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"Fame is not half as much fun as you would think, and is not always acompanied by fortune" (RadG 1989)

"Ohhh look .. its fortune, you took your bloody time!" (RadG 1997)

In a long forgotten previous life I flirted with the stars but flew too close to the sun and fell back (somewhat gratefully) to earth where I have happily resided in a little victorian seaside town ever since.

Planning a quiet retirement collecting small birds in my beard and shouting at the TV.

I have started growing chillies. For some reason this makes me very happy.

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» Real-life slapstick

Of Messerschmitds and cats arses
To relay this story requires the admission of ultimate geekness.

Despite the fact I am on the wrong side of 40 and am meant to be all growed up, I have for a few years now rediscovered my childhood hobby of Airfix kits. Its a nice bit of stress relief and an escape from the never ending demands of work and fatherhood, essentially, having a creative outlet keeps me sane!.

So, in the early days of rediscovering this simple childhood pastime, before I took over a whole room in the house, I would build my little plastic aeroplanes on a tray on my lap in the livingroom.

One day, the wifes boss and his wife popped over for a quick social, and to set the scene of domestic bliss, I am sat in my easychair with a part built messerschmidt on my lap while everyone else is sat on the sofa drinking tea and boring the pants off me. The cat is happily draped over the back of the sofa purring sweet nothings into the ear of the boss's wife and the dog is in deep slumber in his basket on the floor at the other end of the sofa.

For those of you who have built a plastic kit, you may be familiar with the word "Sproing" for this is the sound occasionially made by a small plastic part launching itself into orbit when you cut it from the sprue.

It was time for the little plastic German pilot to be transplanted from the sprue into his cockpit, and true to form, as the stanley knife cut down to release him from the sprue there is a familiar "SPROINGGG" as the erstwhile 1/72 replica pilot took flight at close to supersonc speed sans aircraft!

DINK! he rebounded off the wall

SPROINK he ricocheed off the TV

And with a final POINK off the door he terminated his flight at some speed with a glancing blow to the cats rusty starfish which the cat had, up until now, been enjoying displaying to all and sundry, legs akimbo on top of the sofa!

This is where it all went a bit wrong

The cat lept vertically off the top off the sofa and with a crack hit the bottom of a shelf above the sofa, let out an anquished MROooowwwwlll and landed in a 4 paw full claw vice grip squarely on top of the head of the wife of the boss

The Wife of the boss let out a shriek as she was being efficiently scalped by the cat, now in the full throwes of the fight or flight decision and hurled her cup of tea into my wifes lap.

Meanwhile, the effect of the cat hitting the bottom of the shelf was enough to displace a vase of dried flowers at the far end of the shelf and with a Roing roing roing it slowly span on its base before falling off the end of the shelf.

The dog, woken by the noise, looked up, to get the vase of flowers square between the eyes! He then proceeded to go into a frenzy which first consisted of biting the ankle of the wifes boss as he was valiantly pawing at my wifes scalded mimsy to try to give relief and was thus a threat to canine kind, to then moving onto the beanbag which was duely ripped open with gay abandon showering the room in a festive haze of polystyrene balls.

Once the mayhem had susided a little, my quip of "bloody luftwaffe eh!" did not help as I had forgotten the Bosses wife was half German!.

Not my best day

Apologies for spelling ... pissed :)
(Sun 24th Jan 2010, 16:33, More)

» I witnessed a crime

OAP Terror!
To set the scene, a couple of years ago I was happily sat in my car in the car park of my local Tesco reading a book while waiting for the wife to whizz round and grab a few foody essentials.

I was parked a few spaces away from and opposite the "parent and child" reserved spaces and so had a perfect view of what unfolded before my very eyes.

With a squeal of rubber and a cloud of exhaust smoke a very nice very new looking BMW M3 screeched into one of the "parent child" places
and out gets a fairly big bloke (big & buff rather than big & fat) with the cliche shades, baseball cap, designer gear etc.

He starts to walk away from his car when he is apprehended by what I can only describe as a shorter version of Foggy from last of the summer wine. An old feller well into his 70's, military bearing walking with a brass topped cane.

As it was summer I had the window down and so could just hear the jist of the conversation. The old feller tells the steroid freak off for parking in a child space when he is obviously without the required child and asks him to move his car. Steroid freak then proceeds to lose it with the old feller shouting screaming and swearing at him and prodding him in the chest for a good minute or so before he turned round and carried on walking into the store.

I was shocked, the old feller was shocked and was just stood there for a fair few seconds white faced and imobile.

I was just about to get out of the car to see if he was ok when I found out why he was just standing there ... he was waiting to make sure steroid freak was out of sight. The old fella then walked around the BMW and with his brass topped cane put a deep dent in every body panel, a couple on the roof, took out the rear light clusters then walked off past me giving me a huge wink and a grin as he went past.

The wife was back a few minutes later and I told her what happened ... she laughed and made us wait until steroid freak came back so she could see his reaction.

He cried

He cried a lot

He cried a huge amount in fact, but not as much as my wife. Hers were tears of laughter mind you!
(Thu 14th Feb 2008, 14:56, More)

» Dodgy work ethics

Acorn Electron Madness
Back in .. oooh 1983 if I remember, I had a saturday job working in W.H. Smiths in their shiney new computer department. Easy money really, just helping bewildered adults to buy the right thing and to stop the brats from typing 10 print "bums" , 20 goto 10 on all the display machines (a fine selection of 16k spectrums, Dragon32s, Orics, Vic 20s and of course the king of them all, the BBC Micro)

Again if memory serves me correctly, back then a BBC Micro would set you back about 400, which in 1983 was a fair old wodge of cash, and as Schools were now begining to use the BBC Micro as their standard teaching micro computer, they were definately the must have item of the era. However the high cost meant only the poshest of kids ever got to have one at home.

However salvation for the masses was nigh, Acorn decided to release a cut down version of the BBC Micro, The Electron, but retaining almost all of its funtionality, i.e, you could run BBC programs on the new Electron and it cost less than half the price! (about 160 I think)

I remember the build up and the hype for the Electron, it was on every parents christmas wishlist to help little Johnny with his schoolwork, and little Johnnys around the country were looking forward to finally being able to run their dodgy copy of Elite on their own system at home instead of sneaking into the school computer lab at lunchtimes. Due to a number of manfacturing problems however, the release of the Electron was delayed and delayed until its final release a few weeks before the christmas of 1983 ... in very small numbers!

This is where the dodgy practice begins. In the run up to christmas in the holidays I was working full time to cover the rush (and earn extra beer money) and we had a delivery of Electrons every 2-3 days, usually 20 of them per delivery. Whenever there was even a rumour of a delivery, the shop would slowly fill up with queing parents hoping to bag one. Trouble is, once the Store manager and his deputys had skimmed some off to sell to their friends, and the various other managers had had their share, there would be only 4 or 5 left of the delivery making it to the shop floor to be sold, and a couple of those went to friends of the various sales staff in return for backhanders. I definately remember 2 deliverys where no Electrons at all made it to the shop floor for sale to the public.

As christmas got closer and closer, people were getting panicky and all sorts of shenanigans was going on. One despondant bloke after missing out yet again in the queue gave me his phone number and begged me to call him when the next delivery came in as he worked in an office around the corner and could be in the shop within 2 minutes of a call. I felt sorry for him and despite promising myself not to get involved in the hype and bollocks, I told him yes.

2 days later and less than a week until Christmas day, an order arrives. So I immediately excuse myself, nip out onto the high street and into a phone box (no mobiles in the 80's kids!) and phone him up. True to his promise 2 minutes later he is in the shop, at the front of the queue and 10 minutes later he is the proud owner of an Electron. So he comes over all smiling and happy, thanks me profusely and presses a roll of notes discretely into my hand, and walks off.

I'm a bit shocked, I didn't do it for money, I did it so that the little guy could score one against the corrupt system (I had ideals and morals back then!!!) I open my hand and count it up ... 100 in crisp fivers! bloody hell! thats Christmas sorted I thought for a fleeting second. Then I ran after him out of the shop and gave it back. He was equally shocked, but then smiled even more, "Glad to see there are still some good un's left, well done, happy Christmas" he said, and off he went into the distance. I can even still rememeber his name after almost 30 years.

Mind you that was before I got a mortgage and kids. I'd bite his bloody hand off now, and have the shirt off his back! ;)
(Mon 11th Jul 2011, 11:19, More)

» Letters they'll never read

Dear Mr Kinnock
I come from a poor but proud family in the Rhondda valley.

You may just remember my grandfather. He was the big deaf feller you came across in the Treorchy Labour club back in the early 1970's.

My grandfather was the feller you kept deliberately turning your back on even though you knew damn well he was deaf from birth and needed to lipread.

After an hour of this, when he threw his pint to the floor to get your attention and swang a haymayker at your smug face, he unfortunately missed and was bundled away out of the club and social justice was delivered to his ribs and face as he took a kicking from your "stasi" entourage of hangers on.

This, Mr Kinnock, caused a bit of a rift in our family. Grandad, a staunch and grizzled old Labour man had you worked out for the crook you were, but my Dad would have none of it. As far as my Dad was concerned the sun shone out of your damn arsehole. According to Dad, you were the great redeemer, come to save us all.

I remember well when I was a young child the arguments my Dad and Grandad would have. Not any ordinary argument, but an argument in sign language. The rapid silky sound of fingers moving rapidly over fingers and the slap of skin against skin, the exagerated facial expressions and most of all the periodoc thumping of a fist on a table or wall to push a point home or to interupt the other.

I always knew when they were arguing about you Mr Kinnock as it would always end up with my grandfather bellowing like an Ox in his very limited speech and Dad shouting back almost as incoherently.

My grandfather died in the mid 70's and was spared from seeing you go on to become leader of the party he so cherished, but my father still saw you as the great redeemer, the man to save us all from the Liberals and Torys.

Not even Mr Kinnock, could my father be swayed from your unholy influence when your stasi boys got hold of me, his beloved son.

Do you remember those cheeky likely lads who threw snowballs at you outside St Davids hall while you were preening and pontificating as the leader of the Labour party in front of the TV cameras. That was me . Those loveble rogues who you threw snowballs back at and got some prime "Lovable Neil man of the earth getting down with the yoof" TV footage from.

Want to know what happened the second the cameras were off?

Some very big nasty men lovingly pinned us to the wall by our necks, took our wallets and wrote down our names and address from them and after a nice headbutt to say farewell told us in no uncertain terms if they saw us within 100 feet of the glorious windbag they would break our legs.

Even after your cronies did this Mr Kinnock and beat up his son for the crime of throwing snowballs, My Dad was devoted to you.

Even after you snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in 1992 and let the grey man have another 5 years he still thought you were hard done by.

Until he saw you go into the European gravy train with the gusto of a starved pig.

And found the trough so fullsome you dragged you wife in to scarf up a bigger share.

When you finally showed your true colours, a little part of my father died there and then.

When Blair came to lead the Labour party it finished the old man off.

He voted Tory for the first time in his life and was dead from the cancer less than 2 weeks later.

For that Mr Kinnock, I can never forgive you.

To drive a good honest decent man like my father to turn against all he held dear and for him to see the start of the rot that became New Labour which has given us the monsters that are Blair and Brown.


I met you myself again, without a snowball in my hand this time, at a function in Cardiff a few years ago.

"You met my grandfather" I said

"Wonderful" you said

"Treorchy in the early 70's, he always regretted his punch missed" I said.

You looked at me for a moment, blinked and turned away without a word.

This time at least I didn't get beaten up by your stasi.

I look forward to reading your obituary you traitor!
(Sat 6th Mar 2010, 19:38, More)

» Council Cunts

Parking tickets
Outside my house there is a single yellow line. Lord knows why, its a residential area, a good mile or so from the town and for some reason it only goes down 1/4 of the road. The sign only restricts parking from 8am to 8pm on a Saturday, again, god knows why, but the net result is all the poor buggers who live in the top 1/4 of the street, after a long week at work, don't get a lie in on Saturday morning as we have to move our cars before the traffic cunt comes along for his easy kills.

So ... I have lived hear for over 10 years, and being a lazy bastard and unwilling to get up early, I got a couple of tickets a month.

Also because I am an unorganised bastard, I seldom paid on time and so usually paid at the higher 45 late payment rate.

Now comes the good bit.

Quite a while ago, a B3tan posted "the magic words" on a QOTW about parking tickets. I forget who, but I love them dearly.

After reading this god like B3tans post, I did a bit of research and found that the yellow line outside my house was invalid. It had not been terminated (look it up on the web).

One photograph and letter later, I entered into "lengthy correspondance" with the council and was eventually sent a refund cheque for 5,550 after they were forced to cancel all tickets issued on the line.

I then wrote up a newsheet type thing detailing what I had done and posted it through every letterbox on my street which resulted in many more thousands of ponds paid back to my neighbours (and quite a number of bottles of wine whiskey and boxes of choccies to say thanks to me from said neighbours).

You may call me petty, but I kept the cheque for a few days until the next saturday so I could wait for the joyless traffic Nazi to turn up to do his usuall ticket run outside my house. I popped out to meet and greet him, waved the cheque under his nose and followed him for 100 yards up the road laughing hysterically calling him a useless cunt.

If the B3tan who made the original "Magic words" post messages me, I have a bottle of the finest malt with your name on it mate.
(Tue 31st Jul 2007, 15:37, More)
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