b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Desperate Times » Post 100795 | Search
This is a question Desperate Times

Stranded in a hotel in an African war zone with no internet access for two weeks, I was forced to resort to desperate measures. Possessing only my passport and the clothes I stood up in; and the warning "You can catch it shaking hands with a vicar out there" ringing in my ears, I had to draw my own porn in order to preserve my sanity.

Alas, it all came out looking like Coronation Street's Audrey Roberts, but, as they say, any port in a storm.

What have you done in times of great desperation?

(, Thu 15 Nov 2007, 10:10)
Pages: Latest, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, ... 1

« Go Back

A Childhood Memory.
I'm not sure if I can do this justice: it's a memory that haunts me to this day: One man's desperation.


I think I was 9 or 10, sat in the back of my family's ford Escort: I can still remember the Numberplate. It was a fairly balmy summer's day and we were in an unfamiliar town. Idly gazing out of the window I wasn't looking for anything in particular. A few years later I'd be looking for girls, a few years before it would have been tractors. This time.. Nothing. I was bored.

The car paused in cue for some traffic lights, and looking out of my window I saw a guy come half running, half tripping out of Kwik-Save.

He looked slightly different: a look I'd later discover was caused by Downs Syndrome", but that didn't matter. The thing that struck me so hard was the look of pure determination on his face, clutched lovingly in both of his hand was a single packet of Penguin chocolate bars. 7 individually wrapped bars wrapped in one long pack. The moment he was out of the store he started to tear at the cellophane wrapper.

It was clear to me that he'd been desperate for these. Sure, they're not the cornerstone of a healthy diet, but the air of sheer determination that was around him showed that this moment was what he'd been looking forward to all day. He'd been and got them, they were all his, and now... Now it was all going wrong.

The plastic packaging seemed to be impervious to his efforts. He was a strong looking guy, but he simply didn't seem to have the knack of opening them. He must have only tried for 10 or 15 seconds with the package skittering around in his fingers as he pulled at it, searched for an opening, tried to open it like a packet of crisps but the material offered no purchase....

During this time his determined expression went though simple yet marked changes, Joy, to desperation, to utter panic, and then - horribly, as tears welled up in his eyes - to total and utter crushing defeat. He sat on the pavement not 3 meters from the car and - clutching the penguins to his chest - started to sob and cry. Passers-by ignored him, but they didn't know the story. All he wanted was to have his penguin biscuits open. All he wanted to do was taste his chocolate, and the dream had been torn from him. He'd lost.

I looked out of the window, hands pressed against it and completely powerless to help. My dad dropped the clutch and we began to move again. I begged him to stop: I wanted to show him I cared and open his penguins for him, but dad said we had no time.


Sat here, 20 years on, I can still see his face in every detail, and the frustration of it all makes tears well up and puts a lump in my throat.

If you see someone who needs help, help them: You might just be their sunshine for that day.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 15:13, 12 replies)
That's so sweet.

(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 15:15, closed)
a touching story
a shame you couldn't help him

it surely would've made good things happen for you as well as helping him out

I am a great believe in the "my name is earl" variety of karma
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 15:17, closed)
Fuck it he wasn't supposed to be eating them, he was already fat and probably a diabetic.

I saw a quadromong in the queue at Sainsburys once, buying 40 tins of "basics" pate. I was almost sick right there and then.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 15:27, closed)
i could do with a helping hand this afternoon

(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 15:29, closed)
Nice thought
but I have a feeling if you had gone up to him and tried to open his Penguins for him, he'd have thought you were trying to steal them and hit you for your trouble.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 15:30, closed)
Probably so...
But That's childhood innocence for you.


Rachelswipe.. my hands are all yours. Do with them what you will. ;o)
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 15:48, closed)
I think I love you

(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 16:22, closed)
Chickenlady.. That has to be..
... The most flattering comment I've ever had on B3ta..

...and the fact that it's from you makes it all the more touching...

(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 16:24, closed)
Well told.
And yes, I would have tried to help him as well.

(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 16:52, closed)
Thats lovely.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 18:47, closed)
lovely story..
... but what if he hadn't bought them? what if they were stolen.... now that put a whole new spin on things... sort of like a mini Karma episode
(, Wed 21 Nov 2007, 12:29, closed)
^ up there
There's always one....
(, Wed 21 Nov 2007, 21:18, closed)

« Go Back

Pages: Latest, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, ... 1