If you are regular here on the blog, you must have read when I told you guys we attended a family retreat at the beginning of this year. What I didn’t tell you guys is the epic performance Mr N and I put up during that retreat.
The retreat was an experience like no other. Since we came to America, we have never attended anything like that. We packed our bags and left our little home for a two-hour drive to the neighbouring state, Wisconsin. The retreat center is located in a forest – literally. So after passing through the woods we arrived at the rugged building, which was so warm and welcoming on the inside.
Our family pastor showed us to our room then we settled in and had dinner with the other Jesus-loving families at 6 pm. The retreat was on and it was fun. It was characterised by family chapel times, connecting with other families and food- lots of food.
But these are not the things that led to embarrassment.com. On day 2 of the programme, we were told that it would be a “Talent Night”. I was so looking forward to what others will present but I didn’t plan on presenting anything. This is how it worked: you write your name on a provided form and write out the talent you would like to present to other Jesus-loving families.
It reminded me of my campus fellowship days when we used to go on stage and do all sorts of things in the name of talent. One time, I even presented rap (hahaha!) But that’s totally a story for another day.
So I didn’t want to participate in the talent night. Not at all. When the time came, I was there to watch, eat popcorn and have fun. Ha. But the lady who was the host of the night set me up. At some point during the night, she announced:
“If you know you are SUPER TALENTED! but you didn’t write your name on the list of performers there’s still a chance for you to write your name.”
These are the words that changed my destiny. After she said these words, I suddenly remembered how super talented I am. I remembered how I used to go on stage and make people laugh back in the day. Then I thought, maybe, just maybe I could recreate on of my scenes of the past.
To make matters worse, a chubby man went on stage and performed an epic dance that was so funny. So I felt like I was in a safe place where one could commit any kind of folly and get away with it.
I turned to Mr N who was sitting by me and whispered, “There is this sketch I used to perform in church. I go on stage, pretend there’s something at the back of the church that is funny and I start laughing. Someone else comes on stage to ask me what the matter is. I point to the back of the building and the person starts laughing with me. Do you think we can do it?”
Like every loving husband would do, Mr N answered in the affirmative.
“We can do it,” He said.
Now I wish he had said no.
You see, each time I performed this sketch back home, I would make the audience laugh so much that brethren will have tears in their eyes. But on this day, it was a totally different scenario.
So it came to pass on that day in the retreat center in the far away forest of Wisconsin that the host of the night, a lady with a baby-ish voice stood up and announced that I, Precious had a talent to showcase,. I cat-walked to the stage where I said a quick good evening to the audience. I then looked up and pretended there was something at the back of the hall then I started laughing hysterically.
Remember, the intention was to make them laugh for nothing. I laughed.
No one laughed with me.
Mr N joined me and pretended to ask me what was going on. I pointed to the imaginary laughter-inducing thing at the back of the hall, hoping that my audience will look back to see. No one looked back.
Then he joined me and started laughing. WE LAUGHED.
And no one laughed with us.
The more we laughed, the more the audience looked at us with surprised faces. Not even my hitting and shaking of my head could make them laugh. I heard someone say in the crowd,
“What the hell are they laughing at???”
That’s when I knew the show was over. I carried myself and disappeared from the stage. Mr N followed me. And the audience clapped for us. But mehn, I knew the clapping was just a consolatory round of applause. I felt so embarrassed that I started quoting motivational quotes to myself.
Mr. N and I have not talked about it till this day.
Lesson learnt: the joke that worked in Africa may not work in America.