Banana pratfall

Around about 20 years ago my brother-in-law (Ken), his wife (Ann), my wife (Ann) and myself (Tony) were walking the quarter of a mile from his house to the pub. He lives in the country outside the village of Pluckley in Kent and that evening there was no moon and it was pitch dark. It was so dark with trees on either side that we had trouble seeing where we were on the road. Ken, my brother-in-law and I were walking side by side having a discussion about comic scenes we had enjoyed on TV and films and what made them funny. I was just getting into trying for a generalization as to why we find things funny and why humour is unique to human beings. I was using the example of the posh gent in the silent movie who unexpectedly falls over on his backside as the result of stepping on a banana skin and suffers a catastrophic loss of dignity when I slipped on something and fell in exactly that manner, quite literally at the moment of describing the banana pratfall. I was shaken but unhurt apart from a slightly bruised backside. However I wanted to know what I had slipped on so we looked carefully at the road (remember it was incredibly dark) and found- a banana skin. Which, presumably someone had thrown out of a car window. I have often re-told this story and wondered at the odds of this happening. I suppose I need to add that their road, at that time, only had a couple of houses and a farm on it and was very little used and in all the years we have walked on it (Ken has lived there over thirty years) I cannot remember seeing anything laying on the road apart from tree branches. Just as an aside; I have since seen the Woody Allen film (I forget the title) in which he drives his VW through the streets of New York philosophising at length on comedy and the human predicament only to step out of his car into a hole in the road. I had a moment of complete empathy remembering my banana skin episode.
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Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:00:10 +0000Coincidence ID:3595