I've had so many Norman Wisdom Moments in my life that I should perhaps have joined the circus and made some money out of my talent.
The first one I remember clearly, although there were doubtless others beforehand, was when demonstrating a dramatic exit (from the house prefects' room at school) and sliding on the Victorian tiles in the hall, landing flat on my back. The housemistress's expression spoke volumes.
There was the occasion when a bus on which I was travelling along the Amalfi coast braked suddenly and I almost shot through the front window; thanks only my fellow passengers, I escaped that fate. That time I was hurrying for a train at Euston and my suitcase got caught at the bottom of the escalator, causing me to demonstrate (involuntarily) a rather splendid move seen at my Pilates studio, of which I didn't think I was capable. My flexibility astonished both myself and sundry passers-by.
Anyway, you get the picture. I haven't yet invested in an ill-fitting trouser suit and peaked cap as worn by the late Sir Norman* and I doubt that I shall ever be revered in Albania (or, indeed, anywhere else) but life does seem to have placed in my way a fair share of banana skins.
As someone so supremely unathletic that Toulouse Lautrec would be likely to best me in a hurdles event, I've suffered all kinds of bruises and sprains, plus concussion and a dislocated knee (the latter is not be recommended to anyone). Call me a physical coward but I've never seen the point of hanging upside down from wall bars, climbing ropes or standing in freezing cold, going blue at the knees and hoping that the hockey/lacrosse ball would not come my way. These things have never been useful to me in life. All I gained was poor circulation and a terror of being upside down.
Primary school sports day wasn't so bad; I was pretty nifty in the three-legged race, the wheelbarrow race and the sack race. In the egg-and-spoon event, I carried "a beautiful egg" as Jeeves might put it. But the NW Moments have not always been physical in any case.
At one time, I began to believe that if anything good did happen to me, then it was only a matter of time before something bad came to cancel it out. Many years ago, one of my Premium Bonds won £50 (back in my younger days, this was a substantial amount and probably would have bought me cocktails and dinner at the Savoy with enough change for a private jet home) but, just the next day, I went out to my car and discovered that someone had smashed a window; so that £50 was forfeited. That is just one example. The bluebird of happiness (or even average contentment) failed me more times than I can recall, not least in ensuring that when I finally met my soulmate he had only just married for the second time. That one was a doozy.
Maybe it's just a knack - being in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the bright side, one could say that I've made a success out of being a failure.
*Sir Norman Wisdom, 1915-2010, British actor/entertainer, Tony Award nominee, revered in Albania