b3ta.com user Biffins Bridge
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» Too much information

Anglo-French carnal relations
Back in my uni days, a few of us (mostly guys but a couple of girls too) were in the local pub for a leisurely afternoon booze-up. We were sat around a table having a good old chat about all kinds of nonsense. One of our gang, Emma, was there. She was fairly quiet but often came out with us, especially since her French boyfriend had arrived a few months ago to live with her, and Emma thought it would be good for her boyfriend, Stephan, to mix with us and practice his English.
Now Stephan was a decent guy at heart, but none of us really "got" him. His English was very poor, and he was a very sensitive guy (in that French way), often appearing sullen and moody. He didn't seem to understand any of our pub banter, and the baudy jokes flew right over his head. He just sat there at the table sulking, head downcast, probably conceiving poetry in his head or something.
Anyway, the conversation turned to anal sex (as it often does). One of our number, a Scouse lad named Stu, exclaimed in his thick Mersey drawl, "I jus' don't understand, like, 'ow a cock can fit up an arse!"
Without raising his eyes from the floor, and in a deadpan, Gallic 'ow-you-say monotone, Stephan calmly muttered the now legendary words: "ask Emma".
The entire table (nay, pub) exploded into incredulous hysterics. We were literally rolling around the floor. In a split second Stephan had transformed himself from moody Frog into comic legend. A grateful smile even crossed his mouth, as he saw that he was finally accepted here as one of the lads.
However, moments later his smile evaporated, as all eyes turned to Emma, the only one not amused even slightly, who was sat there silent, tears in her eyes, her normally pale skin flushed with anger and shame.
Emma got up, and hissed "I can't believe you just told them that", and stormed out of the pub in tears.
That was pretty much the end of their relationship.
(Sat 8th Sep 2007, 13:04, More)

» Have you ever been rude to a celebrity?

Stephen Hawking
Not all that rude, not me, but still funny.

A few years ago at Oxford Uni, my housemate was given the task of looking after Stephen Hawking just before he was due to address the Union. Presented with the opportunity to speak with arguably the world's greatest living scientist, perhaps to learn something about the fabric of time and space from this genius, the only thing my mate could think of to ask him was:
"So, er... how fast does that chair go?"
Unfazed, Professor Hawking replied: "I'll show you!", floored it (if that's the right term) and zoomed off down the corridor.
(Thu 15th Apr 2004, 16:26, More)

» Out of my depth

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 14th Oct 2004, 19:05, More)

» The Worst Journey in the World

Moscow to Tashkent - 3 days on a Russian train
Sounds fun, doesn't it? A jolly jaunt on a Russian train through the Steppe, down through massive Kazakhstan, and onwards through the deserts of Uzbekistan.
In my infinite wisdom, I didn't take any food with me, and decided to rely on the restaurant carriage on the train. So on the first evening I went to the restaurant car to get a nice bowl of borshch or something, and took a seat at a table together with the two English girls I was travelling with. We were the only ones in the restaurant car apart from the waiter and a rather scary-looking skinhead with staring eyes that suggested trouble. Never mind, we thought, we'll just avoid eye contact and all will be well.
But the skinhead said something to the waiter, and then the waiter came over and politely explained that he thought we should leave because the skinhead was a mentally ill soldier with a gun who had recently returned from a killing spree in Chechnya and had just told him he was going to kill us, and the waiter didn't think he was joking. So we didn't even get our borshch and had to beat a hasty retreat back to our compartment with empty stomachs. Oh well, an evening of vodka drinking instead then.
The following day I tried to go back to the restaurant car. Alas, some vandals (maybe the skinhead and his mates) had completely trashed it, and a sign had been put up saying the restaurant car was closed for the rest of the journey - still 2 days left to go! Bugger! What do we do for food now?
At the next stop somewhere in the middle of nowhere, I jumped out and found an old woman on the platform selling boiled eggs. "Salvation!" I thought. I'll get a load of boiled eggs in. So I bought about 20 off her. Got back onto the train and settled down to a few boiled eggs. Cracked the first one open and raw egg spilled all over me. Turns out I'd bought raw eggs, not boiled! Dammit! In desperation I even tried "boiling" them in hot (but not boiling) water from the carriage's hot water tank for making coffee and tea - but no joy, of course. So it was back to another day and night on the vodka on an increasingly empty stomach.
Shortly afterwards I started hallucinating due to starvation and excessive consumption of home brew vodka, but I do remember that things became dramatically less civilised in Kazakhstan (home of Borat) - at one station about 5000 peasants with sacks of agricultural produce boarded our carriage without tickets and squeezed into every last available space. We had random stinking peasants sleeping on the luggage racks above our bunks and under the seats for the rest of the journey. One of the Kazakh men engaged me in conversation in broken Russian and asked me how much my girls cost. "They're not for sale" I said. "Two camels!" was his response. "Look, I don't own these girls, they're not mine to sell!" No use. "OK, four camels!" he replied. And so it went on. By the end he was offering me vast numbers of camels for my increasingly alarmed companions, and I must admit I was just a little bit tempted.
Day 3 of the journey was a complete blank. But I'm reliably informed that I lost an arm wrestling contest to a Ukranian policeman and as a forfeit I had to drink vast quantities of yet more home brew vodka, and later was almost murdered by a gang of enraged Uzbeks and Kazakhs when I put a towel on my head and pretended to be an Arab and ran down the corridor shouting "Allahu Akbar!". Without doubt the longest, toughest, hungriest, scariest, most drunken journey of my life.
(Sat 9th Sep 2006, 13:48, More)

» Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and Hospitals

Good-AIDS counselling
Back in the mid-90s I was going to be heading off for a year in Moscow, and in those days the Russian authorities made it a requirement that all foreigners staying for longer than three months had to get an HIV test before being granted a visa. So off I trot to the GP and ask for an HIV test. The nurse takes the blood sample and it's sent off. Then my GP tells me that under government regulations, all patients taking HIV tests must receive counselling from their GPs prior to the results coming back. So the doc and I go ahead and have our "counselling session".
"Ever been to Bangkok and fucked prostitutes?" he asks.
"No," I reply.
"Ah well, then you're fine!" was his reply. Counselling session over.
(Thu 11th Mar 2010, 15:49, More)
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