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This is a question My Biggest Disappointment

Often the things we look forward to the most turn out to be a huge let down. As Freddy Woo puts it, "High heels in bed? No fun at all. Porn has a lot to answer for."

Well, Freddy, you are supposed to get someone else to wear them.

What's disappointed you lot?
null points for 'This QOTW'

(, Thu 26 Jun 2008, 14:15)
Pages: Latest, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, ... 1

This question is now closed.

I was 13
I was sitting in my bedroom overlooking the street. It was getting dark, but I was bored and listless and couldn't be arsed to get up to turn on the light.

As I sat there in the growing dusk I noticed the upstairs light of no.37 over the road come on. Mrs Jones, my friend Bob's mum, walked into her bedroom carrying a bundle of clothes.

She put the clothes down on the bed and started to put them away. When she was done she closed the bedroom door and sat on the bed to remove her shoes.

I started to watch with more interest as she stood to pull down her tights. I couldn't believe it, this was a real women, with real bits and everything, and she was getting undressed practically in front of me!

I hunkered forward, a weird butterfly feeling in the pit of my stomach. She unhook the side of her skirt and slid it down before picking it up and folding it. I could see her underwear! A genuine piece of female lingerie! Fair enough, they were white and at this distance I couldn't exactly make out the details, but so what. All that stood between my eyes and her bottom was a thin piece of cotton material.

I could feel little althegeordie making his presence felt.

She started to undo her shirt. Every button that came loose made the now obvious tent in my trousers twitch like a it was caught in a gale.

Finally, the shirt was taken off and hung up. Her bra was black. She was wearing a black bra! I had never felt this excited in my life, my hands crept towards my flies.

I was about to see a real woman naked, and I was damn well going to have a wank over it. I suddenly realised that I was going to cum whilst I could actually see a naked women, that was practically having sex, it was a least seven eighths of the way to losing my virginity. I was going to be a king at school.

All thought of loyalty to Bob and the fact that I was wanking over his mum went straight out of the window. None of my friends would ever have a story this good to tell. I would be a sex hero.

As my trembling hand waggled up and down she reached round and unhooked her bra. This was it, this was the moment I had dreamed of ever since I first figured out how much fun playing with myself could be.

They were her actual breasts, with nipples and everything. And then it got even better, she slowly slid those little cotton pants down her thighs and onto the floor. I could see a dark triangle of hair between those pale thighs.

I couldn't hold on any more, I fired a huge stream of hot jizz all over the radiator. It was like a fire hose going off. Nobobdy has ever produced as much spunk to this day.

I practically fell off my chair. My head was spinning, my knees were weak and my hand was damp and sticky.

I grabbed the bog roll from under my bed (I was no strange to self love by this time) and cleaned up my radiator.

I got up and opened the bedroom door and wandered downstairs. My mother was just putting my dinner on the table. Beans on toast. I loved beans on toast. This evening could not get any better.

I sat down and tucked in.


I should explain that my mother was something of an earth mothery type. She didn't like the big brands. So instead of Heinz, she bought some other crap that eschewed the use of sugar, and instead chose to sweeten the beans with apple juice.

Apple Juice.


I hated those beans. They ruined a really good evening.
(, Fri 27 Jun 2008, 16:53, 23 replies)
Strangely enough my biggest disappointment was yesterday....
Hi all, long time lurker, first time QOTW poster. All aboard for a rollercoaster ride of crushing disappointment. It’s a big’un.

My most recent (and possibly biggest) disappointment happened yesterday, as the title somewhat suggests.

Our beloved cat, Ernie, has been missing for a while. He's one of the coolest cats around, shimmering white and ginger in colour, has been repeatedly described by many as a "champagne" hue. A big hulking fluffeh awesome chap he was. Lazy like you wouldn’t believe, ate like a sumo-wrestler with a food fetish and would beat down a door to sit on your chest.

He'd been part of the family for 8 years and we rescued him from a stray cat center when he was only about one year old, brought him home along with his cell mate, Eric. He was so scared he didn’t come out of the basket for two days. We lost Eric inside of the first year due to “feline AIDS”….. yep it exists.

Anyways, he went missing about 4 weeks ago, very unlike him, he had the grace of a drunken rhino and normally struggled to get up a fence, let alone walk along one, so consequently he never often left the back garden. However, it was a balmy day down on the Sussex Riviera and he'd been lying about in the garden for hours - as fat cats do.

"He'll be back when he’s hungry" we told ourselves.

"He'll be back when it’s dark" we told ourselves later

"He'll be back in the morning" we told ourselves that evening

"I hope he comes back....." we said later that week.

We did the usual, made posters, walked around the neighborhood calling "ERNIE" while waving tins of tuna about like all sane people do.

The days went by and there was no body, no-one came to us. But he wasn’t flat at the side of any of the roads nearby... there was hope.

About 2 weeks later we had a knock on our door from a neighbor at the other end of our road "Have you found your cat?" qouth they. "Ney" we replied. "Then come quickly, I think he’s down near our house" we ran like the wind down to the end of the road. We could see a cat sitting in the distance. He was white! He was ginger!! He was Ernie!!!....... About 5 years ago.

Strange how it happens but this cat was his exact double, except a bit thinner and a lot smaller, couldn’t have been more than 2 years old, we had never seen it before and now he's there every day, mocking us in Ernie-like imitation. "Bugger" is about the correct word for that situation.
All was quiet on the feline-front for another two weeks.

Then yesterday, what do we hear but a knock on the door, we open it and it’s the lady from a few doors down, again he hear those Ill fated words “Have you found your cat yet?” To which we answer in the negative.

This time however, she mentions that the people who live in the road over from her, whose gardens backs on to hers, have found a cat in their garden and passed her a poster over then fence, which she then produced before us along with one of our posters like a shining ray of hope.

“Cat Lost” coupled with “Cat Found” a match made in heaven. There was a picture on it.

White, check
Ginger, check
Hulking Fluffeh Fatness, check.

It was HIM!! No doubt about it, our hearts leapt. Excitement building, we read the poster over and over and there was one line that jumped out at us.

“He is a little poorly so has been taken to the *local vet* as of Friday” Our neighbor commented on this and said that apparently he had been going back and forth to the poster-producers house over the last few days so couldn’t have been that bad.

It’s true, he’ll be fine. Vets are miracle workers, they’ll give him some food and a cool cat-bandage and he’ll be right as rain.

I bundled out the door and flew down to the vet. All was well again, by the end of the week he’ll be happily snoozing on my chest as I watch QI and it’ll be like he was never gone. I bounce in and up to the reception both the lost and found posters clutched in hand like the matching pair of keys to the treasure that will bring our Ernie back home.

“I believe someone has brought our cat in to you, he’s been missing for some time. We were so worried” I happily say to the lovely lady behind the desk as I hand over the posters.

“Oh isn’t he pretty” she smiles, “I’ve been away for a few days but I’ll go see what we have in stock” chuckling as she went to fetch my buddy.

One, Two, Five minutes go by and she hasn’t returned. Happy optimism begins to dampen… maybe he’s more than a little poorly….. He’ll still be fine though. He’s only 8, positively middle-aged in cat years.

She shuffles, back into the room. She doesn’t look quite as bubbly as 5 minutes ago.

“I’m ever so sorry” she whispers. “Yes we do have him; he was brought in on Friday. We kept him in over the weekend but he kept fitting. We weren’t sure what was causing it but suspect it may have been epilepsy, there was nothing we could do and it was getting worse and more frequent as time was going on. Unfortunately we had to put him down last night.”

*Enter sound of world collapsing, stage left*

“We still have the body if you want to say goodbye”

I follow her into a small, silver, sterile room with a towel unceremoniously covering a lump on the table. “Are you ready?” I nod, and with that she pulls back the towel like a sick Paul Daniels trick and there was my friend, alone and unmoving on the soulless metallic slab. Clenched, still and scared.

I reached out to stroke him one last time… dead cats are cold.

I don’t know where he was in those four weeks he was missing, whether he was having these fits before, where he was sleeping, where he was eating. All I know was that those 30 minutes between thinking he was coming home to realizing I would never see him again where the biggest high and most disappointing, crushing low I have ever known.

And I can’t help thinking that if I’d known just one day earlier I could have been there and he wouldn’t have made his, no doubt painful, exit from this world alone.

Rest in Peace Ernie… Ernest…. Ern. You were my buddy, my friend and my companion and I’ll miss you always. I’m sorry I wasn’t there.

Length... About 20 inches… and far far too cold.
(, Thu 26 Jun 2008, 22:17, 27 replies)
I used to love macaroni cheese
Our school was in quite a rich area, full of the children of lawyers and doctors, who had moved to the suburbs so they could commute into the city every day. The school grounds used to belong to an old mansion, and the only part of the original building left was an old tower, on two levels, attached to the school by a little bridge on the upper floor. The top level was Mr. Smith's maths classroom, and beneath it was a sandy-floored shelter.

The deer used to come to the round room. They would shelter under it when the weather was bad. I used to go and watch them at lunchtimes when I was going through my manic-depressive stage in third year, and wish I could be a deer, it seemed so much easier than school. Then the fourth years discovered that the walls under the round room served as an excellent hideout for all kinds of forbidden activities.

I remember the time I knelt in some deershit under the round room. It was the day I lost my innocence.

At fifteen, I was the school geek, the sad, lonely one who sat in the corner at lunchtime, nose in a book, whilst the other girls, the cool ones, chattered excitedly about boys. They all had breasts, and wore tight, short skirts, tight like clingfilm around their little hips, and they knew about kissing and what fucking and screwing meant. I was still flat as an ironing board though, known as "Holland" (after a particularly excruciating geography lesson), and had no idea what the other girls were talking about. However, when I hit sweet sixteen, I was flooded with hormones, and I discovered the previously hidden attraction of BOYS. I was besotted with one of the cool kids, one of the unattainable sixth years, with his amazing body, and clear skin, and deep voice. Unfortunately, so was everyone else, so I was left with Andy, the other geek in my year.

He was a tall, lanky, piss-streak of a boy, with greasy ginger curtains for hair, which he continually swept to the side, to get them away from his glasses. His hair was combed into a centre parting, which ha obviously been done using a ruler, so straight it was, and it was as greasy as a chippie floor. He also had the worst acne I have ever seen. A face made of pizza with extra mozzarella, which had been under a grill for too long. Some of his boils had obviously burst when he wasn't squeezing them, and a thick crust had formed over them. His nose, forehead and chin (the infamous T-zone) were like a field of boiling lava, with the constant `put! put!`s of exploding plooks. He also had a large hairy mole, which was continually being threatened with drowning in the pus, on his left cheek. We used to watch it in horrified fascination in classes, waiting for it to make a bid for freedom, but it never did.

My memories of him are full of pus and grease and the metal braces on his rodenty teeth. But it never bothered me, because he was gagging for it, like me, as horny the school orchestras' brass section (which, owing to an enthusiastic brass teacher, was exceptionally well endowed with horns that year). Like a dog with two dicks.

It was at lunchtime that he made his suggestion. It was macaroni cheese for lunch; we were in the school canteen as usual. The macaroni was being dropped onto plates by the clinical-whites clad tyre stacks that were employed solely to put pupils off their food. They all had bristles on their upper lips, evil in their hearts, and stank of sweat and cabbages. The macaroni that day was leaden in weight, and as solid as could be in consistency, like week-old porridge that has been left out in the pan, consolidated crud. It didn't taste much better, either, but we were starving. It was whilst we were eating that Andy put forward his proposal: "So, we gonna do it today, or what?" He wasn't renowned for his romantic tendencies, more for his onanism, but we were both such raging masses of hormones that we would dry hump a fence post, so I took him up on his offer. Of course, I knew this meant a trip beneath the Round Room.

We sat on the hill next to the round room, kissing wetly in the well-pounded grass, indulging in a bit of dry mutual masturbation as we waited for another couple to finish up. As we kissed, his spots were bursting, and when we eventually broke away for air, I could hear the crackling of dried pus breaking its bonds from where it had formed a little bridge between us. Eventually the other couple left, in a blushing post-coital hurry, and we headed into the pit of iniquity together.

Once beneath the high roof of the circular chamber, he unzipped his trousers, and whipped out his little willie. Well, I was shocked. These things should come with warnings - I had never seen anything so ugly before, and remember I had seen his face. It was all red and raw looking down the sides, as if it had been rubbed furiously with sandpaper for weeks (which, in retrospect, I presume it had been), but the top of it was purple and surrounded by a crust of what looked like cottage cheese. And the smell! Did you ever read those reports in the paper of a body being found after six weeks because neighbours complained of the ripe odours emanating from the room? Now combine that smell with ammonia and stale piss. I near boked then and there! However, my teenage hormones overcame the initial repulsion, and I was fascinated - did all boys have one of these? It explained so much! Andy was holding onto his little one-eyed trouser snake with such delicate tenacity, that I wondered if it would fall off and break if anyone else touched it.

He looked up at me then, and said "blow it for me". Well, what's a girl to do? I bent down, and blew gently on his mini-truncheon. "No, not like that, like this!" He told me to kneel down, and I did, putting my knee in a pile of deershit (still warm and squidgy, it seeped through my tights like soft cheese through a sieve), and he put his hands on the back of my head, and forced it towards his middle leg.

Do you remember the smell I told you about? Well it was much worse close up. Accompanied by an equally repellent taste. I couldn't help myself. I vomited. Copiously. Huge great chunks of macaroni cheese and incredibly liquid bile covered his now limp cock and spilt down into his grubby boxers and the trousers, which were crumpled around his knobbly knees. The vomit was almost everywhere on his lower body. There was a small silence before I struggled to my feet and ran away. My last image was of him standing there looking pathetic; white beneath his cheese encrusted face, flicking spew from his fingers and his marshmallowed penis.

Disappointingly, it put me off macaroni for a while.

Apologies for length, or lack of it in his case.
(, Thu 26 Jun 2008, 14:46, 21 replies)
Oh yes, I know, everyone goes through hell. But most people come out of the other side.

Puberty came and went, and the expected changes happened. Voice deepened. Hair grew.

But one thing didn't.

And I realised, far too late, that I wasn't just 'a late developer', or a 'grower not a shower'.

I had a micropenis.

It's on wikipedia. Look it up, but it's pretty much what you'd imagine.

About 2.5 inches at most.

So there I am, despairing, when the AIDS thing comes along. The government puts out lots of leaflets and runs adverts about 'safer sex'. One of the main things it mentioned frequently was that "sex doesn't have to involve penetration - it can just as pleasurable for both partners with massage, touch, licking etc."

This gives me hope. Maybe things aren't so bad. Maybe I can still have relationships with women.

But there was one problem.

It was a lie.

I leave my shitty little boys school, and go to university. I start to meet women. Some of them like me.

I'm 19 the first time I go to bed with someone. I'm so lacking in confidence that I've avoided getting too involved before. But I like her - she seems relaxed and confident, and ready to take things slowly because I'm nervous.

I undress. She laughs. She leaves. I cry all night.

I try to put it down to experience. Maybe I misjudged her. Maybe other women will be OK. With other women, it will be OK. Please God it HAS to be OK.

I start relationships with other women. Most are sympathetic. "It's OK" they say, unconvincingly. "It's fine. We can do plenty of other things". And for a few weeks we do. But it's not fine. Eventually they all leave. Some make excuses. Some are honest - "it's just not enough for me". One or two find it funny to tell all their friends and snigger at me, waving their pinkies.

Each time I die a little inside. I realise I can't have relationships with women.

And I never have since. I have plenty of girl friends, but no girlfriends. And I have to turn some down when they want more. They think I don't like/fancy them or whatever. I lose a few friends over it.

As for me, I cope. I have a job, friends, a life. I know some of my friends think I'm gay because I never have a girlfriend. Sometimes they have conversations about 'coming out' while giving me meaningful looks. It's partly hilarious and partly tragic.

I cope. I have to. I have no choice. There's a Perry Bible Fellowship cartoon that sums up rather nicely how I feel most of the time:

The best way I can describe it is that I can imagine what it feels like to be illiterate. Lacking the ability to do something that is so common that it is deeply entwined with the way everyone lives their lives, yet having no visible 'disability'. And being deeply deeply ashamed.

I still feel the disappointment, the despair, the hopelessness of that moment of realisation when I was 16 - I still feel it 20 years later.

Apologies for lack of funny. I won't make a length joke either if it's all the same.
(, Thu 26 Jun 2008, 19:00, 26 replies)
Ruined Beer Festival
Every year I hook up with a bunch of mates at a Beer Fest at a railway museum just outside Colchester. Normally, it's a fantastic occasion, we all roll up to the field adjacent to the festival, pitch tents and enjoy the late summer sunshine, beer and then retire for some quiet banter around a glowing stove.

However, the whole camping thing can be easily ruined by folk who labour under the illusion that everyone else for hundreds of yards around wants to listen to their noise pollution. Okay, I'm first to admit that perhaps in my younger years at the beer festival I was one of those annoying twats with a braying voice, but karma most certainly repaid me a couple of years back.

With the warm, fuzzy glow that tends to accompany some gentle beer imbibing, six of us shambled back to our tents, produced folding chairs and sipped the remnants of Golden Sunrise, Summer Lightning or Scrotts Old Dog's Dick cider, depending on our individual palette preference at the time. However, our peace was broken quite suddenly.

"Wwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! Wwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Yep, some fifty yards away from us a small child was making a noise to rival that of an air raid siren with the tonal control of Geri Halliwell. Now I do sympathise with the fact that kids are going to be unsettled by being asked to sleep in a strange place, possibly an uncomfortable sleeping bag placed on lumpy ground.


However, this child couldn't be more than a few months old.


So who the cocking hell brings a six month old baby to a beer festival?


What kind of selfish and arrogant attitude determines that everyone else would like nothing more than to listen to little Damien howling away like his leg is being amputated?


The six of us were now tired and the fallout from the six month old holocaust fifty yards away was snuffing out what little conversational exchange was taking place.

"Sssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" I hissed back in the loudest voice I could muster.

"Wwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!" came the plaintive reply.

I replied again "SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" with my finger pressed vertically to my lips for maximum effect.


Now I had visions of both parents either lying there comatose and oblivious to junior satan's constant noise, or perhaps in some hugely inadequate way they were being like those utterly ineffectual modern parents the government likes so much. "Now Damien, we'd like it very much if you could possibly be a little quieter for us. It upsets mummy and daddy when you're so noisy".


Admitting that I'd lost the battle I retired to my tent, wrapped myself in a sleeping bag and tried to chase the welcoming blackness of sleep. I had a hangover I was looking forward to enjoying in the morning.


Dear reader at this point I lost the capacity for reason. With the mumbled curse of "whathecuntingfuckerry?" I slid out of my sleeping bag, threw open the flap of my tent and yelled at the top of my voice:


I'd dropped the nuke. There was hush over the campsite.


Incensed, I went a step too far.


I stomped back to my tent and slipped into welcoming sleep.

The next morning, I awoke feeling slightly guilty. Despite my b3ta rants, I'm a very peaceful person and I slightly regretted my outburst, especially when a child is concerned.

I opened the flaps to my tent. Sure enough, fifty yards away the Modern Parents (no doubt called Cressida and Tarquin) were throwing me the very darkest of looks. You could see their eyes were saying "How dare that nasty neanderthal insult our dear widdle Damien."

I'd have loved to end this story with a punch, preferably on the end of the nose of Tarquin. However, as the Modern Parents departed in their fashionable BMW estate car, I noted one or two wry smiles from tired looking fellow campers, as I slipped back to bed to enjoy my hangover sleep with the accompaniment of birdsong.
(, Sun 29 Jun 2008, 12:07, 20 replies)
My daily routine...
I suspect I'm not the only one.

*wake up*

Ah, another day. Well, let's do the checks.

Legs? Check.
Arms? All present and correct.
Feet? A-ok.
Hands? No problems.

Instigate operation Sit Up. Standby. GOGOGO!

*sits up*

First things first.

*clenches fist*

Damn. No retractable claws. Still not Wolverine then.

*flings wrist forward*

Damn. No web. Still not spiderman then.

*Concentrates on dressing gown*

Damn. Still not a Jedi then.


Ah well. Maybe tomorrow.
(, Fri 27 Jun 2008, 13:18, 4 replies)
I realise that's a bit of a big subject to be trying to cover, but I'm going to give it a crack anyway. I've just spent last night in the pub with a bunch of people younger than me, and their enthusiasm was a depressing foil for my own miserable cynicism. I've just posted this to my ever-so-typical 'blog' thing, but I'm going to rewrite it here for you lovely people, as it seems very appropriate. That and it's quarter past 7 in the morning, I'm now stone cold sober and I still can't sleep.

I hate people younger than me. They have absolutely no idea how to interact in a social setting. Or, rather, they do, and they do it far too fucking well, which is the crux of the issue. I was happy spending a quiet evening in the pub yesterday watching the football, only for one of my regular drinking companions to bring along his 'mate from work', a curious entity who is almost guaranteed to be some sort of cunt. This 'mate from work' swiftly found his 'mates from college' and proceeded to get them all drinking with us as some sort of scheme to him chatting one of them up. He worked his short-arsed effeminate charm and copped off with her while I missed most of the football and the closest I got to anything all evening was a very pretty woman telling me I have a Jewish nose, which I'm not sure is either a back-handed compliment or a precursor to genocide.

Then someone was sick on a table and it was all over.

It may have dawned on people who regularly interact with me that I don't like people very much. Drinking and football, yes, but people tend to rile me up a bit. I wouldn't disagree with that assumption, but I have to admit that I reserve a special, gilt-edged place of carefully-selected loathing for this precocious little shit and the sheer joy in the world view that is "People around the world are getting killed. We should end the violence and strive for world peace".

Here's the thing: There won't ever be world peace, because people enjoy being shits to each other. Like it or not, there will always, always be some cunt wanting to bomb some other cunt for some stupid cunty reason. It has been going on since the first time one primordial hunter-gatherer whacked another primordial hunter-gatherer around the head with a bone for stealing his fire, and so it has progressed down the ages through rocks, spears, crossbows, trebuchets, flintlocks, muskets, cannons, machine guns, howitzers, tanks and tactical smart bombs. Deep down, on the same prehistoric level that tells us who to fuck and when to shit, there is something that loathes all other human life, because, well, they might steal our mate, or our food source, or might run faster than us next time the sabre-toothed tiger popped in for another round of toast and spleen. When resources are plentiful we can mostly behave ourselves, but we still fight over religion, we fight over territory, and we'll even fight wars over football matches if we really run short of things to have a scrap about. When resources aren't, like with oil at the moment, we fight over every last drop until it all runs out, and then we'll probably fight over who wasted the most.

See, this is the reason humans are the dominant species and not guinea pigs - guinea pigs are happy to live in the jungle making little burrows with their tiny front paws and eating flowers with their giant heads, and they squeak and they jump and they're happy little bundles of fluff and wonder, and then a snake eats them. We're ugly sinewy polluting little shits, but snakes don't eat us, because we've got knives, and we'd kill the fuckers. Then we'd go back to killing each other, probably now using the snake as some sort of makeshift flail to beat back the enemy until he goes right ahead and invents the Glock semi-automatic and shoots us in the tits. I'm not saying it's good, I'm just saying that it Never. Fucking. Ends. The only way you could stop war, stop shootings, stop stabbings, etc is if you took everyone's arms off at the shoulder, and even then there'd only be a lull in the fighting long enough for one side to work out how to fire a machine gun with your tongue or beat a man to death with your eyebrows.

This goes all the way from continent fighting continent, right the way down to two blokes having a punch-up in a pub. It will go right up to planet fighting planet if we ever find anyone out there ready to have a barney with us. It's just in our nature. It's what we're good at. Some precocious little cock organizing a few thousand people on YouTube to declare that world peace might just be a good idea means absolutely shit-all, because everybody wants world peace on their own fucking terms. There are people out there who will only accept world peace when we've all converted to their particular brand of Islam, there are people out there who will only accept world peace if we all just stop eating meat, there are people out there that will only accept world peace when we're all fundamentalist Mormons living fifteen to a room in Salt Lake City, and there are people out there that just won't accept world peace at all. As great an idea as it is in theory, the first country that lays down it's arms in a declaration of world peace will promptly be invaded by every other country on the planet, will probably get it's population killed for being so stupid, and will deserve it for being the first country to ever be conquered by Vanuatu. It might be a nice concept, but like many nice concepts, it is one that is ultimately, forever, doomed to fail.

Admittedly the boy is 16, so he probably doesn't realise this. Also, all my concerns at the fact that when I was 16 all I could think about was where I could sneak off to have my next wank rather than trying to organize world peace can be left for another post. At 16, you really don't have the mental faculties to rationalise the idea that the only reason we're not all still cavemen clutching rocks and leading charges at the next tribe over is because we've made the tribes bigger and now call them countries, or religions, or football teams, and have delegated the charging and the killing to what we now like to call 'armies'. At that age, world peace still seems like an attainable in-our-lifetime goal.

In many ways, I'm jealous. In many other ways, this entire post is about that jealousy. Jealousy of the teenager in the pub, for whom everything is attainable and nothing is impossible. For whom life is but a constant roundabout of the proverbial wine, women and song, where the sun is always shining and there is no sign of the great yawning chasm that is the daily grind, the Black Dog that can and will slowly consume us all. Jealousy, too, of Trevor Dougherty, the boy from the Youtube story, for whom the same thing applies on a much larger scale. For whom the impossible dream of world peace can be attained if enough people can just see that we don't need to kill each other.

For whom the sad but inescapable truth hasn't yet dawned: We don't need to, we just seem to really fucking like to.

We're all bastards.
(, Mon 30 Jun 2008, 7:15, 14 replies)
Another movie one
Schindlers list was a big disappointment for me. I was told it was a real "box of tissues" film.

I only wanked once
(, Fri 27 Jun 2008, 12:01, 12 replies)
Things Can Only Get Better...
The anthem of Tony Blair and Labour's election victory of 1997. God, I can remember it now. Staying up, all night, watching the results come in. It wasn't a victory, it was a fucking massacre. After 18 years of Tory mis-rule we finally had kicked the bastards out of power and now it was *our* turn. We could reverse the Tory's destruction of our education system, we could reverse what they'd done to our heavy industries, steel, ship-building, engineering and mining.

That night/morning- it was golden.

Then look what happened.

This government has brought in more repressive legislation than any Tory government could have dreamed of. Civil liberties? - You don't have any. Imprisonment and torture of your own citizens? - Mr Bush asked us to ignore it.

Awe - fuck it. I'll expand on this in the morning.

But the creeping disappointment of that Labour victory still has eats away at me. Watching, month after month, as they gradually dropped their cloaks and revealed themselves as self-centered rich bastards who's only concern was feathering their own nests.

The thing that keeps springing to mind is the last paragraph of Animal Farm.

"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but always it was impossible to say which was which."

Bastards, the lot of them.*


*There were a few, rare,exceptions
(, Thu 26 Jun 2008, 16:02, 27 replies)
I once bought "How to become invisible" off of ebay for £2
It was simply a one-page document, which read, 'Hide behind things.'
(, Fri 27 Jun 2008, 22:55, 2 replies)
I was very disappointed at the age of 23
to discover that I didn't have Asperger's, nor any other ASD.

As I ploughed throught the medical literature, I became more and more convinced that my lack of social skills, dismal inability to interact with the opposite sex, lack of friends, obsession with statistics and useless facts, sporadic bouts of depression and inability to read body language would all be solved, or at least excused, by this magic label called "Aspergers".

Turns out I was just a geek who needed to make some fucking effort and sort my life out.

So I did. At 23, following a severe depressive episode, it struck me that I could either kill myself or sort out all the various things in my life that made me so depressed. I launched 'Operation Axeman Jim', aiming, within 12 months to:
*Lose my virginity
*Lose three stone
*Get a job
*Move out of my parents' house.

And I did.

I still don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are the closest and best mates someone could have. I don't move in the usual social circles, but seeing as those circles are full of twunts I'm not losing anything much. I came to realise that the reason I wasn't picking up on the rules of conventional social interaction was not that I was an 'Aspie', but because I thought those rules were bullshit and I was ignoring them (they are bullshit, incidentally). If someone wants me to follow some merry dance to be accepted into their shitty clique, then they're not worth my time.

About two years ago, my mum showed me a report written about me by a child psychologist when I was about 9. Basically, it said "Jim is one of the most intelligent children we have ever seen, but, as is common with gifted children, some aspects of his development, particularly emotional and social skills, are severely delayed. Jim will find it difficult to form social bonds with other children, and will most likely suffer from emotional problems, including depression. His emotional and social development may not catch up to his intellectual development until his mid-twenties."

Everything in that report turned out to be almost spookily accurate. I just wish I'd seen it when I was 15. It would have made my life easier to have some understanding of what was going on and why everyone hated me so much.

So, what lessons can be learned?

1 - Unless diagnosed by a competent medical professional, your "Aspergers" may just be residual (if severe) teenage awkwardness, especially if you are of above-average intelligence. I have worked alongside three genuine "Aspies" (including my boss) and there is a lot more to the condition than just being crap with women.

2 - Even if you do have Aspergers, depression, bi-polar or anything else, it's just like a physical disability - you can let it dominate your life, or you can accept it and pursue your goals in life. Regardless of any condition you may have (and I still have bouts of depression), you are still responsible for your own actions. If you want to have a label take the blame for all your bad decisions or lack of motivation, you won't get anywhere. This comes not just from my own experience, but from my ex-girlfriend, who enjoyed being "Bi-Polar" as it got her attention and sympathy, and so refused to seek any treatment, and deliberately wrecked her life (quitting jobs, selling her stuff for next to nothing) so that she'd have something to get really depressed about and get more sympathy.

3 - My three autistic friends are a Policeman, a Sysadmin and a millionaire entrepreneur. All I'm saying is that you won't find them calling the waaahmbulance on the internet.

I have nothing but sympathy for those who genuinely have ASD, as I know the suffering it can inflict. But equally I have nothing but contempt for those that sit in front of their computers all day, whining that they don't have a life or any social skills. Which are you? I'm no psychologist, and I'm certainly not going to be so presumptuous as to offer any opinions on those who have posted in this qotw on the subject. But I suspect that if you take a good, long, look at yourself, you may be able to answer that question on your own.
(, Mon 30 Jun 2008, 14:56, 24 replies)
"I wouldn't have been in such a hurry to grow up if I'd known it was all going to be ad-libbed."
Calvin's dad was a wise man.

You know how when you're a kid you can't wait to grow up because then you'll be allowed to do all the rillyrilly kewl stuff like drive and shoot guns and drink the stuff in those kewl bottles?

Yeah. I remember that too.

For many years I've been working hard at getting to some point at which life will click for me. In fact, I'd say that I've spent about 45 years doing that. We work our asses off to get through school so we can get money, we get into our careers and work our asses off to get to the point where we earn enough for a house and a car, we get them and then work our asses off to make enough to retire on besides. We look at the people around us who are our peers and see so many of them going along and becoming executives and whatnot, getting all the stuff we wish we had, and wonder what the fuck we're doing wrong. Maybe if I just do this I'll get ahead, we all think...

I'll let you in on a little secret.

Mom and Dad made it look so easy as they sailed confidently through life, didn't they? And yet as an adult you find out that they struggled just as hard as we do now. The neighbor who's an executive? He's mortgaged to the hilt. If he gets shitcanned, he loses everything inside of two months. The people who have their life planned out at 18 and then follow through on all of it? By my age they've either cracked and gone tits up, or they're screwing someone twenty years younger and riding a motorcycle.

So you know what I say to those people who tell their teenagers that they need to find a sensible solid career and stick with it all their lives so they'll get ahead?


Us grown ups don't know what we're doing half the time. We really don't. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either deluded beyond repair or lying through their clenched smiling teeth.

Experiment, people. Try things. Take a shot at acting if you want. Take that occasional day to go play on rocks in the river. Write a book. Dye your hair green. Just remember to have some sort of back-up plan in case things don't work out, and don't gamble more than you can afford to lose.

Otherwise when you get into your forties you'll be disappointed by adulthood.

(Shit, I should have posted this last week... ah well, it still applies here.)
(, Thu 26 Jun 2008, 16:48, 14 replies)
‘Stick’ with me on this…

Right then, now this might exactly blow the ‘cool-o-meter’ of the scale, but in my spare time I am a collector of different types of tree sap. It’s fantastic stuff, and can be used to make maple syrup, herbal remedies, air fresheners etc- it has many more uses than just entombing fossilised mosquitoes for Jurassic Park purposes you know. I have shitloads of the stuff and keep it in jars, stored alphabetically in my garage. Oh, yes, I am ALL MAN I tell you.

Anyhoo, Although I don’t even know the proper name for a tree sap collector, my hobby has led me to having an interest in all things to do with nature and wildlife…and it was in this capacity that I recently went to watch ‘Bee Movie’ starring Jerry Seinfeld (amongst others).

Upon leaving the cinema I was approached by a rather attractive young lady who asked me if I would mind answering some questions on my opinions of the film, and as a thank-you I was to be entered into a prize draw whereby one of the stars of the movie would come to my house and be my guest, he or she would sign autographs etc, before escorting me in a chauffer-driven limousine to the Ivy restaurant in London whereby I would be treated to a slap-up dinner before going to see a West End show.

Suffice to say – I didn’t think I stood a cunt’s chance of winning, so you can imagine my surprise when I was called and informed that I was one of 6 people that had won! Woo etc! I was then placed in another draw to find out which movie star would be my guest etc. The list was…

Bee Guest:
A. Jerry Seinfeld
B. Renée Zellweger
C. John Goodman
D. Matthew Broderick
E. Chris Rock
F. Patrick Warburton

I could hardly breathe with excitement as the draw was made… (It was a conference call thing with the other 5 winners on the line). I wasn’t really bothered who I got so was overjoyed when it was revealed that I was going to see Guest D - Matthew Broderick.

As the big day approached, I thought of all the questions I would ask him…’What was it like filming Ferris Beuller?’, ‘Did you have creative input in Godzilla, and if so, why was it such utter armpit?’, and ‘What’s it like being married to a horse faced moomin-momma?’ (Actually, they were the only 3 questions I could think of!)

The day finally arrived and all my family were round my house waiting to catch a glimpse of Matthew. I was in my best suit and although I’m not normally star struck, the moment I heard the knock on my door I thought I was going to faint.

But of course, as these pages have shown, the anticipation never matches the experience. As I opened the door, there he was, dressed like a mong and looking miserable ‘Let’s get this thing fucking over with’ he said.

I introduced him to my family who politely asked for his autograph and were promptly told to cock off. He stayed for about 3 minutes before saying to me, ‘Right, let’s get to the restaurant you cuntbag’

I was crushed, I was desperate to show him my tree sap collection and impress him yet here he was...acting like a proper wankbasket. I wasn’t going to give up though; I filled my suit pockets with a couple of my favourite jars, just in case the conversation cropped up later.

The trip in the limousine was awful. Matthew didn’t even acknowledge me; he just sat sniffing lines of coke and downing scotch like it was water. I couldn’t believe that this was ‘night of my life’ I had looked forward to so much.

When we arrived at the restaurant, He went straight to the bar and didn’t wait for me to catch up with him. As we were informed our table was ready, he mooched over, spilling his drink before demanding that some other people give up their tables for him, because he said he was ‘worth more than these useless fuckers’. I was so embarrassed…and seething with anger.

As he sat down we were each presented with a massive steak and two razor sharp knives. As I fantasised about ramming my blade into the shortarsed cumsponge’s eyesocket, Matthew slipped with his knife, slicing through his arm and severing his arteries!

Everybody screamed, and Matthew slumped over the table unconscious as his bodyguard uselessly shat bricks.

‘Somebody call an ambulance’ I cried, in secret shame as I had wished for this to happen. As guilt overtook me, I thought about doing something to help him – any kind of first aid must be useful – the man was dying!

Suddenly remembering my knowledge on tree-sap and its possible healing properties, I reached into my pocket, pulled out a jar and smeared the gloop over his gaping wound as it pumped blood like piss from the veins.

Miraculously, before my very eyes, the wound began to heal. The bleeding stopped, the flesh began to re-appear and the skin began growing to accommodate where there had previously been just a hideous gory mess.

In just a few moments, it was as if the accident had never taken place and Matthew was fully healed and conscious. Not only that, he was sober and clean.

Fair play to him, he was quick to be thankful and apologise.

“I’m so sorry, I was such an asshole to you, and you saved my life!” He said, “How can I ever repay you?”

“Don’t worry about it”, I said, being humbly heroic.

We finished our meals and went to the show, but Matthew was a changed man. Keen to hear about my sap collection, bright, cheerful and generous, we had a fantastic time and became close friends. He has even paid to fly me in Hollywood, where I stayed at his and Sarah’s house where he took me out to see his A-list buddies and introduced me as his ‘saviour’.

The other day, I received a call from Matthew.

“Pooflake ol’ buddy” he said, “I can’t get over how great that stuff was that saved my life that day. You should bottle it and sell it as a miracle healer”

He was on to something…I had stumbled across something that could change mankind forever…and make me a fortune in the process! All that was missing was the name. I wanted to Include ‘Matthew Broderick’ in the naming of the creation but was advised against it by his lawyers. So I thought long and hard. What could I call it that somehow honoured my friend but didn’t name him?

…and then it came to me.

I called it ‘My Bee Guest ‘D’ Sap ointment’
(, Mon 30 Jun 2008, 15:56, 14 replies)
I and I been havin a real busy day
Jah had a whole lot in store for me but I and I be kept bein distracted by Babylon.

So I and I wrote a list of tings to do:

8:00: Tend ta dreadlocks
9:30: Smoke da gange
13:00: Go on b3ta

Out of all da tings I and I be doing today, dis appointment be ma biggest.
(, Wed 2 Jul 2008, 13:23, 4 replies)
OK, serious time
My mum died when I was 21. That's 16 years ago, folks. And it's still a bit of a headfuck. And it disappoints me in varying degrees.

1: She never saw any of her children get married. My sister was engaged when she was ill, but she never made it to her wedding.

2: She never saw me get married the first time around. I did a eulogy and got everyone in the room to stand up and toast her. My exact words, after thanking the bridesmaids, and my best man (Sean, where the fuck are you?), and everyone for coming, were, "And raise your glasses to the one person who should be here, but isn't".

Not a dry eye in the house.

3: Never saw her grandchildren. She would have loved that.

4: Wasn't around to pick up the pieces after my sister's, and then my, marriages, went to fuck. Having gone through it herself I'm certain she could have offered some sage advice (but not in the vein of 'if I were you...')

5: Being able to cunt my brother's ex in the fuck.

6: Seeing how happy I am right now.

7: Seeing how well we have all turned out.

8: Being able to poke her doctor in the eye and say 'it's OK, it's just an infection'.

9: Just not being here, really.

Mum, I miss you.


And that's not the Ouzo talking either
(, Fri 27 Jun 2008, 2:49, 19 replies)
Possibly not my biggest ever disappointment, but I still feel the sadness
When I was a lad, the Saturday trip down to the post office to spend pocket money on sweets was quite an event. It was all proper, with glass jars full of sweets, and you'd ask for a quarter of what you wanted, and they'd be weighed out and put in a little white paper bag for you.

Somehow this added a certain something that the pre-packaged sweets like Spangles or Sherbet Fountains - nice though they were - just didn't have. It made it a bit special.

The Post Office stocked all the usual 1970s candidates - Cola Bottles, Flying Saucers, Aniseed Balls, Black Bullets, all that stuff, but my very favourite was the Kola Kube. If you don't recall them, they were about the size of a sugar cube, tasting vaguely like Coca Cola, and with a sort of soft centre that you got to if you managed to crack your way through the hard shell without cracking too many of your teeth in the process.

I loved them.

Now, this day of disappointment had started quite promisingly, because I was lucky enough to have a bit more than my usual 40p pocket money. I'm not sure how I managed this, but I think I may have had as much as a whole pound, which was quite something when you were seven years old.

And I resolved that I would celebrate this by having a double ration of my favourite Kola Kubes.

One slight problem: when asking for sweets, you always asked for "A Quarter" of them. Trouble was, I didn't know what it was a quarter *of*. Hmm. Well, I knew enough to know that two quarters make a half, so I went boldly up to the counter and brightly asked for "A half of Kola Kubes, please".

The Postmistress peered at me doubtfully over the counter.

"Do you mean 'Two Ounces'?"

Did I? Damned if I knew. But grown-ups know things like this, don't they?

"Yes, please".

Thirty years later, I can still feel the disappointment of standing outside that post office, peering sadly at my celebratory bag containing just three Kola Kubes. It wasn't quite the bumper bonanza I'd been hoping for, and I was much too shy to go back in and demand what I'd wanted.

There have been other, bigger disappointments since to be sure, but it looks like this one is going to stay with me. And to this day I have a distrust of Postmistresses.
(, Tue 1 Jul 2008, 15:41, 8 replies)
Finding out that laser eye surgery meant repairing my vision and not giving me the ability to fire lasers from my eyes
(, Fri 27 Jun 2008, 11:43, Reply)
"You should watch this film, I think you'd like it"
It was unusual of my brother to recommend a film to me. First of all, he was older than me and off experiencing this that and the other at university so had no time for an A-level student like me anymore. Secondly, his idea of cinema was a chance to switch your brain off, not something to be reviled and shared with others. The fact that he’d taken the time to give me a recommendation was enough to pique my curiosity and send me to the cinema.

Over the course of 136 minutes, I sat captivated, my mind completely engrossed in this rollercoaster ride of a film. I'd never experienced a feeling quite as emotionally overwhelming as I did when watching this modern day epic. Even the lead role being played by a notoriously bad actor couldn't detriment my experience of this film. I walked away realising I'd just watched the best film ever made.

I wasn't alone in my love. Word of mouth caused the popularity of the film to spread like wildfire. Within months, there wasn't a single person I knew who hadn't seen it, and the praise for it seemed to be unanimous. The unity that this film could bring between strangers and the ice breaker in conversation it served as showed that its cultural effect had spread far beyond the big screen.

That film, of course, was The Matrix.

In the ensuing months, rumours flew abound that there would be a sequel! No, a prequel. No, a prequel and a sequel! No, TWO sequels! Discovering that this classic was going to have two sequels was fantastic news! The anticipation was too much. The excitement of the prospect of two more instalments of this was something I wanted NOW, not in three years time!

Fast forward to years later, and the release date lingered just a month away. I was living in Chandlers Ford now and the ensuing release date had stirred the excitement once again that had lain dormant whilst the film was being made. We ensured that we pre-booked tickets for the first available performance. Sure we were paying full-price despite being placement students with an insultingly small pay-packet. How could we not? This was the sequel to The Matrix after all. Not something trivial like Christmas.

The days rolled by slowly until eventually the great day came and the queue at the cinema (yes, people had turned up early and queued despite having pre-booked tickets and seats) was wrapped in an electric atmosphere that saw a line of chattering people all buzzing with nervous energy in anticipation of the spectacle they were about to witness. Those last few minutes felt longer than the months that preceded them.

Then we watched The Matrix Reloaded.

I could easily stop there and label the baffling mess of a film as my biggest disappointment, but that wasn’t it. I'll admit, I came out of the film feeling deflated, not to mention confused, but as is with these things, a lengthy debate then started at the pub next door to try and make sense of what we'd just watched and debate as to whether it was worth it. Opinions ranged from "That was absolute shit" to "You have to have faith that the answers will be in the final part" via "Come on, you had to love the special effects!". Whenever someone starts commenting on the special effects of a film, you know it's the sign of shenanigans. I made a mental note to buy that guy Waterworld on DVD when I had some money. Despite all these warning signs, we'd communally managed to convince ourselves that the best was yet to come and in the meantime we could content ourselves by shouting "NEO DIES!" at the lobby of the cinema as the next lot of fools awaited the late showing.

It wasn't long until the final instalment was due thankfully. With a second part of a trilogy like that, it would have been cruel to expect people to wait another three years for the final chapter, so with a weary optimism there was a positive reason to look forward to winter that year.

The ensuing months involved a lot of 'net browsing to see what others had made of the hundreds of open ended questions from the second part of the trilogy. It was a conspiracy-theorist playground out there with everyone and their dog having an opinion on what was in stall next. Their tales were fanciful and engaging. It actually managed to stir my interest once more as some of these theories managed to sound pretty interesting, reminding me that I shouldn’t lose faith in the same writers who delivered that startling original.

By the time December rolled around, I'd pretty much finished the trilogy in my head already. I had narrowed it down to going one of four ways, all of which were fairly ambiguous, but I was eager to find out whether I was right. I stood in the queue of the cinema once again, feeling more nervous than before. As nervous as though I were about to take an exam.

Then I watched The Matrix Revolutions.

From start to finish.

And I wondered.

Where's the money, Wachowski?

(, Thu 26 Jun 2008, 15:29, 7 replies)
My biggest disappointment
Was the rather fetching bedroom play outfit that the missus said she'd bought.

"Short skirt, stockings, knee boots and a corset top" said the rather teasing text message.

What did I get home to? This (NSFW).
(, Fri 27 Jun 2008, 11:14, 19 replies)
Here We Go
Quite a while back when I was starting up a new business venture I decided to help out a kid who looked a bit lost and needed some guidance . In exchange for a couple of odd jobs around the place I got him back on his feet, he was a totally different person.

Anyway it turned out that I had done a decent thing, the kid grew into a sound bloke and went up the company ranks in next to no time, he actually got to the level that I could even send him out to check out new business aquisitions and get the slacking workforce to speed up. He never mentioned his family or past life again and I decided to let it stay that way, after all I was doing pretty well thanks to his all business attitude.

Sadly his past caught up with him one day, when one of his old mates turned up to my office . Unfortunatley I wasn't in at the time but according to my PA Julie this "old mate" caused a shitloads of problems for my staff and god knows how much property damage.

By now the guy I took under my wing was becoming a bit of a liability, his son also showed up and caused him more grief so I made one last attempt to patch things up between them, by offering his son a job too.

The ungrateful little shit told me where to go, which kind of pissed me off as I always thought you had to be polite to your elders. I wil admit that hearing this little bugger backchat me made me lose my temper and I ended up giving him a bit of a kicking. Seeing me do this must have pissed off my mate because he ended up throwing me down a well.

Bloody Darth Vader- The biggest disappointment of my life!
(, Tue 1 Jul 2008, 14:36, 6 replies)
Since people are belittling Asperger's below, I thought I'd come out of the shadows and educate you a bit:
This is a repost from my blog, which I wrote some time in September.

So. Yesterday I went to see a psychiatrist for the first time, because I'm trying to get a diagnosis for Asperger's Syndrome or potentially another disorder on the Autistic Spectrum. Since birth I've had some highly unusual difficulties with social interaction, behavioral instincts, spatial awareness, perception of physical interaction, and other things that ordinary people take for granted. Some three months ago I learned of a recently-discovered condition known as hyperlexia: essentially the opposite of dyslexia, i.e. a preternatural ability to read from an early age, to such a degree that it effectively pushes other parts of the mind aside. Those who have hyperlexia are without a doubt on the Autistic Spectrum. Well, I could read at adult fluency - and I mean, I could read a page from a science fiction novel without pausing to think - by my third birthday.

This, plus the other clues in my perceptions and behaviour, lead me to believe that I suffer from Asperger's Syndrome. With close analysis, it's a no-brainer. These elements, when added together, create a pattern of symptoms that can only be interpreted as an ASD by somebody who knows what to look for.

Recent events following my move to Lancaster have convinced me that I need to get this thing diagnosed and find a way to deal with it. My inability to break the ice socially, to present myself without appearing nervous or "creepy", to hold down a job without becoming intensely frustrated; my paranoia and depression resulting from my failed human interactions and the general negative reaction of the public towards my seemingly awkward and intangibly strange body language; all of these things create barriers that I cannot penetrate alone. At least without knowing for sure what they are or what causes them.

Some three months ago I visited my GP with these worries, and received a referral to a psychiatrist. I waited out the twelve weeks or so - which, by the way, is an incredibly long time to wait when one is worried about one's mental health - and finally I made it. I could not sleep a wink the night before, for fear of missing the early morning appointment (incidentally, that's another symptom), so when I arrived I was not at my most alert. I had, however, faith in the system. After all, psychiatrists are qualified professionals, right? They are trained in their field and prepared to ask specific questions in order to diagnose the particular disorders pertinent to the patient in question . . . right?

Apparently not. I decided that I should allow her to take the lead, assuming that the questions she asked would be the right ones based on my goal: to assess whetheror not I have Asperger's Syndrome or another Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The first warning sign was that the doctor - who shall remain unnamed - had never heard of hyperlexia. Okay, this was a little offputting, but hyperlexia is a reasonably new discovery. Old enough that there is already an American Hyperlexic Association, but still, relatively new. Stick with it.

She then continued to ask me a series of questions based purely around my friendships: whether I made friends in pre-school (I didn't go to pre-school, I took one look and told my mother "too many people!" - *ahem* - could this be a clue?), in infant school (one friend at a time, never kept hold of one), all the way up through secondary school (very few friends, treated as an outcast, never understood why, developed a desire to make new friends but never became good at it), and whether or not I have friends now (yep, lots, but breaking the ice is still extremely hard). This fixation took up nine-tenths of the conversation.

Had I realised she was fixating so hard on this, I would have tried to steer the conversation towards other symptoms - lack of spatial awareness, inability to
read facial expressions, ritualised nervous habits, dislike of eye contact, etc. I managed to mention a large number of these other symptoms, but because she kept steering the conversation back to the friendships thing, I barely scratched the surface.

In the end, within a couple of minutes of the end of the session when she wrapped the whole thing up, I learned why. She said, and I paraphrase: "I don't know very much about Autistic Spectrum Disorders, and I don't think anybody else around here does, but they tend to be characterised by a lack of desire to socialise, so I don't think you have one." She then asked me to describe in great detail the depression I suffer as a result of the effects these symptoms have on my life, and prescribed me anti-depressants (and a referral to a psychologist, which I don't hold out much hope for) as a quick fix.

If it weren't the end of the session, and I weren't exhausted from lack of sleep, I might have stuck around to argue with her.

Firstly, she is a practising psychiatrist. It is her duty to keep up with developments in the field of study, such as the diagnosis of hyperlexia as either a separate disorder or a symptom of other ASDs.

Secondly, she knew - almost three months prior to the appointment - that the reason I was seeing her was because I believe I have Asperger's. Would it have been difficult to do a little research into what, exactly, the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome are? No, it would not. Again, it is a matter of duty. Psychiatric disorders are diagnosed using a checklist of symptoms, assessing the patient against said criteria. If a majority, or a specified number of those criteria, are met, then an initial prognosis can be made and work can begin.

I don't necessarily expect a spot diagnosis; I do, however, expect the psychiatrist who has had three months of preparation time to at least possess a copy of the criteria for assessment! At no point did she ask any questions pertinent to the diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, aside from repeated queries regarding whether or not I have any friends. Even my body language and speech patterns during the session should have given something away.

From the website of the Natonal Autistic Society: "Unlike the person with 'classic' autism, who often appears withdrawn and uninterested in the world around them, many people with Asperger syndrome want to be sociable and enjoy human contact . . ."

It took me minutes to find that quote. Minutes.

As for the anti-depressants: I asked immediately about side-effects, and she became quite evasive. She ran her finger down a large paragraph of text in the manual, and mumbled (again, I paraphrase) "possible increased blood pressure and heart rate, nausea, and lightheadedness when you stand up too quickly". I asked her if it could potentially exacerbate the symptoms of depression during the adjustment period, because I know some anti-depressants can do that and it can be dangerous if you're not prepared. She said "oh, yes, that can happen". Clearly she was ready to let me find out about that part for myself.

So I left and begrudgingly took the prescription to the pharmacist, seeing as that's clearly the best I was going to get. The pharmacist mentioned that sertraline takes two weeks to build up effectively in the system, and I'd only been given a fortnight's dose. Fair enough, we're playing it safe. Upon arriving home I check the actual list of side-effects: wow. It includes, but is not limited to: dizziness, vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, change in sex drive or function (!), effects on the skin and nervous system, and so on.

Okay, most medication lists a lot of side effects. No big deal. I take one - a day's dose - and within half an hour I feel sick and get the shakes. Nice. Time for anti-depression to kick in: a fortnight. Time for side-effects to kick in: half an hour. Brilliant.

Looking up sertraline on the internet, I find the potential is far worse than so far indicated, either by the psychiatrist (no surprise there) or by the packaging. For a start, the actual benefits are highly debateable. In test subjects the inpatients reacted exactly the same way as to the placebo, and only the outpatients received any (actually unspecified in any layman's terms that I could see) positive effects at all. Secondly, an abnormally intense reaction - quite plausible for somebody of my body mass - can cause mania, hallucinations, and, yes, an initial exacerbation of the symptoms of depression, manifested in the form of thoughts of self-harm and/or suicide. Especially, and the packaging itself mentions this, in the 18-29 age group. For those keeping score, I am twenty-six years old.

Here's the good part: withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms, after a Seratonin Re-uptake Inhibitor such as this, has built up in the system can - and likely will - cause sleep disturbance, violent and vivid dreams, and all kinds of other nasty symptoms including long-term or even permanent sexual dysfunction. The jury is still out as to whether or not this happens in a majority of cases, but the statistics seem to put it at between 40% and 65% of cases (clinical trials don't follow these things up after the test period is over, you see - go, science!).

Think about this. The underlying reason for my depression - which really isn't that bad, I'll have you know - is because of my long-term problems with social interaction, manifested partially but prominently in my inability to initiate romantic relationships. How is losing my ability to perform sexually going to help with that? "Not" is the answer. Here's to short-term solutions, and fighting the symptoms without addressing the causes! Hip-hip . . .

The moral of the story? I don't bloody know, but "go private if you can because the NHS is useless" seems to be a good starting point.

Okay, so the medication thing isn't that big a deal. Irritating, and clearly just a way of getting me out of there and claiming to have done something. I'm not going to take any more of the damn things because it's clearly going to do more harm than good. The part that really offends me is that an hour of my life was wasted with this useless, amateurish attempt at psychotherapy, at the end of which the doctor admitted that she knows nothing about the subject at hand, and then diagnosed me anyway with a patently false assertion!

What was the point in the whole thing? Why did she bother? Could she not have said this at the start? Maybe then I could have presented my symptoms better, rather than letting her take the lead in a dance to which I knew the steps far better than she. That's one hour of my life gone, nothing gained, and my faith in the professionalism of the NHS and the educational system destroyed.

She booked another appointment for me in two months' time. I won't be turning up. I will, however, be complaining heavily and seeking out a psychiatrist who knows what they're doing and can assess me properly and in an informed manner.
(, Mon 30 Jun 2008, 4:06, 13 replies)
Falling in love.
Because I thought it was supposed to make you happy.
(, Fri 27 Jun 2008, 14:54, 21 replies)
My parents
When I was about 3 my parents told me they had a special announcement. Some time in the future I was going to be getting a little brother.

To me this was all kinds of cool as it meant I'd have someone to play with whenever I wanted rather than having to wait til I got to nursery.

An eternity passed (couple of months) and not much happened except Mum got a lot bigger and started eating a lot of pasta.

My Dad then told me that rather than having one little brother. I was actually getting two. Score! We're halfway to a football team thinks me.

Another eternity later and then one day I was picked up from nursery by my Gran and went back to her house. The next day she drove us to the hospital and I was ushered in to the room to meet the new arrivals.

It was at this point that I realised that the two squalling tiny pink things lying in front of me were not the two playmates I had envisioned.

Apparently I then turned round and asked my Dad, "If she'd only had one would he have been bigger?"
(, Thu 26 Jun 2008, 15:45, Reply)
John Leslie
Last week, I was incredibly excited to read the Evening Standard's latest headline, emblazoned on every news stand around London.

It read: "John Leslie Sex Quiz"

I went to Toys 'R Us, traipsed down Oxford Street, and even rang up Waddingtons - nothing!

Maybe it'll be out for Christmas.
(, Wed 2 Jul 2008, 15:31, 5 replies)
Many Things
I am disappointed with lots, mainly about living in the era we do now.

I'm disappointed when I read/listen to/watch/hear people complaining about 'immigrants taking our jobs.' For a start, they're not 'our jobs' to start with, they're the jobs of the companies that provide them, and they can give them to whomever they like.

Secondly, the people you hear complaining about such 'injustices' are mainly lazy white English people, who sit and watch Jeremy Kyle, munch on junk food and read Hello magazine. They don't bother to get off their overfed arses and actually *get* a job themselves, they make a half-arsed effort in interviews and on applications and then complain because a Pole or an Afghan makes a decent effort to show up dressed for the occasion, or get some help writing their CV. Hell, if someone who barely speaks English can write a decent CV, surely they must be able to, having been to school here, brought up with English speaking family and friends around them. 'oh, but they give free help to immigrants, innit', i hear them say. Well guess what, fuck-knuckles, I asked for guidance on my CV and I got it, free of charge.

Thirdly, if an immigrant thinks he can do my job better than me, I welcome him to try (this is quite similar to a Maddox rant). Are these people seriously afraid that a foreign worker will show them up? What kind of moron is afraid of a little competition? I like to think that if someone of different ethnicity does better at my job than me, it's because I'm not working hard enough, or they are just better. Not because of some conspiracy by 'lefty liberals'. Why would anyone alienate the indigenous workforce on purpose? It's absurd.

Also, I hardly think the immigrants huddle in packs and single out people to 'steal their jobs'. How the fuck do you steal a job anyway? it's as ridiculous as stealing their morals.
the main culprits in the media are the Daily Mail and the Sun. individuals as Lowrie Turner and Richard Littlejohn.

I am slightly concerned about the effect that illegal immigration has on us as an island, and a small one at that (surely it's always been logical to go from the island to the mainland...), both socio-economically and culturally, but maybe my fears will be allayed by simply sitting back and looking at it from a different perspective. I certainly don't believe that blaming immigrants for increases in crime will help (surely if there are more people in a country then crime levels will go up anyway, it doesn't matter what colour they happen to appear), and I downright reject the culture of excuse that we have fostered in this country.

If the Mail etc turn out to be right, and we are 'overrun' with immigrants in 20 years time, (interesting comparison to a rat infestation, never seen that before of course...) it will only be because publications like themselves stirred up a feeling of helplessness and apathy among the British people. We would never have won WW2 if we had been fixated on the fact that the Germans might possibly win, and generated fear of German attack. By being positive, and finding a way to use the situation to our advantage, we can end up with things working out for the best.

A message to the next person who is tempted to swallow the crap that these scaremongers feed you: next time you apply for a job, there may well be immigrants challenging for your position. But show the employer that you are the best for that job, that no-one can touch your level of suitability, and that you are not afraid of anything they throw at you.

I'm also disappointed with local radio, and blowjobs.
(, Sun 29 Jun 2008, 23:05, 20 replies)
The future
Like a great many of the 1970s born generation I grew up with a diet of televisual entertainment ranging from Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr Who and Star Cops.

In the early 1980s, the memory of sending men to walk on the moon was still fresh in our minds, one had even played a round of golf there. We'd built supersonic airliners to ferry you to New York so that you could technically arrive before you left, we had a fleet of spacecraft the size of an Airbus which could be used 100x over and land like a plane. How cool is that?

Avidly reading things like 2001 the works of Niven and Pournelle, DC Fontana and of course more Arthur C Clarke, it seemed a fair bet that we'd be colonizing the moon and mining for stuff in space in no time. City sized space stations rotating gracefully in the sky? You betcha. It all looked so easy, all it needed was investment and volunteers.

How lucky I was to be growing up in such exciting times. Could I ever have a piece of that action?


(wavy lines and the sound of a Tardis/gunshot/screeching tyres etc as PJM wakes up in the brave new world of 2008)

So now I'm sat at my desk wondering where the hell my shiny silver space suit is. It now takes nine hours sat behind a colicky baby to fly to New York on a Boeing 747, not some flashy Buck Rogers inspired Airliner made of unobtainium with a pool table in it somewhere.

The Space Shuttle is about to be pensioned off to make way for

What the cocking fuck? It's just a metal cone with seats in it, almost exactly the same as what took men to the moon forty twatting years ago. Imaginative? Arse.

This is it, somewhere between 1979 and 2008 the human imagination has died a silent death. Risk taking and pioneering spirit have been buried under reams and reams of 'Ealf an Safety forms.

Can you imagine a British astronaut stepping on the moon? Think of the Risk Assessments, Insurance Forms, Job Descriptions and two-day-walking-in-low-gravity courses costing the taxpayer more than rockets alone.

Meanwhile, the news is full of dire warnings about global warming, resource deficiencies, Peak Oil and special offers for Nokia telephones which play shit R&B music.

Can you imagine what Captain Kirk would make of that?

Kirk, Spock and some unfortunate red shirted bloke who's about to be gruesomely killed somehow are on the planet Vega XV.

Kirk is busily working his pause peppered charm. On. A. Blonde eyed, blue haired alien bird with green skin who hasn't noticed his appalling wig.

"Ensign Phaserfodder, don't stray too far from the landing party. You haven't completed the 'Vega XV Risk Assessment Policy document yet"

-sound of Girls Aloud tinnily squealing in back pocket-

"That ringtone is highly illogical and shit captain."

"Men!" (kerslap) Blonde eyed, blue haired (in a beehive of course) woman skulks off set as Wig exits stage at speed in opposite direction

Meanwhile, flying cars are off the menu still, indeed according to Al Gore I'm told that my standard of living is going to decrease in the next fifty years, so I'm more likely to end up with an oxcart.

Where the fuck is my "Mr Fusion" device like in Back to the Future, which runs on discarded coke cans and banana skins?

We've taken the easy option and stuck with oil and gas for the last thirty years instead of setting a little aside for investment in alternatives like fusion power.

Instead of trying to change society for the better, we're cowed by it to the point where imagination and an intrepid spirit counts for shit. Instead of using their imagination exploring far off worlds, children seldom venture further than a quarter mile from their home. Meanwhile, once exotic destinations have become anodyne, tamed somehow and mundane. There is no final frontier except mortgages, flat screen televisions and Playstation 3s which will soon end up on a landfill somewhere as a sad epitaph to the electronic age when a) oil runs out or b) something better comes along to enslave our imagination.

Not the future I had in mind somehow...
(, Fri 27 Jun 2008, 11:20, 10 replies)
I feel the need... The need for speed!
I think I’ve said before that, before I sufficiently lowered my standards and decided I wanted to be an Actor, I wanted to join the Royal Air Force. It was 1988 when I made my decision; for some reason Mum had allowed me to watch Top Gun on VHS and I was sold. Fast jets? Yes please. Kelly McGillis? Well, I may have been eight years old but I knew that I liked her. Saving the day? You betcha bottom dollar, sonny. I knew then that I would grow up and go to Miramar, and I wouldn’t end up flying a ‘plane full of rubber dogshit out of Hong Kong.

For the next five years, my appetite for anything linked to planes and flying was practically unquenchable. I even played Top Gun in the playground, using the strip of concrete outside of the classrooms as an ‘Aircraft Carrier’. Stuart was my Wingman (the Iceman to my Maverick), and life was good.

Before long, my thirteenth birthday dawned. I was finally old enough to join the Air Cadets. Finally, I would have a taste of what life in the forces might be like, and this would also get me brownie points for when I applied for the forces in years to come. OK, so the F-14 wouldn’t be my plane, but the Tornado GR-4 was better anyway. For the next 3 years I was industrious – I gained my solo glider pilot wings, racking up thousands of hours in the process. I made hundreds of hours in small prop planes. I even, on one memorable trip, got to sit in the jump seat of a GR-4.

I climbed the small ladder that lead to the cockpit. Making myself comfortable in the seat, I looked at the myriad dials in front of me. I looked to my left, and saw a small box with yellow and black chevrons upon it, out of which came a small handle.

“Do Not Touch!” It explained, “Ejection Control”.

Tentatively, on some level not even aware of what I was doing, I reached out. Perhaps I was (in my mind) in a flat spin, on the point of ejecting far behind enemy lines. My fingertips connected with the ejection control.

“I wouldn’t do that,” said a voice from the real world “not if you want to get splattered on the roof of this hangar.”

Slowly, I retracted my fingers. Splatterfication would definitely limit my aspirations when it came to fast-jet flight.

And so came the fateful day where my life would change. A RAF careers man came to my ATC Squadron, and gave a careers talk. I took notes. I studied what life would be like in the armed forces. I resolved that I would get through basic training, and then in to fighter school. I needed only to know one thing.

“Excuse me, Sir.” I said “what qualifications would I need to join as a pilot? I want to fly fast jets.” – I was nearly sixteen.

“I’m sorry son,” came the response, “but you wear glasses. All pilots have to have 20/20 vision to fly fast jets.”

Oh, shit. Shit. That’s the last eight years out of the window then. I was completely, utterly dejected. The sense must have filled the room, because he followed that little gem up with:

“But you could join Air Traffic Control.”

“What? Fuck you, you patronising fuck. I’ve just had my dream torn in to a thousand pieces and your recommendation is a desk job? Shut up. Fuck you, you fucking dick.” – Just some of the words that I did not say to him.

To this day, the one thing that I have ever been sure of is my desire to fly. And, because of stupid biology, whenever I see the fast jets flying overhead I inwardly sigh, and dream of being up there, with the best of the best.
(, Thu 26 Jun 2008, 16:08, 14 replies)
School bogs
I was 14. I'd discovered nirvana in every sense of the word.

One of the cubicles in the bogs had heating pipes up high that went through to the girls bogs and changing rooms next door. There was the tiniest gap where the pipe went through.

It was there one wet Wednesday afternoon when I should have been in Mr E's maths class that I discovered how, if I stood on the black seat of the throne, I could just see into the girls room.

And it was there that I saw Mary N. dip her blonde head slightly so she could gently lap at the rosy pink nipple of Samantha G.
Samantha closed her eyes and stroked Mary's long straight hair and sighed.

I could take the tenting in my trousers no more so I was all set to crack one out when the fucking toilet seat decided to crack on me.

My left foot went down into the pissy water, my right kicked the cubicle wall and I fell back, cracking my head on the scratched and graffitied door, knocking myself out.

I was found a few minutes later as the girls had heard the banging and crashing, there I was lying in a pool of piss with my now flaccid cock hanging out.

The real disappointment was that the bastards put fucking polyfilla in the hole after that.
(, Tue 1 Jul 2008, 1:41, 2 replies)
An Internet Dating experience (a long one)
This is a story that was a fully-fledged sub-plot to my epic winter adventure in North America I made on my own 5½ years ago. I had done the Internet Dating thing for some time. I'd already met some truly wonderful women this way, but this was the first time I was meeting someone in the USA.

I apologise in advance for the length. It’s a long one and split into 4 parts. The first part is the answer and the other three are the first replies. There's also an epilogue. It was originally written many years ago, but I've changed it a bit to keep identities secret.

Part 1

Lisa (not her real name) was her name. It was a year and a half since she made initial contact. The e-mail correspondence was going well for a month, but then suddenly disappeared. A month later, I e-mailed her again, and got a reply (she referred to an e-mail she sent that must have got lost). That was the last I heard of her for a year. By then, I had decided I'd be visiting the USA at some time. One day (several months after my account on the Internet dating service had expired), I decided to mail her to say I was going to the USA on the off chance she might reply. It had been nearly a year and it seemed a long shot, but decided to go for it. Then a few weeks later, whilst in a cyber cafe, I got my first e-mail from her for a year where she said she would like to meet me when I come over to Los Angeles (LA, or ‘Lala-Land’ as she called it). This was the day when everyone decided to e-mail me all at once, so I spent ages there answering e-mail and as there were only two PCs there I was contributing to a queue and running up huge Internet costs. I also got another short e-mail from her a month later where she said she had to go to the hospital (didn't say what for), and she'd write more in the weekend. I never did get any more e-mail from her before the trip. It was only once I'd been on my trip to America for 3 weeks when I checked the e-mail at a friend's place in Vancouver that I got an e-mail from her (first since I set off). It just asked me to confirm if I had been getting her other e-mails (which I hadn't).

We both had our Birthdays on the same day (we were both Sagittarians), and I wanted to be in LA for that date just on the off chance she'd all of a sudden respond to me. Now I knew for certain her e-mails to me were getting lost, I became determined to meet her, so I opened the spam-floodgates and kept on mailing her whenever I could find access to the Internet. Up until that point, I hadn't thought about it much, but I realised I was running out of time and between Vancouver and LA, I only stopped off at Portland for half a day (thankfully, I had already done Seattle before Vancouver).

When I was in Portland, I made a pit stop at a cyber cafe. She hadn't responded to any of my e-mails. I told her by e-mail when my train would be arriving at the station in LA, what I was wearing (my latest psychedelic t-shirt and my colourful shoes just to stand out) and where I'd be staying in LA. I used the high-priority setting on my e-mail - something that I do very sparingly. I'd never know if she'd get it, or if she was even available to meet me then, but just in case she could, this was where I'd be. It was a long shot, but it might just work. It was a journey into the unknown. I wouldn't know what to expect when I arrived at LA's Union Station...

On the train to LA (the Coast Starlight), I met a few people going to LA who I shared my story with and hoped they might tell me where to look for someone who was trying to look for me in Union Station. I was thinking that I was telling so many people on the train about it that if we did meet, a huge cheer would erupt from the station in LA. I was getting anxious and a cheer would have been a great accompaniment to having my anxiousness flower into something a lot nicer. This was a train-journey that went on during the night so I had to sleep on the train. I was so much in need of answers that I tried to carefully analyse the dream I had during the night in case it contained any clues (I couldn't find any - I just ended up dreaming about online-banking that night). My anxiousness was growing, but thankfully, I met a few people on the train who kept my mind off things by talking about what it was like being a cow, and what it was like being a farmer (the same as being a cow, but you get to drive a tractor). The train was going through mid-California, which although wasn't as lush as Oregon/Washington - was a lot greener and rainier than I had imagined it to be (I had slept all through Northern California). The train didn't get to the Pacific Ocean until after dark, and apparently, we passed some place where they launched stuff into space (it might have been the Vandenberg base), but my mind was even further away than 'space' at the time...

When I got to LA's Union Station, the train was 40 minutes late (It took me 31 hours to get from Portland, OR to LA, CA). I was getting that nervousness I get when meeting a girl I met off the Internet for the first time, and with a heavy rucksack on your person while wearing a coat in a hot place after having been used to cold places, and in an area who’s 'safe-ness' I didn't trust, it's not a nice feeling! I looked around the station for about half an hour ... no sign of a girl who looked like she was looking for someone (I've only seen one poorly-lit photo of her from a long time ago), so I gave up and got the subway to the hostel.

At the hostel, I asked at reception if anyone had tried to look for me or leave me a message. No. I also asked where people usually go to on their birthdays and was given the names of some nightclubs. I thought about asking where people would go on their birthdays if they were hoping to meet someone who has their birthday on the same day as themselves but doesn't know where they are so is trying to go somewhere where they might guess that they'll end up there. This seemed too confusing a question to ask so I didn’t ask it.

I soon established that this particular hostel didn't have many means for passing messages on to guests, but thankfully they had Internet-access there. I logged on to my Freeserve account still feeling anxious, and - YES, there was an e-mail from Lisa! I immediately clicked on it ... and for the first time she gave me her phone-number - not one, but two phone numbers! At that moment, my anxiousness quickly morphed into a great rush. She also said she couldn't meet me at the station because her car had broken down. Like the last one from earlier that week, it was a short e-mail, but it contained what I needed - phone numbers...

To be continued...
the rest of the story is in the replies
(, Mon 30 Jun 2008, 16:30, 22 replies)

This question is now closed.

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