Taking a tumble at the Royal Rumble

By Lindy Johnson

There are three things you learn very fast when you’re a girl with two older brothers. 1. Your food is always up for grabs. 2. Snitches get stitches. 3. “Do not try this at home” is an incomplete sentence because the “when your parents are home” is silent.  

One Wednesday evening my parents had gone out to what’s known as “cell group” in some religious communities – a weekly meeting where like-minded individuals share their spiritual experiences and praise the Lord.   

Coincidentally, that was also the night my brothers and I referred to as the Johnson Royal Rumble – a no-holds-barred competition for glory in which nothing was off limits physically. Verbally we had some limitations; we were not barbarians, after all, although for obvious reasons “your mama” jokes were strictly forbidden. 

It was on one such evening that I performed my most daring stunt yet, jumping from the highest bunk bed while screaming my hero Booker T’s catchphrase, “Can you dig it, sucker?” It turned out the brother that I was planning to land on could, in fact, not dig it. So, he deftly turned his body away and I landed on my nine-year-old wrist. The silence that followed was excruciating for all three of us, mostly for me, but the ensuing pain was immediately forgotten when we heard the unmistakable sound of tyres in the driveway.   

My parents found me alone on the living room floor, with my two brothers both at their desks furiously concentrating on homework that appeared as though from nowhere.  

I was picked up by my father and slung over his shoulder, and remember vividly the faces of two frightened boys mouthing “Don’t say anything”. My vow of silence lasted all the way to the car but was unfortunately broken as soon as the engine started. My parents not asking questions was somehow worse than interrogation – oh, they were good.  

As soon as we got to the hospital the nurses trotted over, only to be stopped firmly by my parents with a “Yes, ask her how it happened. Just ask her”. I had to relay my story three times and every time it was met with the same admonishment from shocked nurses and obvious delight from my parents that their lesson was being drilled into my head without them having to say a word – and that I was experiencing a healthy dose of embarrassment to boot.   

When the doctor arrived he took one look at me and sighed. “How did this happen, my love?” he asked. Without looking up from my slippers I mumbled my story once more. It was met with a brief silence and when I looked up he was shaking with laughter while waving his hand across his face. As for me, I left the hospital with my arm in a sling and John Cena’s My Time Is Now entrance music still playing in my head…  

Great hair! Great smile! Great jokes! From the relative obscurity of a Twitter timeline to winning a newcomer comedy competition in 2017 to performing with some of the biggest comedians in the world, Lindy Johnson’s fast rise is no surprise to anybody who has watched her.

Thoroughly engaging and modern in her style Lindy makes it look like being from Paarl is a good thing. No matter who you are, Lindy takes you into her world, makes you laugh and leaves you charmed.

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