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» Mums

The mother.
My mother's always been a tough old bird. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour which affects her balance a good few years back (an acoustic neuroma, in fact) but she hasn't let it hold her back in the slightest. I've got a vivid memory of her from around ten years back, armwrestling a local builder into submission in the pub. Somewhere, I've got photographs of her up to no good in Antarctica, and others of her paddling up the Zambezi river, all within the last ten years as well.

Just after the New Year came the case of the dog.

My parents live up in Hertfordshire, on a small farm that they're renovating. During the cold spell over Christmas they were almost entirely snowed in, and everything was white around for as far as the eye could see.

In the field nearest to the house they're working on, there's a large pond. In summer months and previous years, people used to travel to this pond to fish. Since the previous resident on the farm died, however, my parents have been turning it into a more decorative pond, and so filling it with water from a bore hole. As such, before the cold snap it had almost doubled in width, length, and a large amount of depth. It froze, predictably.

My parents had two dogs at the time, with my brother's staying in the house as well. After running them around the field briefly, they all returned to the house but left the gate open to the field so that the dogs could entertain themselves. Two dogs came back with them with the other staying in the field, most likely to roll in shit.

A delivery van turned up with building materials for the house. This all had to be unloaded and dealt with, and cups of tea had to be made. By the time the van was seen off and the tea finished, my parents came to the realisation that the dog had still not returned, and had in fact been gone for around half an hour. The dog in question is mildly deaf, and a silly bugger about coming when called at the best of times, so they trudged back out into the field to see if they could find the daft thing. The reasoning at this point was that she was probably eating a dead rabbit or something equally tasty.

Of course, she wasn't. My mum found the dog in a hole in the ice in the middle of the pond, head barely above water, feebly paddling in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. Luckily, this isn't a tale of someone immediately diving into the freezing water and drowning herself, but she said herself that she can understand exactly why it happens.

She stood and watched for long minutes as my father tried to find a rope, or anything that could be used as such. The dog stared at her frantically the entire time, and was visibly losing what little strength it had left.

My dad returned with rope; my mum shucked off her coat, wrapped the rope around herself, and waded in. The headway was alright initially, as she was able to stamp and kick at the ice to break a path. The pond drops off rapidly, though, and she was quickly having to swim and break the ice before her at the same time with her bare hands. She swam about thirty feet like this before she got to the dog, with the broken ice in front of her constantly pushing the feeble thing further away. By the time she reached it, the dog had stopped moving almost entirely.

If she hadn't had the rope and my dad pulling, she says, she wouldn't have gotten out again. With his help, though, they both got back to the shore and dragged the frozen dog out. My dad handed her coat back to her, as it was the only dry piece of clothing she had to hand, and made to pick up the dog.

She made him wait, so she could put the coat on the dog first.

She turned 60 a week later.

tl;dr version:
Mental older woman risks life in frozen pond, saves dog. Love you, mum.
(Mon 15th Feb 2010, 1:01, More)

» Sleepwalking

When I was younger...
There was a pack of ten or so of us sleeping in someone's living room after much booze.

Well; some were sleeping, a few of us were playing one of those hand destroying button-bashing Olympics style game on the playstation. Anyway.

Mid game, one of the sleepers suddenly sits bolt upright and screams, at the top of his lungs, "POUND OF APPLES. POUND OF APPLES. WALKING DOWN THE STREET WITH HER KNICKERS 'ROUND HER ANKLES."

There was silence, as we all stared at him.

Then; "Fucking hell," said he, as he lay down and slept again.
(Thu 23rd Aug 2007, 13:15, More)

» How clean is your house?

I've been living down in Bournemouth for seven years, now.
Unfortunately, that time has been spent as a student. After the first three years my flatmates were no longer students, but the places I've lived in haven't really noticed the difference.

This sorry tale actually hearkens back to my first year of uni, and takes place in the autumn of 2003. Fuck me, I've been in this town too long.

I was living in a uni-let property, a skinny pink monstrosity three floors tall and two rooms wide in both directions. This was actually my second house of the year, the first having been hurriedly vacated when my flatmates turned out to be mentals of the best kind (for reference, lurking somewhere in my profile is the story of a previous flatmate's brother taking a shit on a chair, then in the bin. I'll repost it in replies if required).

The people I lived with there weren't all that bad, and one of them I still actually share a flat with today. Possibly because he's the only one insane enough to still stay in this town, but I digress; they were good people. Well, alright, one was a complete slapper whose idea of safe sex was a pearl necklace, and another was a drug abuser with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder. The girl left and the replacement flatmate that the uni assigned could merit a story in his own right -- but this story is about the guy.

The first, the poor bastard with ADHD. In his calmer moments, he could be a lovely guy. His calmer moments usually involved him having smoked enough to stun a small pony. Whilst not a stranger to said smokeables, I once shared a joint with him and consequently took the best part of fifteen minutes struggling to open a door. He packed away the best part of an ounce a day on such days. One of his more manic days caused "the incident", however.

There was a brief time, I believe, when a legal loophole allowed the sale of magic mushrooms in a certain form. He took full advantage of this and snatched up a rather large amount. His intention had been to sell it on to his friends. Instead, he brewed up the full £30's worth into a rather potent tea. Which he drank in a single mighty draught.

I believe "fucked out of his tiny little mind" is the next accurate phrase to describe him. We put up with a gibbering idiot tearing around the house for approximately five minutes before we forcibly locked him in his room. Unbeknownst to us, we'd locked him in there with a stoner friend of his. The flatmate apparently spent a fair while convinced that there was a Leprechaun talking to him from the foot of his bed.

We ignored his screams (as was normal), and decided that the best course of action was to go to the pub. As we walked down the road away from the house, the flatmate's upper body suddenly protruded from a window. The bathroom window, a window on a different floor to his bedroom. The bathroom in question was one infrequently used by the house, given its location; personally, I was surprised he even knew it existed, given there was a different one immediately near his own room. Momentarily perplexed as to how he'd escaped his room, we stared at him. He stared back, then with his wide eyes threatening to escape his skull, he shouted at us.

"I'VE JUST DONE A MASSIVE SHIT," he informed us, then vanished inside again.

We thought nothing of it, though it was decided that we shouldn't return to the flat until it was dark and all threat of mushroom-man had dissipated into unconsciousness. When we did roll back into the place, all was dark and quiet, and there was no sign of said massive shit.

When we went to move out six or so months later, we found out in the course of cleaning the house down that the "massive shit" he'd done on that fateful day hadn't reached the toilet.

He'd shat in the toilet brush holder.
(Sun 28th Mar 2010, 3:57, More)

» Mistaken Identity

My driver's license photo always seems to get Nicholas Cage, for some reason. It's about six years old now though, so bugger that.

I most note now that I was very, very drunk in the following photo.

But, yes. Macaulay Culkin. Fucker.

That isn't a black mesh vest top, I swear. The full photo is even worse.
(Sun 3rd Jun 2007, 15:37, More)

» Your Weirdest Teacher

In a certain school, in a smallish town a ways north of London...
I went to an all boys school. Oh dear.

So, we had:

The History teacher. Taught me from year 7 to year 9 or so; then, I cleverly decided not to 'do' history anymore. The guy was shitting unstable. One minute he'd be nice as anything, the next he'd scream, throw books, and generally act like a cunt.

We studied the Vietnam war. For a week. By watching Apocalypse Now. Don't show Apocalypse Now to a group of 11 year olds.

Our school used to have non-uniform days, where you paid an extortionate amount for the privilege of not wearing normal clothes. On these days... He'd come in, dressed in full Star Trek regalia.

He even had the badge.

Last I heard, he'd moved to another school, and subsequently got in shit for the few thousand kiddie porn images they found on his computer.


The Drama teacher.

Oh fucking dear. Big hair. Seriously big hair. Gayer than a sash window. Married to a grossly overweight woman, who also dealt with the 'special needs' children. More blatant a marriage of convenience, I've never seen.

Her dealing with the 'special needs' people extended to him. She once came in to the class and gave us a full on bollocking after we'd made him run out crying. The reason being? Someone had eaten a sheet of paper, rather than show him what was on it.

The fact that the paper had an obscene drawing of his wife on it is beside the point.

This man once gave me a detention for smiling. A three hour detention.

After sufficiently aggravating him, he once decided to point out that I was only on the course because I'd complained about him being a favouritist cunt. He was entirely true; there's no way I was going to hang around doing English Literature for two years, when the pisstake option of English Drama was available.

He marked me down deliberately after that little explosion, although he did apologise. Yeah, after I'd finished the course.


The music teacher, who used to regularly buy underage pupils drinks at the local shithole nightclub, and sit in her car smoking with them. I liked her.


The art teacher, who we took to the pub and got steaming drunk towards the end of the sixth form. I saw her down the pub, not too long ago, where she gave me a big hug. She was nice, too.


The PE teacher, who... Oh, yes, everyone knows about the showers. He committed suicide after accusations got him fired from another school. Nice bloke.


The chemistry teachers. One of whom had taught my father, the other who was a certifiable pyromaniac. They used to plan large explosions on a weekly basic. The older one could never get them to work, and would always drag the other out of whatever class he was in to 'make it blow up'. The younger used to let myself and a friend amuse ourselves by making explosives in the back of his lesson rather than doing the actual work we were supposed to be.

I was always the one to hold the explosive and/or corrosive things in the fume cupboard to demonstrate.

I swear my hands are still slightly wrongly coloured.


The biology teacher. He was actually a good mate, although I've lost contact with him. A crowd of us often met him down the pub. The pub atmosphere was usually carried over to his lessons.


The ginger chemistry teacher, tried to steal a tenner off me. Bastard.

Turned a completely blind eye to the condom I inflated and hit around the classroom like a giant, lubricated balloon.


The physics teacher (1). Legend. Utter fucking legend.

He used to come out with incredible phrases, such as:

"I've seen your type on the radio."
"Put your stools up on the table and sit down."
"You, boy, no, not you, you, boy, yes, boy. Boy," to nobody in particular.
"Copy this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this...," whilst turning the same sheet of paper over, repeatedly.

Famed for muttering "Bunch of fucking little bastards," under his breath. Utterly unable to remember anyone's name.

He died a few years ago.


The physics teacher (2). The standard one you'd wind up. Bald, perverted, smelly. Had a nervous breakdown as a result of our abuse. Never reappeared.


The physics teacher (3). Insane. We used to keep a record of every insult he threw at us; some of them were incredibly creative.

Used to regularly ignore us as we built harpoon guns, electrocuted each other, and made 'art' from chewed chalk and paper, stuck to the walls.

Once pointed out that a particular student was a waste of a good abortion.


The music teacher; refused to let me in his class for a month after I put my book down on the table too hard.



The RE teacher; great bloke. I didn't learn anything about religion, but a great deal about his encounters with aliens/the government/serial killers.


The maths teacher; likewise.

His favourite anecdote involved a friend who cut his own penis off with a high pressure hose, by accident.

Or, the one about being stuck in a pipe at a the same gasworks whilst a toxic cloud slowly spread towards him.

Claimed to have invented the spin pass, in rugby.

Had the ability to determine who was going to go bald, and when.


The english teacher who'd sit with her skirt rucked around her knees, spread legged, on her desk.


The electronics teacher, who'd trade insults with the pupils. Until one of them called him gay, at which point said pupil was locked in the store cupboard for two hours.

He had no neck.


The technology teacher, who was arrested for fraud.


The technology teacher, who'd fall asleep in his own lessons.


The latin teacher, who could throw board rubbers with pinpoint accuracy to land on someone's desk and choke them with chalk dust.


The psychology teacher. My personal favourite.

When I hit the sixth form, we started sharing teachers and classes with the Girls' school in the same town. So, we'd have mixed classes for the first time in years.

This psychology teacher was relatively normal, until he had an accident playing football. He got kicked in the head, and went a little bit... odd.

He held a competition to see who could guess the name of his recently born daughter. Nobody won; her name was Delilah. He kept the money everyone had bet. The swine.

I used to sit with a female friend right by the doorway. Whenever we got tired of his lessons, which was often, we'd simply ask to leave. The first time he looked startled.

The second time, he just gave me a knowing look, and a sly wink.

Unfortunately, it was nothing like that. The pair of us just couldn't be arsed to hang around and listen to him droning on. She was actually one of my then girlfriend's best friends. But anyway.

It got to the point where he'd slyly sidle over to me when everyone else had their heads down, nudge me, and ask, "Do you two want to go off, then?"

Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth...

Sitting at the front had its downsides, however. He used to engage us in conversation, fairly often. Now, he was a nice enough bloke, but since the accident, as mentioned, he'd gone a little odd.

I'll spare you the conversations we had, as this bollocks is long enough already, and I can't be arsed to bloat it out more. However.

The most memorable thing he ever said to us.

"You know what?"
"What's that, sir?"
"I... I saw a spider, once..."

...He looked very confused, then, and wandered off again rubbing the back of his head.

We took that as our cue to fuck off.
(Thu 10th Nov 2005, 23:40, More)
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