There’s an old Yiddish proverb that goes “the hundred foot journey starts with the first walk of shame”. At least I think that’s how it goes. I know my life journey has had its fair share of walks of shame. That’s why the SBS 2 show Walk of Shame Shuttle brings back so many memories for me.
The premise: Total strangers who probably smell like Thai food and regret get a free ride home in exchange for sharing their stories with their driver. Not only does this make for great TV, it also inspired me to share a few things I learnt from my time as “Mr Shame”, before the wife and kids.
Here are a few pointers to help keep your walk of shame from becoming a walk of pain.
1. Never leave your clothes behind - take them with you
I met a bridesmaid at a hens night once. You know what they say about lonely bridesmaids: They can really karaoke! We partied all night. The next morning I awoke fully nude in a mobile home in the desert. When I realized the mobile home was an unattended meth lab owned by a guy named “El Muerto”, I ran away and forgot my clothes. I fashioned a kilt out of road kill and hitchhiked home. So awkward!
2. Always wear comfortable shoes, especially if you wear medieval armour
One Halloween I attended a costume party offering a cash prize for best costume, so I decided to go big and borrowed a full suit of armour from a museum I worked at. Metal slippers and all. Guess what, I won! And it was a bonus night because I met a girl who was really into Game of Thrones! But I should have remembered to bring comfortable trainers, because the walk home almost killed me.
3. Never hook up with a married person (even if they have bagels)
I met a lovely girl on the Internet once. I suppose it would have made sense to ask if she was married, but it never came up. We met, got drunk on margaritas, took a trip to the jewellery store to get her wedding ring polished and ended up at her apartment where her husband secretly watched us. The next morning he surprised me with coffee and bagels. The bagels were fantastic, but seriously people, please be upfront about your relationship status.
4. Always keep some emergency cash hidden on you
Uber is a great way to spare yourself a walk of shame. But what if you lose your mobile phone at the club? Even worse, what if you traded your mobile phone for a bottle of grain alcohol from a guy wearing a Ronald Reagan mask in a petrol station bathroom at 3AM? If you’re like me, it’s very important to keep money hidden somewhere on you at all times. In my case, I keep a $50 bill in my shoe under the insole. Just make sure you don’t trade your shoes too. Men in Ronald Reagan masks drive hard bargains.
5. Make sure you alert your friends before you leave the club
It’s great when you go to the club with your friends. But many of us don’t necessarily leave with them. It’s just common courtesy to “check out” before you disappear for the evening with a total stranger/possible weirdo. It also helps to snap a photo of them and send it to your friends in case you end up in the trunk of a car (been there, done that). Personal note: Not a good sign if/when you catch your new “friend” covering you with chicken blood or chanting in Latin while you sleep.
DISCLAIMER: Frank Ponderosa is a pseudonym. The author is known to SBS but he has preferred to remain anonymous given his sordid past and poor life choices. What can never be called into question, however, is his passion for SBS programming.
Watch all 13 episodes of Walk of Shame Shuttle on SBS On Demand. Or check it out on Tuesdays at 9:35pm on SBS 2.
Watch the first episode right here: