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This is a question Out of my depth

As a schoolkid, I signed up for a public speaking contest purely as a ruse to meet girls. It haunts me still: in front of 300 people, I started to speak, dried up, stood there for what felt like half an hour staring at the floor and then slowly walked back to my seat. Oh, and the girl I liked laughed.

Have you ever been utterly, completely, devastatingly out of your depth?

(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 15:07)
Pages: Popular, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

More Military Humiliation
To "boost" morale for the troops stationed in the middle of the desert with a ratio of 6,000 men to 1 woman, the Commanding General was fond of throwing impromptu competitions on Fridays and having each unit hand select a team for said competition.

Due to equal equality and minority rules and all that, I was usually the "token female" for each and every blasted event, no matter what that event might be.

So along comes Friday, my Captain calls me into his office and announces that I will be taking part in a base-wide swim meet.

Two problems - #1 I am a horrid swimmer, adept only at flailing and floating but not necessarily moving. #2 The only bathing suit I own is a racy two-piece number, clearly not suitable for a General Sponsored Event.

I borrowed a swimsuit from my dippy roomate, a blonde from Iowa who walked with a permanent limp, caused, no doubt, by the aforementioned men to woman ration. She was hungover, and waved towards her wall-locker and indicated that I help myself.

So there I am, getting ready to swim the 100 Meter Butterfly. I don't even quite know what that is but I'm a sport, right, so I watch other people and practice on the side by trying to imitate their arm and leg movements. A General's aide asked me if I was all right. I scowled at him. Clearly, as a US Marine, I was invincible and destined for winning.

I hit the water, begin flailing and flailing for all I am worth, sending up mighty spouts of water and large waves to my lane partners. I was clearly on fire, I was going to somehow win this thing, even without knowing the damn swim stroke because I WAS THAT GOOD.

Cut to the next scene. I come up to the end, gasping and gulping, grab the side of the pool and look around. There is no one around me. I'm thinking that victory is mine, I have finished first. No such luck. Everyone is already done and out of the pool, drying off and laughing at me.

Dejected but not completely defeated, I try to drag my exhausted carcass out of the pool. This results in a very unattractive posture wherein one foot is up and I am hanging on with one arm, splayed open for all the world to see.

That's when the collective gasp goes up from the crowd.

It turns out that the bathing suit I am wearing is a Tanning Swimsuit, the kind you can get a Tan through, if you are into that sort of thing.

It isn't meant to get wet.

When it does get wet -

It becomes totally see-through.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 13:49, Reply)
How not to speak German
Went on holiday somewhere in the Mediterranean not long after sitting my O-Levels. I'm walking along the beach when a couple ask me for directions.

They were Germans. I'd just done a German O-Level. Like Clint Eastwood in "Firefox" I heard a little voice telling me to "think in German".

I can remember this magical feeling of grammatically correct German forming itself in my mind. I wasn't translating "go straight on and turn left", oh no, the *actual fricking german* was there, in my head, just waiting to be spoken.

It was an epiphany.

Until I opened my mouth. I gave them directions in English, but delivered in the worst mock-German SS commandant accent you've ever heard.

From that day to this, I've never really tried to speak another language.
(, Tue 19 Oct 2004, 21:08, Reply)
The Secret Door
One of the first things I do when moving to a new house is go into the loft and check out for any forgotten treasure and dead rats. Onetime I was crawling around and found another trap door! I got very excited with thoughts of a secret room full of stuff I could have. I couldn't open it and assumed it had been nailed down so I got me a crowbar and with lots of grunting and splintering wood managed to crack it open, only to see my neighbours staring up at me from their bedroom. :(
(, Wed 20 Oct 2004, 19:59, Reply)
More smuggling
Peelmytangerines' story reminds me of a smuggling story of my own. So, end of first year at uni and, what with it being first year of uni and everything, I'd been having a somewhat on-off fling with Mary Joe Anna.
Come the end of year and time to be picked up I'm left with about half an eighth left. Do I chuck it or donate it to the numerous needy individuals living around my Halls in Camberwell (for those unfamiliar with the nature of this particular area of South London, watch Withnail and I). Do I bollocks. Tight arse that I am I stick it, along with some tobacco and skins, in an empty fag packet and tuck it into my shoulder bag.

So, all's progressing well untill a week or so later and my family and I are belting down the M1 heading towards Heathrow, late as usual for a flight on our way to Trinidad (does it make it any better if I point out that it was all paid for through Air Miles and Hotel loyalty points my Dad got through work?). Suddenly a chorus of angels appear singing to me: "you still have illegal drugs in your bag, in a container that will look mightily suspicious on an X-Ray. You are just about to go through airport security. You are fuuuuuccccckkkeeeed."

The following conversation ensues at the airport:
"Mum, I need to go to the loo"
"Don't worry, you can go after the security check"
"No, I'd prefer to go now"
"Don't be so silly it's only a few minutes"
[Staring deeply into her eyes in the manner of a stage hyptonist/Obi-Wan Kenobi]
"No, Mum, I. Really. Need. To. Go. NOW."

Anyway, even after getting licence to go to the loo (I fessed up, thankfully Mum was something of a hippy chick in her younger days and just laughed) I still hadn't learnt my lesson. Flush it? Hell, no, imagine getting stoned on a Trinidadian beach. Down the sock it goes.

So, Security check at Heathrow was breezed through and everything looked plain sailing. Except for the fact that we had to change at Miami ariport. Miami airport. Home of the most intense anti-drugs policing of any airport in the world. Oh, poo.

Sure enough, while waiting at the carousel for the bags along comes an armed-to-the-teeth (well, he had a gun which is scary enough for us Brits) cop with the obigatory Alsatian in tow. And guess what the Alsation immediately takes an interest in? That's right, My Left Foot. The longest, most agonising minute of my life is then spent whistling and attempting to look nonchalant (and I'm not even sure I can spell it) while German Shepphard spittle is trickling into my left shoe. And then... the cop just tugs his adorable doggy away.

I was completely baffled until I saw the sign on the wall reading "Attention all UK visitors: no meat or dairy products are permitted to be imported into the USA." It was right in the middle of the foot and mouth crisis and I can only suppose that the cop in question figured that I wasn't likely to be smuggling a frozen hamburger in my shoe.

The story ends happily with me succeeding in getting stoned on a beach in Trinidad, having become probably the only person in human history to smuggle marijuana from Europe to the Carribean.
(, Sat 16 Oct 2004, 15:08, Reply)
Loss of virginity...
...I was about 15 and had just been approached by a girl at the Youth Club who said she fancied me and that she was also "on the pill."
It took me about 5 minutes to realize she wasn't referring to a cold and flu tablet and we proceeded to the local park (always deserted at night except for teenagers doing unspeakables).
So we disrobed a little and with me on top I proceeded to lose my virginity. Problem was that I thought you just inserted and waited...so I laid there *totally* motionless and after a couple of minutes she gave some encouraging movements which quite startled me as I feared she must be an epileptic or something.
It was very disappointing, but she was very nice about it and didn't dob me in to my mates.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 3:33, Reply)
Keeping myself composed
The other day in English, we were watching a really boring video on WWI, and I was pretty much yawning my arse off. until we got to the songs and the poetry. I was getting somewhat worked up and sad. and then the video said "and now the poem "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" will be read...

this is such a poignant poem :( surely I was going to let out a little tear and be laughed at.

"By the actor Brian Blessed"


In full bellowed overacting mode

well needless to say I didn't cry. I laughed. my ass off. while everyone looked at me funny. I tried to hold my nose and squeeze my lips together but then he got to "GASSSSSSSSSSSSSSS"

he said it like that, with a really long Shouted snake noise for the S. I think the laugh actually FORCED my fingers to let go of my nose and I made a really stupid hysterical nasal squeaking laugh. here I was crying my eyes out with laughter during a poem that usually makes me uber depressed with the class thinking i'm some sort of fucking lunatic.
(, Tue 19 Oct 2004, 16:35, Reply)
Kenny Dalglish
Years ago my brother was playing junior footy in the North Merseyside leagues... His team was playing against a team that had Paul Dalglish (King Kenny's Son). Anyway the match was well under way and I thought I'd go down and check out the match and see my brother play... As I approached the pitch I saw my old man on the touchline bangin on to some fella in a sheepskin coat.. as I got nearer I realised my Dad was talking to Kenny Dalglish, one of the greatest Liverpool players ever, championship winning manager (he had just won the league with Blackburn about a week before). As I got on within earshot of them both... the first thing I heard from the old man was "Your'e talking shite Kenny, they should be playing 5 in midfield..."
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 14:55, Reply)
I wanted a few days off school when I was about 10...
Someone at school had got appendicitis a few months ago, and I'd been sitting next to her for most of the day, so I watched her, and got a fair idea of how to fake it (ie it hurts whenever you stand up or sit down, and it hurts more when the doctor takes their hand off your stomach than when they push down).

Long story short, I was getting wheeled into operating theatre telling them there was nothing wrong with me, while my mother and a nurse were telling me to hush, and that everything would be ok.

I had a hernia when I was 22 and it was just under my scar.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 10:48, Reply)
I fancied myself as a surfer, so I toodled off to Fistral Beach at Newquay, hired a board at hit the waves.

Or rather, they hit me. As all the surf dudes impressed the watching female hoardes with their l33t surfing action, I paddled around like a twat in a pair of M&S trunks and a "Frankie Says..." T-Shirt.

By some freak of luck, I finally managed to get to my feet and rode my first wave like an old pro. For about two seconds.

Catapaulted into the brine, the elastic strap did its job of preventing the separation of sufer and board. It also sprung the evil thing back at me at 200 mph, catching me right up the bum-hole.

The bleeding stopped after an hour or so. I fled the maniacal laughter of dozens of long-haired surf dudes and their female admirers, returning to the relative safety of a life of geekdom.

Surfing: it's very, very hard.
(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 19:43, Reply)
About 15 months ago
walking down a street in Liverpool, I was politely asked if I had any heroin on me. Or, rather "Eeeeeh mate, got any fuckin' scag?". I didn't, but being slightly drunk (read: shitfaced) I played along with it and gave him the remains of a kitkat wrapped in foil, which I had in my pocket. He gave me 40 quid and I was off.

About a month later there was a group of lovely looking men outside my house (god knows how they found me) threatening to "twat me to fucking africa" if I didn't give them 40 quid and a tenner in compensation. Which I did. And they left.

Totally out of my depth.
(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 15:26, Reply)
Quite literally.
When I was a small kid, my mum took me and my sister to the Tropicana in Weston-Super-Mare. This was an outdoor swimming pool, now sadly closed, that had some really cool slides (or they seemed so to such a young lad as I was...)

Well, I hadn't learnt to swim yet. But the really big slide looked so much fun. So I went on it, and it was ace. But then it deposited me in the deep end, and I proceeded to thrash about like a.. err... person who can't swim, and had to be pulled out by the lifeguard.

I immediately ran off and went on the slide again. And had to be rescued. Again.

The guard had a go at me. My mum had a go at me. I didn't care, I had a great day.
(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 15:31, Reply)
Cocktails ... Mmmmmm
About 10 years ago I was working in the bar of a very posh 200 bedroom 5-Star hotel, where they did table service.

One evening, the hotel owner, his wife, their 2 kids and the MD all came in and sat down. They were all going to go out, so were dressed up in suits and dresses. Very smart. I went over and took their order, which was something like 2 banana dacquiris, 1 beer, 1 coke & 1 bloody mary. I went to the bar, got the order, and balanced all the drinks around the metal tray.

Now - anyone who's done this before will tell you that when removing the drinks from the tray while balancing it on your other hand - ALWAYS get the weight distribution EVEN (ie - first one side, then the other etc..).

Aaaanyway, I was new at this kind of thing. I removed the beer .. then the coke (which were next door to each other), and the tray did a kind of a flip out of my hand. All the remaining drinks fell, and hit the (rather low) table.

If we're talking nuclear fallout zones, you could say that everyone round the table was in 'Zone 1'. You've never seen anything like it. Everyone was coated in yellow dacquiri slime, and there was glass everywhere. The owner's wife burst into tears (understandable, as her dress was completely fucked), and the 2 kids started laughing. The others just looked blank. The whole bar had gone quiet. I looked around for help, just in time to see the bar manager duck and hide behind the bar.

I was alone. So very alone, and somewhat out of my depth.

Oh - and also, there's the time when I was a novice waiter, and I dropped a large flat of buttered new potatoes into the bride's lap. That didn't go down too well either.
(, Mon 18 Oct 2004, 12:49, Reply)
must agree with former post. I spent a year in Australia and decided to become a tanned and expert surf machine. Unfortunately i had a lot more bottle than skill or sense and so on about my third attempt went out in overhead surf conditions.

I've never come closer to death. I spent about half an hour trying to get "out back" past the line of breaking waves. Every time i made a few meters the next wave would crash on my head, drag me under and push me back towards the beach. I was pretty much exhausted so i started to back in.... which turned out to be just as difficult as i was now caught in some kind of evil rip current / eddy that kept me firmly in position for the largest waves to come crashing down on me.

I was really terrified but luckily for me the life guards in australia are terrific, on the ball and completely unsympathetic. I got hauled out of the water by one who told me that

"we pull about 20 of you fucking poms out of here every day. When will you silly bastards learn?"
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 13:52, Reply)
so when i was, some may say, too young perhaps.
it was a long while back, dont remember all the details, but a girl asked me via AOL "so, you wana cyber?"

not knowing what that meant i naturally agreed. next thing you know i'm trying my best at this whole cyber sex thing and finding it rather boring.

then she stops talking, i wonder why. then i realise that i somehow made a typo of using L instead of S when trying to say somthing like "i kiss you madly"

so it would seem that shortly after losing my cyber virginity i accedently cyber raped the girl to death. very embarasing, had to clean the blood off of the chat window for an hour and then delete the corpse...
(, Mon 18 Oct 2004, 10:04, Reply)
there are some things that are best forgotten
but when it's question of the week....

when i was a kid, about 12 i learnt how to moonwalk and at every family event i was instructed to dance like michael jackson a la smooth criminal complete with hat. after i would flip the hat off and collect about a fiver. great job! but then came a holiday in spain at a huge community bbq. where my parents forced me on stage infront of about 500 people. the usual confident McFly was a bit nervous but i thought fuck it. i started well. everyone was clapping and cheering until i tried to jump onto a raised platform. my jelly legs didn't make the 2' jump. i landed chest first followed by chin, nose, forehead. everyone laughed at me like i was a cunt but my humiliation had not finished. totally embarassed i thought it best to run off. i jumped down and ran outside only to step on a wet mat, land on my bony arse and fall into the outdoor pool. fuckbolloxcunt.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 12:00, Reply)
Public Humiliation
There was a girl in my 6th form I fancied and she suggested that she and I sing a song for the Christmas Show at my school. I was a pressure cooker of testosterone and agreed, thinking about all the 'rehearsing' we could do together.. Well, we rehearsed the song infront of her parents about 10 times and that was it. No private rehearsing at all.

The big night came for the show, she provided me with a costume..... and thought it would be a laugh it we swapped them over! Just as we went, she got nervous and fainted and I went on stage, on my own, in a dress and sang "Gold by Spandau Ballet" (???!!!) and got laughed at and ridiculed for 6 months because of it. She didn't even let me snog, let along fondle her norks.

She went out with some dickhead 5 years older who got her pregnant and fucked off. That'll teach her for making me wear a dress in public. I only wear them in private now!!!
(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 16:54, Reply)
i was an administrator for a few weeks and one day all the receptionists were off. i was roped in, 18 years old, no superior, no experience, no people skills, terrible phone manner, general incompetence. managing the switchboard for the 400 or so people in the building, ordering taxis but forgetting to get a name so had to tannoy "taxi for russian people is waiting at the front entrance", making accidental tannoy announcements of "hello, i'm fubar, how may i help you?", dialing tannoy, making announcement, forgetting number that cuts off tannoy. cutting people off, forgetting the company name, putting main phoneline on silent then forgetting about it. kept saying the right words in the wrong order then swearing or laughing down the phone. also had to press a button to lift the gate into the carpark when a car wants to get in. the queue obstructed traffic.
(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 21:26, Reply)
But it was an exceptionally large vagina.
(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 20:30, Reply)
i was too scared to ask to go to the toilet in assembely
so sitting on the cold hard floor with 300 other 8 year olds, i proceeded to wee and then use my arms to keep the puddle underneath me.

haha never actually admitted that to anyone before.

Dont tell anyone.. right?
(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 19:10, Reply)
Accidentaly Pee showered a man
I was in one of those toilets where you pee standing up. My friend was peeing behind me on the other side, so I thought I could well turn suddenly and shower his back. I turned and shouted take this only to find an anonymous person looking siutably embarassed and angered, now half covered in my fluid body liquid. I just pulled up my pants and ran.
I later realised I had also been talking alone before showering him. Quite scared and embarassed I was.

Oh the moral is i'm out of my depth doing gay pranks
(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 17:40, Reply)
Try the feeling when, after 5 days, you bring your firstborn back from hospital.

There's a superbly frightening moment when you put the little mite down in the living room in his carry-out car seat, realise that the helpful nurses are miles and miles away, and think: "What the **** do we do now?"

Two years later, he seems fine, so we must be doing *something* right. I'd never have been in such a hurry to grow up if I knew the whole thing would have to be ad-libbed.
(, Mon 18 Oct 2004, 12:45, Reply)
Russian interpreter
A few months after passing GCSE Russian, I somehow ended up volunteering to interpret at a business meeting between a local bus company and some visiting Russian businessmen who wanted to do some business with the UK travel industry.
So there's all these men in suits sat around the table with deadly serious expressions on their faces, ready to talk serious business.
And then there's 16-year-old me, barely able to count to 10, never mind say things in Russian like "We have a fleet of modern, airconditioned buses that we could make available to you through a leasing arrangement."
I was so out of my depth it wasn't true, and of course since the participants weren't able to communicate with each other, the meeting was a total flop. Utterly humiliating.
(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 19:05, Reply)
Am I not merciful?
I had arrived at Glasgow airport at about 10am on New Years Eve 1997. 36 hourse and no sleep earlier, I had started in Adelaide. My sister picked me up, laughed at my goatee, then took me home.
Having made the journey several times before, I knew not to sleep or jetlag would last days. Hence tea and an introduction to 'Shooting Stars' and 'The Fast Show' on video which did not help my sanity.
Come 8 o'clock I was seeing double with tiredness. Nonetheless off we went to a hogmanay bash. At said party I drank a lot of whisky, perved at the oft revealed suspender adorned thighs of a woman there and finally ended up in a conversation with a rather interesting chap.
Alcohol and sleeplessness turned me into my unpleasant alter-ego of not-listening-but-Ill-tell-you-all-I-know man. The subject - late Roman empire general, Count Belisarius. My knowledge - gleaned from 'Count Belisarius' the book by R. Graves which I had read on the plane. The chap I was talking to had the temerity to contradict my learned opinions on a couple of occasions.
After a while I asked him what he did - University history lecturer, his period - late Roman, his speciality (by this stage I was in full rabbit in headlights mode)- PhD on the effect of the relationship between Justinian and Belisarius on the collapse of the Western Roman Empire or some such. Arse.
And oh, while my face was red and my tongue swollen with shame, he also introduced me to his stocking clad vixen of a wife over whom I had drooled throughout our conversation. Damn.

I had neither length nor girth after that intellectual drubbing.
(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 17:53, Reply)
Twas the second year of university
and my housemate and I had enjoyed the student life a little too much and had done no revision for the following day's two exams.

Needless to say, we did an all-night revision session but by 7am we had only done enough work to answer one small part of one exam (if we were lucky enough for the right question to come up on the paper).

What to do with the next 2 hours before we had to set off? Of course. we wrote a message on the wall behind the radiator

"Please give us the answers to the two exams today" and dated it.

The plan was that our 'future selves' would turn up at about 8am with the answers. The hour from 7am to 8am was spent getting excited at the prospect of meeting ourselves (we had had a lot of Red Rooster), and if they didn't turn up, would it mean that we didn't need the answers or did it mean that our future selves had perished trying to get the answers to us? We were taking this whole thing deadly seriously.

Needless to say, they didn't arrive and when the time came we were completely out of our depth, but it still brings a smile to my face remembering my mates words at 7.55am.

"I'm off for a shit. Give us a shout when they get here"
(, Wed 20 Oct 2004, 14:34, Reply)
Gods Teeth!
I've never told anyone this and thinking of it now still makes me cringe.

I was an Alter boy (no i never got fondled!) at my local parish church till I was about 7. I had no interest in it I just seemed to get roped into it.
Anyway I'd been doing this for about a year and I had to be the worst alter boy ever, I had no clue what I was meant to be doing I just copied everyone else.
This one day the organist chap who runs the altar boys services comes to me and asks me to do a special mid week service, "okay why not" says I.
I get dropped off on the day by my parents at which point I realise I'm the only one there.. as in the only alter boy.
All of a sudden I have no one to copy off.. Fear grips me! I don't know what the shit to do.
So I follow the priest out and sort of kneel.. I seemed to remember I was meant to do this..
What followed was a shambles of me droppping things and falling over.
There was also one point where I leaned over to the priest and explained "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!"
Sadly the father was microphoned and it was broadcast throughout the church.

I quit that very same day..
I still shudder on the very rare occasions that I enter a church.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 12:20, Reply)
Window cleaning is the most dangerous job in the UK - here's why...
My firm makes industrial safety products that are really REALLY important and on which people's lives depend. I do marketing and PR however and have no engineering qualifications AT ALL.

I recently attended a meeting, as an observer, at British Standards Institute (the guys responsible for kite marks). The meeting was to create a new standard for the type of kit we make, and I had jotted down a few suggestions just in case I WAS asked to contribute.

If only anybody else had done the same.

Suffice it to say that I was the ONLY fucker with anything to contribute AT ALL and the new 'standard' consists in fact of the uninformed bobbins I came up with on the tube to Chiswick. This, it seems, is the way or country's health and safety beaurocracy works and I feel we should ALL be afraid.

I do not wish to identify what it is we make but I will say this: if anybody is reading this at the top of a ladder - come down now. SLOWLY.
(, Wed 20 Oct 2004, 11:08, Reply)
rather embarressing but, what the hey....
When i had first started infant school i was trying my hardest to fit in, i was always one of those kids that ended up being a tag-along and never had their own crowd, ...but anyways to cut a long story short... we had all been shown around to our cloakroom pegs, and had recently finished our lunch and milk before we were all told to go to toilet and then return back to the classroom.

Inside the toilets we three big urinals and two closed cubicles, being a small child that had only ever used his house bathroom to go for a pee i had never seen a urinal before and decided to try one out.

Much to the other kids amusement i did not realise you *didnt* have to pull your trousers down to your ankles before you went, and as i started to pee with my trousers fully lowered and proudly standing with cock in hand, i noticed other kids around me chuckling to themselves as they stared at my bare ass and trousers by my ankles........oh the embarrassment when i had realised what i had done wrong......

.....i have never used a urinal since...

...100% FACT
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 7:10, Reply)
The pervert down the street - erm I guess that would be me
A girl from the down the street babysat our kids one night for the 1st time. Everything seemed okay when we returned.

Next day I logged onto Hotmail and found someone else's email name in the little box! It was "Eatsleepride_24/7", or something like that.

Aha! Said the suspicious voice in my head - hubby has an internet 'alter-ego' and is ordering porn and conversing with 14 yr olds on the web. I'll show him.

So I go into Hotmail and make up my own new address, "Easyrider" or something as saucy. And I send a tempting, VERY naughty email to this person, thinking, a)it will be anonymous and, b)if he responds, he will be caught red handed.

As I hit send, I get a sudden panic attack, and thinking - I'd better check that it was anonymous, I send an email to my regular email address and find (through some weird Hotmail thingy I still can't fathom) it HAS MY NAME ALL OVER IT.

Sooooo, I fess up to hubby, feeling really stupid, and he says "That's not my email address". At which point it all comes crashing down on me. It was the BABYSITTER who was online and using hotmail while we were out. A quick check through the history files and cookies confirms this.

At this point I send my husband over the street to apologise for my appalling, perverted behaviour. (And to give her shit for being on our computer in the first place).

Apparently: internet super-sleuthing is WAY out of my depth.

Strangely enough, she has never agreed to babysit for us again....
(, Wed 20 Oct 2004, 18:03, Reply)
Learning to paraglide in australia
You do stuff in the classroom, some stuff on a shallow slope with very little danger.

Then you do a tandem flight to see if you really do want to fly.

Then you get to do solo flights and you need about 25-30 of them with lots more classroom before you get the license.

well - I start the solo flights where basically a bloke with a radio on the top of the mountain says left, right, etc and halfway thru a bloke on the ground does the same.

1200 foot up in the air, first solo flight, hanging underneath bits of string and a piece of cloth, radio stops working....

now thats out of your depth..
(, Mon 18 Oct 2004, 15:41, Reply)
French Oral.
Had spend most of my one year learning GCSE French by teasing the teacher I had something of a platonic love-hate relationship with. In hindsight, I may have been better served by brushing up on my vocab.

Sitting in a small dark room preparing the compulsory phrases I would need to voice next door in mere minutes time, I broke into a feverish perspiration; I knew how to say "I have a little..." but something in my mind froze. Or perhaps it was never there and I simply refused to believe I had such an embarrasing hole in my knowledge?

Either way, I knew that in about 60 seconds time I would be reeling of the line, "Je prends un petit... ...umm ...rabbit".

The feeling I felt as I sat down with the impending recitation of the sentence was like being the first person on a bus to find out the brakes aren't working.

It seemed I was not without some semblance of sink or swim instinct though. I managed to raise my game to the extent of a swarmy french accent - an attempt no doubt to cover up my astonishing lack of vocabulary.

"ehhh... je pronnnndune aaahhhh... pooteeeeaaaahhhh..."



The tape recorder continued to turn.
For a moment I found it amusing that it recorded even when there was nothing to listen to. Poor little tape recorder, oblivious as to whether his only function in life was being used. Was this really the time to be anthropomorphising objects in the room I asked myself?

I looked up to bulging eyes. I gave her my "I have bad news to tell you" look hoping it might be worth half a mark. Didn't I hear somewhere that they mark you up for a good accent?

To my amazement her mouth began to move.

At first I could not figure out what was going on - for goodness sake, the tape was running ! - this was no time to be gaping like carp, surely? Realisation flushed through me in an instant - focus - read her lips.

"errr... ois.


je prends un...

ahhhhh, petit..."

My eyebrows raised with the incredulity of what was about to be said,


She sat back in her chair.

After a moment, I sat back in mine.
(, Sat 16 Oct 2004, 2:08, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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