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This is a question The Dark

17,000 writes: Everything bad happens in the dark. Tell us your stories of noises and bumps in the night, power cuts, blindfolds and cinema fumbling.

(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 15:49)
Pages: Popular, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Disaster Control (lol)
As a member of the hospital's safety committee, I was invited to be on the new Disaster Control Team. We set up a command center in a long-unused storeroom, making sure we had: Both mains power feeds; Emergency power; and cell phone service.

All good so far, and we had multiple successful drills, and very successfully handled a real disaster when a nearby liquid ammonia (fertilizer) tank burst.

Not all events went so well, however. One day, while the elctricians were working on one of the mains lines, a large cable got out of hand and contacted the other mains line. Cue minor explosion, killing one worker and injuring several others. No emergency power, as all the disribution circuits were fried at their source.

So, here's your intrepid Disaster Control Team, racing down the corridors by the feeble light of the battery-operated emergency lighting. We get to our Command Center, and it's utterly black - no windows, no emergency lighting, no light at all. Also, since the local cell phone tower was on the hospital roof (tallest building around), and relied on our power, no communications.

So we stood in the dark for about 2 bewildered minutes, then headed upstairs to commandeer a room with windows. Needless to say, many lessons were learned that day.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 22:23, Reply)
Egypt, 2009
Last year I was invited to Egypt as a guest of the government and the tourist board and... blah police escorts, military checkpoints, lunatic politicans and far too much drinking. Anywho. Penultimate night. Bedouin camp, 10 miles into the desert. Perfect darkness.

I walked away from the lights, away from the life. Light is safety, warmth and security. I walked until all around me was dark. The only senses I could rely on were touch and sound. For long minutes I walked on, eyes down, letting myself adjust to the stygian blackness, the nothingness.

I've never felt so disembodied or disorientated. I sat on the sand, alone in the desert. Slowly I looked up.

In that moment I saw all the splendour and wonder of the universe. Galaxies, shooting stars, the Milky Way itself. I saw all life and all creation in the sky. I felt that, at that moment, something I've never experienced before or since.

I got up and slowly walked back to the camp in the blinding dark. Shuffling, walking, guessing.

I'll probably never see what I saw that night, the modern world is slowly killing the stars. The light blocks out the dark.

The dark isn't scary.

Sometimes, you have to go into dark places to see the light.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 22:09, 14 replies)
My first ever Valentine card when I was 10
said "Love may be blind, but messing around in the dark can be fun"
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 21:48, Reply)
The Darkness
Once saw The Darkness.

Now that WAS scary!
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 21:27, Reply)
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 21:21, Reply)
Ooh, me! Me! Me!
Night is great for sleeping, with the smothering darkness cradling my admittedly generally strange dreams, though on the whole I enjoy them.

I was dreaming of something strange - I had my long hair back and it kept falling in my mouth, not disappearing like it normally would do or staying in one place so I could pick the stray end out, but almost tickling; every time I stopped it it would start again in another spot like an irritating itch.

Despite my attempts to stop this happening, it persisted until the point I started to drowsily awake to the growing realisation that this sensation was not only very annoying, but very probably real - holy shit - Real(?), no.....yes....no....yes. YES.

There is something in the real world that is IN MY MOUTH.

I'm in the generally accepted safest place in the world (in bed, under the covers, you know I'm right) I'm sleepily confused, can't see a thing, and there is definitely MOTHERFUCKING SOMETHING IN MY MOUTH! I can't spit it out, as I've tried that, I think, in my sleep(?), so I need the light on which is not that close and I do not know what is in my mouth, my room, or right now -my reality!

So I freak out. Spitting, spluttering, and scrambling for the lamp switch as I fall out of bed all the while bracing for the pain from a blow or the touch from something of which I am not sure. I find the switch and flick it -the light instantly blinds me but I am not yet in pain and I think the feeling has stopped but I'm not taking any chances. I roll off the floor and back into bed, sitting with my back to the wall trying to calm down while I work out what the hell is going on.

I have the hair on my fingertip where I plucked it out, but as my eyes begin to adjust I can make out a shape spasming lying next to me that doesn't make things better - what the hell is th... oh no, please no!

Lying next to me in bed is the partially dismembered (presumed eaten) body of a fucking daddy-long-legs spider, trying to crawl off down the side of the bed which, given that it only has three legs left it is doing rather unsuccessfully. Now I don't particularly like spiders at the best of times, so it's pretty obvious that fucker's dead. The 'hair' on my finger is a leg, I can find no more, though they aren't the biggest things in the world I'm pretty sure their absence means I've lived up to the rumour and been abruptly woken by trying to eat a spider too big to eat, in my sleep. Fuck.

Needless to say it took me a while to get back to sleep that night. :)

Edit: Thanks for the comments guys, looks like you all are feeling like I did -horrible isn't it?!
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 21:19, 20 replies)
Children of the Sun
I don’t mind the dark. Ever since I was a kid I had no problem wandering around the house at night wearing my jim jams with teddy in tow.

So with this in mind, coupled with the fact that I don’t sleep very well and never have, often meant that I walked around the house at night, watched telly very low, read books, drank milk etc. My parents knew I did this but obviously couldn’t really do anything about it if they were asleep and as long as I were quiet they didn’t mind.

One Sunday evening, I couldn’t really sleep. I went downstairs with Teddy, and got some milk from the kitchen. Being a clumsy little twad, I spilt some milk onto the floor. Quite a lot actually.

So I got a mop and started mopping away, singing under my breath, as you do. “Enfant du soleil, tu parcours la terre le ciel, cherche ton chemin, c'est ta vie, c'est ton destin, et le jour, la nuit, avec tes deux meilleurs amis, a bord du Grand Condor, tu recherches les Cites d'Or”. (Having lived in France, I only knew the French lyrics to the Cities of Gold and I typed that from memory so it’s probably wrong)

I then saw a large shape loom out of the darkness and I screamed and tried to use the mop on it.

From my somewhat nervous dad’s perspective, he had awoken to a low swishing noise, and someone whispering. Terror struck him, but he faced his fear and went to the kitchen. It wasn’t too far as we lived in a bungalow and the sound had carried rather too well.

He saw a small hunched figure wielding some sort of ‘axe or hammer’ and muttering about children of the sun. He thought, perhaps irrationally, that this was an escaped mental patient who had broken in, instead of his naughty insomniac son. He moved closer to apprehend this peril but the escaped mental patient shouted ‘kill you!’ at him (that’s what he thinks I said, and still maintains to this day) and lunged directly at his eyes with the hammer. He recoiled backwards in bowel clamping terror and muttered about Jesus preserving him.

I just turned on the light and continued mopping. Dads eh? Tchoh.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 21:15, 9 replies)
It seemed like a good idea at the time.......
Around this time last year it was unseasonably warm. ( may have been August )
One Saturday, I was working until 9pm, got frustrated by weekend engineering works and after an hour to get about the same distance as I could have walked in an hour, instead of baking any more I bailed out for a well earned pint and a game of darts.
Got on the tube again and had to change several times and after a huge wait got the last one going my way. 12 hours shift and now getting towards 0130 so abou 18 hours awake. I did nod off in the few stations left . Autopilot: I was at the right bit to get the exit, woke up, got off, hang on, of the two like that, I`ve just got off at the one before mine. Needless to say the doors closed before I could get back on.

The next station, the right one is a mile away, but only if you walk down the track.
It is about 4 to drive or walk from there and 1 more to mine. Hmmm the chances of a cab on a saturday at this time , plus an after midnight premium?

A brilliant idea, it is also 1 mile if I walk along the canal, and it goes closer to home than the tube line, you used to cycle it to work once upon a time you fool! Spang!

Lovely bright moonlit night, there are factories on the towpath side, all shut as it is weekend, and fields and the chunk of preserved forest on the other side, plus a few canal boats all lights off and kipping.

Then it gets a little windy and clouds come in. Pitch black! There is nothing. My vision has ramped up to noisy but there is virtually nothing so I just stand there, too far in to go back, and the park route away from the canal is about the same ahead. There is no kerb to the towpath, just grass and wild stuff to the end of the mud. So you can blunder on listening to gravel crunch and then vegetation means go back to crunch, I did this for maybe a hundred metres very very slowly. Then there was a moment of moonlight, I was nowhere near a factory, there was a sort of clearing under some very large bushes probably cleared out by fishermen. Me no silly, I pulled the waterproof out of my pack, as groundsheet, pack as pilow and went to sleep.

I was woken by a shower, and the bushes kept me completely dry.
about 6am the light woke me and I went WTF? And then remembered. that was actually a really nice experience, in the warm asleep under the clouds not stars.

Of course that was very dangerous, there could have been muggers, fine, mood I was in, my name was Darwin.
My toolkit was in the pack and I did have some useful items like spray contact cleaner, plus there was a canal to chuck them into, most people that stupid can`t swim.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 21:09, Reply)
This was a bad experience, not quite what 17,000 writes, but directly as a result of darkness.

When I was a young boy my parents took my brother and me on an outing to the seaside, not too far from where we lived. As we were walking along a pier we came across a tiny little structure. My parents said it was a lighthouse. We stepped inside the door, and all that was inside was a spiral staircase which went up about a third or a half of a *revolution* and then suddenly stopped, and which went down as well.

We immediately climbed up the spiral stair to the top, from where you could see out a great window of which the top of the lighthouse consisted. Because of the age we were, my brother and I (and I think my parents as well!) thoroughly enjoyed climbing up the stair and back down again to the door.

One thing struck me, however. That is, my parents (and my brother as well) seemed to completely ignore the fact that the stairs went down as well. Full of characteristic curiosity, I started down, and before long came across a tiny little niche in the wall, where I think there may have been a broom stored, though I can't remember for certain. Down I continued, and then it became dark ahead of me so I had to turn round and go back up again.

What was down there? I was to have all sorts of fantasies throughout coming years. My parents appeared at the time to be too engrossed in other things to notice the fright which their young son had just experienced. I was too overcome with fear at the time to say anything to them, and they continued to totally overlook the fact that the stairs went down as well as up.

I think if I remember correctly, I did mention something about it to my mum a few days (or possibly a few weeks) later - about how I had gone down as well in the lighthouse but it was dark down there so I had had to turn around and come back up again. Nothing, however, was said in response. Why did my parents remain 100% oblivious to the fact that the stairs went down as well?

This matter was to cause me further confusion. A bit over a year later, my mum took my brother and me to see a lighthouse. We were to be shown around by the lighthouse keeper, my mum having explained to us all about what a lighthouse was. She then told us, "Dad and I have been in a lighthouse before, though you haven't"?

I thought we had all been in one a little more than a year ago. But all that was inside was that spiral staircase. No lighthouse keeper, and no living quarters. Could my mum have forgotten about it, or made a mistake in saying that it was a lighthouse?

I remember going back to that pier at times during later years, but the *lighthouse* (if that's what the structure was) was always closed. Gradually I began to think that maybe it had just been a big coincidence that it had been open that time.

I was still overcome with fright over being confronted by the darkness that time, and a sense of mystery and fear about what could have been down the stair. I had all sorts of fantasies: Perhaps there had been trolls down there. Had I continued down in the darkness, maybe I would have eventually felt myself being attacked and eaten by one.

When I was slightly older, I learnt that Australia was beneath us. Perhaps it could have gone all the way down to Australia? If you ever came across a tower with a spiral staircase in Australia which went up, up, up into the sky, and which became dark, that must be the bottom of the lighthouse.

Could it even have gone down forever?

I had many dreams about it throughout the rest of my childhood. One featured a spiral staircase in a castle which went down as well as up, and became dark. Later in time in the dream, I stood at the top of the staircase, and was able to look down the way. There seemed to be lights marking the spot where it became dark, and it went down, down, down, .... I couldn't see how far.

In another dream I was at an airport, with people from school. 3 of us (myself included) decided to explore a spiral staircase which went down. It became dark, but we kept going. We finally reached the bottom, and searched for an exit from the airport which we knew was there, but were unable to find it.

In yet another dream - a nightmare - I was going down a metal spiral staircase. The further down, the darker it became. Now and again corridors branched off, and these became dark as well. I was terrified because there might be trolls along them and/or further down the staircase.

Not only dreams, but the lighthouse experience even found its way into my schoolwork. One time in class, we were asked to write a continuation to a story about a man arriving in an old, ruined castle. I wrote about how he went down a spiral staircase, which became dark, and ended up getting attacked by trolls and other terrifying creatures. The teacher was so impressed that she read my essay out to the whole class - a real honour, especially as I rarely managed to write stories good enough to warrant that.

Finally, 16 years after the original experience, I had the courage to tell an extremely close friend all about it. It immediately turned on a really bright light (as external viewpoints often do) when he said that maybe down the stair is where the living quarters had been. Either that or there would have been a storeroom or something down there. This immediately put an end to my endless wondering.

To further clear things up, my friend and I went along to this pier, and he explained to me that the structure was, in fact, a lighthouse - a miniature one. Like we thoroughly expected, it was locked. We had brought a torch along just in case it had been open (as a young child, it would never have occured to me to explore a dark place with the aid of a torch). We then enquired with someone about how we could possibly get in, and were told that only the piermaster, who was only around at weekends during the Summer, might possibly have the key.

Next Summer a weekend came along when my friend and I were both free. My friend (who is a keen photographer) brought along his camera with a tripod. Using this he managed to raise his camera up to the window at the top of the lighthouse to take a photo. Afterwards, we were both totally amazed when we saw that the spiral stair did in fact go up and suddenly stop, exactly as I had described.

A few minutes later we found the piermaster. He explained to us that back in the past you used to always be able to go into the lighthouse, but access to it was discontinued after it became a listed building. He did not have the key, but said he used to hang out in there as a kid. With characteristic courage, my friend told him that it looked like the stairs went down as well, to which the piermaster replied that they did. My friend then asked him what happened down there, and the piermaster replied that there was nothing down there - that it just came to a dead end - not far down.

Wow, 17 years later and the mystery was finally solved once and for all! I had two dreams that night which were inspired by the passing of the age of the lighthouse/frighthouse/darkhouse!

Could my parents have automatically known or assumed that there was nothing down there, that it just came to a dead end? Maybe they had even been in before, and that would have explained everything.

My friend, a great poet, has written a song about the experience:

What was down the stair?
It was dark down there!
What was I to do?
It's causing me despair!
What was down the stair?
It was dark down there!
What was I to do?
It's causing me despair!

That's the chorus, and he wrote many verses as well.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 21:01, Reply)
Said me to a friend....
'Are you scared of the dark?'

'No, I think Africa is a great place.'
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 20:46, Reply)
This is a bit of a phobia of mine actually
I'm not too proud to admit this, I am terrified of the darkness.

It all started when I woke up one night to find Justin Hawkins standing over me with a knife.

I'm sorry, I really am but I couldn't resist
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 20:44, Reply)
How to tell if you are a real bookworm.
The power for the building has just gone, plunging you into darkness. The brand new book that arrived this morning is sat at your elbow.
Do you:
Think "Ah bollocks" and go to bed?
Gather up a dozen tealights and a scented candle, arrange them in a circle and read by flickering candlelight until your eyes start to hurt?
It was a pretty good book, mind you.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 20:28, 3 replies)
I have no idea why this is, but for some reason when I'm alone at night I never turn on the lights in the hallway or landing when I'm walking about the house.

(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 20:13, 5 replies)
I have an incredible phobia of the dark
And I still sleep with the light on.

Not that funny or interesting but there you go.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 20:07, 2 replies)
General Mishaps
Ok so if you have read some of my posts you will know i am somewhat clumsy. Clumsyness + Messy room + Dark = Bad.

One of the worst accidents i have had was a while back when i was repairing a few computers. I had fell asleep slumped on the keyboard when my phone rang, who the hell rings at 3am?, i wake up still groggy and proceed to trip on a computer, bang my head into the door and all together just get hurt by random stuff lying around.

Eventually i get to the phone, who was it ringing at 3am? Drunk sister. What she wanted? I cant remember, i fell asleep on the floor halfway through the call
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 19:56, Reply)
Bit of a tenuous link but
I was sitting this morning trying to get my answer about banks in before the question closed. My wife was in bed (pregnant with hyper emesis) and I was taking care of the little guy (who is two).#

As a consequence of preparing my 1200+ word response on banks I kinda neglected him. I am ashamed to say that he even came up to me and asked me to change his nappy on two separate occasions. So I did the only thing a loving caring father could. I stuck on an episode of postman pat to keep him sweet for the five minutes I needed. I figured I could knock out the last part of my banking moan before the theme tune even ended.

My little dude had other ideas. (this is where the tenuous link comes in)

He came up to me and handed me a raisin which I absentmindedly accepted. Only it was not a raisin. He had reached into the deepest DARKest recesses of his nappy and picked out the choicest most juicy and succulent bottom sultana he could lay his hands on. At first I didn't realise what it was. Then doubt started to creep in to my mind. All of a sudden my B3TA response was pushed to the back of my mind. I looked closer. What can I say his little starfish had produced an artifact which to the untrained eye looked identical to a sultana. At this point it was still unclear just exactly what I was holding. I knew a little bite would tell me all I needed to know. I blessed myself, closed my eyes, hoped for the best and took a little..........

NO NO NO, I'm not that stupid. I just sniffed it and the alarm bells started ringing. The bottom line (no pun intended) is that my son can get his point across quite eloquently when he needs to.

Only the worst things come from the dark.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 19:40, Reply)
As I mentioned previously I used to run play schemes . During one particular summer extra funds were made available to take some of the more deprived kids away for a week in the countryside. This also included activities for the kids, run by the local outward bound centre, which left me and my mate with little to do during the day. So we tended to hang around in the local boozer and then spend our evenings making sure the little darlings were entertained and kept from murdering each other in whatever inventive ways they could come up with. The other downside was that the outward bound staff expected us to deal with any behavioural problems they encountered instead of handling it themselves at the time the incidents occurred.

It soon became apparent that there was a particular wee scrote who was responsible for more than his fair share of problems. So, Andy and me decided we would sort him out. We ensured that immediately following the evening meal he was sent to his room where all modes of entertainment had been removed. Leaving the other supervisors to entertain the rest of the kids (not a difficult job, most of them were tough and boisterous but underneath reacted well to a bit of direction and attention) me and Andy went out side and kept watch on Scrote’s window by the cunning technique of me standing on Andy’s shoulders and looking in the window. After a while he stopped wandering around and lay down on his bed. A little later he had obviously gone to sleep. Showtime!

We had stolen a sheet from the laundry room and I put this over my head and got back on Andy’s shoulders. You can see where this is going. Lots of scratching at the window and “Woooooooo, Scroooooote! I’ve come for you! Wooooooo!” etc reduced the wee shite to a blubbering wreck. Apparently he still wouldn’t sleep without a nightlight when he was eighteen some 6 years later. Behaved himself though.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 19:18, Reply)
Possibly not scary
... More pure laziness/exhaustion on my part,

When I moved into my first flat on my own I was working shift work 12on 12 off etc. The first night I noticed a flickery light in the corner furthest away in my bedroom but was so tired I thought nothing of this.. this continued for about a week or so until I finally remembered to investigate during the day and found.....

An electric carbon dioxide detector whose battery was low and needed replacing (hence the flashing)

So not scary.. unless you're afraid of flashing lights
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 19:09, Reply)
The dark does not mix well with teh fluff..
2 out of the 3 cats I have had the pleasure of living with do have a habit of sleeping either at the top of stairs, on the stairs themselves or across gaps between furniture just asking to be stood on, or more often making me leap out of my skin into a door/wall/lamp/floor or somesuch. The best I can hope for is pooing myself if I stand on a bit which they feel, and let me know about it, but doesn't trip me up.

Whilst on the subject of cats/disruption/night time, I sleep on one side of a bed with Mrs Tinypod on the other, but our Pepper lies on her side of the bed with Mrs TP in the middle. If she needs the loo in the middle of the night guess who has to move. Would that be Peps who doesn't have to do a 9 to 5ish job and can sleep all day? No, muggins here has to get up for that and the return trip because she "doesn't want to disturb the bairn". I love them both but the pecking order sucks in our house.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 18:49, Reply)
My Hallowe'en costume:

Black robe, red LEDs on my glasses and home-made stilts to take me up to 7'8".

I actually made a kid piss himself two years ago.

Edit: I also use this costume when trying to raise money on comic relief. You'd be amazed how fast people pay up.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 18:48, 7 replies)
I'm terrified of Bill Gates.
Damn this crippling fear of the dork.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 18:45, Reply)
Summer of 2000, at a house-party with some of my mates after we'd finished 6th form. One more party in a whole summer spent loafing and boozing...

Anyway, there's a massive queue for the loo, so my friend Craig decides he's going to sneak out the back and have a wee at the bottom of the garden, where no-one will see him. Having shared his cunning plan with us, he opened the back door and disappeared bravely into the night, mind set on his objective.

Two minutes later, no Craig. Five minutes, no Craig.

What's he doing out there?

I go out to investigate and there's no sign of him, so I get my phone out. He didn't answer at first, but after a few tries, he picked up.

Craig: 'Hullo'
Me: 'Where are you?'
Craig (nonchalantly) 'Oh, I'm on my way home - wasn't enjoying it much...'
Me: 'Eh? We were having a great time? Plus you live miles away - you should have got James to drop you off if you wanted to go.'
Craig: 'Nah. Fancied a walk.'
Me: 'Alright'

This is a bit weird... Anyway, it wasn't until a few days later after much inquiring that we got the full story.

Craig, knackered after a day at work in a warehouse for his summer job, and with a belly full of beer, had gone out into the pitch blackness at the bottom of the garden, started peeing in the hedge, and relaxed into it so much that he shut his eyes, dropped off into a reverie for an instant, and promptly keeled over backwards, managing to create a human wee fountain which covered his face and shirt as he arced backwards and hit the ground with a thump. Realising he was now covered in foul-smelling beer-wee, he'd elected to travel home by the quietest route possible, like some sort of piss ninja.

Apparently it took him over an hour as he detoured through the fields in the dark rather than take the quicker route through town and risking being seen.

So there you go, kids - don't fall asleep in the dark and wee all over yourself.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 18:37, 5 replies)
I am a man who walks alone
And when I'm walking a dark road at night, or strolling through the park... when the light begins to change, I sometimes feel a little strange; a little anxious when it's dark.

...yeah, I got nothing but Iron Maiden lyrics.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 18:36, 1 reply)
We go mountain biking in the dark
It's fantastic. We've got all singing all dancing multi million candlepower lights but turning them off for a second when you're in a forest in buttfuck nowhere is a really wierd experience.
Also riding back home across acres of moorland in the dark, on your own on a path that is 2 scaffold boards wide (with chunks missing) and riding down country lanes where you can't see the bends coming up.

When it's drizzly and you have a helmet light, it's like the stars screensaver as you are riding along!

Can't beat it :D Roll on winter (usually drier than summer too)
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 18:14, 2 replies)
The time the power went out at uni
Power cuts. They're always a feature of modern life, and tend to spice things up for most people. Gone are pretty much everything electrical, unless it has a battery but even then, those won't last long.

This is the tale of a fairly epic power cut on my university campus.

I go to Chester university. For those who have never been, presumably thats pretty much everyone on here, Chester uni campus is very, very small compared to most university campuses (campii?). As such, there is a very friendly air about the entire place, and with all the halls of residence bar one pretty much next to each other, you get to know people very easily.

Back in the early summer of 2007, I was enjoying a spot of naked bed-wrestling in the afternoon with my then ladyfriend, to the delightful sound of Porcupine Tree playing in the background of my room, and the dull drone of the bassy soundsystem in my chavvy neighbour booming through the wall. When it all stopped. The electrical stuff, that is, not the horizontal fandango. Complaints were heard through the paper-thin walls of the adjacent rooms about the "fucking leccy going off", and suchlike.

What none of us realised at the time was that because this was a Friday afternoon bordering on evening, and because the entire university campus had gone down, it would take all weekend to fix the problem and get the entire campus back online.

I went out for dinner with the ladyfriend, came back to find the power still out, and because this was now at about 10 pm, decided to organise a corridor-wide cinema-style film viewing. Most of us had laptops with battery, but only I had the longest lasting battery and a big enough laptop (17" MacBook Pro, for those who care) that everyone could see the screen decently. As the place I was living at was split into three corridors stacked on top of each other, with my room being in the middle corridor, we invited a few people from both upstairs and the downstairs corridor to join in with our film. By 11 pm, we were all ready and all set up, having acquired supplies from the local corner shop. We decided to watch Hide and Seek with Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning. By the time we finish, we're sat in the pitch dark, as the emergency lights have also run out of power. I've packed my laptop away, wanting to save a bit more battery on it.

This is where things start to get fun. There are about 40 of us sat in the corridor, chattering away in complete pitch darkness. Unbeknownst to us though, some of the people from the downstairs corridor have decided to sneak in with us, and are now standing near where we're all seated. Almost psychically, they all start to shout boo and moan like ghosts. All the womenfolk of the area immediately start screeching, and then everyone starts laughing maniacally.

Someone then suggests we go pay a visit to one of the other halls of residence. But that we should do it stealthily. Due to the construction of the university campus being built at different times and different parts of it being more technologically advanced than others, the halls we're planning our little raid on were locked with new fancy electronic locks, which now no longer work due to no electricity getting to them. In essence, their front door is wide open.

So we raid it. Badly. We didn't know that there were about 15 people in this tiny little hall, and our now 50 odd strong party can't actually fit in there fully. We gave up in the end, and instead decided to troop off back to our hall and settle in for the night and go to sleep, given that this is now about 4 am.

We spent the rest of the weekend in the pub, as they had drink, entertainment, but more importantly, had electricity and sources of light so none of us had to hang around in the dark. Well, we were kicked out at closing time, and then spent the night causing chaos on the pitch-black campus until we got bored. Football at 3 am with the stars being your only light is strangely fun.

By Monday lunchtime, they had fixed the lights, so we no longer got to cause chaos at night time under cover of complete darkness. Boo.

Apologies for length, its been a while since I posted.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 18:03, Reply)
Not fun
Imagine this:

You're 18 years old, living in Rio de Janeiro for a gap year, happily stumbling home (a walk of about 3kms) at 3am after going to a party where you first received oral relief from a young lady. Its dark, with low, heavy, tropical thunderclouds hanging overhead. The humid air is making your shirt stick to you, but the warm glow of recent groinal elation is still percolating throughout your alcohol ridden system. To get home you have to take a short cut through a badly lit tunnel underneath one of the massive hills that Rio has. You figure the chances of being mugged and shot are reasonable in light of the extra 30 minutes you'd have to walk if you took a more roundabout route, so with a rather stupid level of teenage bravado you march into the tunnel. Its one of those tunnels with a bend and the first 60 yards or so are practically pitch black, save for the flash of passing car head lights. As you round the corner you see a group of men standing with flash lights... but its still too dim to really see what they are doing. You start to get paranoid so you slow down a bit and try to make out what they are doing... as you creep forward you stumble slightly and your right foot (clad only in a flip-flop) comes down hard on something cold and soft which oozes over the sole of your flip-flop and squedges against the toes. In surprise you cry out. The men ahead are on you in a second. They're policemen, who have just had the body of a homeless man who'd been shot through the head taken away. They shine the light down, and there you are, toe deep in someone else's brain.

When you finish vomiting, and they finish laughing, they help you up, take you to the near by police post to wash your foot off, take what remaining money you have on you, and then send you on your way.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 17:59, 3 replies)
Yep, Im terrified of the dark because of a film.
I honestly mean it.
Im not scared of Gremlins as such, at 24 that would be Stupid.
Im scared of my overactive imagination, the fact that I never quite know what is making that strange noise outside my back door, could be a fox, could be a horribly scarred escaped mental patient with a hammer.

I watched Gremlins at age 4, so no wonder im a little traumatized by it.

*Checks under bed*

Length? 20 years of sleeping with the telly on if im alone
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 17:57, 2 replies)
Event Horizon
When this film was released, I was working in my local multiplex. Probably the best job I've ever had, cheating the sweetshop scales for personal profit, eating nachos and ben and jerrys by the armful, and what a lot of people who have never worked in a cenima dont realise is that all the films go in and out at roughly the same time, so on average you only spend about an hour working in any 8 hour shift. ace.

But I digress. Event Horizon was coming out soon, and as is usual, the film must be run through as a test to check it before the release. this was happening at about 2am on a saturday night and by all accounts was a bloody scary film, so we got very, very stoned, turned the volume up to 5 (usually at about 2) and settled in.

2hours later a shaking and sweating with fear, I left the cinema and headed out to my car to drive home, the route took me along several dark country lanes and the entire journey was spent telling myself that "it was all going to be OK" - eventually get home and sneak into my room without turning any lights on and waking anyone up, convinced some supernatural space horror was about to gouge out my eyeballs.

I get into bed, still shaking and trying to convince myself its all fine and realise that im going to have to read something fun and familiar to take my mind off it, so I pick up my well thumbed copy of Hitchhikers guide and read for about 20mins, all the time still shitting myself.

Eventually I calm down enough to try sleeping. I fearfully turn the light off and lie breathing in the dark room for a few seconds, when *BANG* there is a huge explosion in. my. ROOM!

I literally leapt about 2ft off my bed, heartrate totally off the scale and then cowered under the sheets for what felt like an eternity. Eventually sense took over and I decided to turn the lights on and investigate.

The bin in the corner of the room was smoking and had fallen over. Turns out my girlfriend at the time had been mixing some hair dye or some such and had left the can in the bin, the pressure had been slowly building and it decided to explode at the worst possible time, right as I switched the lights off, stoned out of my box, having just watched one of the scariest films I'd ever seen in an almost empty cinema.

Lesson: Go out with a natural brunette next time.

Length? I usually get compliments.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 17:53, 4 replies)
I feel a Pearoast coming on...
The curious incident of the flare in the night time.

Many years ago my younger brother nicked a naval flare from a boat and kept it in a drawer in his room for months. Being young and bored my mates and I thought it'd be a jape to steal it, launch it and see what happens. We waited until dark and climbed onto the roof of the local pavilion. The foot-long plastic tube was handed to our somewhat gullible pal and waited whilst he read the instructions out loud to himself and carried them out.

"Unscrew End Caps, Pull lever down, then push lever u..."

There then followed an ear-splitting whoosh accompanied by a huge cloud of foul white smoke as the projectile shot off toward the heavens. A split second before he'd launched it my other mate and I had (quite sensibly as it turned out) jumped down and started running like the clappers.

Somewhat panicked and now blinded by smoke, our gullible pal jumped off the roof, twisting his ankle and hobbling away from the scene as fast as he could. He caught us up very shortly after as there was absolutely fuck all point in trying to hide anyway.

The flare had lit up a sleepy area of Norfolk about a mile across, as if it was the midday sun.

Fortunately no Sea King helicopters attended. In fact, nobody other than the three of us mentioned seeing it. ever.

But then that's Norfolk for you.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 17:45, 1 reply)

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