AUGUSTA — Normally, it’s rude to laugh at someone’s misfortune. But an Augusta teen hopes the nation laughs at a painful incident recorded this summer.

Benjamin Lucarelli, 17, was at the rope swing at Pinkham Pond in Alna with friends. Lucarelli got a running start toward the pond, holding firmly onto the rope swing, but he never let go. He held on right until he reached dry land — and a tree.

“I was on a rope swing and I thought the water was cold and I didn’t let go,” he said Friday.

He ran into the tree back-first with a loud thud, stopping him in his tracks. His mother, Lauri Chambers said she didn’t watch the video because she was worried it depicted her son getting hurt.

“I actually didn’t watch the video for myself for quite a while,” she said. “I heard the (thud) and I didn’t want to see the video.”

“It kind of sounds like a tree fell over,” Lucarelli chimed in.

After amassing about 700 views on the teen’s Instagram account, his friends pressured him to send the video to a larger outlet. He eventually sent the video to “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” A month later, he said, the show contacted his mother and said it was interested in featuring the blunder.

“They said they would be in touch with me (about using it in the future),” he said. “It was a matter of like three months.”

Lucarelli said he’s excited to be featured on the show.

“All of my friends said they were going to be watching,” he said. “I promise it’s funny.”

Chambers said the situation is unique for her son and she is proud of her son for earning his 15 minutes of fame the hard way.

“I’m always proud of him, no matter what,” she said. “This is pretty cool for him; it’s not something that happens to just anybody.”

Lucarelli was not injured in the incident and later posted a video on his Instagram account showing himself successfully using the swing.

“America’s Funniest Home Videos,” in its 29th season, airs at 7 p.m. Sunday on ABC.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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