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You know what? No, me neither.

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» I witnessed a crime

Alright then...
...as I've said, I've seen a fair bit, and no small slice of it from my own family. Fancy a bit of length? Okay then.

An auntie of mine, passed away now, hooked up with a very nasty man named Johnny some decades ago. An ice-cold and more than fairly sociopathic petty criminal with anything-goes attitudes to offensive weapons, human rights, lawful conduct and general morality. She and her daughter endured him for a number of years until she let him know it was time to leave by sweetening a cup of tea made for him with slug pellets. She ended up telling him before he drank it - he made his displeasure visibly clear on her, but he left.

Of course, he was a pariah amongst the family for ever after, and turned up here and there mostly to terrorise younger members of the family. He never bothered any of the blokes though because most of them were big lads, and a number of them either squaddies or ex-squaddies. All that stopped at least for one cousin, who had suffered Johnny's attentions pretty much throughout his adolescence. He was mostly grown up when playing pool in a local pub one time when Johnny walks in and spots him. Of course he starts up with the grief, which this time ends with Johnny on his back on the pool table taking repeated blows from a pool cue with fondest regards from my cousin. He made his exit at his soonest opportunity but came in again about half-an-hour later offering my cousin 'outside', but he wasn't an idiot and he had had the misfortune to come to know this bloke well. 'What, have you got your knife now? Look, I'm a lot bigger now and you can't beat me with your hands anymore which says it all so just fuck off'. And with a curt 'This isn't over mate', Johhny did exactly that. That family member didn't personally have any more trouble with him, so in addition to everything else he was full of shit too.

The next time I heard of him, and the first time I got a close look at him was when my brother had hooked and shacked up with this quite frankly appalling smackhead witch from down south, moved up here because of trouble for her and hers down there. She's another story in herself, but her bad judgment is a factor here as one time my brother arrived back to find Johnny sat in the living room skinning up some hash he'd just bought. My brother was naturally WTF but didn't dare ask the mean bastard to leave. It went pear-shaped thanks to a mate of my brother's, who stole Johnny's weed off the table when he went for a piss. Johnny looked to my brother to explain it, and this being Johnny, my brother chose to avoid what would be a very painful inquisition by escaping out of the window. This only strengthened Johnny's resolve, and so my brother came home to us, completely shit-scared. I've mentioned this time before briefly in another post, but it's at this point my mum got involved. {MUM-RECAP; career mother until we grew up, has taught karate locally with my stepdad for decades, has a respectable Dan grade herself and working as a high school teacher now} Johnny and my mum stood there in front of this daft bint's house just out of reach but squared off all the same whilst my mum tried to talk some sense into him - they both knew perfectly well who one another was, and so I think neither wanted it to really come to blows. My mum could probably have handled him, but even if she had, he would still have run into my stepdad by no accident not long after and probably never been the same. My stepdad didn't break much bread with the family at large and thought my brother was a waste-of-space, but anyone who even tried to hurt my mum would be dealt with most efficiently. I was stood off to the side the entire time, more than a little anxious but ready to jump on the fucker's back if he went for my mum - I was only about 14 at this time, and a bit of a softarse. But my mum, my amazing mum managed to convince this psycho that my brother didn't do it, and set him on his way peacefully for what was possibly the first time ever. The freakiest part of that part is that from then on, my mum became the only human being in our knowledge that he regarded with any respect. She said he told her 'You're the only person that's ever talked straight with me'. Strange how some things turn out.

Unfortunately, he was no less of an aggravation to the rest of the family. A couple of years later another aunt, a well-loved and regarded matriarch in the family passed away. After the memorial service we had arranged to take the lounge room at a local - the very same local and very same room where my cousin had vindicated himself some years before. We were all catching up with one another as you do at funerals, when one of the girls piped up to say that the lads (referring to the squaddie contingent of the family, who'd been taking a quiet pint at the bar) had spotted Johnny in the other side of the pub, he'd spotted them and been observed asking about them of the bar staff. Minutes later, he came into the lounge side and took up next to the lads at the bar, offering them a drink. They refused, he persisted, they explained the situation and indicated that the family would like some space. His response? 'Yeah, I heard.' Not a flicker of sympathy or sorrow. Then he started to insult our recently departed. Well, he tried, but he didn't finish the first attempt before one of the lads, in from out-of-town to pay his respects reached over and smacked him, telling him to get the fuck out. Again, he left with a 'This isn't over mate.' and this time we locked the door after him. Sadly though this time he meant it.

About 40mins later another one of the lads, an uncle who had retired from the army to live nearby a couple of years previous, got a call on the pub phone from his hysterical daughter at their home. A few of the kids were too young for the pub so this daughter had been selected to babysit them at their house for a couple of hours. She was 13 or so at the time I think, but a level-headed girl. Not so much so at this moment though as she screamed at her dad to please come home, which he did very quickly with a few others to find the front window and door window smashed with broken glass and screaming children being very much the motif. My cousin had heard a knock at the door so had gone to answer it with the youngest of her charges in one arm. A 'mean looking' man at the door asked if this was the house where {her dad's name} lived. She didn't know him as up to now she'd spent most of her life on one army base or another abroad with her mum and dad, so she confirmed it. At this, he picked up an empty milk bottle from the step and drew his arm back to throw it right at her. My cousin screamed, slammed the door and ran down the hall with the baby in both her arms now, but she wasn't halfway before the milk bottle came through the door window, smashing both. He broke the other window with another bottle and chucked one more through that before he ran off, with my cousin and four little kids terrified on the inside. The police were called once wed calmed the kids down, but we knew they'd find him by accident if at all. So we made enquiries of our own.

This actually did make the last time that Johnny bothered us because of another uncle, in the family by marriage to the same aunt who had endured this guy as a partner almost 20 years earlier. This uncle was a very quiet man, mostly an unknown quantity but making an honest living and good as gold to my aunt and her daughter, when to be honest both could try the patience of a saint at times lol. He found out where Johnny was hiding the evening of that same day, but instead of alerting the rest of us he got a tyre iron out of his car and went the short walk to where he was. He knew the people who lived at the place where Johnny was and they knew why my uncle had paid them a visit - everyone knew we were looking for him. They asked my uncle to take it easy and let him in. He walked in and came upon Johnny sat on the kitchen table laughing with a spliff in his mouth. My uncle pulled the tyre iron out and whacked him in the head with it, smacking him on his back on the table and near-knocking him cold. He was still awake though as my uncle used the tyre iron to break one of his arms and both of his kneecaps, pointing out as he lay there on the table screaming that it's not as easy to terrorise someone who isn't a 13-year-old-girl, but if that didn't do it, then he'd soon find something more final to solve the problem. He paused only to apologise to the couple there for the trouble before walking back home. The hospital involved the police, but they found that not one soul would tell them who did it - not even Johnny. Given our own recent complaint against him, they easily put two-and-two together I'd expect (if probably not guessed exactly who it was because it surprised the hell out of all of us), but Id say the police no doubt thought of it as a problem they no longer had to solve and were secretly grateful. This man really was a piece of work, and this here has barely scratched the surface of even his unsavoury endeavours, so they were aware of him with some clarity and detail. I'll admit, they were aware of some of us too for a number of reasons but none of us were ever like him.

And like I say, after that he never troubled any of us again. He died of Meningitis a few years later, so that's a factor more recently I suppose. No-one I know has missed him. Once.

But do you see? I've not only witnessed crimes more often than I can actually recall, I've witnessed crime storylines, and some that span decades.
(Sat 16th Feb 2008, 13:33, More)

» Mums

{LOOK OUT FOR THE LENGTH} My mum is great...
...more than that, she deserves a mantelpiece-full of medals. She isn't the subject of one of those awful child-abuse-catharsis books that the OK magazine crowd seems to find so fascinating, but all the same life has fucked her about a lot more than it should have. Examples:

* Getting pregnant after her first time at 15 (with my Dad, whom she later married) and this being a small town in the 60's, getting thrown out of school despite being a very promising student and becoming a pariah to all the stuck-up 'christian' cunts in the neighbourhood thereafter. She told me once of a time when she was heavily pregnant, on her way home with some shopping. It was winter and the snow was deep. She fell and couldn't get up again. She asked one of these cunts for help and was snootily told that she was getting what she deserved. One of a handful of reasons I wish that time travel was possible - fuck fiddling the lottery - that street on that day is the first trip I'd make.
* Resulting first-born being born with cerebal palsy, possibly due to a botched chemical abortion attempt forced upon her by my great-grandmother. My eldest brother, Paul. She tried her best to take care of him, but had no choice than to put him in permanent specialised care when he was about 3. She saw him often though, of course. Sadly, his condition affected his health often and died over a decade ago at age 32.
* Had to leave my Dad when I was around 3 and my older brother, Jason, was around 5 after he held a knife to her throat during a row. My dad had a temper in his youth, and wasn't too bright either. Thankfully he mellowed with age, but long after all hope of reconciliation was gone. Dad's been gone for about 4 years now. Cancer.
* Spent the best part of 20 years penniless and on the dole so she could take care of me and Jason after we migrated to her when our new stepmother's out-and-out shitbaggery became too much for us.
* Endured Jason's 15-year hard-drug habit, the development of my latent homosexuality and her sister's raging alcoholism which developed after my grandmother's death.
* Endured 4 weeks of watching over Jason in the ICU after he suffered heart failure and subsequent brain damage two xmasses ago. He'd been off the hard stuff for 5 years at this point. He wanted to be a drugs counsellor. She was with him when he died - whilst I'd been with them the entire time, I knew that that was going to be the day and I wasn't strong enough to watch my last remaining sibling become a corpse. He was 38.

Now, if all this and more still that I haven't mentioned had moulded my mum into a grade-A twat in her now-later years, I wouldn't have blamed her. Not one bit. But she remains the kindest soul that I have ever encountered, with achievements under her belt that even an overachieving geek like me is jealous of. More examples:

* Became a black belt (3rd Dan, no less) in Shotokan along with my stepfather and taught self-defence to local urchins and adults alike pretty much throughout my life. Even trained with them myself for awhile. Despite the considerable handiness that resulted from this, I've never seen her use her learned abilities once outside of the dojo. Ditto for my stepdad, and he's fucking good at it (5th Dan), despite the fact that the club was shut down late last year. Their boxroom is mostly competition trophies these days.
* A seemingly limitless store of compassion, enabling her to see good in even the lowliest pond-life scum that have crossed our path over the years, always willing to help in any way that she can despite their crimes against others and even ourselves.
* Never once turned her back on me, my brother or her sister despite our individual issues bringing her more grief than any normal person could handle without going tonto. Again, always willing to help. She told me only a couple of weeks ago that she essentially paid for my brother's habit throughout so that he didn't have to rely on crime or worse, his mates to do so. I realise that this kept him out of jail for pretty much the entire time he was in the habit, until he did something very stupid and jailtime was inevitable. He used the confinement to go cold-turkey and kick it for good. I have a picture from the pub the day he got out of jail of the three of us - I wish I could see her smile like that more often, almost as much as I wish I could see Jason again.
* Sent a known psycho on his way peacefully for the first and last time when one of my brother's mates stole his weed and scarpered, leaving my brother to take the blame (full story of said psycho can be found in my best-of).
* Went to evening college to do an art course (mum and her sister both have breathtaking talent in this area) as me and Jason started getting grown-up, and about ten tears later bagged a very respectable grade in a BEd. She's now teaching in a private high school with an exemplary record - not even OFSTED can find anything wrong with the way she takes care of business. She's approaching retirement now - I'm looking forward to her finally being able to have a rest more than she is, I think.

Again, there's lots of stuff I haven't mentioned because this is more than long enough. I know that I have a biased view because she's my mother, but there's no-one I know in this life that makes me prouder to know than her. As I stated at the beginning she's taken more shit than anyone should in ordinary life and her character, intellect, sense of humour and pure heart have survived through it all. Extraordinary.

The day I helped carry Jason into the crematorium I vowed that from that day until her last, whatever she needs from me she gets, without question or argument. These days, Mummy's Boy is a badge I wear with pride. Also from that day I had a new #1 thing to do before I die outlast my mum. I'm not sure how well I'll handle living as the last of the family I was born to, but shes followed two of her three children into the crematorium now, and sure as fuck shes not going to have to do that again.

A fucking MANTELPEICE-FULL - do you hear?
(Tue 16th Feb 2010, 13:13, More)

» Common

Cockney Lynn
Well, I've ranted, I've stuck a reasonable 2p's worth in here and there and now it's time for an anecdote, though you better get ready for some length. Oh, I'm back alright :)

Cockney Lynn was singularly my brother's poorest choice of girlfriend ever, which considering some of the ones he shacked up during the more-than-a-decade that he had one of modern life's more unwise habits is saying something. I've mentioned her briefly in another post (in my best-of at the time of writing this ... EDIT: holy crap, now this one is too lol) and her clueless part in nearly getting my brother pasted by a very nasty man named Johnny.

So, Cockney Lynn, so named on account of her and hers being the only cockneys on a council estate in the northwest, was relocated to the estate by local authorities closer to (her) home along with her tattooist-with-no-artistic-talent brother, Bob and revolting little 8yo shitcake of a son Rob on account of bad men taking umbrage at some unspecified action on their part and making their intention clear to stove all three of their heads in.

Lynn and Bob were of course major smackheads themselves and being such, were out for all they could get. From anyone. As for their physical description, apply the pallid and emaciated demeanour of your average hard drug addict but add poor tattoos to every inch of Bob's body including his face (unemployable? you are now, titwad) with a general tinker-ish dress sense and the charming aroma that goes with it.

Lynn was not so much tinker-ish in appearance as cut-price-whoreish, always favouring market-bargain-quality vest tops and too-fucking-short skirts on her scrawny torso which unwisely displayed tattoos on her arms, neck, ankles and inner thighs. Judging by the artistic and technical quality of these efforts, it's more than likely that her brother put them there but inner thighs?. Let me count the ick. Bob also did a line in doubtlessly disease-ridden piercing that the pair of them had taken more advantage of than they should.

The son, Rob, well, if he'd had a better start in life then he may have turned out differently but he hadn't and as it was he was a thoroughly unbearable little twat, thieving anything he could wherever he was, shockingly rude to everyone regardless of their intentions toward him and always the first to whine when his many liberties were even minorly infringed, as all misguidedly self-respecting chavs do. Whilst the boy didn't know any better, neither of the adults in this troupe of shit ever showed any regret at their situation, always blaming others and never holding a shred of remorse for the frankly baseline-low shit they pulled on people in order to get by.

All in all, a trio that was the very definition of the phrase 'waste of flesh'.

Through an unfortunate and unremarkable series of events, my brother became associated with this small collection of walking crap and even in the full effect of a hard drug addiction, my brother still seemed to do well with the ladies - well, other hard-drug addicted and in some cases psychologically damaged ones at least. It was this that led to his partaking of her rancid charms on a regular basis. He was with her for the best part of six months until they earned the displeasure of nasty men up here too and had to be packed off to somewhere else. During this time her lack of any morals, respect, propriety or courtesy as well as her pure fucking bare-faced cheek truly took our breath away. Examples include:

* Inviting psycho Johnny into the house she shared with my brother and her own for the hard liquor that he carried into the place. An episode that nearly got my brother quite badly fucked-up (see the aforementioned best-of post) if it weren't for my mum diffusing the situation.

* Bringing her appalling spawn to meet my mum whilst hanging off my brother's arm during one time he visited and saying to him 'go and ask your Nan for 50p for some sweets', right in front of my mum and me. That was one of many steps too far and I piped up with 'Just so you both know, my mum is not his Nan and never will be so let's kick that into touch straight away, shall we?'. Rob wailed and Lynn glowered but fuck them both. Besides, his mayfly-esque attention span and her next fix erased any memory they had of it, it seemed.

* Put her child benefit book in hock with my mum in return for a loan and then sent the Police around for it when the appointed time came to cash it and she of course hadn't paid my mum back. Lynn and her pack weren't allowed on the doorstep after that.

* Regularly palmed the boy off onto my brother, his mates or literally anyone who offered to keep an eye on him for however long they could stand the little shit. If he hasn't been molested at some point in his life by now, no-one would be more surprised than me.

* Chucked my brother out every couple of weeks and then sent notes to him via my mum (and getting the spawn to deliver them at that) that would have looked more at-home written in crayon declaring her 'pashunit luv' (I shit you not) for him and how badly she wanted him back. These little essays sometimes got very graphic and I say again, she sent them TO MY MUM to give to him. Not even in an envelope.

* Was observed by a number of my brother's mates on a number of occasions in the house treating my brother like shit and telling him to 'fack off around to your fackin mother's and get me some fackin money'.

* Of course, fucked anything that moved and/or didnt resist whether my brother was around or not. She even tried it on with me once - fuck's sake, I was 14. Suffice to say I told her to get the fuck off me. Ugh. Still makes me shudder now.

As stated, this pack of pondlife didn't take very long to piss off far less forbearing people than me and my mum and were carted off to torment some other group of unfortunates somewhere else, apparently setting fire to the house before they left. With hindsight though, that could have been a move by the townsfolk to make sure those fuckers went rather than deciding to squat or something.

Most of those familiar with my posts know I have no regard at all for chavs and their ilk but I still just about recognise them as human. These three however were the lowest, most despicable creatures I had or have since ever encountered. Now I think of it, common doesn't come close to covering it - they had no courtesy, no respect, no humility, no dignity, no anything that I could call a positive human quality. They were vermin.
(Tue 21st Oct 2008, 16:39, More)

» Karma

Oh, hang on - wait, yes, it's definitely an idea...
...and it's a blinder - can't wait to try it out. Fits in the scope of this QOTW by a gnat's knacker too :)

I don't use the tram in Manchester much these days, preferring my bike because it's quicker, better for me and a lot more fun. But sometimes circumstances prevent it and my pet hate on the trams is still ignorant twats (mostly chavs, of course) playing some charty pop shite on their phones at top volume without headphones. Check through my previous post in the worst journey QOTW.

I've been thinking about this just now whilst I'm shopping to replace my sadly-dead travel speakers and the one I'm looking at isn't just travel-able, it's handheld - pocket-sized, even.

So one day soon, some unsuspecting pillock is going to have his/her listening pleasure quite cripplingly disrupted by the theme tune to The Magic Roundabout on an endless loop at a volume that totally blows their pissy phone speaker away. Looking around, they'll find no obvious source for the sound but instead some not-really-tiny bloke grinning manically at them, having to shout above the music to say to them, 'ANNOYING, ISN'T IT?'

Look out Manchester - the MP3 vigilante is coming ;)
(Sun 24th Feb 2008, 11:41, More)

» Other people's diaries

Thanks, B3TA... I Think.
Things haven't been peachy between myself and my BF the past few months so yesterday after reading this QOTW I succumbed to temptation - I googled him and his preferred usernames.

I found him.

Oh yes, I found him in a looking-for-a-fuck profile on a cottaging* site I'd never previously heard of, dick pic and all, last accessed at the weekend when he was away in Blackpool supposedly spending time with his kids. I also found an entry for him on rate-a-rod (I gave it a barely-deserved 1 out of 10). I showed the link to one of my friends, a single gay guy who spends a fair bit of time on gay personals sites - he told me it isn't the first time he's seen a profile for him whist we've been together. He didn't want to tell me because he knew I was determined to try my hardest to rescue our relationship. Bit of a moot point if the BF is cheating, but still.

When challenged about it on his return from work, he said he'd created it that very weekend, 'just fucking about'. It struck me as rather specific, very thorough and considering the state of our relationship lately, fucking dangerous and thoughtless fucking about. Suffice to say, I didn't believe him. The discussion went downhill from there.

So that just about wraps it up for us, I guess. Two years, almost to the day I met him. And now it amounts to fuck-all. Shite :(

* COTTAGING: The practice of men having anonymous gay sex in public toilets. Classy :/
(Tue 6th Feb 2007, 9:08, More)
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