b3ta.com user Mockingbird
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This was made for me by Flatfrog, because he's ace:

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» Karma

When I was at university
the small girls in my hall asked me to come with them to a kickboxing class cos it was in a dodgy part of town. I agreed (being a 6'2" man easily led by women) and discovered it was a really quite fun class, but after having only been 3 times (i.e. still a total n00b) we had an exercise for pairs where there weren't enough newbies, so I (being the largest) got assigned to an intermediate (i.e. not shit) bloke.

The deal was, I held the pads and he practised a specific kick. We would later swap. I heard the teacher tell him "stick to xx kick, he doesn't know the others yet so it wouldn't be safe." He started doing the kicks, nice and hard and very accurately, I was impressed.

He got bored after 2 minutes of this exercise and tried a different kick, without warning me, and without me having any idea how to block it. A reflexive shift of the pad I was holding wasn't fast enough to stop him kicking me in the face and chipping one of my teeth.

He blamed me for leaving the pad too low. We were practising a kick that should have landed at around elbow height, so I reckon he was quite far off. I decided that as the newbie the fault must be mine and made no more of it, despite being quite rattled by the experience.

The following week the course trainer accidentally broke the other guy's nose with the same kick.

(Thu 21st Feb 2008, 14:50, More)

» Hidden Treasure

New house in London
With uni mates.

The three of us arrive and immediately see a battered cardboard box under the stairs. It contained a (later discovered to be fully working) electric typewriter, a prize instantly claimed by flatmate #1.

We proceeded to the back garden, to discover a slightly rusted but eminently repairable (and currently in-service, 3 years later) mountain bike, swiftly posessed by flatmate #2.

At this point I voiced the opinion "Right. If we find anything else, it's mine OK?" to agreement all round.

We search the house.

Nothing in the kitchen, lounge, bathroom, master bedroom, my bedroom, third bedroom...

How about that tiny box room over the stairs.

Opened the door to a looooong (5 minutes at least) silence from us all.
Mate #1: "Open it."
Mate #2: "You open it." etc...

Eventually I opened it, found it empty, put shelves in and still use it to this day.

What was it?

An Honest-to god satin-lined six-foot oak coffin.

Weird but true.

P. (apologies for length, formatting, laziness and the self-destructive nature endemic to the human condition)
(Fri 1st Jul 2005, 16:07, More)

» I Drank Meths (pointless teenage things you did to shock)

Shutting the fuck up
I once decided to not speak for a year.

My dad allowed it, despite finding it confusing and a bit upsetting (which, years later, I feel like an arse about). My mum, ever the practical one, secretly set herself to breaking me.

I lasted one month, carrying a notebook with me everywhere and so on. My mum eventually waited til I was really tired and playing on a computer, therefore distracted, and yelled from the other room "Paul, do you want a cup of tea?".

I was undone by my own loud "Yes".
(Fri 20th Jul 2007, 10:07, More)

» Pet Peeves

sorry for this being a tad big.
Road use:
1) You have indicators. Use them. The effort required is minimal and the end result is fewer accidents and less annoyed people driving cars.
2) Speed limits are there for a reason. If you're in a 30 zone, do up to 30. If you're in a 40 zone, do up to 40. The limits aren't just there to stop you driving off the road, they are there so that other road users can have a reasonable chance of guessing what you're going to be doing with your vehicle. They let people pull out of turnings with the knowledge that anyone coming around the corner will have time to see them and brake in time, for example. The only (personal) exception to this is if you're on a national speed limit dual carriageway or motorway go ahead and speed a bit, but don't complain if someone in your lane is doing 70, don't insist you can do 90 in driving rain in the middle of the night safely, and have a tiny fucking amount of consideration for other road users when it comes to, for example, sliproads. And use your fucking indicators to change lanes.
3) If there are roadworks and one lane is closing and there is an obvious queue of traffic, don't move into the soon-to-end lane and speed all the way to the front and expect to be let in. You cunt.
4) Cyclists, if there's a cycle lane please use it. If there isn’t, I promise I’ll do my best not to needlessly endanger your life as long as you’re wearing a helmet and, if appropriate, using lights.
4)a) the cycle lane is one bike wide. If you need to chat, shout, don’t ride side-by side and stick out into the road.
5) I firmly believe this one should be law: If a car driver who is driving legally hits and kills a cyclist at night, and the cyclist has neither lights nor a helmet, not only has no crime been committed, but the dead cyclist's estate/relatives must pay for repairs to the car.
6) Don't overtake on blind corners/hills. I don't care if your car can go that fast, I don't care if YOU think it's a "calculated risk". You're risking my life and the life of anyone coming the other way too, and that's not a risk you're entitled to take. If you’re so risky, fuck off to a race track, or just plough your car into a fucking bridge (while nobody’s on it).
7) THAT’S AN AMBULANCE. Get out the fucking way. Now.
8) re: other emergency services vehicles: see 7) and adapt as necessary.
9) Read the rules of the road again. Go on. Read the bit about how roundabouts work and what lane to be in. Use it if you’re not sure about a particular roundabout. They actually work.
9) If you drive a route regularly, learn how the specific roundabouts/junctions work. Using the wrong lane every day for a year makes me wonder if you should be permitted to drive at all. Or go out without a keeper.
10) A queue of traffic with you in the middle is not, in fact, waiting for you to beep your horn. If you can’t see why you’re stopped then you’ve got no reason to beep.
11) petrol station forecourts have a sign that says “don’t smoke, turn off engine, turn off lights, don’t use your phone.” You are not exempt from this rule (even if several of them are a teeeeeny bit over-paranoid, don’t fucking smoke you foolish monkey).
12) Motorbikes take up space. If you’re riding your bike down the side of a row of cars and some traffic comes the other way, find somewhere to pull in. If you can’t, then you shouldn’t have been overtaking, should you? Now fuck off.

Extremism and bigotry, some specifics:
1) Feminists who are following the ideals of equality are doing something important for society, breaking down pointless barriers and helping everyone live together fairly. People who call themselves ‘feminists’ but are really entirely, rabidly, pro-female and anti-male are bigoted extremists who need to find themselves a different name and are of no help to anyone or anything.
Ref: users.livejournal.com/_allecto_/34718.html
2) Religion is a tricky one. I don’t follow a religion or believe in a god, and regard all of them as pretty much delusional fantasies built around increasingly out-of-date codes of conduct. Their time, for me, is past. The same good effects that religion has could be obtained by a system of education and ethical principles without the mumbo-jumbo. The problem is that I realise, if I genuinely believed in god, I mean really and truly, and I thought he wanted me to blow up a bunch of folks, I’d do it. It’s god, for fuck’s sake. You can’t second-guess God.
3) Racism: Get over it. Seriously. There are dozens and dozens and dozens of perfectly rational reasons to hate and despise people, both in groups and individually. Inherited physical characteristics aren’t one of them.
4) Football: If you’re really, honestly willing to hurt someone, be honest about it. You don’t need the excuse of their belonging to a different supporter’s club. If you genuinely want to hurt people BECAUSE they support a different team then you’re a fucking idiot.

Grammar and spelling:
1) If English isn’t your first language, make an effort and it’ll be noticed.
2) If English is your first language, make an effort, it’ll be noticed.
3) Everyone makes mistakes. Me more than most. Typos are forgivable, not a death sentence.
4) If you don’t bother making the effort to use a minimal level of spelling and punctuation and try and arrange your sentences correctly then don’t expect to be understood. If you can’t be bothered to try and communicate clearly I have no choice but to assume you’re saying something unimportant.
5) If you struggle with this on a regular basis, there are a few simple sets of rules to learn that can hugely improve the readability of your writing:
- It’s, its
- You’re, your
- There, Their, They’re
- Than, Then
if you make the effort to nail those then a large proportion of the pedantic internet will stop having a go at you and maybe pay attention to what you’re writing.
6) The above are not here just because I’m a pedant, but because language is a tool for communicating, and the better we can all use it the better we can convey our opinions.
7) Lolcats are exempt from the above. I don’t know why, I should hate them but I don’t.

1) You’re working class. You have pride in your roots. Well done. It doesn’t excuse you being a total fucking wanker.
2) You’re middle class, but you’re aware of it and you make an effort not to discriminate by class. Well done. It doesn’t excuse you being a total fucking wanker.
3) You’re upper class. You’re proud of your heritage and you’re used to being around the successful and wealthy. Well done. It doesn’t excuse you being a total fucking wanker.
4) Nobody worth talking to cares how much money your family makes, how close you are to royalty or anything. Unless you’re on a genealogy course, be yourself and ignore the heritage.

Patriotism (specifically Americans and English):
I’m glad you love your country, you should do. It has many fine points and many lofty ideals are upheld by it on a daily basis. If one of your fellow countrymen disagrees with a political/military stance which your country has adopted then he/she is not being unpatriotic. Both nations have, among their most famous historical figures, people who overturned regimes and made massive changes to their way of life because they believed an injustice was being perpetrated.
Patriotism should be love of your country coupled with a desire to see it be the best it can be, not a blind submission to the status quo.

Americans in Britain
1) How fucking loud do you need to be?
2) I don’t care how much bigger/better/faster things are in Texas. There’s a church in Cornmarket Street in Oxford that’s 5 times the age of your country.
3) No, I can’t find you some marijuana. Especially not when you bellow the question at me at Blessed volume in the middle of a busy street, you unbearable neo-colonial fuckwit.

You may have noticed that many of my rants make sweeping generalisations about entire classes, groups and nationalities of people. I hate when people do this without an awareness that they’re doing it. I know some nice Americans, I’ve got religious friends, I’ve even met a BMW driver who’s not a cunt when he drives, but the transgressors in these groups are sufficiently representative (based on my personal life experience) that I feel justified in not individually adding caveats to each observation. Sorry.
(Fri 2nd May 2008, 11:35, More)

» The Onosecond

I wouldn't believe this...
Had I not heard it myself.

A friend of mine (let's call him Mate A, although his name's Dan) had the misfortune to drop his jeans in such a way that the phone in his pocket dialled another mate of ours (Mate B) up, just as Mate A was beginning a period of intimate enjoyment with his g/f.

On it's own, this would be embarrasing, but to make matters worse the gods of chance saw fit to site Mate B in a no-signal area, meaning the entire 15 minute call was recorded on his voicemail.

Some busy days later Mate A and his girl arrived at a gathering to be met by the new dance remix "Dan and Sally-Anne" blaring from Mate B's car stereo. Classic. (They are still together?)
(Fri 27th May 2005, 13:08, More)
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