Falling Down: Methods and Procedures

:: gets out clipboard::

We’ve all done it, we’ve all witnessed it.

Falling Down in public

What are your procedures and methods for recovering from or indeed covering up your clumsiness?

The ol’, look-back-for-the-item-that-made-you-fall?

A witty retort like “have that removed?”

Bursting into a fun skip or trot, to pull off the idea that you meant to stumble?

Check the bottom of your shoes?

Cry? Laugh? Scream in horror?

How do YOU fall down, and how do you react to others falling down?

Do you call out gleefully: “WALK MUCH???”

Run to assist?

Think about it won’t you, and help others to recover from the most hideous of social blunders: falling down in public.
[sub]this has been a public service announcement by the SDMB Social Awareness Board[/sub]

I usually am the one running away after jarbabyj ‘falls’. I don’t actually fall in public myself.

Oh dear, this is a favourite pastime of my body. Something of which I have no control over, even sober.

My preferred method seems to be tripping or slipping on the pavement, and crashing to both knees, hands ready to hit the deck and handbag flipping around to smack the back of my head.

In the last year, I have trashed two pairs of trousers, once in Dublin and the second in New Orleans. For the record, I was sober in Dublin, the New Orleans experience was very, very late in the evening. Generally it takes around one to two weeks for the bruising to disappear.

My husband usually runs the other way, leaving me to sort myself out.

On the other hand, I am very sympathetic to fellow-tripees, and always help them to their feet.

Well I did it just last weekend and I didn’t like it much either.

Now I have a sprained rump and people only snicker when I complain about it. I know it sounds funny and I’m sure it might have been comical to watch butt it hurts dammit.

My GF falls down all the time in public. Every time she looks back at me and tries to get people to assume I caused it in some way, as opposed to the fact that she just tripped and fell.

Very quickly, I stand up and run while shouting, “Birds! Birds!”.

If a friend falls down, if there’s a member of the opposite sex around, I often say “You always did fall for the cute ones/redhead/tall women, etc.” It has even gotten friends two dates out of the experience.

If I fall, I try to think of something clever, like “Must be time to get the feet rotated.” Usually, I think of it about 4 seconds after it would no longer be funny to say it.

If it’s just a little trip, I do the “dart forward like I’m just going faster now” move.

Last big fall in public that I did, I fell getting off the bus, landing on hands and knees. Someone asked if I was OK. I got up, looked down at new beige slacks with holes torn in the knees, and blood soaking into the cloth. I grimaced, simply said, “Nope. Thanks.” and limped to the train station.

I have gone ass over teakettle about six times since the snow started this year.

I make sure to accompany every fall, no matter how minor, with much loud, creative cursing on the way down. Once I’m on the ground, it’s a matter of assessing how badly hurt I am–if I’m fine, then I hop up and carry on. If I’m hurt (which is almost always), I continue cussing until I get back on my feet and limp back to the car.

Keep in mind that this usually occurs sometime around 3:00 a.m., and on someone’s front porch. It’s a good thing I live in a college town, where having someone stumble around on your porch in the early morning isn’t completely out of the norm.

I’m a forward faller–rather surprising, considering that my butt should act like a big counterweight and pull me backwards–and my knees and shins are covered with huge bruises right now. Broke my wrist a few years ago; now I seem to have figured out how to transfer most of the impact to a particularly vulnerable spot in my upper back.

knocks on wood No more broken bones for me, thanks!

I try to send out herculean vibes that say NO ONE SAW THAT. IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE. I do not make eye contact. I get up and continue on my way as if NOTHING HAS HAPPENED HERE.

'Course, it’s a bit difficult when your big white knee is sticking out of the huge hole in your black pantyhose…

Feign death. Seriously. Make it look MUCH WORSE than it really is. People will stop to help you and they won’t laugh in front of you.

Oh, my husband falls comparatively often, since he’s a letter carrier (walking route) for the USPS, and the area he delivers in has a lot of houses with stairs out front - especially slippery, varnished wooden stairs with no traction strips. The town is also slow to plow and salt, so the roads are slippery to step onto as well. He tends to go down cursing in those cases.

The time he broke his ankle because of slipping on ice under unplowed snow in the street, he went down cursing, then finally got up after lying along the street a while, finished the relay of mail that he had because it didn’t feel that bad, and only after getting out of the truck again did his ankle really give way. He went to a customer’s house and called in the accident, only to find out that at least one person had phoned in a complaint about his language and being loud. No one went to see if he was OK when he was lying there in pain and semi-shock, and the caller to the post office didn’t mention his accident.

Usually breakdance for awhile and then continue on my way.

Having learnt to fall safely, when I fell racing for a train in Waterloo I rolled got straight back up, and smiled at the confused commuters who saw the event. I got to the train too :slight_smile:
It was strange how much clarity of thought I had when it happened, I knew where I was going to roll to, and that I wouldn’t hit anyone doing it, I even had time to decide which bag I was carrying contained stuff that wouldn’t be dammaged if it hit the ground and so rolled using the arm carrying that bag, whilst tucking the other bag safely into my body.
Cheers, Bippy

Once again the hamsters ate my post. You would have been impressed.

I usually do the forward-fall-on-knees thing, if I can. When I hit the ground, I usually utter a muttered curse word of the “f” variety. By the time I get back on my feet, my head has done an instant-replay and I’m giggling at what a big dork I probably just looked like.

Other than minor little stumbles or missed steps, I’ve only ever flat out fallen on my face in public one time.

I was walking to class with a friend, and we were going down a set of concrete stairs, surrounded by people. About half-way down my heel caught on a step and I fell, sprawled, rolled, and bumped my clumsy ass all the way to the bottom. People were staring, my skirt was around my waist, and my friend quickly knelt beside me and hissed “Act Hurt!”.

I burst out laughing instead. Then I decided to skip class and go home to watch The Price is Right.

I trip all the time in public. (It comes from being a total klutzoid.)

Generally, when I do the trip-and-catch-myself thing, I take a cue from my family’s cat and do what he does whenever someone sees him do something stupid (like run through the kitchen, lose traction on the linoleum and WHAM broadside into the dishwasher). The trick is, don’t look back and actually acknowledge you tripped, just continue on, shoulders back, head high, and ignore the snickers from around you.

It almost helps. :slight_smile:

I generally bow to the audience. Sometimes I tell them I’m there all week and suggest the veal. There’s no point in looking like a bit of an idiot.

I like to do the classic: look back and find what or who tripped you, then shake your head and laugh.

IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO LAUGH. Because then others know you’ve beaten them to the punch.