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» Lies I told on my CV

Me and my big mouth.
Well not me exactly, but some twat with no concept of 'good things to say in an interview' and 'bad things to say in an interview'.

This nervous young lad pitched up for an interview for the post of Junior Admin Assistant or some such low-level drudgery. He wasn't too impressive, either in experience or interview technique, but I felt he really let himself down when he volunteered that he had been given a couple of verbal warnings in his last job for "staring at girls' tits" and that he was an early suspect in the Jill Dando murder case.
(Sat 8th Jul 2006, 6:55, More)

» My most treasured possession

My Clipper
I bought a garishly hand painted Clipper lighter for a pound, from a hippy market stall nearly twenty years ago. Then I lost it whilst visiting a friend in Texas. At that stage, it was merely a garishly painted disposable lighter so I moved on and went through a string of other lighters, mostly Clippers, but I experimented with other brands too. I was unable to form meaningful relationships with lighters, as people kept stealing them, or occasionally they would run out of gas and I simply couldn't muster the effort to get a can of butane. I was a mess.

A couple of years later however, my friend arrived in London from Texas, saying he had a surprise for me. With a flourish, he produced my old Clipper. He says it must have fallen down the side of his sofa, but I think he stole it, only to be overcome by remorse later on.

In the years since, my friend and I have shared the responsibility of looking after the lighter - every time one of us travels to visit the other, we've performed a ceremonious hand-over, and the other person has then been in charge of it for the year or two until our next meetup. It's been to Glastonbury, Burning Man, all round Europe, Mongolia, New Zealand, and dozens of times across the Atlantic. I estimate that it has clocked up well over 100,000 airmiles, and I am currently in discussion with Norris McWhirter as to whether it gets in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most travelled disposable lighter.

It still works, although it is only now used on very special occasions to light very special types of things. I believe it is on its third or fourth sparky wheelie flinty bit, but the original garishly painted body is still in serviceable order.

I have only been in possession of my most treasured item for roughly ten of the last twenty years, but it will be buried with me when I go.
(Sat 10th May 2008, 0:01, More)

» Family Holidays

Family holiday
The family was dragged to Yorkshire in the mid 80s, and the holiday consisted mainly of sitting inside waiting for the rain to stop. On the one day we were able to venture out, we went walking on the moors. Suffering from some minor gastric ailment, I needed a poo but we were miles from a toilet of any description, so I squatted behind a bush. The satisfaction and relief at being able to unload several litres of fizzy gravy were only short lived as I realised I had misjudged the trajectory and completely covered my grundies, jeans, socks and trainers. The feeling of helplessness as my family, unaware of my plight, walked further and further away, while I feebly attempted to clean myself with the 2 sheets of tissue paper my Mum had given me, will never leave me. I was only dimly aware of the other walkers' shocked expressions as a distraught 9 year old covered in poo, naked from the waste down, ran across the moors after his parents.

The trollies are still there somewhere.
(Fri 3rd Aug 2007, 22:51, More)

» Common

I was travelling by train from Alicante to Benidorm for a day trip (out of morbid curiosity you understand), and the wrinkled leathery, bingo-winged old prune in the seat opposite me said to her friend (similarly wobbly-armed and dripping in Elizabeth Duke tat) something that will haunt me for ever:

'Eee, Mavis,' she said, 'eeeee, I can't wait to get back to us hotel and get me feet in't beeeedaaay.'

Now that is common.
(Thu 23rd Oct 2008, 10:30, More)

» Cars

It's all over the front page, you give me road rage
Driving to work through South West London one sunny morning, the other side of the dual carriageway is chocker, nose to tail, not going anywhere. My side is moving freely so I'm alright, Jack. Without warning, a battered Sierra estate on the other side decides he's done with queuing and does a u-turn, lurching across the central reservation and screeching out in front of me, who's hurtling along at about 60. I have to take fairly swift evasive action to avoid barrelling into him, and I flick him the V as I swerve past him on the inside. As you would. Big mistake. He and the delightful lady sitting in the passenger seat are dead ringers for Wayne and Waynetta Slob, and they do not look pleased to see me. He speeds up and starts trying to ram me. I have to call on pretty much all my Grand Theft Auto driving skillz to avoid him as he speeds up, swerves, slams the anchors on trying to ram me. This is all going on at dangerously high speed, and I know that there is only a couple of miles until the next roundabout - hopefully it's clear and I can get across. Fuckit. As I round a bend in the road, I see a queue. No no no, this won't do, I'm going to have to stop, he's going to get out and wrench my door off with pure animal strength and then he's going to pull me from my car and beat me to a pulp in front of loads of other drivers that will doubtless stay in their cars with the doors locked instead of coming to my rescue. I drive as far as I can, and then I have to stop. He's a couple of cars behind, and in my rear view mirror I watch him get out, storm towards me (like the dinosaur in Jurassic Park) gnashing his teeth and shouting some very rude words very loudly. Clunk. I lock the doors. I sit tight, looking straight ahead, shades on, as he starts to punch the bejaysus out of the driver's side window. He hits it really hard. He's hitting it so hard that there's blood and skin on it, but it holds firm. I had no idea that the window on a 1989 Citroen BX could be so tough. He leaps onto the bonnet and starts jumping up and down like a deranged monkey on crystal meth, his furious face just a few inches from mine. The expletives are coming thick and fast, and spittle lashes the windscreen. I don't think I've ever seen anyone quite so angry before. Then, I notice that the cars in front of me have pulled away, so I seize my chance. I lurch forward and slam the brakes on, throwing monkeyman onto the tarmac. I'm able to swerve round him and leg it off to safety before he can pick himself up and get back in his shitmobile. Lucky lucky escape. These days I do my utmost to resist the temptation to abuse other drivers, however wrong they are. It's just not wirth the risk.

P.s. I didn't wet myself.
(Tue 27th Apr 2010, 11:14, More)
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