly dwell on the chubbiness too much.
Though once in a while, I’d look in the mirror, clutch a love handle, then walk curiously to my mother and ask if I was fat.
“No, lollipop,” [my mom called me that] she would say. “You’re fit!”
That was all I needed. I wouldn’t even second-guess it.
Anyway, this story from the awkward childhood series isn’t exactly about my weight issues. It’s about an embarrassing situation that reared its head among strangers. A moment of involuntary craziness that seeped to the surface in the most unlikely of settings.
There we sat, my mother and I, visitors to a congregation in downtown Johannesburg. I knew no one there.
We arrived on time and sat close to the door, which was towards the back of the building. The service started and there was singing, general merriness and then the preaching. Church stuff.
The next thing I remember is seeing virtually the entire congregation turning in their seats and looking straight at me.
Why. In. The. World? Why was everyone staring?
I glanced at my mother, who was curled up in silent fits of laughter with tears streaking down beneath her spectacles.
That’s when it clicked.
Something was funny. And I had just burst out laughing – but it had nothing to do with what was being said on the pulpit.
I dozed during the sermon, landed in a dream which must have been funny and cracked up pretty loud. Hence the strange faces with puzzled expressions that greeted my waking moment.
“Whose child is this?” They must’ve thought. This-darn-kid-rocking-up-here-and-laughing-at-the-preacher kind of thing.
I remember the rest of the service pretty well. Didn’t blink one bit.
That wraps up this edition of the Awkward Childhood series.
On the performance front, we finally perform Hanamichi tomorrow. Looking forward to it and hoping it all goes well.