Five Times I Shouldn’t Have Used My Three-Metre Stilts

I’m just a modern woman with a career and a family—and the urge to stand above it all.

Five Times I Shouldnt Have Used My Three Metre StiltsIllustration: Jess Hannigan

1. At the annual convention for people with a paralyzing fear of heights

I will never know what possessed me to waltz into the National Acrophobia Convention on three-metre stilts, other than the fact that I’m straight-up jazzed about my stilts and never, ever want to remove them, not even when I sleep. Okay, so I didn’t exactly “waltz.” The very first bullet point in any stilt owner’s manual explicitly says, “Good luck ever waltzing again.” But however I entered Conference Room B, I’ll never forget the shrieks of white-hot terror that greeted me as convention-goers watched their greatest fear not-waltz into the room and openly mock their one common vulnerability.

2. At the conservation farm for endangered insects

I was not aware of the farm’s viewing platform when I first arrived and instead decided to stroll across the grass in my three-metre stilts. Let’s just say, perhaps it was a bad idea. Unfortunately, the rubber base of each stilt was the exact size of an insect teetering right on the edge of total extinction. I will also admit that the horrifying squishing and crunching sounds that accompanied every one of my heavily weighted steps did warrant a very expensive lawsuit against me.

3. At my own wedding

“Loving me means loving all of me!” I exclaimed triumphantly on the morning of my wedding. A beautiful flowing gown, a garland of flowers and, yes, my three-metre stilts. I’d been with Allan—the lawyer who represented me when I was sued by the Endangered Insects Conservation Farm—for nearly a year, and surely by then he was familiar with my deeply stilt-based lifestyle. We ended up losing that lawsuit quite badly, sending Allan into a depression. So yes, after lumbering down the aisle toward him, towering high above our guests, I suppose I now understand why he blurted out “Too soon!” and fled the venue.

4. At the male pattern baldness weekly support group

This one was an accident—sorry guys! I walked into the community centre on my three-metre stilts, looking for an empty room to practice some advanced stilt jumps. When I opened the door with my right stilt and beheld a circle of tearful, balding men sitting in chairs and sharing their feelings, of course I tried to turn around and leave, but the doorknob came off. Instead of joining the circle, I awkwardly strode around the room with an aerial view of every man’s head. From my perch, I could examine in startling detail exactly how each one was balding. I now understand their increasingly loud protests, and why that one guy broke the one rule of the support group and grabbed a toque.

5. At my ex-fiancé’s amateur stand-up comedy show

Hot tip: when you’re trying to stalk your ex-fiancé Allan because you miss him and need to know if he ever talks about you on stage, three-metre stilts aren’t a big help. I realized this when I entered the intimate, 30-seat comedy venue. “It’s standing room only,” the box office lady said, at eye-level with my stilts. “Works for me!” I chuckled. I see now that I was incredibly conspicuous in the back of the room. Within minutes, security showed up, but it turns out Allan does talk about me onstage! I was actually the very first thing he mentioned! Nice! Still got it.

Which province is the most hilarious of them all? Survey these Canadian jokes and judge for yourself!

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada